Movie Sneaks

'Spectre,' 'Star Wars,' 'Hateful 8' ... a guide to every holiday movie you need to see

The 2015 Holiday Movie Sneaks guide is a snapshot of films opening through early January. Release dates and other details, as compiled by Kevin Crust, are subject to change.

Nov.1

Codegirl

Documentary follows teams of high school girls from around the world as they compete in the Technovation Challenge, an international app development contest. Directed by Lesley Chilcott. Filmbuff

Nov. 4

Brooklyn

Saoirse Ronan stars as a young Irish immigrant making her way in 1950s Brooklyn but torn between her new home and romance and the pull of her past. With Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters. Written by Nick Hornby, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín. Directed by John Crowley. Fox Searchlight Pictures

Nov. 6

Care of Footpath 2

Four teenagers in an Indian slum conspire to kill a police officer, and their arrest and trial create a media sensation and public outcry for justice in this drama. Directed by Kishan S.S. 

Frame by Frame

Four Afghan photojournalists, part of an emerging free press after the 2001 fall of the Taliban, are profiled in this documentary. Directed by Mo Scarpelli and Alexandria Bombach.

SIGN UP for the free Indie Focus movies newsletter >>

Heart of a Dog

Artist Laurie Anderson reflects on the life and death of her dog, Lolabelle, in this nonfiction feature. Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films

Heneral Luna

The authority of Gen. Antonio Luna, commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army, is challenged as war breaks out in 1899. With John Arcilla, Arron Villaflor and Mon Confiado. Written by Henry Hunt Francia, E.A. Rocha and Jerrold Tarog. Directed by Tarog. Abramorama

Landmine Goes Click

Three American backpackers trapped by an explosive in rural European Georgia are preyed upon by a local psychopath. With Spencer Locke, Dean Geyer and Sterling Knight. Directed by Levan Bakhia. Gravitas Ventures

Lost in the Sun

A small-time crook finds an unlikely accomplice in a recently orphaned teenage boy, and the two embark on a string of robberies. With Josh Duhamel, Lynn Collins and Josh Wiggins. Written and directed by Trey Nelson. Entertainment One

Love

An American writer in Paris embarks on an erotic relationship with an unstable woman, which gets further complicated when they involve a pretty neighbor. With Karl Glusman, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin. Written and directed by Gaspar Noe. Alchemy

Miss You Already

The relationship of lifelong best friends is tested when one develops cancer and the other becomes pregnant. With Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore and Dominic Cooper. Written by Morwenna Banks. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Roadside Attractions

The Peanuts Movie

The lovable loser Charlie Brown and his daring beagle, Snoopy, embark on fateful adventures. With the voices of Noah Schnapp, Hadley Miller and Alex Garfin. Written by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Directed by Steve Martino. In 3-D. 20th Century Fox

Sex, Death and Bowling

An 11-year-old boy rallies his turbulent family, including his fashion designer uncle, to compete in a local bowling tournament. With Adrian Grenier, Selma Blair, Bailey Chase, Melora Walters, Drea de Matteo, Mary Lynn Rajskub. Monterey Media

Spectre

A cryptic message from his past sends secret agent James Bond on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz and Lea Seydoux. Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Directed by Sam Mendes. Columbia Pictures / MGM

Spotlight

A fact-based drama about the Boston Globe's months-long investigation of a cover-up of abuse in the Catholic Church. With Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber. Written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. Directed by McCarthy. Open Road Films

This Isn't Funny

Stand-up comics attempt to balance a romantic relationship with career and family challenges. Starring Katie Page, Paul Ashton, Anthony LaPaglia, Edi Gathegi, Mimi Rogers, David Pasquesi, Danielle Panabaker, Mark Harelik, Gia Carides, Angie Milliken, Beth Stelling, Ahmed Bharoocha and Will Weldon. Written by Ashtonand Page. Directed by Ashton. Candy Factory

Trumbo

In the 1940s, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo's successful career comes crashing down as he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. With Bryan Cranston, Elle Fanning and Diane Lane. Written by John McNamara. Directed by Jay Roach. Bleecker Street

