BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (above)
The gist: Queen’s origin story, from when Freddie Mercury joined the band to its legendary Live Aid performance in 1985.
The stars: Rami Malek, Mike Myers, Aidan Gillen, Lucy Boynton
The hype: It’s been a long journey to the screen with a changing cast and crew, but Malek seems to have won people over. Despite the first trailer glossing over Mercury’s bisexuality and AIDS diagnosis, the second trailer didn’t shy away.
Recommended if you like: Seedy venues where rock bands get their start; amazing wigs; studio sessions (but only the parts where the magic happens); boom-boom-clap-boom-boom-clap
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
The gist: Young Clara uncovers a magical world inhabited by toy soldiers, the Sugar Plum Fairy and a host of other fantastical characters.
The stars: Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Misty Copeland, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman
The hype: With Disney at the helm, expect no CGI expense spared. But as is the case with many recent fairytale adaptations, the visual eye candy might overshadow the story.
Recommended if you like: Fantasies where a child is told they are the “only hope” for an entire civilization they just met; the creepy, abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans; oh yeah, ballet
The gist: The son of a Baptist pastor is outed and sent to a conversion therapy program.
The stars: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Troye Sivan
The hype: Based on a memoir, the film depicts the cruelty of such programs. But early reviews say Edgerton, also the director, takes a restrained and respectful view of each character’s motivations.
Recommended if you like: Church services where everyone wears creamy pastels; subverting toxic masculinity; reaching for the Kleenex
THE FRONT RUNNER
The gist: The real-life tale of Sen. Gary Hart, destined to be the 1988 Democratic nominee for president until a sex scandal took him down—and forever made politicians’ personal lives fair game in the press.
The stars: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons
The hype: It echoes a fast-paced Robert Altman ensemble piece, with a charismatic performance from Jackman and plenty of supporting actors filling out the campaign staff and press pool.
Recommended if you like: Media frenzies; grizzled veteran campaign managers; idealistic young reporters; ’80s business fashions
The gist: A heist goes wrong, and the widows of the robbers are left to pay off the debt.
The stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson
The hype: This is director Steve McQueen’s first feature since 12 Years a Slave, and it’s drummed up a lot of interest. The cast is massive with Davis at the top, but watch for Erivo and Debicki as standouts.
Recommended if you like: Intense stare-downs; strength-training montages; duffel bags of cash; women doing it for themselves
The gist: A duchess’ position as Queen Anne’s confidante is at risk once her younger cousin arrives.
The stars: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult
The hype: Director Yorgos Lanthimos is known for high-art, but this seems to take a stuffy British costume drama and add dark comedy to it. Plus, it looks like the three leads are having a ball.
Recommended if you like: Scheming; condescending pleasantries; duck hunts; dry British wit; Colman playing another queen
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
The gist: A pregnant young woman sets out to clear her fiance’s name and rally her family after he is falsely imprisoned in 1970s New York.
The stars: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King
The hype: Barry Jenkins, fresh off the success of Moonlight, adds his personal touch to James Baldwin’s novel. The film doesn’t seem to shy away from the harsh realities of the legal system, but also provides a vibrant view of the black experience and young love.
Recommended if you like: Sunset strolls; when your mom gives you that look and you know exactly what she means; reaching for more Kleenex
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
The gist: The magical nanny shows up to help the next generation of Banks children.
The stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Angela Lansbury, Dick Van Dyke
The hype: Rob Marshall directs, and it looks like the type of star-studded musical spectacle that could delight a new generation of Mary Poppins fans. And thankfully, Hollywood is attempting to continue the story rather than remake the original.
Recommended if you like: Flying kites; snapping your fingers in hopes the room will clean itself; Van Dyke’s dance moves
WELCOME TO MARWEN
The gist: A true story of an artist who suffered brain damage after an assault. As a therapeutic outlet, he creates dioramas that come to life in his imagination.
The stars: Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Janelle Monáe, Gwendoline Christie
The hype: Early trailers seemed to downplay the artist’s eccentricities to make him more palpable for a general audience. Still, director Robert Zemeckis knows how to make crowd-pleasers, and this has Oscar-bait written all over it for Carell.
Recommended if you like: Female action figures; neo-Nazis getting their comeuppance; the Uncanny Valley
ON THE BASIS OF SEX
The gist: Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes on one of her first cases as a young lawyer, and it’s a doozy: a gender discrimination suit that ultimately upends outdated norms.
The stars: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates
The hype: RBG has had a good year, including a successful documentary about her life, and this looks to continue shining a spotlight on her incredible career.
Recommended if you like: Women disrupting the boys’ club; mid-Atlantic accents; hair accessories; lawyering
This article was originally published in the November 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.