Winter Break Movie Recommendations


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The first semester of the 2016-17 school year will be officially over next week. Students are viciously preparing for their final exams/projects while staff are desperately trying to keep up with grading the assignments of their students. In just a few more days however, the stress and anxiety will lift off of the minds of students and staff and they will be free to enjoy their Winter Break. Some will take the opportunity to travel, spend time with their families and celebrate the holidays, but those who are interested in checking out some of the awesome movies coming to theaters during Winter Break, should definitely check out VistaNow’s Winter Break Movie Recommendations below:




Genre: Biography/Drama

Release Date: Now Playing (December 2, 2016)

Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Rating: Rated R for “brief strong violence and some language”

Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Caspar Phillipson and Greta Gerwig

Plot: “After John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Jacqueline Kennedy battles grief while trying to comfort her children, regain her faith and preserve her husband’s legacy.”

Critical praise for this heartbreaking and emotional biopic has been substantial. Natalie Portman is said to give her best performance since “Black Swan” (2011) in this film and the screenplay is rumored to be amazing. History buffs should be sure to check out “Jackie” (2016) because of its historical accuracy and painful look into the troubled life of Jacqueline Kennedy.


“La La Land”


Genre: Romance/Musical

Release Date: December 16, 2016

Runtime: 2 hours, 8 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for “some language”

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, J.K. Simmons, Rosemarie DeWitt, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Rothenberg and Jason Fuchs

Plot: “A jazz pianist falls in love with an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.”

Out of all the movies coming out this Christmas, “La La Land” (2016) is the one I am most excited for. This film’s cast, director, cinematography, soundtrack, story and script all appear to be perfect and I have no doubt in my mind that this film is going to go to 89th Academy Awards in January. Fans of Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Damien Chazelle, J.K. Simmons and/or John Legend should definitely see “La La Land” when it hits theaters.


“Rogue One: A ‘Star Wars’ Story”


Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure

Release Date: December 16, 2016

Runtime: 2 hours, 13 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for “extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action”

Starring: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker and James Earl Jones

Plot: “The Rebel Alliance plots to steal the plans for the Death Star from the Galactic Empire.”

This prequel to “A New Hope” (1977) answers the question of how the Rebel Alliance stole the plans for the Death Star from the Empire and it features the return of the most iconic villain of all time; Darth Vader. “Star Wars” fans will definitely see this movie over the break, but those who are not “Star Wars” fans should still take the time to see it because it is a great introduction to the series and “the Force is with this one”.




Genre: Animation/Family

Release Date: December 21, 2016

Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Rating: Rated PG for “some rude humor and mild peril”

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Tori Kelly, Taron Edgerton, Nick Kroll, Nick Offerman and Leslie Jones

Plot: “A koala named Buster Moon attempts to save his theater by hosting the world’s greatest singing competition.”

The gifted voice cast of “Sing” (2016) and the inspiring message in the story is perfect for families and little kids. The humor, animation and soundtrack however are what make it so creative and individual.


“Assassin’s Creed”


Genre: Action/Fantasy

Release Date: December 21, 2016

Rating: Rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of violence and action, thematic elements and brief strong language”

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Essie Davis, Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleeson

Plot: “A man explores the memories of his ancestor who happened to be a master assassin and he discovers that he is a member of a secret assassin’s society.”

Arriving just in time for Christmas, “Assassin Creed” (2016) is the intense, action-packed adaptation of the successful video game franchise. Gamers are surely going to be seeing this when it comes out but non-gamers should also take the time out of their breaks to see this because it promises to be a fun, intense and fast-paced movie.




Genre: Adventure/Romance

Release Date: December 21, 2016

Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for “sexuality, nudity and action/peril”

Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Sheen and Andy Garcia

Plot: “A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet that is carrying thousands of passengers has a malfunction in its sleep chambers which causes two passengers to wake up 90 years early.”

The trailers for “Passengers” (2016) have been spreading over Twitter and Facebook like a mad virus, so it would be an understatement to say that everyone is hyped for this movie. Popular actor Chris Pratt and talented actress Jennifer Lawrence form a passionate and beautiful chemistry in this movie that must be seen by romance and non-romance fans alike.




Genre: Drama

Release Date: December 25, 2016

Runtime: 2 hours, 19 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for “thematic elements, language and some suggestive references”

Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby, Saniyya Sidney, Jovan Adepo and Stephen Henderson

Plot: “An African-American father living in the 1950’s struggles with race relations, raising his family and coming to terms with the events of his life.”

Legendary actor Denzel Washington makes his directorial debut in the form of a captivating drama about an African-American father living in the 1950’s. We already saw films like “The Birth of a Nation” (2016) and “Moonlight” (2016) tackle the harsh subject of racism this year (and they did a phenomenal job at it) but I am more than confident that Denzel Washington will do the African-American community no disservice with “Fences” (2016).

Be sure to like and share this story on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and let VistaNow what you will be seeing during Winter Break.