Euan Dawtrey 03/10/70

The Best Films To See At The Cinema This Christmas

The Best Films To See At The Cinema This Christmas | Long-Awaited Action Blockbusters To Cartoon Classics

When you’ve unwittingly wandered into the sad corridors of adulthood and the door has locked behind you, there’s really nothing else to do in the days following Christmas than just go to the cinema.

These days are for switching off, they are for getting slowly drunk in front of the newest blockbuster. Luckily for you, we’re going to help you get there. It’s time to plan your melancholic (but most brilliant) post-Christmas cinema trips.


Avatar: The Way of Water – Out Now

Avatar - the way of water - best films to see at the cinema right now

It’s been 13 years since James Cameron’s Avatar beckoned in a new dawn for blockbusters. Now, after an unprecedented number of production delays, the planet of Pandora is back and bigger than ever, having grown past the forests into spectacular swathes of reefs and wetlands.

We pick up a few years after the first Avatar’s ending. Jake Sully and Ney’tiri have spawned a hybrid family and are forced to leave their home and explore the far-flung reaches of their planet. Naturally, some ancient threat resurfaces, threatening all-out war and extinction, etc.

If you weren’t a massive fan of the first Avatar then you’d be hard-pressed to find anything worth over 3 hours of your time, but if you have been seduced by the majesty, and other-worldly Eden of Cameron’s fictional planet Pandora, then by golly you shall be again.

Length: 3h 12m | Rating: 12 | Rotten Tomatoes: 78% | Metacritic: 69%


Bones and All – Out Now

Bones and all - Avatar - the way of water - best films to see at the cinema right now

The erotic permutations of Timothy Chalamet as a hippie-ish, itinerant cannibal really aren’t lost on one of this year’s most unique flicks. Chalamet and Taylor Russel play a pair of disenfranchised drifters on the edges of 1980s American society. They come together over their shared secret shame, but the thing that connects them poses their greatest threat.

Chalamet is good – he’s always good – but it’s his co-star Taylor Russel that gives Bones and All the emotional and kinetic ballast to keep it growing before the film’s shattering blood-soaked denouement.

It’s big, it’s gory, and just a bit poetic.

Length: 2h 10m | Rating: 18 | Rotten Tomatoes: 83% | Metacritic: 82%


Aftersun – Out Now


Want something slower, sadder, and sunnier than the big studio set pieces of Christmas season? Something to make you think about the transience of time and place and, we dunno, love? Aftersun is the shimmering gem of early cinema season – it’s a gorgeous, remarkably assured debut from Charlotte Wells and just won the best film of the year in Sight and Sound’s 2022 poll.

Paul Mescal (Normal People) plays Callum, a troubled father on holiday with his 11-year-old daughter, Sophie.

Length: 1h 36m | Rating: 12 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | Metacritic: 92%


The Menu – Out Now

the menu - Avatar - the way of water - best films to see at the cinema right now

We can’t work out whether The Menu, directed by Mark Mylod, is the perfect or worst film for a food-loving audience. It’s a film set in a restaurant that serves some of the most incredible and ridiculous dishes – it’s got style, class, and culinary-based extravagance;  however, it’s a satire and in the crosshairs of its ridicule is the affluence of fine dining restaurant culture. It’s really good though – Ralph Fiennes serves, and Anya Taylor-Joy eats. And really the Menu isn’t that far off a goofball comedy.

Length: 1h 47m | Rating: 15 | Rotten Tomatoes: 89% | Metacritic: 72%


Matilda the Musical – Out Now

Matilda the musical

As far as big screen adaptions go, Matilda the Musical is a camp feast that loses nothing in terms of spectacle in the journey from stage to screen.

Emma Thompson is fantastic as Miss Trunchbull on steroids, and there are supporting roles for Stephen Graham (the greatest actor of all time, we’re saying it) and Lashana Lynch. The musical numbers are exactly how you’d want them: big, bold and bolshy, and for anyone who grew up on this particularly story, movingly sentimental.

Length: 1h 48m | Rating: PG | Rotten Tomatoes: 90% | Metacritic: 72%


Corsage – Out Now

Corsage - Avatar - the way of water - best films to see at the cinema right now

Corsage centers around the extravagant, hopelessly lonely life of Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1877, played by the exhilaratingly good Vicky Kripps. We could just describe it as ‘the German Spencer’ and be done with it but really, Corsage is so much better, so much more of a film than Spencer. It’s more artistic expression and interpretation than it is a biopic, and its tone of sheer irreverence and anachronism lends it an air of comedic blackness.

Length: 1h 55m | Rating: 15 | Rotten Tomatoes: 87% | Metacritic: 84%


Die Hard – Out Now

Die Hard

The best Christmas movie of all time? You know the drill – Bruce Willis is the ultimate sexy dad in Die Hard, showing all over London. This is one for the people who enjoy Christmas enough to go out and see a Christmas movie, but not enough to see a movie actually about Christmas.

