The 15 Best New Films And TV Shows For Winter
Ms Mckenna Grace in Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021). Photograph courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing
James Bond allegedly saved cinema in September when No Time To Die was finally released. So perhaps we should thank 007 for the stellar films set to illuminate your local multiplex this winter. If you’re happier staying closer to home as the nights draw in, there’s also no shortage of quality streaming options, providing plenty of reasons to free yourself from social obligations. From slick crime dramas and fantasy epics to nuanced westerns and blockbuster sequels – some appearing decades after their predecessors – here are 15 ways to celebrate the coming of winter.
This much hyped reboot of the 1980s classic is directed by Mr Jason Reitman, son of the original Ghostbusters director, who reunites much of the original cast for a nostalgia-heavy caper. It follows a young family who, after inheriting a spooky old house in rural Oklahoma, are immersed in a world of supernatural escapades.
In cinemas now
Mr Will Smith, Ms Demi Singleton and Ms Saniyya Sidney in King Richard (2021). Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
This vivid biopic charts the meteoric rise of Mses Venus and Serena Williams from the public courts of Compton, Los Angeles, to the pinnacle of international tennis. It explores the central role played by their father and coach, Mr Richard Williams (Mr Will Smith), the unconventional driving force behind the sisters’ sporting success.
In cinemas now
Tiger King, season two
The sequel to a show that kept most of us captivated as the world locked down. This deep dive into the murky world of private tiger zoos picks up where it left off with eccentric star Mr Joe Exotic behind bars as arch-rival Ms Carole Baskin vies for ownership of his disreputable empire.
Streaming on Netflix now
The Beatles: Get Back
Sir Paul McCartney, Mr George Harrison, Sir Ringo Starr and Mr John Lennon in The Beatles: Get Back (2021). Photograph by Ms Linda McCartney, courtesy of The Walt Disney Studios
Bringing to life footage that’s been locked in a vault for 50 years, Lord Of The Rings director Mr Peter Jackson sheds new light on the Fab Four’s later years. A three-part series that examines the highs, lows and shifting band dynamics during the writing and recording of their 1970 album Let It Be.
Streaming on Disney+ now
The Green Planet
Turning his attention from fauna to flora, Sir David Attenborough spearheads a new series that harnesses pioneering photography to capture plants as never seen before. Across deserts, rainforests, oceans and the frozen north, viewers are immersed in dynamic worlds that are every bit as aggressive, competitive and dramatic as anything witnessed on the African savannah.
On BBC One in mid-January
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Zendaya and Mr Tom Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). Photograph courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing
The final part of the Homecoming trilogy promises an all-action return for Mr Tom Holland’s web-slinging superhero following the identity-shattering revelations of 2019’s Far From Home. Expect returning stars and epic battles with familiar villains from across Marvel Studios’ multiverse in what’s sure to be essential viewing for Spidey fans.
In cinemas 17 December
The Matrix Resurrections
This winter’s biggest blockbuster arrives in the form of the long-awaited follow-up to 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions. In the fourth part of a franchise that’s grossed $1.6 billion to date, Mr Keanu Reeves and Ms Carrie-Anne Moss return from the dead to reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity. Expect an explosive, blue-or-red-pill-swallowing journey back down the Matrix’s rabbit hole in search of truth.
In cinemas 24 December
The Great, season two
Mr Nicholas Hoult in The Great (2021). Photograph by Mr Gareth Gatrell, courtesy of Hulu
Razor sharp, innuendo-heavy and with a plot not beholden to historical accuracy, this refreshingly outré period drama set in 18th-century Russia returns for a second season. Ms Elle Fanning and Mr Nicholas Hoult excel as Catherine the Great and the priapic Emperor Peter.
Streaming on Hulu now
The Book Of Boba Fett
As teased in the finale of The Mandalorian last year, Star Wars fans are treated to another spin-off this Christmas. Bounty hunter Boba Fett, who appeared in the original film trilogy, becomes the focus of a standalone eight-part series that takes us back to Tatooine. Here, Fett (Mr Temuera Morrison) stakes his claim to the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt.
Streaming on Disney+ from 29 December
The Power Of The Dog
Mr Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power Of The Dog (2021). Photograph by Ms Kirsty Griffin, courtesy of Netflix
Known for her nuanced portrayals of human relationships, Oscar-winning director Ms Jane Campion turns her attention to the ultra-macho world of the American western. Mr Benedict Cumberbatch and Ms Kirsten Dunst star in an emotionally intelligent exploration of isolation and toxic masculinity.
In cinemas 1 December
The Witcher, season two
Netflix’s medieval fantasy epic returns this Christmas with a second season that transports us back into a lavish, monster-infested neverland. Based on the books by Polish author Mr Andrzej Sapkowski, it stars a sword-swinging Mr Henry Cavill as the chief witcher, or monster hunter for hire.
Streaming on Netflix from 17 December
The Hand Of God
Mr Filippo Scotti, Ms Teresa Saponangelo, Mr Marlon Joubert and Mr Toni Servillo in The Hand Of God (2021). Photograph by Mr Gianni Fiorito, courtesy of Netflix
With all of his trademark maximalism and visual intensity, the Oscar-winning director of La Grande Bellezza, Mr Paolo Sorrentino, revisits his tragedy-hit youth. A highly personal tale of love, loss and euphoria set in his hometown of Naples in the late 1980s – a time when Mr Diego Maradona was king.
In cinemas 15 December
Based on a novel by Mr William Lindsay Gresham, Mr Guillermo Del Toro’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning The Shape Of Water is a noirish psychological drama. It pairs Mr Bradley Cooper and Ms Cate Blanchett as a conman and psychiatrist entwined in a sinister vision of the American Dream that’s sure to be visually stunning.
In cinemas 21 January 2022
Sing 2 (2021). Photograph courtesy of Universal Studios
Now for something less intense. The sequel to the all-singing, all dancing animated comedy follows an all-star cast of anthropomorphic animals (voiced by Mr Matthew McConaughey, Ms Scarlett Johansson and Mr Pharrell Williams) joining forces to launch a dazzling stage extravaganza against the odds.
In cinemas 28 January
Director Mr Paul Thomas Anderson returns with a charismatic coming-of-age drama set in 1970s San Francisco. Ms Alana Haim, one third of pop-rock trio Haim, and Mr Cooper Hoffman, son of Anderson’s long-time collaborator Mr Philip Seymour Hoffman, play its young lovestruck leads.
In cinemas 7 January 2022