The Disaster Artist (out 12/1)
James Franco has never shied away from taking on multiple roles. In this project, he directs himself as Tommy Wiseau, the mysterious man behind the infamous cult hit, The Room. While trailers have showcased recreations of the more curious traits of Wiseau and ridiculous scenes from his movie, the success of Franco’s film rests on whether he finds any depth underlying Wiseau’s personality and work.
The Shape of Water (out 12/1)
Guillermo del Toro years ago proved his ability to pair introspective female lead characters struggling with monstrous and wondrous creatures. In his newest film, a mute woman involves herself with a science fiction creature in the early years of the Cold War. With a stellar cast led by Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon as the heavy, del Toro’s formula appears destined to result in magic again.
I, Tonya (out 12/8)
The tabloid drama of the 1990s continues to invade today’s pop culture landscape as Margot Robbie portrays Tonya Harding in this dramatization of that moment when Olympic-level figure skating hit the front pages like white trash Shakespeare. Allison Janney as Harding’s shitty mom is a good draw, too, but maybe after this, it’s finally time to leave the nineties in the past.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (out 12/15)
You’re either going to go see this or you’re not and nothing written here will change that. Enjoy watching the trailer again before you go.
Molly’s Game (out 12/29)
People either love or despise Aaron Sorkin’s penchant for writing page after page of knowing takedowns. Usually, the success of a Sorkin script depends on the director’s ability to modulate Sorkin’s polarizing style. This time, however, the director is Sorkin himself, so we’ll see a less filtered version of his verbal fireworks. Whether it’s a wordy revelation or a densely dictated disaster, it’s sure to be compelling and he has a fine cast to help him pull it off.
Phantom Thread (out 12/29)
There are two obvious reasons to see the film: Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis. Their last collaboration, There Will Be Blood, was one of the standout films and performances of recent decades. Day-Lewis has said this will be his final film. Yes, we’re skeptical of that claim, but the threat’s intriguing enough to make this a must-see.
Also of Note (for better or worse):
- All The Money In The World
- Father Figures
- Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
- The Greatest Showman
- Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
- Pitch Perfect 3
- The Post
- Wonder Wheel
J. McVay also hosts the BreakThru Radio Weekly podcast, which features reviews of new and recently released movies each week. Check out future episodes to hear reviews and discussions of some of these releases.