Ten movies to look forward to before Christmas

7. A MONSTER CALLS – Every so often I have a movie that seems to capture my imagination and heart before it is even released.  For whatever reason, A MONSTER CALLS looks adorable and I’m excited to see it. J.A. Bayona (THE IMPOSSIBLE) directs this animated family film about a boy who seeks the help of a tree monster, voiced by Liam Neeson, to cope with his mom’s terminal illness. There are a ton of animated films still to come out this year, but A MONSTER CALLS is the only one that appears to carry some emotional depth. (October 21)

Passengers

6. PASSENGERS – After a malfunction in their sleep chambers, two passengers in a spacecraft awaken 60 years too early before arriving at their destination. I’ve always enjoyed a good science fiction film. PASSENGERS has an interesting concept that seems to focus on character.   With Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt starring in the two central roles in this Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME) directed film, there is a lot of credibility to get behind.   (December 21)

5.  FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM – It has been five years since HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 was released in theaters and closed the door on so many beloved characters.  I personally can’t wait to enter the wonderful wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling once again.  About seventy years before Potter faces off against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) had some adventures of his own in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards.  David Yates returns to direct and I’m guessing audiences will return to the the theaters. (November 18)

Hacksaw Ridge

4. HACKSAW RIDGE – I know that Mel Gibson is no longer a popular guy in Hollywood but I think that’s a shame when so many others are forgiven quicker for doing much worse.  The talented director (BRAVEHEART, PASSION OF THE CHRIST, APOCALYPTO) is returning behind the camera with a WWII film about American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss starring Andrew Garfield. This film hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, however with Gibson at the helm, it’s sure to be impressive. (November 4)

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