It's the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of people right now. The parties are hosting, the marshmallows are toasting, the kids are jingle belling, and everyone is telling you to be of good cheer. It's the most wonderful time of the year: Christmastime.
However, not everyone has the same luxury of calling this a wonderful time. Some don't have a family to spend it with, while others don't have any particular plans with their families this year. Not to mention, a 24-hour TBS marathon of "A Christmas Story" just doesn't hit the same for the kids after the 10th year in a row.
Fear not. Those without plans need not fret, as Hollywood is gracing us with some quality entertainment that we can enjoy either in the theater or from the comfort of our own homes. Here are some things worth watching that will be released Christmas weekend, many of which can be fun for the whole family.
"Hawkeye" season finale - December 22
Just one week prior, the latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Spider-Man: No Way Home," will be hitting theaters on December 15. For those MCU enthusiasts, who will likely still be itching for more Marvel-approved superhero action by the time "Spider-Man's" credits roll, they still have the remaining episodes of "Hawkeye" to look forward to on Disney+.
Once again casting Jeremy Renner in the title role, "Hawkeye" focuses on the former Avenger trying to live a normal life with his wife and children in New York City. However, when his past as Ronin comes back to haunt him, he must join forces with a similarly skilled Kate Bishop to take down their enemies so that he can return to his family in time for the holiday.
"Hawkeye" will be airing its season premiere on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, starting a weekly six-episode run that will culminate in a season finale that airs Christmas weekend. Obviously, not enough episodes have aired yet to have a clear indication of what could happen in the finale, but as the official trailer seemed to tease, audiences can expect something festive and cheery in the spirit of Christmas. As teased at the end of "Black Widow," audiences can also expect an appearance from Florence Pugh's character, Yelena Belova, who The Cosmic Circus reports will span multiple episodes of "Hawkeye."
"The King's Man" - December 22
"The King's Man" pulls double duty as both the latest entry in the ever-evolving "Kingsman" franchise and as a prequel that depicts the organization's humble beginnings that takes place during World War I. Fans of the franchise have been eagerly anticipating this release after several delays (mostly COVID-19 related) dating back to an original November 15, 2019 release date. Now, the wait is over.
With a new time period comes an entirely new cast helmed by Lord Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes in the lead. Even though the movie is depicting a whole new era of "Kingsman," the trailers suggest a similar witty tone and over-the-top action-centric sensibility, as displayed in the previous films.
Anyone who loves that sort of bombastic, exciting atmosphere in their movies, or at the very least enjoyed the previous movies in the ensuing trilogy, should check out "The King's Man" once it hits theaters on December 22.
"The Matrix Resurrections" - December 22
After waiting nearly 20 years since the last sequel, fans can now look forward to a brand new "Matrix" movie. Even better, all of their favorite characters are returning to the franchise. Well, almost all of them. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett-Smith have all been confirmed to be returning, but Laurence Fishburne is noticeably absent. In fact, the role of Morpheus has been recast in the form of "Candyman's" Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
When asked about his involvement, or lack thereof, in the fourth "Matrix" movie, Fishburne simply told Vulture, "I have not been invited." Very little is known about the plot itself, so it is unclear as to just how deliberate of a choice it was to not include one of the figureheads of the original trilogy. One has to assume that Fishburne's recasting must be plot-related, as it stands out too heavily to not be purposeful.
It's also worth noting that another notable absence is Lily Wachowski. For "The Matrix Resurrections," Lana Wachowski returns behind the camera as writer, director, and producer, but not with the sister who helped her carve out the franchise over two decades ago. The reason being, per her words in an interview with Showtime's TCA panel (h/t Republic World), because Lily found the idea of revisiting old successes following major life milestones for her to be both going backward in her life and, ultimately, "emotionally unfulfilling."
Nonetheless, despite two huge absences, the excitement for "The Matrix Resurrections" is still there. Since the trailer seems to imply something of a fresh start for the franchise, serving as both a reboot and a sequel, the movie could be something that both new and old fans can ease into and enjoy. This movie will release simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters on December 22.
"Sing 2" - December 22
In 2016, an all-star voice acting cast and its 60 song soundtrack, which included the likes of Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, helped bolster "Sing" into a $634 million hit. Naturally, a sequel was quickly in the works, and now, that sequel will be hitting theaters on December 22nd.
This time around, Matthew McConaughey returns as theater owner Buster Moon who, along with his same singing crew from the last movie, all hope to debut a new show at the glamorous Crystal Tower Theater. However, the one thing standing in their way of opening the keys of superstardom is an ambitious task of casting rock icon Clay Calloway (played by Bono), who has become a recluse. The new film follows Buster's journey to try and bring Clay out of hiding.
Easily the most kid-friendly entry on this list, this movie would make for a perfect family gathering for adults to bring their children to on opening day or Christmas Day, as a special treat.
"The Tragedy of Macbeth" - December 25
And finally, we have ourselves an actual Christmas Day release. In contrast with the previously aforementioned blockbuster epics, the latest adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is expected to have some major Hollywood award season implications.
With Denzel Washington playing the title character, critics like Clayton Davis of Variety are already predicting him to be a "true contender" for Best Actor, potentially paving the way for his third Academy Award win. Actually, the whole cast and crew are filled with potential future Oscar nominees, as well as past Oscar winners. Washington leads a cast comprised of familiar faces like Brendan Gleeson ("In Bruges"), Corey Hawkins ("Straight Outta Compton"), Harry Melling (the "Harry Potter" series) and, playing Lady Macbeth herself, Frances McDormand. McDormand, who won Best Actress last year for "Nomadland," pulls double duty as producer, alongside her husband, and the movie's writer/director, Joel Coen.
"The Tragedy of Macbeth" will be released in select cities under a limited theatrical run, starting on December 25.
And for those who won't have this one traveling to a theater near them on Christmas Day, don't worry. It'll be streaming for everyone to view worldwide a month later on Apple TV+ on January 14, 2022.
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