Welcome to Leith

Documentary chronicles the actions of a white supremacist, who begins buying up land in a small North Dakota town 70 miles south of the Bakken oil fields. Directed by Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker. First Run Features

What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy

A documentary following two men, both sons of high-ranking Nazi officials, as they travel through Europe and examine the sins of their fathers. Directed by David Evans. Oscilloscope Laboratories

Wrecker

Two best friends take a road trip to a musical festival in the desert, only to wind up pursued by a psychotic tow truck driver. With Anna Hutchison and Drea Whitburn. Written by Michael Bafaro and Evan Tylor. Directed by Bafaro. XLrator Media

Xenia

A Greek teen from Crete seeks out his brother in Athens and the two then set out for Thessaloniki, where they believe their father is living. With Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia and Aggelos Papadimitriou. Directed by Panos H. Koutras. Strand Releasing

Nov. 13

Addiction: A 60's Love Story

A college dropout finds himself immersed in pornography and drug addiction in 1968 New York. With Ian Harding, Evanna Lynch and Carol Kane. Written by Jason Noto, story by Max Bornstein and Michael Riess. Directed by Tate Steinsiek. Breaking Glass Pictures

Agnès Varda Films

A pair of restored titles starring Jane Birkin. “Jane B. par Agnès V.” (1988). Varda creates an expressionsitic portrait of the singer and actress. And “Kung-fu Master!” (1988). Birkin plays a 40-year-old woman who falls in love with a video-game-obsessed 14-year-old.

Ayanda

After the death of her father, a young South African woman strives to save his auto repair shop. With Jafta Mamabolo, Fulu Moguvhani and Nthati Moshesh. Written by Trish Malone. Directed by Sara Blecher. Array

By the Sea

Angelina Jolie Pitt writes, directs and costars with husband Brad Pitt as an American writer and his wife attempting to repair their failing marriage in a quiet seaside resort in 1970s France. With Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup and Richard Bohringer. Universal Pictures

Condemned

The toxic waste in an old building on Manhattan's Lower East Side transforms its residents into maniacs thirsting for blood. With Dylan Penn and Ronen Rubinstein. Written and directed by Eli Morgan Gesner. RLJ Entertainment

Cut Snake

An Australian crime thriller about an ex-con in mid-1970s Melbourne whose attempt to go straight is complicated by the arrival of his charming yet dangerous former cellmate. With Sullivan Stapleton, Alex Russell, Jessica De Gouw and Megan Holloway. Written by Blake Ayshford. Directed by Tony Ayres.

The Hallow

A conservationist from London inadvertently stirs up an ancient evil force in rural Ireland. With Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton and Michael Smiley. Written by Corin Hardy and Felipe Marino. Directed by Hardy. IFC Films

Heist

When a casino robbery goes wrong, the crooks hijack a city bus leading to a high-stakes police pursuit in this action thriller. With Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Robert De Niro, Kate Bosworth and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Written by Stephen Cyrus Sepher and Max S. Adams, story by Sepher. Directed by Scott Mann. Lionsgate Premiere

I Remember You

Two people united by a near-drowning think they have met before and gradually realize they share a past. With Stefanie Butler, Joe Egender, Jordan Monaghan, Billy Evans, Malin Yhr and Steve Wilcox. Written and directed by Claudia Sparrow. Indie Rights

Love the Coopers

Four generations gather for their annual Christmas Eve festivities, which are upended by unexpected guests and a surprising turn of events. With Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton and Olivia Wilde. Written by Steven Rogers. Directed by Jessie Nelson. CBS Films

Man Up

Mistaken identity at London's Waterloo Station leads to a madcap evening of emotional risk-taking for the romantically challenged Lake Bell and the newly divorced Simon Pegg. With Olivia Williams. Written by Tess Morris. Directed by Ben Palmer. Saban Films

My All American

An undersized football player faces unforeseen challenges playing for fabled University of Texas coach Darrell Royal. With Finn Wittrock, Aaron Eckhart, Sarah Bolger and Robin Tunney. Written and directed by Angelo Pizzo, based upon the book "Courage Beyond the Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story" by Jim Dent. Clarius Entertainment

