The festive season is upon us once again and it wouldn’t be Christmas without some quality blockbuster entertainment. Fortunately, NOW TV has plenty of movies to offer throughout December, from family treats to action favourites and bona fide Christmas classics.
Here are some top picks to look out for on NOW TV in December…
Captain Marvel (Streaming now)
As the first solo movie for a female super hero in the MCU, Captain Marvel introduces a powerful new player to the hugely popular Avengers film franchise. Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers who, after years of fighting for an alien race called the Kree, discovers that her forgotten past has something to do with a quaint blue planet known as Earth.
Set in the 1990s, the movie dropped jaws with its impressive de-ageing technology which takes Samuel L Jackson back to his Pulp Fiction days. Jude Law (The Young Pope) and Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) also star as Danvers’ Kree mentor and the mysterious entity known as the Supreme Intelligence.
Brimming with charm, the movie is another entertaining instalment in the Marvel franchise that establishes Larson as a lynchpin of their next generation of stars.
Dumbo (2019) (Streaming now)
Earlier this year, Disney gave the live-action treatment to one of their original animated classics with visionary filmmaker Tim Burton in the director’s chair. Dumbo retells the iconic tale of a baby elephant who can fly using his enormous ears and becomes a popular circus attraction, but continues the story beyond the ending of the 1941 film.
Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) is a First World War veteran and circus worker, as well as a single parent to his two children who first discover Dumbo’s incredible talent. As his popularity grows, businessman VA Vandevere (Michael Keaton) plans to exploit Dumbo to bring crowds to his own amusement park, Dreamland.
The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (Streaming now)
Disney tries its hand at adapting ETA Hoffman’s classic story for the big screen, with Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) as a young girl who ventures into the magical Four Realms, guided by a talking nutcracker doll.
The fantastical tale, long-associated with the Christmas season thanks to Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, is brought to life by a star-studded cast that includes Keira Knightley, Richard E Grant and Helen Mirren.
The Grinch (2018) (Streaming now)
Dr Seuss’s The Grinch is another festive favourite, and 2018 saw a fresh new adaptation from the creators of Despicable Me. Benedict Cumberbatch takes the title role as the grumpy green creature who plots to steal Christmas from the spirited town of Whoville.
The animated family feature dominated the box office to become the highest-grossing holiday movie of all time, a true testament to the timeless nature of Seuss’s charming children’s stories. This version also enlists the vocal talents of Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) and Angela Lansbury (Murder She Wrote).
Die Hard (Streaming now)
There’s been a lot of debate over the legitimacy of Die Hard as a Christmas movie, but amid all the back and forth people shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it’s a great movie to watch at literally any time of the year.
Upon its initial release back in 1988, the movie quickly made movie stars of both Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, who excel in the roles of everyman cop John McClane and unforgettable villain Hans Gruber.
Widely regarded as one of the best action movies ever made, now is as good a time as any to revisit this genuine classic.
Bumblebee (Streaming 20 December)
The Transformers franchise returns with this joyful reboot starring Hailee Steinfeld as lead character Charlie Watson.
Set in 1987, the movie follows Charlie (Steinfeld) who is gifted an old Volkswagen Beetle for her 18th birthday, only to discover that it is in fact an autobot from the planet Cybertron who crash landed on Earth after a battle on his home planet – or for simplicity’s sake, he’s a “robot in disguise”.
Bumblebee pays homage to classic ’80s blockbuster cinema with its energetic teen adventure, co-starring WWE icon John Cena and Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) as the voice of the title character.
It’s a Wonderful Life (Streaming now)
No list of the all-time greatest Christmas movies is complete without It’s A Wonderful Life. The 1946 drama has become synonymous with the festive season and is a long-held annual tradition for many families.
James Stewart takes the lead role as George Bailey, a desperate man considering suicide, who is visited by his guardian angel on Christmas Eve. The touching story is an exploration of life’s hardships as well as how our actions affect the people and world around us, with an uplifting ending that is sure to get you in the spirit of the season.
Mary Queen of Scots (Streaming 22 December)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad) and Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) star in this historical drama that explores the complex relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.
While history buffs may find a few inaccuracies in the plotting, the powerful lead performances are what drives the movie forward with Robbie earning a BAFTA nomination for her turn as one of England’s most famous monarchs.
Scrooged (Streaming now)
A modern addition to the Christmas cinema pantheon, Scrooged stars Bill Murray as a selfish TV producer visited by three ghosts who tell him to change his ways, in a modern spin on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
The movie was a moderate success when it premiered back in 1988, but since then has become a cult favourite among people looking for an offbeat choice of festive flick. Bill Murray brings an entertaining sardonic wit to the proceedings, with Carol Kane a standout member of the supporting cast.
The Harry Potter Film Series (Streaming 23 December)
Few movie series can boast quite as devout a following as Harry Potter and it’s not difficult to see why. These adaptations of JK Rowling’s bestselling novels form a comprehensive coming-of-age story, beginning with the charming young adventure of The Philosopher’s Stone and culminating with the epic brooding fantasy of The Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two.
These eight movies really do have something for everyone, but what elevates them to such effective comfort viewing is the beloved characters at the heart of each instalment. Going back for another viewing feels like a reunion with old friends, thanks to a superb ensemble cast led by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, with a legendary line-up of co-stars including Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, David Bradley, Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes.
All movies will be available to stream from 23 December on NOW TV, what better way to get in the festive spirit than to crank up John Williams’ iconic Christmas At Hogwarts theme and bathe in some warm nostalgia?
- Dumbo © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
- Mary Queen of Scots © 2018 Focus Features LLC. All Rights Reserved.
- The Grinch © 2018 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
- Die Hard © 1988 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
- It’s a Wonderful Life © Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.