December is upon us and while some theaters have shut back down, there are still a number of great titles hitting the big screen as we head into the holiday season. Led by two powerful women in the form of Diana of Themyscira in Wonder Woman 1984 and Lieutenant Artemis in Monster Hunter, this month offers us more than just fun blockbusters, however. There are also a number of Oscar-contender dramas, like the Steven Yeun-led Minari, Regina King’s directorial debut One Night in Miami, and Tom Hanks’ Western drama News of the World. In between are some comedies, two great romances, and plenty of action to please even the biggest stunt junkie.
Here are all the movies coming to theaters in December.
All My Life – Release Date: Friday, December 4
Cast: Jay Pharoah, Marielle Scott, Kyle Allen, Jessica Rothe, Harry Shum, Ever Carradine, Keala Settle, Josh Brener
Director: Marc Meyers
Based on a true story, All My Life tells the story of young couple Solomon Chau and Jennifer Carter. Young and in love, the couple has a whirlwind romance and soon, wedding plans are being made. But they get the devastating news that their life together may be cut short when Solomon is diagnosed with liver cancer. So they make the decision to move their wedding up, despite knowing what’s coming. Bring tissues for this one.
Nomadland – Release Date: Friday, December 4
Cast: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells
Director: Chloé Zhao
Frances McDormand shines in Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland as Fern, a 60-something woman who loses everything in the Great Recession. She decides to leave what little life she has behind, embarking on a road trip across the American West as a van-dwelling nomad who has nothing left to lose. This one has been getting great buzz on the festival circuit.
Half Brothers – Release Date: Friday, December 4
Cast: Luis Gerardo Méndez, Connor Del Rio, Juan Pablo Espinosa, José Zúñiga, Vincent Spano, Jwaundace Candece, Alma Sisneros, Beatrice Hernandez, Catherine Haun
Director: Luke Greenfield
Half Brothers should be a hit for those who want to laugh. When successful Mexican executive Renato learns he has an American half-brother named Asher, he discovers Asher is far more free-spirited and a little off his rocker. But like it or not, they’re forced together on a road trip thanks to a promise they made to their ailing father, setting off to retrace the path he took as an immigrant to the U.S. decades ago.
Minari – Release Date: Friday, December 11
Cast: Steven Yeun, Han Yeri, Yuh Jung Youn, Alan S. Kim, Noel Cho, Will Patton, Scott Haze, Eric Starkey, Esther Moon, Darryl Cox
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
This one has an Academy Award nomination for lead Steven Yeun all over it. Minari follows the struggles of an immigrant Korean family who move to rural Arkansas to start a farm and a brand-new life for themselves in the 1980s. The uplifting tale of their struggles in a strange new land and their unshakeable bond as a multi-generational family is doing well on the awards circuit, with director Lee Isaac Chung winning both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance.
Archenemy – Release Date: Friday, December 11
Cast: Joe Manganiello, Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs, Amy Seimetz, Glenn Howerton, Joseph D. Reitman, Mac Brandt, Amje Elharden
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
The first of two action movies releasing this weekend, Archenemy stars Joe Manganiello as Max Fist. Max claims to be a hero from another dimension who accidentally fell through time and space to land on Earth, where he has no powers. Unfortunately, no one believes him save a local teenager named Hamster. Together, they aim to wipe out a vicious crime syndicate, ending with taking out its ruthless crime boss.
Ip Man: Kung Fu Master – Release Date: Friday, December 11
Cast: To Yu-Hang, Michael Wong
Director: Liming Li
Martial arts fans can get excited as another installment in the Ip Man franchise arrives in Ip Man: Kung Fu Master. This one hearkens back to Ip’s early days before the Communist Revolution in 1949. Ip is a distinguished police captain framed for the murder of a mob boss and forced to quit the force when the mob boss’s ruthless daughter makes him her target. As he struggles to find a way out of his situation, he also has to contend with the Japanese army arriving in Guangzhou.
