If you thought this year’s cinema peaked with the release of box office-breaking Spectre and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2 last month, then you’re sorely mistaken, friend.
Obviously, the entire universe is dancing on the spot in anticipation for the arrival of a little sci-fi film with lightsabers and a 7’ 6” rebel space bear. But that’s not all we’ve got coming our way. There’s more than enough big screen action to keep you and your woolly jumper-rocking family and friends busy this festive period. From creepy folklore beasts to ocean-dwelling monster whales, and badass dads to BILL FREAKIN’ MURRAY, here’s what you’ll want to get your peepers stuck into this December…(Image: Netflix)
Krampus (in cinemas now)
What is it? A good old-fashioned, blood-curdling Christmas pant-pooper, in which the anti-Claus, Krampus, a child-tormenting horned beast from European folklore, comes to punish those on the naughty list.
Who’s in it? Comedy powerhouses Adam ‘Step Brothers’ Scott and David "Whammy!" Koechner.
Why watch it? It’s a stew of comedy, melancholy and horror, a lot like one of the all-time Xmas greats, Gremlins.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in cinemas 17 December)
What is it? Only the biggest film release of the year, duh.
Who’s in it? Legends such as Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, so-hot-right-now actors like Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac, new faces such as Daisy Ridley, and the awesome Adam Driver swinging his badass triple lightsaber as Kylo Ren.
Why watch it? Because you’ll be left out of precisely 99 per cent of conversations over the festive period if you don’t.
Daddy’s Home (in cinemas 26 December)
What is it? A do-good stepdad tries his hardest to impress his new wife’s kids, only for their chopper-riding outlaw biological father to turn up and put a spanner in the works.
Who’s in it? Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, which is very good news.
Why watch it? Remember how good these two were in The Other Guys? Yeah, that.
In The Heart Of The Sea (in cinemas 26 December)
What is it? Director Ron Howard’s swashbuckling retelling of the true events that inspired Herman Melville’s world-famous book, Moby Dick.
Who’s in it? A salty Chris Hemsworth, the ever-excellent Cillian Murphy, and one effing massive tetchy white whale.
Why watch it? No matter how many arguments you have over your turkey dinner, it'll remind you that things could be a whole lot worse – a furious sperm whale could be trying to turn you into fish food.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (in cinemas 21 December)
What is it? The big screen debut for Charles M. Shultz’s iconic Peanuts clan, in which war hero beagle Snoopy tracks down his nemesis with the help of his pals.
Who’s in it? Underdog Charlie Brown and actual dog Snoopy.
Why watch it? It’s the ideal apology to your seven-year-old nephew for not getting him a remote control BB-8 droid this year.
The Ridiculous 6 (on Netflix 11 December)
What is it? Six half-brothers track down their loser father in the Wild West, but not before things get all silly and slapstick.
Who’s in it? A monster cast, with Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Taylor Lautner, Jorge Garcia, Rob Schneider and Luke Wilson playing the bros, alongside a smattering of ace cameos.
Why watch it? Because Launter goes full Bieber, making us love him for his braindead, bucktoothed idiot Lil’ Pete, and forget him as that damn werewolf in that damn Twilight Saga.
Sherpa (in cinemas 18 December)
What is it? What were you doing on 18 April 2014? Probably another day at work, right? Same goes for the Sherpas of Mount Everest, only, their day included 14 million tons of block ice crashing down onto them…
Who’s in it? The phenomenally brave and resilient Nepalese that make a living by hauling adventurers up the highest mountain on Earth.
Why watch it? It earned a best documentary at this year’s BFI awards, so you know it’s going to be a good’un.
The Night Before (in cinemas now)
What is it? Three best pals have one last drug-fuelled, booze-soaked Christmas Eve lash up before life gets too serious.
Who’s in it? Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Anthony Mackie, and an awesome cameo from Michael Shannon.
Why watch it? If you’re looking for a bromantic movie to watch with your bestest and oldest mates when you get home for Christmas, look no further.
Sisters (in cinemas 12 December)
What is it? Two sisters have one last drug-fuelled, booze-soaked college-style lash up before their childhood home gets sold.
Who’s in it? Chuckle buddies and SNL partners Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Why watch it? Just like Bridesmaids, you and your lady friend will love it in equal measure.
A Very Murray Christmas (out now on Netflix)
What is it? Baseball-playing, tequila-serving film hero Bill Murray panics that his celeb-filled festive TV show will be left celeb-less after a huge snowstorm hits NYC.
Who’s in it? Who isn’t in it is the real question. From George Clooney to Miley Cyrus, anyone who’s anyone makes an appearance.
Why watch it? Because it’s Bill Murray? And it’s also on Netflix, meaning you don’t have to leave your sofa to enjoy him? Any other questions?