December’s Tastiest Treats

All you need to know about the cultural delights heading your way

In cinemas 8 December

Who was asking for a Willy Wonka prequel film? No one, probably. But, put Timothée Chalamet one of the biggest stars on the planet in the lead role and hand over directorial duties to the man behind two of the most beloved family films of the last decade, and you’ve got a pretty irresistable recipe. Six years since Paddington 2, Paul King returns with a film that shows once again his commitment to joyously stylised, boundlessly creative, clockwork tight storytelling (with a script co-written by Simon Farnaby) and, despite the perhaps needless nature of this tale, it ends up telling a chapter of Willy’s history that brings pure imagination into wonderful reality.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom
In cinemas 21 December

Arriving in cinemas with a whiff of an unwanted guest at a Christmas Party, this sequel again directed by James Wan, has had a troubled production. With a delayed release date, reshoots and a trailer not arriving till September, there has been a feeling among fans that Warner Bros aren’t throwing their substantial weight behind the sequel. Maybe because it’s the last of the old DC films to be shot before the new DC/James Gunn era sweeps in. Whatever the case, Aquaman 2 sees the fishy underwater fella take on Black Manta again this time with the unlikely help of his brother Orm (Patrick Wilson). There we didn’t even mention Amber Heard. That’s a whole other thing…

In cinemas 26 December

Based on the 1991 biography of the car nut by Brock Yates (Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races) this shows the highs and lows, the personal and the professional struggles of the Italian car manufacturer during the summer of 1957. With a powerhouse cast (Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey) and under the masterful eye of director Michael Mann, expect this to be a rousing white knuckle biopic. 

Next Goal Wins
In cinemas 26 December

Based on the 2014 documentary of the same name, this comedy follows down-on-his-luck Dutch/American football coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) who is given the job of coaching the world’s worst football team – American Samoa. Can he turn a band of misfits into a winning team that doesn’t lose by 30 goals? With Taika Waititi at the helm you can expect his usual brand of anarchic comedy with a feel good “Cool Runnings” vibe to this underdog tale. 

The Boy And The Heron
In cinemas 26 December

Ten years after the last time he announcement he was retiring, Hayao Miyazaki is back with another Studio Ghibli masterpiece. A fantasy fairytale full of creative invention and emotion that manages to be part Narnia and part auto-biographic sermon, this is animation at its most powerful, from one of the best to ever do it.

Anyone But You
In cinemas 26 December

In winner of the most contrived storyline of the year (or modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing), this rom com has two enemies/one-time daters having to pretend they are a couple at a destination wedding. Starring hot properties of the moment Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria) and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) you’ll like this if you like films described as “screwball” or the cocktail…

Reacher Season 2
On Amazon Prime from 15 December

The massive black-coffee-drinking drifter is back. Series 2 is based on Lee Child’s 11th book Bad Luck And Trouble it sees ex-MP special investigator Jack Reacher receiving a coded message from his old US army unit that one-by-one, they’re being targeted and brutally murdered. Will Reacher buy a t-shirt and jeans from a thrift store? Will he kill a man with one punch? Probably.