- Jennifer Lawrence
- Robert De Niro
- Bradley Cooper
- Edgar Ramierez
- Virginia Madsen
- Isabella Rossellini
- Rated: PG-13
“Joy” is inspired by the true story of businesswoman Joy Mangano (played by Lawrence) and details her rise from a person struggling to get by to an inventor who starts her own company. The story begins with Joy working a dead end job, having to take care of her mother who doesn’t do anything but watch soaps, having to raise her children and dealing with her ex-husband.
During a boat outing with her father Rudy (De Niro) and his new girlfriend Trudy, an accident happens that gives Joy the idea to create a new type of mop. What follows is her story of trying to manufacture her invention and get it out to market just as shopping channels are being introduced to the public.
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- Amy Poehler
- Tina Fey
- Maya Rudolph
- Ike Barinholtz
- John Leguizamo
- Rated: R
Like the title says, in this movie Amy Poehler and Tina Fey play two sisters, Maura and Kate, who are each going through struggles in their own lives. At the onset of the movie, they are given another issue to deal with when they find out their parents are selling their childhood home.
When the siblings are tasked with taking care of the house for a weekend before it’s sold, though, they decide to have one last hurrah with a crazy party. As usual with party movies, insanity ensues.
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- Daisy Ridley
- Oscar Isaac
- John Boyega
- Adam Driver
- Domhnal Gleeson
- Mark Hamill
- Carrie Fisher
- Harrison Ford
- Rated: PG-13
“The Force Awakens” returns audiences to the tales of a galaxy far far away. The movie picks up about 30 years after “Return of the Jedi,” with the remnants of the Empire now grouped into a faction called the New Order and the Rebels which have become the Resistance.
The film’s story is set in motion by a chance encounter between a resistance pilot named Poe (Isaac), who is trying to preserve a map that leads to Luke Skywalker, and a stormtrooper leaving the First Order named Finn (Boyega). Through a series of events (no spoilers), Finn winds up meeting a ship-parts scavenger and the two are forced to team up and bring the map to the resistance.
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- Brie Larson
- Jacob Tremblay
- Sean Bridges
- Joan Allen
- Rated: R
Brie Larson plays Joy in “Room,” a young woman who is held captive in a single small space and is left to care for her son Jack (Tremblay). Her captor, only referred to as Old Nick (Bridges), sexually abuses Joy on a constant basis and only leaves her with minor needs for both her and her son to survive.
Since it’s shown directly in the trailer I will say in this review that both Jack and Joy do manage to escape. However, this still leads to new challenges as they both have to learn how to cope.
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- Saoirse Ronan
- Jim Broadbent
- Julie Walters
- Emory Cohen
- Fiona Glascott
- Rated: PG-13
“Brooklyn” follows the story of a young Irish woman named Eilis (Ronan), who gets a great opportunity to leave her homeland and travel to New York. While this does lead to a heartbreaking experience for her since she has to leave her mother and sister behind, her arrival in Brooklyn does offer some life changing moments.
As she begins to work at a new job and live at a boarding house, Eilis also meets a young man named Tony (Cohen). The two hit it off quickly and develop a strong relationship. Problems start to arise, though, when tragedy occurs in Ireland that may pull Eilis away from her new life in the states.
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“In the Heart of the Sea” tells the story of the whaling ship Essex which sank in the Pacific Ocean after an attack by a sperm whale. The film, directed by Ron Howard, is told through flashbacks during an interview between “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville (Whishaw) and survivor Tom Nickerson (Gleeson).
As the movie gets into the final voyage of the Essex, the audience is shown that First Mate Owen Chase (Hemsworth) was originally supposed to captain the ship. However, he was demoted when the position was given to George Pollard (Walker) because of the family name. This created tension aboard the ship that was already in dangerous waters with the whale.
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“Krampus” is a horror and dark comedy that centers around a dysfunctional family who have gathered just a few days before Christmas. The youngest in the family, Max (Anthony), is having a tough time with the whole situation, though, because the holiday just doesn’t feel as enjoyable anymore.
In a fit of anger he tears up his letter to Santa and tosses it out the window. It turns out to be a bad decision, though, because it summons the evil spirit Krampus who punishes those who don’t honor Christmas.
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Jessica Brown Findlay
While “Victor Frankenstein” references the famous mad scientist, this retelling actually takes place from Igor’s (Radcliffe) perspective. The movie begins with Igor working as a clown and amateur doctor at the circus. His whole life changes, though, when he meets Victor (McAvoy), who sees his medical techniques.
After the two meet, Frankenstein decides to bring Igor with him to help with scientific experiments to reanimate dead tissue.
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“The Good Dinosaur” follows the story of what appears to be a young brachiosaurus (even though it never clarifies) who is the smallest in his family. The young dinosaur named Arlo (Ochoa) tries help his family with chores but keeps messing up. Things get worse when he is swept away in a river by a storm.
This leaves Arlo stranded and needing to find his way back to his family with the only help coming from a young human boy.
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Michael B. Jordan
“Creed” takes place a few years after the events of 2006’s “Rocky Balboa” and this time around, the Italian Stallion doesn’t step into the ring. Instead, the film focuses on Adonis Johnson (Jordan), the illegitimate son of Rocky’s (Stallone) friend and boxing rival Apollo Creed.
Adonis grew up mostly in group homes and juvenile detention centers for his tendencies to fight until he was adopted by Apollo’s widowed wife Mary Ann (Rashad). As he reaches adulthood, though, he still has a drive to fight, this time in the ring, and decides to find the former Champion Rocky Balboa to be his trainer.
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