A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


At A Movie Theater Near You

Your movie guide to the latest releases

As the weather gets colder and the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, there’s no better pastime than to go to the movies. If you’re like me, then you prefer to move past the formalities of sitting around a table of awkward conversations and spend time with family the best way possible — in a dark theater where everyone is forced to not talk for two hours.

Maybe Thanksgiving traditions aren’t a part of your pastime, and you are looking for something else to do that doesn’t surround archaic traditions of pilgrims and capitalist-driven activities.

For that, below is a list of popular movies that are currently playing in a theater near you. The good, the bad and the ugly, all of which may or may not be worth checking out during the holiday weekend. Along with a recommendation of “See It,” “Skip It,” or an indifferent “Meh.”

Full disclaimer: I haven’t watched one of these films — so I guess this is a case of judging a book by its cover, or a movie by its trailer. But in the end, you’ll be the judge.

Category: Holiday Flicks

“Last Christmas”

Release Date: Nov 8, 2019

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Michelle Yeoh, Emma Thompson, Henry Golding Director: Paul Feig

IMDb’s synopsis: “Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Her last date with disaster? That of having accepted to work as Santa’s elf for a department store. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.”

Verdict: Skip it!

This movie looks like a series of unoriginal romcom tactics that show an unrealistic depiction of love — along with the typical storyline of a protagonist that is currently a sh*tty person, doing sh*tty things and is now turning a new leaf. Emilia Clarke and the music of George Michael can’t save this would-be “Love Actually.”


Release Date: Nov 8, 2019

Cast: Jason Schwartzmanm Joan Cusack, Rashida Jones Director: Sergio Pablos

IMDb’s synopsis: “A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg’s new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions.”

Verdict: Meh

The movie shares a positive message that we could all learn from. Critical reviews have been relatively positive, so if you’re into animated films with a touching Christmas tale, you may enjoy it.


Cast: Anna Kendrick, Shirley MacLaine, Bill Hader Director: Marc Lawrence

IMDb’s synopsis: “Santa’s daughter finds herself having to take over the family business.”

Verdict: Meh.

The trailer looks funny, and Bill Hader and Shirley MacLaine are always a delight to see on the big screen, but let’s be honest — it isn’t the must-see movie of the year. This holiday flick desperately tries to match its predecessor “Elf,” but doesn’t quite hit the mark.

“Frozen 2”

Release Date: Nov 22, 2019

Cast: Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

IMDb’s synopsis: “Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.”

Verdict: Meh

Sam Adams of Slate magazine put it best with the title of his review — “Frozen 2 Should Have Heeded the Lessons of ‘Let It Go.’”

Category: Drama, Mystery & Suspense

“Knives Out”

Release Date: Nov 27, 2019

Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, LaKeith Stanfield

Director: Rian Johnson

IMDb’s synopsis: “A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.”

Verdict: See it!

An all-star cast that surrounds a murder mystery in the style of whodunnit, which contains a clever plotline and plenty of humor. It’s a definite must-see.

“The Irishman”

Release Date: Nov 27, 2019

Cast: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin Director: Martin Scorsese

IMDb’s synopsis: “A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.”

Verdict: See it!

Scorsese nabbed De Niro, Pacino, Pesci and agreed to release it via Netflix. It’s hard to believe, but this is the first time Scorsese and Pacino have worked together, so this comes as a monumental first. Yes, the anti-aging CGI effects are somewhat baffling and concerning; however, the movie is worth watching if only to see some of the greatest actors — led by one of the best filmmakers — all on the big screen together.

“Queen and Slim”

Release Date: Nov 27, 2019

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Chloë Sevigny Director: Melina Matsoukas

IMDb’s synopsis: “A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.”

Verdict: Meh

Coined as the “the black Bonnie and Clyde,” the film has received primarily positive reviews. The buzz surrounding the movie appears to be socio-political narratives that share a perspective of how it is to black in America today. Erik Anderson of AwardsWatch said, “[Queen and Slim] joins films like Fruitvale Station and Blindspotting as important stories that must be told and must be told from and by the Black perspective.”

I wonder, is this really a great movie or a well-intended political statement?

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Release Date: Nov 22, 2019

Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper Director: Marielle Heller

IMDb’s synopsis: “Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.”

Verdict: Meh

Tom Hanks is always a fan favorite; however, viewers are more likely to feel the magic and nostalgia of Mr. Rogers through the 2018 documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” which is currently streaming on the major platforms. The movie is being released right in time for awards consideration — with the hopeful intention of securing Hanks his first Oscar since 1994.

Category: Action

“Charlie’s Angels”

Release Date: Nov 15, 2019

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska Director: Elizabeth Banks

IMDb’s synopsis: “When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie’s Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all.”

Verdict: Skip it! (That’s a hard NO!)

Lack of star power and storyline originality is what has made this reboot a complete box office flop. Save your money and your brain cells.

“Ford v. Ferrari”

Release Date: Nov 15, 2019

Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal Director: James Mangold

IMDb’s synopsis: “American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.”

Verdict: Meh

Calling all NASCAR and car fanatics, this movie is for you. Many critics claim “Ford v. Ferrari” is a “glimpse of the golden age of car racing” and is bound to take audiences on a thrill-seeking ride.

“Terminator: Dark Fate”

Release Date: Nov 15, 2019

Cast: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis Director: Tim Miller

IMDb’s synopsis: “An augmented human and Sarah Connor must stop an advanced liquid Terminator, from hunting down a young girl, who’s fate is critical to the human race.”

Verdict: Skip it!

Will Hollywood ever begin to tell new and original stories instead of relying on and resurrecting reboots? Your guess is as good as mine.

Category: Horror

“Doctor Sleep”

Release Date: Nov 8, 2019

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran Director: Mike Flanagan

IMDb’s synopsis: “Years following the events of ‘The Shining,’ a now-adult Dan Torrance must protect a young girl with similar powers from a cult known as The True Knot, who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.”

Verdict: Meh.

This is a tough one. On the one hand, the movie is based on a Stephen King novel that is the sequel to “The Shining;” on the other hand, it almost seems like a sacrilegious sentiment. Critical reviews are mixed, however, when you read reviews like Paul Asay from Plugged In say, “Doctor Sleep doesn’t just want to scare you: It wants to shock and even sicken you.” How can you not be intrigued and excited?

“Koko-di Koko-da”

Release Date: Nov 15, 2019

Cast: Peter Belli, Leif Edlund, Ylva Gallon Director: Johannes Nyholm

IMDb’s synopsis: “As a couple goes on a trip to find their way back to each other, a sideshow artist and his shady entourage emerge from the woods, terrorizing them, luring them deeper into a maelstrom of psychological terror and humiliating slapstick.”

Verdict: See It!

WTF!? This trailer looks crazy. It’s definitely one of those creepy mind-f*ck horror flicks that will leave your mind reeling – even the title alone is bizarre. This is the second film from Swedish born multi-media artist Johannes Nyholm. The film is described as “a mix of live-action with classic animation techniques to cross the boundary between fantasy and reality.”

So there you have it. There are other movies outside of this list playing in wide release — too many to mention — actually. But, whatever you decide, just go see a movie that reminds you why you love movies.

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About the Contributor
Shannon Carter, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Shannon Carter is the photo editor of SAC.Media.

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