December is here, and that means year-end holidays are right around the corner. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Krampusnacht, Los Posadas, Yule, the Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, or something else, this is the month to celebrate. There are also plenty of great movies to celebrate, as well, as December is when the holiday movie season and awards contender season mix. December 2022 brings a great mix of huge blockbusters and festival darlings. This month has it all: a groundbreaking sequel, an ultraviolent Santa, a joyous musical biopic, and more.

Here are all the wide-release movies coming to theaters in December 2022. Get tickets here.

Violent Night – Release Date: Friday, December 2

Cast: David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Beverly D’Angelo, Brendan Fletcher

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Santa’s got a brand new bag, and it’s not full of toys. David Harbour stars in Violent Night, a brutally hilarious twist on the legend of Santa Claus. Santa’s run down, drunk, and a little angry. But when a group of mercenaries attacks the estate of a wealthy family and takes them all hostage, they’re in for a surprise: Santa’s there delivering presents, and he’s about to deliver a beat down the mercs won’t soon forget. If you’re looking for a darkly comedic and brutal holiday flick, this one’s for you.

Avatar: The Way of Water – Release Date: Friday, December 16

Cast: Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Kate Winslet

Director: James Cameron

After a decades-long wait, James Cameron returns to the world of Pandora with Avatar: The Way of Water. Set more than a decade after the original film, Jake Sully and his partner, Neytiri, are happily in love and have started a family. However, their peaceful life is upended when an old threat resurfaces and forces them away from their beloved home. Now refugees, Jake and Neytiri must fight to keep their family together, their loved ones safe, and to protect the world they love.

Spoiler Alert – Release Date: Friday, December 16

Cast: Ben Aldridge, Bill Irwin, Jim Parsons, Jeffery Self, Sally Field, Antoni Porowski, Nikki M. James

Director: Michael Showalter

If you’re in the mood for a beautiful tearjerker, look no further than Spoiler Alert. The movie is based on Michael Ausiello’s bestselling memoir about his life with his partner, photographer Kit Cowan. When Kit is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it rocks their world. But instead of despairing, they only grow closer, their love transforming and becoming deeper in the year after Kit’s diagnosis.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – Release Date: Wednesday, December 21

Voice Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Olivia Colman, Harvey Guillen, Samson Kayo, Wagner Moura, Anthony Mendez, John Mulaney, Florence Pugh, Da’Vine Joy Randolph

Director: Joel Crawford

Puss in Boots has lived a life of adventure, passion, and daring. But in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, he discovers that his adventures have come with a price as he’s used up eight of his nine lives. Rattled, Puss realizes he has to hang it up and become a stay-at-home cat before learning there’s a chance to save himself. Facing more danger than ever before and down to one last life, Puss sets out on the most epic adventure of his life to discover the mythical Last Wish and restore his missing eight lives.

Babylon – Release Date: Friday, December 23

Cast: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, Lukas Haas, Tobey Maguire

Director: Damien Chazelle

With Babylon, La La Land and Whiplash director Damien Chazelle may be embarking on his most ambitious movie yet. A star-studded cast leads the way in a story set in the decadent and depraved setting of 1920s Los Angeles. The movie follows multiple characters with ambitious dreams of fame and stardom, chronicling their rises and their falls in the outrageous excess of Hollywood and the film industry in the early decades of the 20th century.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Release Date: Friday, December 23

Cast: Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams, Clarke Peters, Tanner Beard

Director: Kasi Lemmons

With all the musical biopics hitting screens in the past few years, it was only a matter of time until Whitney Houston got her own. There was no one with a voice like Whitney, and I Wanna Dance With Somebody chronicles her trailblazing life. The story follows Houston’s journey as a young girl growing up in New Jersey and singing in the church choir through her rise to become the chart-topping, bestselling recording artist whose voice was unmatched.

Corsage – Release Date: Friday, December 23

Cast: Vicky Krieps, Florian Teichtmeister, Colin Morgan, Finnegan Oldfield, Tamás Lengyel, Alma Hasun, Katharina Lorenz, Jeanne Werner, Manuel Rubey, Aaron Friesz

Director: Marie Kreutzer

Dive into a year in the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the fictionalized account of Corsage. The year is 1877, the night of Christmas Eve, and Empress Elisabeth has just turned 40 years old. Normally, that wouldn’t be so bad, but the empress, who was once famed for her glowing beauty, is now officially deemed an old woman. Desperate to regain control of her life, Elisabeth embarks on a campaign to maintain her public image while struggling to thrive under the rigid formality of Austrian court life.

Women Talking – Release Date: Sunday, December 25

Cast: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, Frances McDormand, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, Kate Hallett, Liv McNeil

Director: Sarah Polley

Sarah Polley may be gunning for her second Oscar nomination with Women Talking. The movie is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Miriam Toews, which itself is loosely based on real events that happened in the Manitoba Colony in Bolivia. In 2010, eight women in an isolated, backward Mennonite colony gather together in a secret meeting in a hayloft. Their conversation concerns the discovery that the string of rapes happening to girls and women in their colony has not been committed by outsiders, but by the men of their own colony. As they discuss what to do next, they struggle with their faith while supporting each other as only women can.

Get tickets to all these movies and more.

  • Editorial