With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday movie season is unofficially underway. This week, Dive staff writers highlight eight films sure to make waves this holiday season.
Princess Anna of Arendelle (Kristen Bell) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad) to save their kingdom from an eternal winter. The leader of this frozen madness is the Snow Queen, Elsa (Idina Menzel), who also happens to be Anna’s sister. Anna, Kristoff and Olaf go on a whirlwind adventure and battle magical creatures and crazy weather to put a stop to her sister’s madness. “Frozen” is the latest Disney film that is the perfect holiday treat for all ages. — Avery Thompson
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
The second movie in the Hobbit trilogy continues the adventures of Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf companions on their quest to defeat the dragon Smaug and reclaim stolen treasure. Along the way, they encounter elves portrayed by Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly. Meanwhile, wizard Gandolf (Ian McKellen) seeks to find the true identity of the Necromancer of Dol Guldur. — Natalie Carney
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Jordan Belfort as he becomes a wealthy stockbroker, living the life of luxury. The Martin Scorsese film promises an excess of extravagance as Belfort’s not-so-legal activities border on obscene. With a cast including DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill, what else could you possibly need for Christmas? — Lizzie Goodell
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
The latest from the Coen brothers follows a week in the life of struggling folk singer, Llewyn Davis. Starring Oscar Isaac alongside Carey Mulligan and John Goodman, this film pays homage to the New York City folk scene of the 1960s. The comedy-drama won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and actor Isaac is already getting award attention for his leading role. — Natalie Carney
2014 is fast approaching and it looks like “Her” is going to be one of the most interesting movies to reign in the New Year. “Her” is about Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer who finds himself falling in love with his new operating system. Scarlett Johansson voices Samantha, the faceless machine that shows a lot more personality than any computer should. The movie also features big names such as Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara, and was directed by the man who did “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Being John Malkovich.” There is no doubt that this movie will be a weird one, but it’s going to be worth that trip to the theater. — Lizzie Goodell
In this star-studded 1970s crime drama, con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his partner/lover (Amy Adams) are roped into working with the FBI. The stakes are raised as they get involved with powerbrokers, politicians and mafia, and get tangled in an astounding scandal. Director David O. Russell also reunites “Silver Linings Playbook’s” Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as an FBI agent and Rosenfeld’s wife, respectively. — Natalie Carney
“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”
The world’s greatest news team is back and ready to take on New York City. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his classy clan are recruited to form the nation’s first 24-hour news channel. The sequel to the mega-popular 2004 film is guaranteed to provide laughs aplenty. With the already all-star cast that now includes Kristen Wiig, Harrison Ford and James Marsden, there’s no doubting this film will be another comedy classic. But most importantly, the epic group is back and taking classy to a whole new level. — Avery Thompson
“Saving Mr. Banks”
It’s about time they made a movie about Walt Disney and we all knew that Tom Hanks would be the perfect man to play him. But “Saving Mr. Banks,” coming out December 20, is not simply about Disney — it focuses on P. L. Travers, the original author of “Mary Poppins.” Emma Thompson plays Travers who develops a no-nonsense attitude as Mr. Disney makes her novel into a film.
The movie promises a unique look into Disney’s life as Travers tries to make sure her beloved characters are not made into a joke. — Lizzie Goodell
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