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

This documentary profiles the heiress and cultural empresario who championed such artists as Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp. Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland. Submarine Deluxe

Sand Dollars

Geraldine Chaplin plays an older American woman who carries on a complex relationship with a much younger local girl in the Dominican Republic. With Yanet Mojica and Ricardo Ariel Toribio. Written and directed by Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán. Breaking Glass Pictures

Shelter

Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie play homeless people on the streets of New York City who turn to each other to survive. With Amy Hargreaves and Bruce Altman. Written and directed by Paul Bettany. Screen Media Films

Song of Lahore

Documentary explores the changing lives of several Pakistani classical musicians when their new album earns them international accolades and a concert at Lincoln Center. With Wynton Marsalis. Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken. Broad Green Pictures

Steve McQueen: The Man & LeMans

Behind-the-scenes documentary looks at the movie star as he works on his passion project set at the famed 24-hour French auto race. With Chad McQueen and John Sturges. Written by Gabriel Clarke. Directed by Clarke and John McKenna. FilmRise

SIGN UP for the free Classic Hollywood newsletter >> 

Sweet Micky for President

Pras Michel of the Fugees mounts an unlikely political campaign to elect cross-dressing musician Michel Martelly to lead corruption-ridden Haiti in this documentary. Story by Michel. Directed by Ben Patterson. Ignite Channel 

Theeb

As war rages in the Ottoman Empire, the lives of two young Bedouin brothers are interrupted by the arrival of a British soldier and his guide. With Jacir Eid, Hassan Mutlag and Hussein Salameh. Written by Naji Abu Nowar and Bassel Ghandour. Directed by Nowar. Film Movement

The 33

Dramatic telling of the 2010 Chilean mine disaster, when an international team raced the clock to rescue 33 miners trapped 200 stories below ground. With Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips and Gabriel Byrne. Written by Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten and Michael Thomas, based on the screen story by José Rivera and the book "Deep Down Dark" by former Times staffer Hector Tobar. Directed by Patricia Riggen. Warner Bros.

Nov. 20

Altered Minds

A noted psychiatrist is accused of conducting experiments on his adopted children. With Judd Hirsch. Written and directed by Michael Wechsler. Gravitas Ventures

Army of Shadows

A Frenchman joins the Resistance during his country’s occupation by Germany in World War II in director Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1969 drama. The film was not released in the U.S. until 2006, when it was voted best foreign film by the New York Critics Circle. With Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel. Melville adapted Joseph Kessel's novel. Rialto Pictures

Carol

Cate Blanchett stars as a married woman who falls in love with young shopgirl Rooney Mara in 1950s New York, where their relationship is tested by societal conventions. With Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy and Cory Michael Smith. Written by Phyllis Nagy, based on the novel "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith. Directed by Todd Haynes. The Weinstein Co.

Censored Voices

Original recordings of interviews with Israeli soldiers at the end of the Six-Day War are the basis for this documentary. With Amos Oz and Avraham Shapira. Directed by Mor Loushy. Music Box Films

Criminal Activities

An insider trading tip inspires four longtime friends to make an investment that goes south and entangles them with the mob. With John Travolta, Dan Stevens and Michael Pitt. Written by Robert Lowell. Directed by Jackie Earle Haley. RLJ Entertainment

Drone

The dark side of militarized remote-controlled aircraft that promise precision strikes is scrutinized in this documentary. Directed by Tonje Schei. Flimmer Film and Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution

Entertainment

A beleaguered stand-up comic traverses the California desert playing desolate gigs while searching for his estranged daughter. With Gregg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera and Amy Seimetz. Written by Rick Alverson, Turkington and Tim Heidecker. Directed by Alverson. Magnolia Pictures

#Horror

The terror of an online game is all too real for a group of privileged suburban tween girls. With Chloe Sevigny, Timothy Hutton, Natasha Lyonne, Balthazar Getty and Taryn Manning. Written and directed by Tara Subkoff. IFC Midnight

