TV & Movies

13 Movies Everyone Is Talking About Right Now

you're gonna want to watch these ASAP
written by MICHELLE LEMA
Source: Amazon Studios
Source: Amazon Studios

This summer, the box office was dominated by Barbie and all of the iconic pop culture references that came with it. The film, which is now one of my favorites of all time, rejuvenated the idea that moviegoing is at its best a communal experience. The summer season also brought audiences new movies in every genre imaginable, including Oppenheimer, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part 1, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Joy Ride, Theater Camp, and so many more. It was a time to get out of the heat and into the cool air conditioning of the theater, popcorn in hand. But with the end of summer came shorter days and a lull in movie releases. Now that the weather has turned colder, new films are popping up everywhere yet again, with big themes and feelings that are sure to keep us inspired through the new year.

There are so many interesting new movies to see this winter season that I have literally created a spreadsheet. It’s endless and is my favorite and most fun to-do list (if one can call a to-do list fun). Here are some of the new movies that are getting audiences excited again and why everyone’s talking about them:

1. Saltburn

I am fully obsessed with anything Emerald Fennell makes, including Promising Young Woman, which she won an Oscar for, among many other awards. Saltburn is Emerald’s next highly anticipated film which she wrote and directed, and is thrilling audiences because of its bold vibe—part thriller, part family drama, and extremely provocative. If you’re looking for something new and exciting, this is the right movie for you. It follows the story of an Oxford University student named Oliver who is invited by an aristocratic fellow student to his eccentric family’s estate, called Saltburn. When Oliver gets there, he meets the family and chaos ensues, to say the least.
Stream on Amazon Prime Starting Dec. 22

2. May December

May December has received attention not only for its unique and methodical tone, but because it’s inspired by a true story. It’s also one of those movies that takes you down one path, only to twist you into another by the end. The film is orchestrated by director Todd Haynes, who uses eerie music, camera movement, and the talents of stars Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton to build the tension of the movie. The story is about an actress who travels to a town to study a married couple with kids named Gracie and Joe, who were tabloid famous twenty years prior as they began their relationship when Joe was a minor. The actress learns about their family and choices as the story eerily unfolds.
Stream on Netflix

3. Leave the World Behind

This movie was based on the book by Rumaan Alam and has had audiences reeling over how it ends. It also quickly became the number-one movie on Netflix after its premiere. If you love movies with apocalyptic and thriller themes, this one’s for you. It stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke, and follows a family staying in a vacation home when suddenly communication devices everywhere go down. The owners of the home return to share the space, and chaos ensues as they all try to figure out what is going on in the world, and how to survive.
Stream on Netflix

4. Poor Things

If you loved The Favourite, which also stars Emma Stone and was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things is just as weird, funny, and beautiful. Its themes will give your movie club pals topics to discuss for days. The movie is based on the book by Alasdair Gray and follows the fantastical tale of a young woman who is brought back to life by a brilliant scientist. She wants to learn everything there is to know, and embarks on a journey across the continents as she evolves without knowledge of the current prejudices of the world. It also stars the incredible talents of Ramy Youssef, Mark Ruffalo, and Willem Dafoe.
in theaters now

5. Dream Scenario

For all you Nicolas Cage fans out there, this movie is being declared as one of his best performances, which is saying a lot for the Academy Award-winning actor. The concept of the movie is fantastical but rooted in real themes about the upsides and downsides to fame, which is highly relevant for today’s society. The story follows a man whose life completely changes when he finds out that millions of strangers are seeing him in their dreams. When he decides to embrace it, the fame that comes with it and the dreams themselves suddenly become a nightmare.
in theaters now

6. Anatomy of a Fall

Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet, is a thriller, murder mystery, courtroom drama, and exploration of relationship dynamics all at once. Audiences have been talking about it since it won the Palme d’Or Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. I was entranced by the methodical pacing and long, personal scenes that never dropped the tension. In a world where we are constantly swiping to the next thing, it’s a film that takes its time. The plot seems simple: a woman is suspected of murdering her husband, and their son is caught in the middle as the main witness. But of course, the movie reveals layers of complexity in their past, leaving all those involved to sort through questions and uncertainty.
Stream on Amazon Prime

7. The Holdovers

Set in the 1970s, The Holdovers has been winning over the hearts (and tears, and laughter) of audiences, and is a perfect movie to see during the holidays. It stars Paul Giamatti (who also worked with director Alexander Payne in Sideways), Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Dominic Sessa. It tells the story of a curmudgeonly teacher at a New England prep school who is forced to babysit a handful of students who have nowhere to go for the holidays. The teacher forms a bond with one of his smart but troublemaking students, as well as the school’s head cook, and the three spend the holidays together.
Stream on Amazon Prime

8. The Boy and the Heron

Fans of Hayao Miyazaki, who directed the incredible animated film Spirited Away, will want to see this new story as it’s the director’s first feature film in ten years. Much like his other films, The Boy and the Heron combines gorgeous animation, heartbreaking themes, and epic moments that give audiences a lot to think about. The story follows a young boy who is struggling in a new town after his mother dies. When a talking heron tells him his mother is still alive and waiting to be rescued, he goes on an adventure into another world to find her. Bonus: Robert Pattinson stars as the Heron in an incredible voice-acting performance that I can’t stop thinking about.
in theaters now

9. Priscilla

Anyone who saw Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis last year will also want to see Sofia Coppola’s film Priscilla, which has mesmerized audiences with the stunning visuals that Sofia is known for, like in her films Marie Antoinette and Lost In Translation. But not only that, it tells the often overlooked story of how teenage Priscilla meets Elvis, and what it was like being married to the most famous star of the time. It follows their courtship, their time in Graceland, and the unraveling of their marriage as Priscilla grows into her own person.
Stream on Amazon Prime

10. Eileen

People are talking about Eileen not just because of Anne Hathaway’s performance, but also because, like any good psychological thriller, it has twists and turns that lead to a shocking ending. Set in 1960s New England, a young secretary named Eileen works at a prison and lives with her father. When an exciting new counselor named Rebecca comes to the prison, Eileen forms a friendship with her and everything in her life takes a sinister turn.
Stream on Amazon Prime

11. Waitress: The Musical

It’s not every day that you can see a full Broadway production with the original cast on film, and Waitress is here in a very limited run that has musical fans excited. It stars the incredible Sara Bareilles in the lead role (she also wrote the music and lyrics), who plays an expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. A baking contest nearby offers her a chance at a new life, and the courage to follow a dream she had long forgotten. Among so many others, the song “She Used to Be Mine” is one that audiences will not soon forget.
Stream on Amazon Prime

12. The Color Purple

The new take on The Color Purple isn’t even out in theaters yet, but people are already talking about it, especially after the incredible trailer debuted. The story began as a book by the same name written by Alice Walker in 1982, then became the iconic Academy Award-winning film in 1985 starring Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, and Oprah Winfrey, and later became a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. The newest movie is a musical starring Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, and Danielle Brooks. It follows the decades-long story of Celie, who faces extraordinary hardship and yet discovers love and resilience through sisterhood.
Stream on Max

13. Wonka

To say that Timothee Chalamet has big shoes to fill in this role would be an understatement, but if online discourse is any indication, he’s at least somewhat pulling it off. In the third live-action interpretation of the Roald Dahl classic, the focus is on a young Wonka attempting to build his chocolate factory. The chocolatier is devoted to perfecting his craft and selling his treats to the world—but he bumps up against the “chocolate cartel” when he attempts to open a brick-and-mortar chocolate shop. To cement himself as the best chocolatier in town, he must create treats that truly stand out.
In Theaters Now