There’s no one on this planet that doesn’t either think Die Hard is the best Christmas film ever or the best action film ever. It’s objectively one of the two.

Length: 2h 12m | Rating: 18 | Rotten Tomatoes: 94% | Metacritic: 88%


The Muppet’s Christmas Carol – Out Now

The Muppets Christmas Carol

The best Christmas movie of all time? You know the drill – Kermit is the ultimate sexy frog in The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, showing all over London.

This movie is so utterly wonderful it’s almost a shame that appreciation for it is resigned to such a short period of the year.

Length: 1h 25m | Rating: U | Rotten Tomatoes: 77% | Metacritic: 72%


She Said – Out Now

She Said

Directed by Maria Shrader, She Said tells the real-life story of the two New York Times journalists who exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual predation, thereby kickstarting the #MeToo movement.

Featuring two fantastic performances from Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan, She Said is taught and hard-hitting and presents the process of accountability as a dogged war of attrition. Ashley Judd plays herself in one particularly moving scene. They’re going to be talking about She Said for a while.

Length: 2h 09m | Rating: 15 | Rotten Tomatoes: 87% | Metacritic: 74%


Triangle of Sadness – Out Now

Triangle of Sadness - The Muppet’s Christmas Carol

This is the film for you if you want to rid yourself of the capitalist guilt of Chrimbo. Triangle Sadness – coming at ya straight from its Palme d’Or win at Cannes – is an anti-modern satire about the super-rich and their super raucous exploits of stupidity and luxury.

Is there a better advertisement for a movie that has half the audience either walking out in disgust or howling with laughter at the same time?

Length: 1h 48m | Rating: 12 | Rotten Tomatoes: 72% | Metacritic: 62%


The Banshees of Inisherin – Out Now

The Best Films to see in the cinema right now: Banshees of Inisherin

The glorious triumvirate is back. Director Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, who teamed up so fantastically for In Bruges, one of the best British comedies of the last 20 years, have returned with this existentially bleak, jet-black comedy of the highest calibre.

Set on the fictional Irish island of Inisherin in 1923, Banshees is a tale as old as time, a tale as essential to storytelling as it is to anyone who has ever lived; it is a tale of hurt male feelings. It is also about not liking someone to such a dramatic degree that every time they talk to you, you cut your own fingers off, which is metaphorical, if not literally, relatable.

The Banshees of Inshirin is the top pick of the month, and maybe even the top pick of the autumn.

Length: 1h 54m | Rating: 12 | Rotten Tomatoes: 100% | Metacritic: N/A


Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Out 23th December

Knives Out - The Muppet’s Christmas Carol

Ever-divisive filmmaker Rian Johnson is back with the second instalment of his whodunnit murder mystery serious – the first was so popular it practically kickstarted the genre’s resurgence.

You’ll be glad to know that the second Knives Out is equally as reliant on Daniel Craig’s deliciously dubious southern accent as the first.

The plot has somehow become even more outlandish, even more intricate than the first. Backs are stabbed, crosses are doubled and Edward Norton plays the sinisterly insecure billionaire with hilarious aplomb.

Length: 2h 19m | Rating: 12 | Rotten Tomatoes: 81% | Metacritic: 80%


Empire of Light – 13th January

Empire of Light

Empire of Light is a film about film, it’s a love letter to the movies, a film about how the phenomenon of a cinema theatre, with its heavy smell of popcorn and sticky carpets, is both a haven and a spaceship.

Directed by Sam Mendes (Skyfall, 1917), Empire of Light stars the ever-mesmeric Olivia Coleman, Michael Ward, Colin Firth and Toby Jones. Coleman is Hilary, a depressed cinema manager who is just about getting by on the fringes until she meets Stephen (Ward), who reawakens in her a hitherto buried passion for life. It doesn’t shirk away from the racism and societal unrest that played out in 1980’s Britain outside the cinema entrance.

Length: 1h 59m | Rating: 15 | Rotten Tomatoes: N/A| Metacritic: N/A


Babylon – 6th January

Babylon film

Damien Chazelle (La La Land & Whiplash) has revisited the fraught glitz and glam of show business in his newest big-budget smacker Babylon.  Set in 1920s Hollywood, Babylon paints a lavish picture of excess in the early days of cinema; but the meteoric shift from silent to sound films threatens the main cast and dramatic descents ensue.

Length: 3h 09m | Rating: 19 | Rotten Tomatoes: N/A | Metacritic: N/A


The Fablemans – 29th January

The Fablemans - The Muppet’s Christmas Carol

This is Stephen Spielberg’s Magnum Opus, the movie most closely linked to his greatest passion of all: movies themselves. The Fableman’s is his autobiographical ode to the people that made him, the formative processes that led a young boy to fall in love with the power of cinema to transform and awaken.

Length: 2h 22m | Rating: 12 | Rotten Tomatoes: 91% | Metacritic: 82%

Now you’ve picked a film… watch it in one of London’s best cinemas