You don't have to think of them as awards contenders, but the remaining movies vying for Oscar and other honors consideration are being released this month, and that means there are a lot of highly anticipated movies arriving in the next four weeks. Not only that, but a number of them have already been seen by some critics and have some incredible buzz. Those would include the two being compared to Goodfellas: David O. Russell's American Hustle (limited opening December 13; wide expansion December 20) and Martin Scorsese's own The Wolf of Wall Street (wide opening December 25).
Also starting out on just a few screens before arriving nationwide are the other Christian Bale film, Out of the Furnace (limited opening: December 4; wide expansion: December 6), the highly acclaimed new Coen brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis (limited opening: December 6; wide expansion: December 20) and the more accessible Saving Mr. Banks, in which Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney during the making of Mary Poppins (limited opening: December 13; wide expansion: December 20).
And of course there are those films that will not be reaching us in the boonies until early next year. Spike Jonze's Her, with its celebrated vocal performance by Scarlett Johansson, is only in limited release following its initial opening on December 20 until January 10, 2014. There's also the Mark Wahlberg-led Navy SEAL action-drama Lone Survivor debuting only in New York City and Los Angeles on Christmas. That goes wide the same day as Her.
If you're not one for trying desperately to see these year-end-list-making movies wherever you can (possiby driving a good distance to do so) and prefer your mainstream entertainment aimed at mass audiences from the start, this is also a great month for you. For the blockbuster action and adventure and fantasy fans, there's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 13), which caters to all three tastes, and for those who want to laugh, Anchorman: The Legend Continues (December 18).
There's a new Madea movie from Tyler Perry (A Madea Christmas, December 13), a face-off between the stars of Rocky and Raging Bull (Grudge Match, December 25), a remake from the director of Zoolander that is actually an awards contender (Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, December 25) and one of my most anticipated of the year: Believe (December 25), the Justin Bieber follow-up documentary from the makers of the surprisingly terrific Never Say Never. Yes, I may just be the only adult male spending his Christmas watching that film solely as a doc lover.
Which December 2013 release are you most looking forward to?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: