CLEVELAND, Ohio — After summer, winter is the most wonderful time of year for moviegoers, full of sequels, holiday-themed movies and Oscar contenders.
That’s still the case this year with highly anticipated follow-ups to “Avatar” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” animated films like Disney’s “Strange World” and Shrek’s spin-off, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” and quirky fare like Steven Spielberg’s “The Fablemans” and “Babylon,” Damien Chazelle’s epic ode to old Hollywood, are hitting theaters.
But you don’t necessarily have to leave your house to see some of the season’s most intriguing films. 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 “White Noise” and “A Christmas Story Christmas,” filmed in Cleveland, a sequel nearly 40 years in the making.
Here are 30 movies leading up to Valentine’s Day weekend that we’re most looking forward to.
The films listed below premiere in theaters unless otherwise noted. Release dates are subject to change.
“A Christmas Christmas Tale” (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-obsessed father.
In this true story, Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan play the New York Times reporters who sparked the #MeToo movement by exposing decades of sexual harassment and assault by Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.
“Fiery” (Cinema and Apple TV+)
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell star in this modern musical version of “A Christmas Carol” told from the perspective of ghosts. “La La Land” songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul provide the music.
“People We Hate at Marriage” (First 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, Jason Momoa plays Flip, a nine-foot half-human, half-monster who guides a young girl (Marlow Barkley) through the 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 a romance about a young couple with an insatiable appetite for, well, people. Taylor Russell stars as a teenage girl on the run in search of belonging in a world that rejects people like her.
15 years after swapping her animated fairy tale life for the real world, Giselle (Amy Adams) still hasn’t found her happy with Robert (Patrick Dempsey). But going from the big city to the idyllic suburb only complicates things. Idina Menzel, James Marsden, Maya Rudolph and Yvette Nicole Brown also star.
Steven Spielberg directs this semi-autobiographical film about a 16-year-old movie phenom named Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle). Michelle Williams plays her supportive mother and Paul Dano plays her pragmatic father.
“Glass Onion: A Mystery at Daggers Drawn” (Streaming on Netflix December 23)
Director Rian Johnson brings ace detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) back to the screen. This time, the super sleuth with a southern (?) accent travels to Greece to solve a new mystery involving a cast of star suspects played by Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline , Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista.
“Top Gun: Maverick” star Glen Powell is back in the cockpit of a military fighter jet as a 1950s pilot who forms a bond with the first black navy aviator (Jonathan Majors). Based on a true story, the film follows the duo’s heroism during the Korean War.
Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jaboukie Young-White provide the voices in Disney’s latest animated film, about three generations of explorers brought to a mysterious planet that needs their help.
“Emancipation” (Airing December 9 on Apple TV+)
Will Smith teams up with “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua in an inspiring drama based on a true story 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 in what is sure to become a holiday classic. “Stranger Things” star David Harbor stars as Saint Nick, who is summoned to a mansion on Christmas Eve to rescue a wealthy family held hostage by a group of mercenaries led by John Leguizamo.
Based on Miriam Toews’ bestselling 2018 novel, this drama stars Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey and Frances McDormand as women from an isolated religious colony who form a resistance against the men who continuously violent.
“Pinocchio” by Guillermo del Toro (Netflix)
In this stop-motion animated film, the Oscar-winning director of “The Shape of Water” reimagines the classic story of a wooden boy who comes to life to mend the heart of a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto.
‘The Big Sick’ director Michael Showalter’s tearful latest film is about a couple (played by Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge) whose blossoming relationship is forever altered when one of them is diagnosed with cancer. .
“Avatar: The Way of the Water”
Visionary filmmaker James Cameron returns to the wonderful world of Pandora to retell the story of Jake (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) and their children 10 years after the events of ‘Avatar’, still the highest-grossing film in all the time .
“Nanny” (First video)
Described as a psychological fable of horror, this Blumhouse outing stars Anna Diop as Aisha, a Senegalese woman hired as a nanny by a wealthy couple. But her hopes of bringing her son to the United States 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 swaggering feline (Antonio Banderas) teams up with his nemesis Kitty Soft Paws (Salma Hayek) on a quest in the Black Forest to find the mythical Wishing Star and restore his lost lives. . 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 seeking to reconnect with his teenage daughter (Sadie Sink) in this drama from “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky.
‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazelle brings us back to Los Angeles for an epic story charting the rise and fall of several characters working in the film industry during an era of excess and decadence that t was Hollywood in the 1920s. The film stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva and Jean Smart.
“I want to dance with someone”
Naomi Ackie stars as Whitney Houston in a biopic that traces the late singer’s life from her humble beginnings as a backing vocalist in New Jersey to her meteoric rise as a top-selling recording artist and most awarded of all time.
Hugh Jackman plays a father whose reimagined life is turned upside down when his ex-wife (Laura Dern) shows up with concerns about their teenage son (Zen McGrath). Director Florian Zeller’s drama (“The Father”) also stars Vanessa Kirby and Anthony Hopkins.
“White Noise” (Netflix)
Filmed in northeast Ohio last year, 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 children evacuated from their idyllic Midwestern town when a train crash triggers an airborne toxic event.
“Alice, darling” (limit)
Anna Kendrick plays a woman pushed to her breaking point by her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick). She slowly begins to pull out of the relationship with the help of two close girlfriends (Kaniehtiio Horn and Wunmi Mosaku), but Simon isn’t quite ready to let her go.
Unprepared to be guardian to her 8-year-old orphaned niece, a toy company engineer (Allison Williams) entrusts Megan with an artificially intelligent, lifelike doll named Megan to care for the little girl. Things, of course, go horribly wrong.
“A Man Called Otto”
Based on the heartwarming New York Times bestseller by Fredrik Backman, Tom Hanks plays a grumpy widower whose world is turned upside down when a young family moves in next door.
Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore are hapless housekeepers looking to turn things 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 featured Kid ‘n Play.
“Shotgun Wedding” (First video)
Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel star in a romantic comedy that turns into an action-adventure when a gang of pirates plan their destination wedding.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”
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 size-changing superheroes explore the Quantum Realm, where they encounter strange new creatures and a menacing figure known as Kang (Jonathan Majors).