CLEVELAND, Ohio – After summer, winter is the most wonderful time of year for moviegoers, with sequels, holiday-themed movies and Oscar contenders.
That’s the case again this year with animated films like Disney’s “Strange World” and the Shrek spinoff, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” the highly anticipated follow-ups to “Avatar” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” And original fare like Steven Spielberg’s personal “The Fablemans” and “Babylon,” Damien Chazelle’s epic ode to Old Hollywood, are coming to theaters.
But you don’t need to leave your house to watch the season’s hottest movies. Netflix, Apple TV, Prime Video and HBO Max have a slate of new releases to keep you busy on those chilly nights. Among them are the filmed-in-Cleveland “White Noise” and “A Christmas Story Christmas,” whose sequels have been nearly 40 years in the making.
Here are the 30 movies we’re watching the most through Valentine’s Day weekend.
The films listed below are premiering in theaters where noted. Release dates are subject to change.
“A Christmas Story Christmas” (HBO Max)
In the long-awaited sequel to the 1983 holiday classic, Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) returns to his childhood home on Cleveland Street to celebrate the holidays with his family after the death of his Christmas-averse father.
In this true story, Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star as the New York Times reporter who sparked the #MeToo movement by exposing decades of sexual harassment and assault by Hollywood filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.
“excited” (Theater and Apple TV+)
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell star in this modern musical twist from the perspective of ghosts in “A Christmas Carol.” “La La Land” songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul provide the music.
“People We Hate in Marriage” (Prime Video)
Kristen Bell and Ben Platt play siblings who travel to London to attend the wedding of their estranged half-sister, played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson (“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”). Allison Janney also stars as the mother in this dysfunctional family comedy.
In this epic fantasy tale, Jason Momoa plays Flip, a nine-foot half-human, half-monster who guides a girl (Marlo Barkley) through a world of dreams and nightmares in search of her late father (Kyle Chandler).
“Bones and All”
“Call Me By Your Name” director Luca Guadagnino and star Timothée Chalamet reunite for the love story of a young couple with an insatiable appetite for people. Taylor Russell co-stars as a teenage girl who runs away in search of belonging in a world that rejects people like her.
Steven Spielberg directs this semi-autobiographical film about 16-year-old Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) making a film. Michelle Williams stars as his supportive mother and Paul Dano plays his practical father.
“Glass Onion: The Mystery Out of a Knife” (Streams on Netflix on December 23)
Director Rian Johnson brings ace detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) back to the screen. This time super sleuth with a southern (?) accent travels to Greece to solve a new mystery featuring an all-star cast of suspects played by Edward Norton, Janeane Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madeleine Cline, Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista.
“Top Gun: Maverick” star Glenn Powell returns to the cockpit of a 1950s military fighter jet who bonds with the first black Navy airman (Jonathan Majors). Based on a true story, the film follows the duo’s heroics during the Korean War.
Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jaboukie Young-white supply the voices of Disney’s latest animated film, about three generations of explorers brought to a mysterious planet that needs their help.
15 years after trading her animated fairy tale life for the real world, Giselle (Amy Adams) hasn’t found her happily ever after with Robert (Patrick Dempsey). But moving from a big city to an idyllic suburb only complicates matters. Idina Menzel, James Marsden, Maya Rudolph and Yvette Nicole Brown also star.
“liberation” (Streaming December 9 on Apple TV+)
Will Smith teams with “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua in the inspiring true-story drama about a fearless former slave who must overcome ruthless hunters and the harrowing swamps of Louisiana on his journey to freedom.
Santa Claus is reimagined as an action star that is sure to become a holiday classic. “Stranger Things” star David Harbor plays St. Nick, who is called to the mansion on Christmas Eve to rescue a wealthy family held hostage by a mercenary group led by John Leguizamo.
Based on the 2018 best-selling novel by Miriam Toews, the drama stars Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey and Frances McDormand as women in an isolated religious colony who mount a resistance against men who constantly rape them.
Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” (Netflix)
In this stop-motion animated film, the Oscar-winning director of “The Shape of Water” reimagines the classic tale of a wooden boy brought to life to mend the heart of a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto.
“The Big Sick” director Michael Showalter’s latest tearjerker is about a couple (played by Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge) whose blossoming relationship changes forever when one of them is diagnosed with cancer.
Visionary filmmaker James Cameron returns to the wonderful world of Pandora to tell the story of Jake (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their children 10 years after the events of “Avatar,” still the highest-grossing movie of all time. .
“Nanny” (Prime Video)
Described as a psychological horror story, this Blumhouse release stars Anna Diop as Aisha, a Senegalese woman hired as a nanny by a wealthy couple. But her hopes of bringing her son to America are threatened when a violent presence haunts her dreams and reality.
“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”
After wasting eight of his nine lives, everyone’s favorite swashbuckling feline (Antonio Banderas) teams up with his nemesis Kitty Soft Paws (Salma Hayek) to find the legendary wishing star in the Black Forest and restore his lost life. The all-star voice cast also includes Florence Pugh, John Mulaney and Olivia Colman.
Brendan Fraser received a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival for his portrayal of a 600-pound man trying to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter (Sadie Sink) in this drama from “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky.
“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle takes us back to Los Angeles for an epic tale that traces the rise and fall of many characters working in the film industry during the age of excess and decadence in 1920s Hollywood. The film stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva and Jean Smart.
“I want to dance with someone”
Naomie Aki stars as Whitney Houston in the biopic that traces the late singer’s life from her humble beginnings as a singing girl in New Jersey to her meteoric rise as one of the best-selling and most respected recording artists of all time.
Hugh Jackman plays a father whose reinvented life is shaken when his ex-wife (Laura Dern) shows up with concerns about their teenage son (Jane McGraw). The drama from director Florian Zeller (“The Father”) also stars Vanessa Kirby and Anthony Hopkins.
“white noise” (netflix)
Filmed last year in Northeast Ohio, Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig star in a dark comedy from director Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”) and based on Don DeLillo’s novel about a college professor, his wife and their children who move out of their idyllic Midwestern town. A train accident causes an airborne toxic event.
“Alice, dear” (limited)
Anna Kendrick plays a woman pushed to her breaking point by her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick). She slowly begins to extricate herself from the relationship with the help of two close girlfriends (Kanihtio Horne and Wunmi Mosaku), but Simon is not ready to let her go.
Unprepared to parent her orphaned 8-year-old niece, a toy company engineer (Allison Williams) entrusts an artificially intelligent, life-like doll named Megan to care for the little girl. Things, of course, go horribly wrong.
“A Man Called Otto”
Based on Fredric Backman’s heartwarming New York Times bestseller, Tom Hanks plays a grumpy widower whose world is turned upside down when a young family steps in.
Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore are down-and-out house cleaners who try to turn their fortunes around by throwing the party of the century at the Hollywood mansion of their latest client, LeBron James. The NBA superstar also produced this reimagining of the 1990 cult classic that starred Kid ‘N Play.
“Shotgun Wedding” (Prime Video)
Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel star in a romantic comedy that turns into an action-adventure when a group of pirates crash their destination wedding.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummania”
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return for their third solo adventure. The first film in Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe sees the shape-shifting superheroes exploring the quantum realm, where they encounter strange new creatures and a dangerous figure known as Kang (Jonathan Majors).