Wild Mountain Thyme – Release Date: Friday, December 11
Cast: Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Jon Hamm, Christopher Walken, Dearbhla Molloy, Jon Tenney, Danielle Ryan, Lydia McGuinness
Director: John Patrick Shanley
Wild Mountain Thyme stars Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan as star-crossed lovers in this wildly romantic tale set in Ireland. Headstrong farmer Rosemary is determined to catch the eye of her neighbor, Anthony. There’s just one catch: Anthony seems to have inherited a family curse that renders him completely oblivious to the beautiful Rosemary and her affections. When Anthony’s father announces his plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew, Anthony is jolted out of his oblivious life and into pursuing what makes him happy.
The Comeback Trail – Release Date: Friday, December 18
Cast: Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman, Zach Braff, Emile Hirsch, Eddie Griffin, Kate Katzman, Blerim Destani
Director: George Gallo
This dark, screwball comedy has a stacked cast. In The Comeback Trail, Robert De Niro and Zach Braff are two shady movie producers who owe money to Morgan Freeman’s mob boss. Out of time and out of options, the two scheme to set up aging movie star Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) in a life insurance scam. However, they soon wind up getting more than they ever bargained for when Duke proves impossible to kill.
The Father – Release Date: Friday, December 18
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Ayesha Dharker
Director: Florian Zeller
Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman star in family drama The Father. As the feisty Anthony ages, now well into his 80s, he spurns all help and offers of assistance from his daughter, Anne. But as his circumstances change and his condition grows worse, he starts to question his loved ones and doubt his own mind, straining his relationships with everyone he loves even as he refuses to accept help.
Wonder Woman 1984 – Release Date: Wednesday, December 25
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Lyon Beckwith, Oakley Bull
Director: Patty Jenkins
Finally, we come to it, the biggest movie of the year: Wonder Woman 1984. In the follow-up to Wonder Woman, this time Diana’s adventures take place in the neon glow of the ’80s. She finds herself squaring off against two new dangerous foes in Maxwell Lord, a tech mogul who claims he has the power of making anyone’s dreams come true and Cheetah, whose rage at always being overlooked has driven her to lash out at the world with dangerous new powers. However, she’s not alone: The seemingly miraculously-resurrected Steve Trevor is at Diana’s side once again to help her take on her foes.
News of the World – Release Date: Wednesday, December 25
Cast: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Neil Sandilands, Thomas Francis Murphy, Michael Angelo Covino, Fred Hechinger
Director: Paul Greengrass
Based on the novel by Paulette Jiles, News of the World is a sweeping historical drama set in the American West in the years after the Civil War. Tom Hanks is Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a Civil War veteran who now travels out West bringing news of the rest of the country and world to those on the edges of America’s frontier. When he finds a white girl taken captive by the Kiowa tribe and raised as one of their own, he agrees to take her to her aunt and uncle back East. But as both outcasts travel hundreds of dangerous miles together, they forge a bond that both have been missing.
One Night In Miami – Release Date: Wednesday, December 25
Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom, Lance Reddick, Michael Imperioli, Beau Bridges, Jasmine Cephas Jones
Director: Regina King
Oscar-winning actress Regina King makes her directorial debut with One Night In Miami, an adaptation of the stage play of the same name. It revolves around one fictional night where Black icons, the boxer Cassius Clay, a.k.a. Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), civil rights leader Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and football legend Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) gather to talk about their place in the growing civil rights movement and the cultural and social upheaval of the 1960s.
Promising Young Woman – Release Date: Wednesday, December 25
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Laverne Cox, Bo Burnham, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Molly Shannon, Angela Zhou, Alison Brie, Connie Britton
Director: Emerald Fennell
Killing Eve writer-producer Emerald Fennell makes her own feature directorial debut with revenge thriller Promising Young Woman. Everyone always said Cassie was a promising young woman – that is, until her life is upended after a night of violence enacted against her. Now, the wickedly smart, deeply cunning Cassie lives a double life, surviving by day and enacting her revenge at night. Soon, an unexpected encounter presents Cassie with the opportunity to right the wrongs from her past for good.
Monster Hunter – Release Date: Friday, December 30
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, Ron Perlman, Jannik Schümann, Aaron Beelner
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
The second video game adaptation of the year hits screens at the tail end of December and it shows Milla Jovovich in a familiar monster-slaying role. In Monster Hunter, she plays the tough Lieutenant Artemis, on a mission with her unit when they’re accidentally transported into a new world overrun with enormous monsters. She and her loyal soldiers have to band together to slay the beasts stalking them and find a way out of the foreign and hostile world, or die trying.