We are now in the throes of Christmas with the markets in full swing, advent calendar doors wide open and festive films back in cinemas…
It doesn’t matter if your Christmas philosophy is more Scrooge than Buddy the Elf, there’s something on the big screen for you this Yuletide.
MM has picked the top ten films in cinemas over the festive period in Manchester, from the classics through to animated superheroes.
Mary Poppins Returns – December 21
After 54 years, the nanny to end all nannies returns to our screens. The sequel stars Emily Blunt as the titular character in Julie Andrews’ place and is set 25 years after the events of the original film.
After Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) has a personal loss, Mary Poppins comes back to the Banks family. This live action and animation sequel is sure to fascinate children who are new to the character and please the parents who grew up watching her!
It’s A Wonderful Life – December 14
No, they haven’t remade it. HOME are showing the original in all its glory as part of their ‘Christmas at HOME’ season. The 1946 classic is a “genuinely tender and enduring piece of Yuletide cinema” suitable for all the family, and I’m sure Grandma and Grandad would love it if you brought them along to see their era back on the big screen.
Also included in HOME’s Christmas billing are some less festive films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, This Is Spinal Tap and Raiders of The Lost Ark. More can be read on that here.
The Christmas Chronicles – Streaming now on Netflix
Brother and sister Teddy and Kate Pierce stay up on Christmas Eve with the hope of catching Santa on camera, from that moment on everything that you would expect to happen in this type of Christmas film happens – but, and it’s a big but, Kurt Russell is Santa Claus.
I’ll repeat, Kurt Russell is Santa Claus. What more could you possibly want from a Christmas film?
The Grinch – In Cinemas Now
Back on our screens again, with Benedict Cumberbatch replacing Jim Carrey as the Christmas hating Grinch. The animated film comes with added musical royalty, as Pharrell Williams narrates and Tyler, The Creator working on the score.
The Favourite – January 1
Cure your inevitable New Years Day hangover by stepping into Yorgos Lanthimos’ (Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster) absurd take on the 18th century British monarchy.
The stellar cast includes Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Mark Gatiss and has been met to rave reviews so far.
The House That Jack Built – December 14
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than a movie about a serial killer who partakes in amateur taxidermy from a young age, which has been described by The Telegraph as “two and a half hours of self-reflexive torture porn!”
Actually, on second thoughts, maybe not. Forget I mentioned it.
Holmes & Watson – December 26
Comedy duo Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are back for their first film as a duo since fans favourite Step Brothers. This time they’re taking on the roles of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, and promise to put a comedic twist on the classic characters.
The cast also features British stars Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Ralph Fiennes and Hugh Laurie – adding some authenticity to the London based story.
The Old Man & The Gun – December 7
Robert Redford’s final performance before retiring sees him as Forrest Tucker, an ageing bank robber determined to live life to the full. Exhilarating and heartfelt as he falls for Jewel (Sissy Spacek) and is chased by Detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck). Hits all the right notes for a captivating watch.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – December 6
Sick of superhero movies? Tough. Here’s another one, and it’s really, really good. After six Spider-Man films in 16 years, we all know the backstory by now, but this animated version turns it on his head and introduces a Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the famous mask. Good fun for all the family.
Creed II – In Cinemas Now
Get immersed in a testosterone filled fight-fest as Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) takes on Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), whose father Ivan (Dolph Lundgren) killed Adonis’ dad Apollo over 30 years ago. The perfect Christmas film if your idea of a Christmas film is a bunch of blokes smacking lumps out of each for 130 minutes.