The Ultimate Moviegoer’s Guide to December Films

Jake Reed, Spear Contributor

December is a prime month for blockbusters that earn millions in box office funds. While some manage to make us laugh and cry, other films fall flat on their faces. A great amount of money is spent to make trailers look as flawless as possible, so how is the average consumer supposed to know which film is worth their $10 movie ticket?

6 Film Predictions for December 2014 

“Annie” (PG, Family Comedy) – Let’s get the ball rolling with an instant classic; with the dramatic flair of Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) and the comedic mind of Will Gluck (Friends with Benefits) at the helm, Annie should be able to deliver to its high expectations. All fans young and old will be able to appreciate this modern spin-off of the Great Depression classic. My prediction: this film will be absolutely worth it. Annie opens on Dec. 19.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (Not yet rated, Fantasy) – I’ll admit: as a dedicated fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, I already have a little bit of bias going in. Even though turning one book into a 9-hour fantasy epic seemed like a stretch, director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, District 9) managed to deliver the first two films in a breathtaking manner. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years a Slave, Star Trek: Into Darkness) makes a third appearance as the Necromancer. Who doesn’t love Benedict Cumberbatch? My prediction: for fans of the first two, this chapter will be love at first sight. Inexperienced fans won’t be able to appreciate what makes this saga truly “magical.” The Hobbit opens on Dec. 17.

“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” (PG, Family Comedy) – While the first film was able to capture our hearts and imaginations, the second film failed to capture that same essence. Although Ben Stiller (Madagascar) and Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting) still remain two of my all-time favorite actors, I don’t think it will be enough to pull this movie out of its slightly dull routine. My prediction: take your kids once, but don’t pay too much attention to this forgetful film. Night at the Museum opens on Dec. 19.

“The Gambler” (R, Crime Drama) – This one actually looks far better than the usual  mediocrity we have come to expect from Mark Wahlberg. Although many will disagree with that comment, I don’t think Marky-Mark has ever had to step out of his comfort zone. Lone Survivor was good, Ted  was good, but neither required him to exhibit any special acting skill. However, I think The Gambler will be the threshold that elevates Mark Wahlberg’s status to one of the greats. I have a lot of faith in this movie even though it probably will not get the credit it deserves. My prediction: this cold-hearted thriller will find a warm place in moviegoer’s hearts. The Gambler opens on Dec. 19.

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” (PG-13, Action/Adventure) – I love actor Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) and I love director Ridley Scott (Alien, Prometheus). Imagining a combination of the two gives me chills. This film will appeal to a wide variety of audiences, not just those acquainted with the Bible-verse epic. This film will deliver breathtaking action along with the comprehensive storytelling we have come to expect from Ridley Scott. My prediction: the theaters will be packed for this one, and I would be happy to pay every penny of the admission price. Exodus opens on Dec. 12.

“The Interview” (Not yet rated, Adult Comedy) – I saved this one for last because I feel extremely conflicted about this movie. On one hand, we have actor Seth Rogen (Superbad), a not-so-great actor who nonetheless earns our laughs and our love. On the other hand, we have actor James Franco (127 Hours), who can dabble in all genres but is extremely underrated. Much like baking soda and vinegar, overrated and underrated do not mix. However, the film’s risky plotline might just pay off and provide a fresh new look at comedy. My prediction: it’s up in the air, but this movie has the potential to pull it off. The Interview opens on Dec. 25.