A look at our favorite movies coming out this holiday season.
| 12:20 p.m. December 6, 2016
Arts + Entertainment
It's the most wonderful time of the year to catch the best films of 2016. With awards season just around the corner, give yourself the gift of a great escape. Better yet, make it a family affair during the holidays at your local movie theater. Yule be glad you did.
'NOCTURNAL ANIMALS' Dec. 9
When fashion designer Tom Ford directs, expect edgy and exquisite. In this clever, emotional thriller about the thin line between love and abuse, a divorced couple seeks payback. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal play very dangerous games as Michael Shannon tries keeping the peace.
'LA LA LAND' Dec. 16
This magical musical looks as though it hits all the right notes. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as struggling artists in the City of Angels. When words fail them, the two lovers break into song — and dance. Director Damien Chazelle says he hopes to make his audience forgo logic in favor of emotion and beauty. We could all use a dose of that these days.
'L'AVENIR' ('THINGS TO COME') Dec. 16
The ever-stunning Isabelle Huppert portrays a middle-aged philosophy professor who must reinvent her life when she loses her mother, her job and a cheating husband. And although her circumstances are involuntary, she's determined to navigate the emotional limbo thrust upon her intellectually. But it's not always smooth sailing. Written and directed by Mia Hansen-Love.
'NERUDA' Dec. 16
In 1948, renowned Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda is forced into hiding when he denounces the government for betraying the Communist Party. A stubbornly tenacious police inspector is assigned to find and arrest Neruda as a cat-and-mouse game plays out. The story is told from two sides simultaneously and one has to wonder if Neruda is pulling all the strings. Starring Luis Gnecco and Gael Garcia Bernal. Directed by Pablo Larrain.
'JACKIE' Dec. 21
Natalie Portman portrays First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the days immediately following the assassination of her husband, John F. Kennedy. The film is exclusively shot from her point of view as she endeavors to balance dignity with enormous loss. The trailer is riveting — and excruciatingly heartbreaking. Portman's performance has Oscar written all over it, as does Pablo Larrain's (busy guy this year) direction. Also starring Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig and Billy Crudup.
'FENCES' Dec. 25
Viola Davis and Denzel Washington reprise their Tony Award-winning roles as a couple coping with race relations in the 1950s. But moreover, it's the story of one man's obsession with what he deserves clouding his appreciation for what he has. Peppered with humor and joy, it's the perfect holiday film. In Washington's third directorial effort, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, expect exceptional acting and numerous Oscar nods.
'TONI ERDMANN' Dec. 25
Brace yourself. This German-Austrian dramedy is nearly three hours long, but rumor has it that it never drags. The relationship between a quirky father (Peter Simonischek) and his estranged daughter (Sandra Huller) is hilariously depicted as the father tries to inject humor into her joyless life. The film received rave reviews at Cannes this year, and director Maren Ade received the Fipresci Prize.
"I went away a soldier and came home an outlaw." This is how gangster Joe Coughlin describes himself in this crime drama set during Prohibition. When Joe becomes a Tampa rum-runner, he discovers that going against his moral code comes at a great price. Super cool trailer, cast and cinematography are definitely a draw. Ben Affleck scripts, stars and directs. Can't miss.
'PATERSON' Dec. 28
Adam Driver portrays a poet/bus driver in present day Paterson, N.J. Over the course of one week, we watch as personal setbacks evolve into inspiration for him and his beloved wife. Quiet punk Jim Jarmusch scripts and directs this character-driven piece being described as "a movie for everyone."