Latest holiday movies: Star Wars, The Peanuts Movie, In the Heart of the Sea, The Danish Girl, Joy

Over the festive season you can journey across the stars, the sea, American suburbia and even gender boundaries

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STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS ★★★★★

In case you’ve been living under a rock in deep space and news of this has passed you by, be awakened to the fact that Han Solo and the gang are back in cinemas after more than three decades. They’re accompanied by bright young things Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in a spangly new Star Wars adventure that has earthlings everywhere gibbering with excitement.

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In cinemas now

SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE ★★★★

There’s yet more nostalgia on offer this Christmas with a CG 3D reboot of the classic Charles M Schulz cartoons about mopey young Charlie Brown and friends. Thankfully, the hi-tech approach hasn’t totally diminished the hand-scrawled charm of the source material and Snoopy is still as quietly cool – perhaps the inspiration for Gromit of Wallace and Gromit fame? Hmm…

Released Monday 21 December


IN THE HEART OF THE SEA ★★

Ron Howard directs a whale – but this isn’t quite the big splashy movie you might expect of the veteran film-maker, here tackling the true story that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick. Chris Hemsworth is First Mate aboard the ill-fated Essex whaling ship, trying to keep his head above water. A film people will be talking about, although perhaps not for the right reasons. 

Released Boxing Day

THE DANISH GIRL ★★★★

Eddie Redmayne is transformed in an attention-grabbing role as one of the first transgender people to undergo reassignment surgery. Don’t be surprised to see him on the red carpet during awards season in the New Year, but he’ll probably be wearing a tuxedo. Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables) and co-star Alicia Vikander may want to shine their shoes, too.

Released New Year’s Day

JOY ★★★★

Talking of awards, what are the odds of Jennifer Lawrence being Oscar-nominated for a fourth time in 2016? Pretty good if the buzz surrounding her latest is anything to go by. She reteams with Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and director David O Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) playing the titular inventor of the Miracle Mop.

Released New Year’s Day


ALSO RELEASED 

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN – THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES ★★★ (18 Dec)

SHERPA ★★★★ (18 Dec)

SPARKS AND EMBERS ★★ (18 Dec)

DADDY’S HOME ★★ (25 Dec)

AT ANY PRICE (1 Jan)

SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE ★★★ (1 Jan)


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