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No more Oscar bait? What to watch in December along with ‘Avatar’

What else should you watch?

Has the end come for prestige films in movie theaters? December is usually the month when all the Oscar bait films have their chance to shine, but the recent performance of movies like She Said and The Fablemens seems to have proven that theater going audiences want to see the movies they are familiar with. The return of Top Gun: Maverick to theaters further underscores the point. Here are some December releases -both theatrical and streaming – you may want to check out.

Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again (December 9; Disney+)

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In the seemingly never-ending push from Disney+ to add installments to any property they have ever been associated with, the fourth entry in the Night at the Museum franchise is the first animated one in the series. With callbacks to the previous movies, fans should be interested in seeing what Kahmunrah Rises Again has to offer.

Emancipation (December 9;Apple TV+)

It is a shame that the controversy surrounding star Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars will be what people talk about most. The latest movie from Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) is based on the true story of Gordon (named Peter in the film), a Louisiana slave who escaped. His heavily scourged back was the subject of photographs that were published worldwide.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (December 9; Netflix)

Guillermo del Toro has given audiences some of the most imaginative and memorable movies and creations in cinema history. Unsurprisingly, his take on one of the most beloved children’s stories of all time is highly anticipated. Using stop-motion animation, the story revolves around a wooden puppet who comes to life and dreams of becoming a real boy. Boasts a voice cast that includes Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Christopher Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), and Ron Perlman (Hellboy).

Avatar: The Way of the Water (December 16; Theaters)

Avatar sequel rumors had been around for so long that when it was finally confirmed there really was going to be another installment (and many more after, apparently) it was hard to believe it was true. Though it holds several box office records, including being the highest grossing movie of all time, there did not seem to be many people clamoring for another one. But The Way of the Water is here and, there is a lot of buzz around it.

Nanny (December 16; Prime Video)

Making its World Premiere at this year’s Sundance Film FestivalNanny surprised everyone by walking away with the coveted Grand Jury Prize. The plot follows an undocumented Senegalese Immigrant nanny named Aisha (Anna Diop, Titans). Working for a family in the Upper East Side of New York City, she dreams of bringing the child she left behind to the United States. She soon discovers a secret that threatens everything she is trying to accomplish.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (December 21; Theaters)

The sequel to to 2011’s Puss in Boots, this spin off from Shrek sees the titular character try to locate the Last Wish in order to restore his previous eight lives. The movie will debut a new look for the franchise. The Last Wish has a more storybook style that fits its fairy tale setting. And those who love the Pinocchio will get to see him in his second movie of the month.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (December 21; Netflix)

If you did not get to the new Knives Out movie during its one week theatrical release, you have nothing to worry about. The movie comes to Netflix at the end of December. Daniel Craig returns as detective Benoit Blanc and is joined by a cast that includes Edward Norton (American History X) and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy). Once again, there is murder afoot and Benoit may be the only hope to solve it.

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