Holiday movie preview 2018

Here are 10 flicks you might consider in a season stuffed like a stocking with films.

click to enlarge 'Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald' brings the holiday magic. - Promotional still
Promotional still
'Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald' brings the holiday magic.

The Hallmark Channel reportedly has 37 Christmas movies in the pipeline this season.

Thirty-seven.

That’s too many for the entire season, much less a single channel. Throw in streaming services pumping out their own original content and actual, you know, movies, and it’s exhausting just thinking about what you’re going to devote your eyeballs to this season. So let us tell you. Here are ten Christmas, seasonal or just plain fun flicks you might consider investing your time in during this busiest of commercial holiday timelines.

The Grinch 

The latest animated iteration of the Dr. Seuss classic is getting mixed reviews, and is, of course, lacking Boris Karloff. It does, however, have Benedict Cumberbatch, and an expanded role for the titular character’s plucky dog, Max, which our own Cathy Salustri found enchanting enough to make the whole thing worthwhile. PG, Now playing.

The Holiday Calendar 

This Netflix original stars up-and-comer Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) as a photographer who inherits an old advent calendar that seems to have supernatural properties. No, it’s not horror, even though it’s Netflix. Can the calendar’s magic help her turn her life around? Now playing on Netflix.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 

The Harry Potter franchise just keeps going and going, mostly to the delight of everybody on the planet. This sequel to the surprisingly great 2016 spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them continues the adventures of Eddie Redmayne’s wizard-zoologist Newt Scamander as he’s enlisted by a (comparatively) young Albus Dumbledore in the latter’s battle against those wizards who would see the purebloods ruling the Muggle world. So, you know, Potter-y. PG-13, Nov. 16.

The Princess Switch 

Just dying for another movie in which a young, idealistic rich/noble/royal person who thinks they’re missing out on what’s really important in life switches identities with a commoner who thinks fame or fortune is the key to happiness? Here you go, with the added bonus of Christmas magic and the obvious conclusion that love is really all that matters. Oh, sorry, did we spoil that for you? As if you didn’t see it coming... Nov. 16 on Netflix.

Ralph Breaks The Internet 

Here’s the sequel to 2012’s video game-centric John C. Reilly starrer Wreck-It Ralph; the new one finds the former villain and a new friend discovering wifi and taking their hijinks to the world wide web. Other featured voice players in this installment include Sarah Silverman, Gal Godot, Jane Lynch, Alfred Molina, Jack McBrayer, Alan Tudyk and Ed O’Neill. PG, Nov. 21.

The Christmas Chronicles 

You can’t tell us you haven’t watched the trailer for this Kurt Russell-led Netflix original with your jaw hanging open, not sure if it’s the dumbest or most awesome thing ever. Snake Plissken is Santa now, and shit gets crazy. Does he enlist a kid to help him save Christmas? If you don’t know the answer, you’ve never seen a Christmas movie. TRIVIA: They say 80 percent of Russell’s Santa beard was real. Nov. 22 on Netflix.

Robin Hood 

Yet another telling of the tale about the guy who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. That’s a pretty Christmas-y theme, right? This latest version stars Taron Egerton (the Kingsman movies) and Jamie Foxx (everything), and has that modern-yet-classic feel and those massive battle scenes that every period piece has to have now that Game of Thrones is a thing. PG-13, Nov. 21.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding 

Another Netflix original, A Christmas Prince concerns a prince, a wedding, and whether or not said wedding is actually going to happen. See, his fiance isn’t sure she really wants to be a queen, and... you know what, you can probably skip this one. It doesn’t sound all that great. Nov. 30 (Netflix)

Once Upon A Deadpool 

Yep, it’s the filthiest and funniest of superhero movies, Deadpool 2, sanitized, re-cut and re-themed for a younger audience. (As if everybody from 13 to 17 hasn’t seen the batshit-nuts full-on version already.) There’s a whole new Princess Bride thing going on here, and we absolutely cannot wait to check it out. PG-13, Dec. 12.

Mary Poppins Returns 

And finally, an undisputed classic gets a modern sequel, packed full of some of the biggest names in Hollywood, and, you know, British Hollywood: Meryl Streep! Emily Blunt! Colin Firth! Angela Lansbury! Emily Mortimer! Dick Van Dyke! And will Lin-Manuel Miranda rap something Poppins-esque? We’re betting he will. PG, Dec. 19. 

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