Pixar's colourful celebration of Mexico's Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is Coco, out on Boxing Day.
Pixar's colourful celebration of Mexico's Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is Coco, out on Boxing Day. Pixar

Boxing Day movie guide: which films to sink your teeth into

It's the most wonderful time of the year for going to the movies. There's guaranteed to be a blockbuster or two on Boxing Day, the busiest day of the year for new flicks. With at least half a dozen major films hitting cinema screens on Tuesday, viewers are spoiled for choice.

From Pixar's colourful celebration of Mexico's Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to Hugh Jackman's musical turn as circus master PT Barnum and The Rock's Jumanji sequel, the biggest Boxing Day films are aimed squarely at families.

Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz star in Alexander Payne's quirky social satire Downsizing, which imagines a world where scientists have figured out how to shrink people in a bid to combat overpopulation.

Motion capture master Andy Serkis, famous for his performances in the Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes trilogies, swaps CGI for a biographical drama in his directorial debut Breathe. Inspired by his filmmaking partner Jonathan Cavendish's father Robin, the film tells the story of how the polio survivor became a pioneering advocate for the disabled.

Also hitting screens for a limited time is Peter Capaldi's final outing as The Doctor in the annual Doctor Who Christmas special. It's one of the most highly anticipated festive episodes in years as Capaldi will hand over the role to the first-ever female Time Lord, Jodie Whittaker, at the show's end.

Here is your guide to the Boxing Day movie bonanza:

BREATHE

The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease.

When Robin is struck down by polio at the age of 28, he is confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live.

With the help of Diana's twin brothers and the ground-breaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall, Robin and Diana dare to escape the hospital ward to seek out a full and passionate life together.

STARS: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Tom Hollander.

DIRECTOR: Andy Serkis

RATING: M

VERDICT: This heart-warming biopic is heavy-handed at times, but buoyed by the performances of its two well-matched leads.

 

Claire Foy and Andrew Garfield in a scene from Breathe.
Claire Foy and Andrew Garfield in a scene from Breathe. Supplied

 

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

It's the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman, a precocious 17-year-old young man, spends his days in his family's 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel).

While Elio's sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully fledged adult, there is much that remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart.

Oliver, a 24 year-old American college graduate student working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio's father.

Amid the sun-drenched splendour of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire.

STARS: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg.

DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino

RATING: M

VERDICT: A powerful portrait of first love full of seduction and Italian romance.

Michael Stuhlbarg, Armie Hammer, and Timothée Chalamet in a scene from Call Me by Your Name.
Michael Stuhlbarg, Armie Hammer, and Timothée Chalamet in a scene from Call Me by Your Name. Supplied

 

COCO

Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz.

Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events.

Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

STARS: Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Renee Victor.

DIRECTORS: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

RATING: PG

VERDICT: Pixar's best family film in years is a jubilant celebration of Mexican culture. Read the review.

 

A scene from the movie Coco.
A scene from the movie Coco. Pixar

 

DOWNSIZING

As a solution to overpopulation, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small.

People soon realise how much further money goes in a miniaturised world, and with the promise of a better life Paul Safranek and his wife Audrey decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community - a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.

STARS: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Kristen Wiig.

DIRECTOR: Alexander Payne

RATING: M

VERDICT: An interesting idea, the pieces of which don't quite come together to form the satire it could have been.

Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon, Maribeth Monroe and Jason Sudeikis in a scene from Downsizing.
Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon, Maribeth Monroe and Jason Sudeikis in a scene from Downsizing. Paramount Pictures

 

WHO: TWICE UPON A TIME

The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) teams up with his former self, the first ever Doctor (David Bradley) and a returning Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), for one last adventure.

The two Doctors are stranded in an Arctic snowscape, refusing to face regeneration.

But then a World War I captain, destined to die on the battlefield, is taken from the trenches to play his part in the Doctors' story.

STARS: Peter Capaldi, David Bradley, Mark Gatiss, Pearl Mackie.

DIRECTOR: Rachel Talalay

RATING: PG

VERDICT: Entertaining and emotional, this festive episode is one of Capaldi's best as The Doctor. Outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat sends the star off in style.

Mark Gatiss, Peter Capaldi and David Bradley in a scene from Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time.
Mark Gatiss, Peter Capaldi and David Bradley in a scene from Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time. Ray Burmiston

 

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

Four high school students discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, becoming the adult avatars they chose.

What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji - you must survive it.

To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves - or they'll be stuck in the game forever.

STARS: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Karen Gillan.

DIRECTOR: Jake Kasdan

RATING: PG

VERDICT: While they may not be able to evoke the magic of the late Robin Williams, the new Jumanji crew deliver some solid laughs and an entertaining, widely appealing adventure. Read the review

Kevin Hart,  Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Dwayne Johnson in a scene from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Dwayne Johnson in a scene from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Frank Masi

 

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

Inspired by the legend and ambitions of America's original pop-culture impresario, P.T. Barnum, comes an inspirational rags-to-riches tale of a brash dreamer who rose from nothing to prove that anything you can envision is possible and that everyone, no matter how invisible, has a stupendous story worthy of a world-class spectacle. