Movies to watch in December, from 'Wonka' to 'The Color Purple'

A month for Beyoncé, Godzilla and Willy Wonka

Fantasia Barrino in 'The Color Purple'
Fantasia Barrino in 'The Color Purple'
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The holiday season is here, bringing with it plenty of gifts for movie fans to unwrap. From Oscar hopefuls to superhero flicks and musicals, these are the new movies you won’t want to miss in December: 

'Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé' (Dec. 1)

It's a great year for experiencing concerts at the movies that you couldn't get tickets to in person. After Taylor Swift's "The Eras Tour" film, Beyoncé is similarly bringing her "Renaissance" tour to theaters. In addition to capturing a few live performances, the film depicts "Beyoncé's intention, hard work, involvement in every aspect of the production," the announcement said. The movie will be playing from Thursday to Sunday for at least four weeks. 

'Godzilla Minus One' (Dec. 1)

Praise be to Godzilla. The king of the monsters returns in Toho's latest, a follow-up to the acclaimed 2016 reboot "Shin Godzilla." This one, though, is a period piece set after World War II. It's part of the Japanese franchise, not to be confused with the American MonsterVerse series that includes the ongoing "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters" and next year's "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire." After a year of superhero fatigue, we'll soon learn if there's such a thing as Godzilla fatigue. 

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'Silent Night' (Dec. 1)

Director John Woo was being quite literal when he titled his new Christmas action movie "Silent Night." The film, starring Joel Kinnaman as a man who has lost his voice and seeks revenge for his son's death, has no dialogue. "We are using music instead of language," Woo told Vulture. It's the latest film to utilize this gimmick after "No One Will Save You," which was also virtually dialogue-free. 

'Poor Things' (Dec. 8)

Emma Stone is coming for her second Oscar. The actress is earning raves for her performance in "Poor Things," Yorgos Lanthimos' follow-up to "The Favourite." Stone stars as a woman who commits suicide, only to be brought back to life by a mad scientist with the brain of an unborn child. The film is expected to be one of this year's Best Picture nominees, extending the era of Oscar contenders that will probably baffle your mom.

'Rebel Moon' (Dec. 15)

Fans won't need to campaign for a #SnyderCut of Zack Snyder's latest film: He's way ahead of them. From the "Justice League" director comes this Netflix sci-fi epic about a woman who assembles a team of warriors to fight a tyrannical government. Snyder originally conceived "Rebel Moon" as a "Star Wars" film before turning it into an original property. It will be released in two parts, each of which will also have longer R-rated director's cuts. 

'Wonka' (Dec. 15)

You don't need a golden ticket to see Timothée Chalamet's transformation into the candy man. The actor stars in this prequel providing an origin story for Willy Wonka and revealing how he became the chocolate maker we meet in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Chalamet will perform seven musical numbers in the film, which also stars Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa. 

'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' (Dec. 22)

It's the end of an era for DC. The superhero franchise is undergoing a reboot, so after a decade, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" marks the official last entry of the DC Extended Universe. The sequel pairs Jason Momoa's Aquaman with Patrick Wilson's Orm Marius, the superhero's half-brother who was imprisoned after the events of the first film. Amber Heard is also returning, though reportedly with a reduced role. Her appearance in the trailer is a literal blink-and-you-miss-it moment. 

'Anyone But You' (Dec. 22)

Remember those rumors of an on-set affair between Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell? The film they were shooting when the gossip spread, "Anyone but You," is arriving in December. The two star as a woman and a man who can't stand each other but pretend they're a couple while at a destination wedding. 

'The Color Purple' (Dec. 25)

"American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino might be seeing the color gold this awards season. She takes on her first major movie role in "The Color Purple," a film version of the Broadway musical, which adapted the same book that was previously turned into the 1985 Steven Spielberg film. Might Barrino become the latest "American Idol" alum to snag an acting Oscar after Jennifer Hudson? Based on early reactions to "The Color Purple," it sounds like she hits all the right notes. 

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