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2

Jennifer Lawrence is back for the fourth and final film in the YA franchise, which pits Katniss and friends against President Snow as they attempt to liberate the citizens of Panem. With Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Donald Sutherland. Written by Peter Craig and Danny Strong, adaptation by Suzanne Collins, based upon her novel, "Mockingjay." Directed by Francis Lawrence. Lionsgate

James White

His mother's serious illness forces a young New Yorker to confront his self-indulgent, self-destructive ways. With Christopher Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi, Makenzie Leigh, Ron Livingston and David Call. Written and directed by Josh Mond. The Film Arcade

Kingdom of Shadows

Filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz profiles three disparate individuals — a nun, a smuggler-turned-rancher and a Homeland Security official — on the front lines of the U.S.-Mexico drug war. Participant Media

Legend

Tom Hardy plays notorious twin gangsters Ronald and Reggie Kray wreaking havoc on the 1960s London underworld. With Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston and Chazz Palminteri. Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, based on the book "The Profession of Violence" by John Pearson. Universal Pictures

Mediterranea

Migrants from Burkina Faso endeavor to reach Italy only to find their struggles magnified once they reach Europe. With Koudous Seihon and Alassane Sy. Written and directed by Jonas Carpignano. Sundance Selects

Mustang

In a village in northern Turkey, the youthful exuberance of five adolescent sisters is tempered as they are prepared for more traditional female roles. With Dogba Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Gunes Sensoy, Ilayda Akdogan and Tugba Sunguroglu. Written by Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour. Directed by Ergüven. Cohen Media Group

The Night Before

Three longtime friends — Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie — fend off adulthood while pursuing the ultimate Christmas party. With Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Michael Shannon and Mindy Kaling. Written by Jonathan Levine and Evan Goldberg & Kyle Hunter & Ariel Shaffir. Directed by Levine. Columbia Pictures

Secret in Their Eyes

FBI investigator Chiwetel Ejiofor turns up a new lead in the murder of a young girl, a case that tore apart his team 13 years earlier. With Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts. Written and directed by Billy Ray. STX Entertainment

Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists

A documentary look at the artists and illustrators whose work enlivens the pages of the literary magazine. Directed by Leah Wolchok. HBO Documentary Films

Nov. 25

Creed

"Fruitvale Station" star Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler team with Sylvester Stallone as Apollo Creed's son asks his late father's former rival, Rocky Balboa, to return to boxing as his trainer. With Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Anthony Bellew. Written by Coogler & Aaron Covington, based on characters from the "Rocky" series written by Stallone. Warner Bros.

The Good Dinosaur

An apatosaurus makes a human friend in a world where dinosaurs did not go extinct in Pixar's latest animated film. With the voices of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott. Directed by Peter Sohn. Walt Disney Pictures

Victor Frankenstein

James McAvoy stars, with Daniel Radcliffe as Igor, in this revamp of Mary Shelley's classic tale, in which the doctor's cutting-edge research into immortality goes too far, resulting in terrifying consequences. Written by Max Landis. Directed by Paul McGuigan. 20th Century Fox

Nov. 27

The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne stars as an artist who discovers her identity as a woman and becomes a transgender pioneer with the help of his wife and fellow artist in 1920s Copenhagen. With Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard and Matthias Schoenaerts. Written by Lucinda Coxon, based on the book by David Ebershoff. Directed by Tom Hooper. Focus Features

Iraqi Odyssey

Documentary chronciles the plight of a middle-class family whose members are dispersed around the world after their country is ravaged by war. Written and directed by Samir. Typecast Films

Submerged

Survival is the goal for friends when their party limo is run off the road by armed kidnappers. With Cody Christian, Talulah Riley, Jonathan Bennett, Tim Daly and Mario Van Peebles. Written by Scott Milam. Directed by Steven C. Miller. IFC Midnight

The Wonders

The life of a beekeeping family in Tuscany is intruded upon by the arrival of a disturbed teenaged boy and a reality television show. With Alba Rohrwacher, Monica Bellucci, Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck, Sabine Timoteo and Agnese Graziani. Written and directed by Alice Rohrwacher. Oscilloscope Laboratories

