Like summer is a time for action blockbusters, winter is for prestige films—the films that will make you think, probably cry and win a ton of awards. This is also the time for film studios to push out their prestige films before the Dec. 31 deadline for awards like the Oscars and the Golden Globes.
Below we have a list of the best films you should keep an eye out for. Note that we did not include the popcorn/fluff/action/fun films like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Into the Woods, The Hunger Games or Annie.
Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit of rising to the top of his elite East Coast music conservatory. Terence Fletcher, an instructor known equally for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. (Now in theaters, limited release)
Based on the noir novel by Thomas Pynchon, this P.T. Anderson film is the first film to adapt a Pynchon novel. Private eye Doc Sportello is skeptical when his ex lover suddenly appears out of nowhere accusing his new wife and her alleged paramour of plotting to kindap her billionaire land developer boyfriend, with whom she just happens to be in love. (Opens Dec. 12, wide release)
Birdman is currently in select theaters, but you really should go out of your way to check out this groundbreaking film starring Michael Keaton. This black comedy tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) - famous for portraying an iconic superhero - as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. (Now in theaters, limited release)
If you watch the trailer, Covington’s clock tower can be seen featured rather prominently in the setting for this Martin Luther King Jr. biopic. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. (Opens Dec. 25, wide release)
Directed by film icon Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper stars as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to this true American hero than his skill with a rifle. (Opens Dec. 25, wide release)
The Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts that the country deemed illegal. (Opens Nov. 21, wide release)
In the second film of the year featuring crazy intense mentors, the director of ‘Moneyball’ tells the true life story of Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum) who sees a way out from under the shadow of his more celebrated wrestling brother Dave (Ruffalo) and a life of poverty when he is summoned by eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont (Carell) to move onto his estate and train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. (Opens Nov. 14 in limited theaters)
The Theory of Everything
This is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. (Opens Nov. 7 in limited theaters)