What’s New in Theaters (11/22/17): “Coco,” “Call Me By Your Name,” and More…

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We got some exciting new releases to celebrate the 4-day weekend as we have Pixar’s latest entry “Coco,” Gary Oldman’s much-buzzed performance in “Darkest Hour,” Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer starring in “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” and one of the heavy-hitting Oscar frontrunners “Call Me By Your Name.” Let’s take a closer look!

coco

“Coco,” dir. Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Pixar has a special place in my heart. I grew up watching “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” and continue to fall in love with nearly every film they release. Buzz for “Coco” has been exceptional as it’s been playing in Mexico for the past month, quickly becoming the highest grossing movie of all-time in their country. Critics have been raving as it stands at a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and holds a strong 80 on Metacritic. With it being a particularly weak year for animated features, “The Lego Batman Movie” still being the main highlight, it seems like “Coco” is poised to be another Pixar smash.

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“Darkest Hour,” dir. Joe Wright

Within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

This was one of the final films I got to catch at TIFF this year and it honestly hasn’t had much staying power. While it’s undeniable that Gary Oldman’s performance as Churchill is great, it’s not even the best performance by a leading actor out of the films opening this week. The film itself is well shot and is accompanied by an incredible score by Dario Marianelli, but it’s pretty standard fare. That being said, critics have responded positively so far with an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73 on Metacritic. “Darkest Hour” is looking to make a big impression throughout awards season anchored by Oldman being the frontrunner for Best Actor so obviously it’s a film that has to be seen.

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“The Man Who Invented Christmas,” dir. Bharat Nalluri

“The Man Who Invented Christmas” tells of the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters from “A Christmas Carol.” Charles Dickens mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.

This film flew right under my radar. I only watched the trailer in preparation for this post and while it seems charming enough, it doesn’t spark enough interest for me to check it out despite being a fan of Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer. As of right now, there aren’t too many reviews as Rotten Tomatoes shows that 91% of 11 critics like it, however the Metacritic score is a mediocre 52 from only 5 critics. Only time will tell what the consensus will be on this one. Based off the trailer, it seems like a perfectly serviceable cable watch.

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“Call Me By Your Name,” dir. Luca Guadagnino

In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.

“Call Me By Your Name” a triumph. I already saw it twice at TIFF and NYFF, but it’s so good that I’m going to write a full review to come later this week. The emotional journey that Luca Guadagnino provides for the audience is unparalleled to any other film this year. Standing as one of the year’s best reviewed films with a whopping 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and a staggering score of a 93 on Metacritic, there is absolutely no reason why “Call Me By Your Name” shouldn’t be a top priority to see. If you’re in New York or Los Angeles this Thanksgiving weekend, this is the movie to see.

So there you have it. What will you be seeing this weekend for Thanksgiving? Are you excited to see Pixar’s latest hit? Can you hardly wait to see “Call Me By Your Name?” Comment below and let me know what you plan to check out.

If you want to stay updated with all my reviews of films as soon as I see them, follow me on my Letterboxd.

Thanks for reading!

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