Dec. 4

Chi-Raq
The death of a child propels a group of Chicago women to organize in opposition to the violence on the city's Southside in Spike Lee's contemporary adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. With Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Written by Lee and Kevin Willmott. Directed by Lee. Amazon / Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions

Christmas Eve

Six groups of New Yorkers are trapped in elevators by a power outage, resulting in a night of laughs, romance and life-changing discoveries. With Patrick Stewart, Cheryl Hines, Jon Heder, Gary Cole and Max Casella. Written and directed by Mitch Davis. Unstuck LLC

Close Range

To protect his family, a rancher battles a drug cartel and corrupt law enforcement. With Scott Adkins. Written by Chad Law & Shane Dax Taylor. Directed by Isaac Florentine. XLrator Media

Dementia

A disabled Vietnam War veteran is tormented by his sadistic live-in nurse. With Gene Jones and Kristina Klebe. Written by Meredith Berg. Directed by Mike Testin. IFC Midnight

Every Thing Will Be Fine

A tragic auto accident forces a writer to look deep within himself to find redemption. With James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Rachel McAdams. Written by Bjørn Olaf Johannessen. Directed by Wim Wenders. IFC Films

Hitchcock/Truffaut

Based on the original recordings of the weeklong 1962 meeting between the two filmmakers, this documentary explores the mysteries of mise-en-scène and the man who directed "Psycho," "The Birds" and "Vertigo." With Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Olivier Assayas, Peter Bogdanovich, Arnaud Desplechin, James Gray, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Richard Linklater. Directed by Kent Jones. Cohen Media Group

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Amy Berg's documentary explores the short, tumultuous life of rock singer Janis Joplin. Narrated by Chan Marshall. With Dick Cavett, Sam Andrew, D.A. Pennebaker, Bob Weir, Laura Joplin and Michael Joplin. Written and directed by Amy Berg. FilmRise

Killing Them Safely

The introduction of the Taser was supposed to revolutionize police work, but this documentary questions why hundreds of people have died from injuries related to the weapon. With Tom Smith and Rick Smith. Written by Nick Berardini and J. Gonçalves. Directed by Berardini. Sundance Selects

Krampus

A family's lack of Christmas spirit triggers the onslaught of a dark force and his minions. With Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner and Conchata Ferrell. Co-written by Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields and Todd Casey. Directed by Dougherty. Universal Pictures

The Lady in the Van

Maggie Smith reprises her stage role as the title character who parks her vehicle in the driveway of a writer and remains for 15 years. With Alex Jennings, James Corden and Dominic Cooper. Written by Alan Bennett, from his play. Directed by Nicholas Hytner. Sony Pictures Classics

The Letters

The personal correspondence of Mother Teresa illuminates her life and work for a Vatican priest investigating her activities after her death. With Juliet Stevenson, Max von Sydow and Rutger Hauer. Written and directed by William Riead. Freestyle Releasing

Macbeth

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in William Shakespeare's bloody tale of a Scottish general driven by his ambitious wife to seek the throne by any means necessary. With Paddy Considine and David Thewlis. Written by Jacob Koskoff, Todd Louiso and Michael Lesslie, based on the play. Directed by Justin Kurzel. The Weinstein Co.

MI-5

Agent provocateur Kit Harington teams with the dishonored head of the British intelligence agency to track an escaped terrorist in this spinoff of the BBC spy series "Spooks." With Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle and David Harewood. Written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley. Directed by Bharat Nalluri. Saban Films

Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

Documentary reveals the mysterious masked performer who toured and fed the fan frenzy after the death of Elvis Presley in 1977. Directed by Jeanie Finlay. Sundance Selects

A Royal Night Out

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret let down their hair and enjoy a night on the town after the end of World War II. With Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Jack Reynor, Rupert Everett and Emily Watson. Written by Trevor De Silva and Kevin Hood. Directed by Julian Jarrold. Atlas Distribution Co. & Ketchup Entertainment

Stink!

Disturbed by the stench emitted when opening a package of his daughters' pajamas, Jon Whelan investigates the lax laws governing the use of chemicals in the U.S. Written by Whelan and Bryan Gunnar Cole. Directed by Whelan. Net Return Inc.

