If you’ve exhausted all your Netflix options this break, you can find plenty of new releases in theaters. With the glut of blockbusters and smaller indie films vying for Oscars, we’ve got you covered with what is and isn’t worth seeing in every possible category including:
Movies rebooting popular franchises that began in the 1970s:
Female lead edition: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
You all know what this is. Some of you have probably already seen this three times.
Male lead edition: “Creed”
You don’t have to have seen any of the original “Rocky” movies or even like boxing to enjoy this thrilling star turn from Michael B. Jordan.
Comedies featuring SNL alumni:
Ugh, Mark Wahlberg’s in this? edition: “Daddy’s Home”
Unless you’re Will Ferrell’s No. 1 fan, you may wish to avoid this tired comedy about a stepdad competing with his children’s biological father for their affection.
Best Golden Globe hosts ever edition: “Sisters”
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play sisters hosting one last blow-out party at their childhood home before their parents sell it.
Movies based on real-life people uncovering corrupt organizations:
Bad wigs edition: “The Big Short”
Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling play the oddball, outsider finance men who predicted the housing bubble collapse.
“Tell da truff!!” edition: “Concussion”
Will Smith plays a South African doctor who takes on the NFL for the damaging effects of the concussions players can suffer during games.
Investigative journalism for the win edition: “Spotlight”
Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo are part of a superb ensemble cast portraying Boston Globe journalists uncovering years of sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church.
Movies where the guys don’t get any, ahem, action:
Because the women want to stop gang violence edition: “Chiraq”
Legendary director Spike Lee’s latest film reimagines the Greek play Lysistrata, in which women go on a sex strike until men stop fighting, as set amid gang violence in Chicago.
Because the women are lesbians edition: “Carol”
Set in 1950s New York, Rooney Mara plays a young shopgirl who falls in love with an older married woman, played by Cate Blanchett, who is in the middle of divorcing her husband and fighting for custody of her daughter. Beautifully shot and scored, this subtle and nuanced film features two of the best acting performances of the year.
Jennifer Lawrence movies:
Obligatory David O. Russell-directed awards-bait edition: “Joy”
Russell gathers his favorite trio of actors, Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, to tell the rags-to-riches story of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the miracle mop.
The J. Law performance that should actually be nominated for Oscars edition: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2”
Jennifer Lawrence, so often miscast in roles meant for women in their 30s and 40s, is best when playing the young heroine Katniss Everdeen in this satisfying conclusion to the beloved series.
Snowy movies from directors constantly trying to prove how macho they are:
Leonardo DiCaprio’s blatant attempt to win an Oscar edition: “The Revenant”
From Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu, this film may be the most unpleasant moviegoing experience of the year. That is, unless you enjoy watching bear attacks and closeups of frozen snot as DiCaprio tries to survive in 1820s frontierland.
Less blatant attempt for Jennifer Jason Leigh to get an Oscar edition: “The Hateful Eight”
Quentin Tarantino fans will enjoy this tale of a bounty hunter, played by Kurt Russell, and his prisoner, played by Leigh, who find shelter in a Wyoming cabin filled with six other villains as they wait for a blizzard to pass.
Movies featuring actresses who will definitely be nominated for Best Actress:
Gut-wrenching tale of captivity edition: “Room”
Brie Larson delivers an astounding performance in this gripping, emotional tale of a young woman who has been held captive in her rapist’s garden shed for seven years. However, the real standout in this movie is Larson’s five-year-old son, played by Jacob Tremblay, who finally escapes to the outside world after having never left the shed.
Immigrant romance story edition: “Brooklyn”
You will swoon at Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal of a young Irish immigrant making a new life for herself in Brooklyn.
Movies about insufferable, misogynistic white guys:
iPhone edition: “Steve Jobs”
Set up like a three act play, fans of “The West Wing” will recognize Aaron Sorkin’s unique dialogue rhythms in this talk-y, backstage look behind three different Apple product launches.
Shaken martini edition: “Spectre”
Even skilled bad-guy portrayer Christoph Waltz can’t save this dull installment in the Daniel Craig James Bond series that brings none of the thrills of “Skyfall.”
Movies your parents will want to see:
Crumbling marriage edition: “45 Years”
Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay play a couple who have been married for, you guessed it, 45 years, when a figure from their past re-emerges and changes their life in unexpected ways.
I hear Eddie Redmayne is great in it edition: “The Danish Girl”
Redmayne, who your parents probably enjoyed in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in last year’s “The Theory of Everything,” plays transgender Danish artist Lili Elbe in this love story.