At first glance, it might seem like the only movie in theatres is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Endless social media posts and critical coverage of the sci-fi fantasy movie supports that illusion; it’s not that it’s not worth seeing — far from it — but it should be noted that there are many other films coming out in and around Christmas Day that deserve some attention, too.
Sick of the Star Wars glut? Maybe give one of these other movies a chance over the holidays.
The Hateful Eight (eOne Films)
Quentin Tarantino’s latest is described as a “mystery Western” film, and knowing Tarantino’s tendency to veer towards the graphic and violent, it’s sure to have plenty of blood and gore. The film is set several years after the Civil War in Wyoming, and during an unexpected blizzard, eight strangers are confined together in a stagecoach stopover as they seek refuge from the storm. Imagine the resulting chaos.
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern
WATCH: The Hateful Eight cast talks on-screen and off-screen chemistry
READ MORE: ET Canada‘s 2015 Holiday Movie Guide
Sisters (Universal Pictures)
If the two stars of this film — Amy Poehler and Tina Fey — were actually sisters in real life, they might not have survived childhood with all the pranks they would’ve played on each other. Thankfully, they’re just besties, and they came together to make this comedy about sibs who throw one last big party before their parents sell their family home. Long on laughs and short on sense, Sisters is a romp; if you’re a fan of Poehler or Fey (or 30 Rock or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), then this’ll tickle your funny bone over the holidays.
Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz
Concussion (Sony Pictures)
Like football? Like Will Smith? How about Will Smith with a South African accent? That’s what you get with Concussion, a based-on-a-true-story film about Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who fought against the NFL after they tried to suppress his research about brain injuries on the field. This is definitely Smith’s Oscar run, and the whole David (Smith) vs. Goliath (NFL) theme works in his favour.
Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Paul Reiser, Luke Wilson
Point Break (Warner Bros. Pictures)
This remake of the ’90s classic (which starred Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze) has a lot to live up to. In it, an FBI agent must connect the dots between a series of sophisticated heists and a group of extreme sports junkies. Jam-packed with insane human feats like wingsuit flying and free rock climbing, this movie aims to up the ante and the adrenaline. But can it live up to its predecessor?
Starring: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone
READ MORE: Star Wars: The Force Awakens review: Everything you need to know
Joy (20th Century Fox)
Yes, another David O. Russell film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper (and Robert De Niro!). Lawrence is the focus of this one, playing the cantankerous-yet-determined titular Joy. The movie follows the story of a family over four generations, and illustrates how Joy ends up becoming the matriarch and founder of a gigantic business dynasty. You’d better expect some zingers along the way.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen
WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence talks re-teaming up with David O. Russell
The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)
Before you roll your eyes and sigh, know that this isn’t your typical ensemble feel-good movie. Filled with laughs and great acting, the film follows a group of four financial-world rejects who take it upon themselves to bring down the big banks after the U.S. housing bubble bursts; to make matters worse, each of them predicted it would happen. It’s based on a non-fiction book of the same name.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Melissa Leo
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip (20th Century Fox)
If you have kids, this might be one of your best options. Even though there isn’t much of a storyline to explain, just know that the Chipmunks — Alvin, Simon and Theodore — are up to their old tricks, this time trying to sabotage Dave’s planned proposal to his girlfriend. Warning: Hearing the high-pitched music of the little rodents might trigger memories of singing along when you were a child.
Starring: Jason Lee, Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Brooklyn (Mongrel Media)
Set in 1950s Brooklyn (and based on the book of the same name), this one’s a bit slower and features romance. In the film, an Irish immigrant lands in The Big Apple, where she quickly falls in love with a suitor. But when her past catches up with her, she has to choose between her new existence and everything she knows back home.
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Jim Broadbent, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson
Daddy’s Home (Paramount Pictures)
In this rather generic comedy set-up, a new stepfather tries his hardest to be the absolute best father figure possible to his newly inherited kids (via marriage). He’s doing as well as he can, until the kids’ biological father shows up on a motorcycle and throws everything into disarray. An immature mooch, bio-dad somehow manages to weasel his way into his kids’ hearts, leaving stepdad in the lurch.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church
Rotten Tomatoes Scores for Christmas Movies | PrettyFamous