The Summer of Sangaile

Two teenage Lithuanian girls are united by a love for flying and share a secret romance. With Julija Steponaityte, Aiste Dirziute, Jurate Sodyte, Martynas Budraitis, Laurynas Jurgelis, Nele Savicenko and Inga Salkauskaite. Written and directed by Alanté Kavaïté. Strand Releasing

The Wannabe

After failing to fix the trial of John Gotti, an aspiring mobster goes on a narcotics-fueled revenge binge with his groupie girlfriend. With Vincent Piazza, Patricia Arquette, Michael Imperioli, Domenick Lombardozzi, David Zayas and Nick Sandow. Written and directed by Sandow. Momentum Pictures/Orion Pictures

Youth

Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play longtime friends, a composer and a screenwriter, reflecting on their lives and art at a Swiss resort. With Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda. Written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Fox Searchlight

Dec. 11

The Big Short

Angered by the greed of corporations and anticipating the housing bubble, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt set out to make the big banks pay. Written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, based upon the book by Michael Lewis. Directed by McKay. Paramount Pictures

Boy and the World

This experimental, wordless animation, fueled by music and color, follows a child's quest to reunite his family. With Marco Aurélio Campos, Vinicius Garcia, Lu Horta. Written and directed by Alê Abreu. GKids

Dixieland

An ex-con falls for a stripper while trying to follow the straight-and-narrow in rural Mississippi. With Chris Zylka, Riley Keough, RJ Mitte, Spencer Lofranco, Brad Carter, Steve Earle and Faith Hill. Written and directed by Hank Bedford. IFC Films

Don Verdean

A biblical archaeologist with questionable credentials is hired by a small-town pastor to find sacred relics in the Holy Land. With Sam Rockwell, Amy Ryan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Bibb, Stephen Park, Will Forte and Danny McBride. Written by Jared Hess & Jerusha Hess. Directed by Jared Hess. Lionsgate Premiere

In the Heart of the Sea

Ron Howard directed this epic about the 1820 battle between the whaling ship Essex and a mammoth whale off the coast of New England that inspired "Moby Dick." With Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson. Written by Charles Leavitt, story by Leavitt and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, based on the book "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex" by Nathaniel Philbrick. Warner Bros.

Ingrid Bergman — In Her Own Words

This intimate documentary on the three-time Oscar winner mines her home movies, personal notes, letters and diaries. With Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini, Roberto Rossellini, Pia Lindström, Fiorella Mariani, Liv Ullmann, Sigourney Weaver and Jeanine Basinger. Narrated by Alicia Vikander. Directed by Stig Björkman. Rialto Pictures

Snervous Tyler Oakley

Behind-the-scenes documentary on the YouTube personality, his family, friends and followers, as he embarks on a world tour. Directed by Amy Rice. Awesomeness Films

Dec. 16

Emperor's New Clothes

Comedian Russell Brand and filmmaker Michael Winterbottom examine income inequality and rail against the world financial crisis. Written and directed by Brand and Winterbottom. Sundance Selects

Dec. 18

Extraction

A desk-bound government analyst leaps into action when his CIA operative father is kidnapped by terrorists. With Kellan Lutz, Bruce Willis, Gina Carano and D.B. Sweeney. Written by Umair Aleem and Max Adams. Directed by Steven C. Miller. Lionsgate Premiere

Sisters

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler star as out-of-touch siblings who return to clean out their childhood home when their parents decide to sell and throw one last party for old times' sake. With Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, Dianne Wiest and James Brolin. Written by Paula Pell. Directed by Jason Moore. Universal Pictures

Son of Saul

At Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, a Hungarian prisoner discovers a dead boy he believes is his son and endeavors to save the body from the crematorium and give it a proper Jewish burial. Géza Röhrig stars. Written by Lázló Nemes and Clara Royer. Directed by Nemes. Sony Pictures Classics

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher return for the latest installment of the space saga as it kicks off another trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away. With Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Written by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan. Directed by Abrams. Walt Disney Pictures

