What To Watch This Weekend – Boxing Day Edition

With so much grabbing for your attention and dollars these days, it’s easy to miss when the latest releases are heading to a cinema near you. So come back every week as we here at So, Is It Any Good? preview the new movies hitting screens, and give you the lowdown on what to watch this weekend.

This week we’re decking the halls and heading to the cinemas with Yuletide glee, as no less than seven new releases stuff themselves into cinemas not already taken up with Rogue One. What will you watch? Well, there’s a little something for everyone. Read on…


moana-poster-8Rating: PG

Starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House

Synopsis: A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.




Why you should care: Disney sails across the Pacific to find a new princess, and has roped in The Rock for the voyage. Johnson’s comedic timing is always spot on and with some breathtaking animation and songs by Broadway wunderkind Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), this is another winner from the Frozen factory.

Who should see it: Disney princesses and princes of all ages


sing_teaserplakatRating: G

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Leslie Jones & Taron Egerton

Synopsis: A koala named Buster recruits his best friend to help him drum up business for his theatre by hosting a singing competition.




Why you should care: The second animated offering of the week boasts an all-star cast, well-known pop songs and talking animals… so it’s basically kiddie catnip. If none of this excites you, go see Moana instead, but there’s probably enough here to make the 90 mins not entirely awful.

Who should see it: Singing, dancing animal lovers

Red Dog: True Blue

reddogposterRating: PG

Starring: Jason Isaacs, Bryan Brown, Levi Miller

Synopsis: Explores the early events leading up to Red Dog’s discovery on the road to Dampier, and his ultimate rise from ordinary dog to Australian legend.




Why you should care: I’ve never seen Red Dog (I know, how un-Australian am I?), so the idea of a sequel doesn’t really excite me at all. The original had a large following, being one of the biggest local successes of the last ten years, but is it a case of returning too late to the well? A bunch of sequels this year have tried to jump start long-dormant properties to mixed results and I’m not sure there’s enough here to turn that tide in the Dog‘s favour.

Who should see it: True blue cinema-goers

La La Land

la-la-land-poster-1-620x893Rating: M

Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons

Synopsis: Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.



Why you should care: It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but this modern day musical set in Los Angeles is wowing critics (including our own) and film fans alike and looks set to figure into the Oscars in a big way come February. Gosling and Stone have reunited for their best outing yet, and director Damien Chazelle is taking the promise shown with Whiplash to dizzying new heights.

Who should see it: Lovers in a musical mood

Why Him?

whyhimposterRating: MA15+

Starring: James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch

Synopsis: Over the holidays, Ned, an overprotective but loving dad & his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird. The straight-laced Ned thinks Laird, who has absolutely no filter, is a wildly inappropriate match for his daughter.



Why you should care: Poor Bryan Cranston. If he’s not in award-baiting dramas, he seems to only be saddled with this kind of nonsense. James Franco seems to just be playing himself, and is apparently shirtless most of the time. If that’s your bag, you might be willing to sit through an endless retread of the dad-hates-the-new-boyfriend story that we’ve seen countless times before.

Who should see it: Christmas comedy fans


alliedposterRating: M

Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan & Matthew Goode

Synopsis: 1942. Max (Brad Pitt), a French-Canadian spy, falls in love and marries French agent Marianne (Marion Cotillard), after a mission in Casablanca. Max is notified that Marianne is likely a Nazi spy and begins to investigate her.



Why you should care: Beautiful people, beautifully shot by an A-list director… his screams “look at me Oscar!”. But since we’re getting it later than the rest of the world, we already know that critics didn’t love it, so the awards aren’t likely to come. The trailer packs a punch though. If war films or spy tales are your thing you might like it, but keeps your expectations in check.

Who should see it: Double agents

A United Kingdom

aunitedkingdomposterRating: PG

Starring: Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Tom Felton, Laura Carmichael

Synopsis: Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana causes an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the late 1940’s.




Why you should care: Another award-baiting drama with a solid cast and a socially conscious story, this will live and die on the screenplay and the performances. The drama is inherent in the story and with actors of Oyelowo and Pike’s talents, they should more than rise to the challenge.

Who should see it: Barrier breakers

So, what’s getting your Boxing Day attention? Will you try one of the newbies, or is it all about Star Wars for you? Hit us up in the comments and let us know what you’ve watched, and if it’s any good!