December 7, 2019

Holiday Movie Roundup: MOTs on Screen and Behind the Camera

Director James Mangold’s action thriller “Ford v Ferrari” follows the efforts of American auto designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British race driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to build the Ford GT40 and defeat the Ferrari team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. (Nov. 15)

Annette Bening; Photo by Atsushi Nishijima

Annette Bening plays Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the political thriller “The Report,” about the investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation program created in the aftermath of 9/11 and the government cover-up it revealed. Written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, the drama also stars Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, Maura Tierney and Tribe members Sarah Goldberg, Tim Blake Nelson and Corey Stoll. (In theaters on Nov. 15, Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 29)

Adam Sandler in “Uncut Gems” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

In “Uncut Gems,” Adam Sandler plays a New York diamond-district jeweler with a major gambling problem who gets deeper into debt — and trouble — as the story progresses. Josh and Benny Safdie wrote (with Ronald Bronstein) and directed a cast that includes Idina Menzel, Judd Hirsch, Kevin Garnett and LaKeith Stanfield. (Dec. 13)

Jake Kasdan directs while Jack Black reprises his role alongside Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan in “Jumanji: The Next Level,” another adventure inside the wild video game. Kasdan wrote the script for the sequel to the 2017 hit with Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. (Dec. 13)

Adapting a true story told by his grandfather, Sam Mendes co-wrote and directed “1917,” a World War I drama about two British soldiers tasked with crossing enemy lines to deliver a message warning of a German ambush, thereby saving thousands of lives. The cast includes Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden and Mark Strong. (Dec. 25)

Charlize Theron (from left), Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie in “Bombshell.” Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle

A satisfying and timely example of #MeToo justice, “Bombshell” chronicles the downfall of Fox News chief Roger Ailes, and the women who sued him for sexual harassment, including Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and a composite character played by Margot Robbie. Jay Roach directed the film, which also stars Kate McKinnon, Mark Duplass, Connie Britton and Allison Janney. (Dec. 20)

After 42 years and eight movies, the “Star Wars” space saga concludes in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, it picks up a year after the events of “The Last Jedi” as what’s left of the Resistance fights the First Order, and the Jedi vs. Sith conflict reaches its ultimate climax. Original cast members Mark Hamill,
Anthony Daniels and the late Carrie Fisher reprise their roles one last time. (Dec. 20)

The computer-animated comedy “Spies in Disguise” features the voices of Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Will Smith and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s” Rachel Brosnahan in a story about a spy accidentally transformed into a pigeon. (Dec. 25)

Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in “Little Women” Photo by Wilson Webb

Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel about the March sisters gets its eighth adaptation in this new film from writer-director Greta Gerwig, once again directing her “Lady Bird” stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet. Emma Watson, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep also star. (Dec. 25)

“The Song of Names” Luke Doyle; Photo by Sabrina Lantos/Sony Pictures Classics

Based on a novel by Norman Lebrecht, “The Song of Names” is about a young Polish-Jewish violin prodigy taken in by a music impresario in London and who becomes like a brother to the man’s son. When the violinist disappears on the eve of his big debut, his friend spends nearly four decades trying to find him. The answer to the mystery has to do with the Holocaust, remembrance and a special piece of music. Tim Roth and Clive Owen head a cast that includes Saul Rubinek. (Dec. 25)