Dec. 23

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

The high-pitched trio set off for New York City to stop Dave, who they believe is going to propose to his girlfriend and leave them behind. With Jason Lee, Tony Hale, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate. Written by Randi Mayem and Adam Sztykiel, based on the characters Alvin and the Chipmunks created by Ross Bagdasarian and the Chipettes created by Janice Karman. Directed by Walt Becker. 20th Century Fox

45 Years

The arrival of a disturbing letter threatens a couple's celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary. With Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. Written and directed by Andrew Haigh, adaptation by David Constantine, based upon his short story, "In Another Country." Sundance Selects

Where to Invade Next

Director Michael Moore turns to Europe and elsewhere looking for ways to cure the U.S.' most serious ills in this globe-trotting documentary. Distributed by Tom Quinn, Jason Janego, Tim League

Dec. 25

Concussion

Will Smith stars as a forensic neuropathologist who discovers the first case of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, and challenges the NFL in his battle to reveal the truth. With Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse and Albert Brooks. Written and directed by Peter Landesman, based on the GQ article "Game Brain" by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Columbia Pictures

Daddy's Home

The world of milquetoast stepdad Will Ferrell is upended when the children's anarchic biological father, played by Mark Wahlberg, pays a visit. With Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church and Hannibal Buress. Written by Brian Burns and Sean Anders & John Morris. Directed by Anders. Paramount Pictures

The Hateful Eight

Shortly after the Civil War, an octet of dangerous strangers convenes at a Wyoming stagecoach stopover during a blizzard in writer-director Quentin Tarantino's western. With Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Channing Tatum. The Weinstein Co.

Joy

Writer-director David O. Russell reunites with stars Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in this intergenerational story of a young woman who founds a business dynasty based on a cleaning product. With Édgar Ramírez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen and Isabella Rossellini. Story by Annie Mumolo and Russell. 20th Century Fox

Point Break

Remake of the 1991 surfer crime movie about an FBI agent infiltrating a gang of extreme athletes who use their feats to pull off elaborate capers. With Édgar Ramírez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo and Ray Winstone. Written by Kurt Wimmer, story by Rick King & W. Peter Iliff and Wimmer, based on the 1991 film. Directed by Ericson Core. Warner Bros.

The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as an explorer left for dead in the wilderness, who fights for survival and a return to his family. With Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter. Written by Mark L. Smith & Alejandro G. Iñárritu, based in part on the novel by Michael Punke. Directed by Iñárritu. 20th Century Fox

Dec. 30

Anomalisa

A customer service expert grapples with human connection during a stay in Cincinnati in Charlie Kaufman's emotionally complex stop-motion animated drama. With the voices of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan. Written by Kaufman, based on his play. Directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Paramount Pictures

Jan. 6

Yosemite

In 1985 Palo Alto, three fifth-graders navigate the treacherous world of pre-teen suburbia. With James Franco and Henry Hopper. Written and directed by Gabrielle Demeestere. Monterey Media

Jan. 8

The Abandoned

Desperate for employment, a young single mom works as a night security guard at a sprawling and unfinished mansion in this psychological thriller. With Jason Patric and Louisa Krause. Written by Ido Fluk, story by Fluk and Eytan Rockaway. Directed by Rockaway. IFC Midnight

Anesthesia

The assault of a philosophy professor ties together the existential dilemmas of a disparate group of New Yorkers. With Sam Waterston, K. Todd Freeman, Corey Stoll, Gretchen Mol, Kristen Stewart and Glenn Close. Written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson. IFC Films

The Forest

Despite dire warnings, a young American enters Japan's Aokigahara Forest in search of her missing sister and encounters the malevolent souls of the dead. With Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Eoin Macken, Yukiyoshi Ozawa. Written by Sarah Cornwell and Nick Antosca, based on an idea by David S. Goyer. Directed by Jason Zada. Focus Features

The Treasure

A Romanian man itching for adventure and his scheming neighbor embark on a hunt for loot allegedly buried in a backyard garden. With Cuzin Toma, Adrian Purcarescu, Corneliu Cozmei and Cristina Tom. Written and directed by Corneliu Porumboiu. Sundance Selects

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
80°