In theaters and streaming on Amazon Prime: 'Being the Ricardos'
Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem star as the titular iconic couple in Being the Ricardos, written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. The film takes place over a particularly eventful week in the life of I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball—played with aplomb by Kidman—during which a dangerous piece of gossip threatens to ensnare her in the Blacklist red-scare hysteria of the early 1950s. Bardem is also excellent as Desi Arnaz, Ball's Cuban bandleader husband and her co-star on the TV show. Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda and Tony Hale co-star. After a limited theatrical run, the film is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
In theaters: 'A Journal for Jordan'
Denzel Washington's fourth directorial effort—his last one, an adaptation of August Wilson's Fences, netted four Oscar noms and a win for Viola Davis—is based on the memoir A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor by Dana Canedy, adapted for the screen by Oscar nominee Virgil Williams. Williams, who sat down with A.frame this week to discuss the project, described how the source material actually lifted him out of a depression: "The deeper I got into the story, the more I started to heal. Some of these jobs, they find you, and this one found me. I was in a difficult time and this story really changed stuff around for me. It was such a gift." The film version is no less inspiring, starring Chanté Adams as journalist Canedy and Michael B. Jordan as the soldier she falls in love with who's sent to Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11. In theaters everywhere Christmas Day.
In theaters and streaming on HBO Max: 'The Matrix Resurrections'
The fourth installment of The Matrix franchise is here, with most of the major players reprising their roles, and some new faces thrown into the mix as well. Keanu Reeves, of course, is Neo, now returned to his former identity of Thomas Anderson and living a placid, blue-pilled existence in San Francisco. That is, until Morpheus, or rather an alternate-reality personification of Morpheus embodied by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, finds him and red-pills him all over again. Also stars Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Jada Pinkett Smith, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Neil Patrick Harris. Directed by Matrix mastermind Lana Wachowski from a script penned by Wachowski with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. Now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
In theaters: 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'
Oscar winner Joel Coen, embarking on a feature film without his brother Ethan for the first time, takes on a Shakespeare classic with the help of his wife, Frances McDormand, and the ubiquitous Denzel Washington. The heavyweight pair of Oscar winners play Lady and Lord Macbeth, respectively, in the timeless tale of regicide, guilt and revenge. The stunning, Expressionist cinematography comes courtesy of Oscar-nominated DP Bruno Delbonnel. The design of the film is also spectacular, and in an exclusive feature this week on A.frame, production designer Stefan Dechant goes into detail on capturing the haunting look of the film. Bertie Carvel, Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins and Harry Melling round out the cast. In select theaters Christmas Day.
In theaters and streaming on Netflix: 'Don't Look Up'
Oscar winner Adam McKay's latest venture features Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as two middling astronomers attempting to warn humankind of an impending comet collision. Though the premise is fictional, the film also operates as a stirring parable, warning against ignoring the perils of climate change, and McKay's sure-handed direction and finely tuned script make for one of the more effective cinematic efforts at addressing the difficult subject. Also features Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep. Oh, and speaking of Meryl, check out our new list of all-time top Streep performances here. Now in select theaters and streaming on Netflix Dec. 24.
In theaters: 'Sing 2'
Matthew McConaughey reprises his role as Buster Moon, reuniting the lovable musical gang from the original animated film and bringing them to the big city in an effort to create a hit show. And what a gang it is, voiced by a who's who of vocal talent, including Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Nick Kroll, Pharrell Williams, Nick Offerman, Chelsea Peretti and Bono. McConaughey, in an A.frame exclusive this week, told us he hopes the movie encourages audiences to chase their dreams again after a tough couple of years during the pandemic: "It's something we need people to realize and still believe in again," he said. "Because the last couple of years, it's been tough to believe anything like that." Written and directed by Garth Jennings, with music by Joby Talbot as well as an impressive soundtrack featuring, yep, Bono again along with his band U2—plus Billie Eilish, Mercury Rev and Elton John, among many others. Now in theaters.