When the temperatures drop, it’s the perfect time to head indoors and treat yourself to a night at the movies. From an animated spy-turned-pigeon to a couple reboots of classic tales and the final segment of a historic movie series, these four films are definite must-sees this winter.
Louisa May Alcott’s novel “Little Women” has been adapted for the big screen many times, with the first major success in 1949. However, the latest retelling of the classic story — premiering on Dec. 25 — was directed by Greta Gerwig, who was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards for her 2017 film “Lady Bird.” Academy Award-nominated actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet — appearing as Jo March and Theodore “Laurie” Laurence, respectively — also starred in Gerwig’s “Lady Bird.” Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen will portray the remaining March sisters while Laura Dern plays the girls’ mother. Be sure to keep an eye out for three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, who will appear as the girls’ judgmental and somewhat temperamental Aunt March.
When the trailer for the 2019 film adaptation of the famed musical “Cats” premiered in July, fans and critics had mixed reviews regarding the mix of CGI and live-action used to portray the cats. However, with Steven Spielberg executive producing and Andrew Lloyd Weber creating a new song for the film, this is still a must-see, premiering on Dec. 20. The star-studded cast includes Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo and Rebel Wilson portraying the dynamic felines of the renowned musical. Making her first film appearance since “The Giver” in 2014 is Taylor Swift, who portrays the flirtatious and confident Bombalurina. Also of note is that English ballerina — and principal dancer in the Royal Ballet — Francesca Hayward is making her film debut as Victoria, a prominent character in the film.
“Spies in Disguise”
On Dec. 25, a film for kids and young-at-heart parents hits theaters nationwide. “Spies in Disguise” is an animated comedy that’s loosely based on a 2009 animated short called “Pigeon: Impossible” by Lucas Martell, in which a rookie CIA agent gets tangled up with a troublesome pigeon. However, in the 2019 film, Lance Sterling — voiced by Will Smith — is a mega famous spy known for his flashy lifestyle. When the world is in danger, Sterling turns to young scientist and go-to gadget guy Walter Beckett — voiced by Tom Holland — for help. But when Sterling ingests one of Walter’s inventions, he is turned into a pigeon and must work with Walter to get back to normal and save the world.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
The first “Star Wars” film premiered 42 years ago, marking the beginning of the Skywalker story. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will be the third installment of the sequel trilogy, following “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi,” and the final film for the entire Skywalker saga, which includes the original three films as well as the prequels that were released between 1999 and 2005. In this last film, the Resistance must face the First Order once again, ending the battle between the Jedi and the Sith once and for all. Daisy Ridley returns as Rey, a member of the Resistance and apprentice to Luke Skywalker, who faced off against Kylo Ren — Adam Driver — in “The Last Jedi.” Other familiar returning faces include John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Kelly Marie Tran. Keri Russell makes her “Star Wars” debut as a friend of Poe Dameron while Lupita Nyong’o stars as Maz Kanata, a former space pirate and ally of the Resistance. If anything, you need to see this film for the late Carrie Fisher’s final appearance in the “Star Wars” franchise, thanks to the use of unreleased footage from previous films.
Whether you want to laugh, cry or feel anything in between, these four films will be all anyone is talking about this winter. Don’t miss out; try to see them all.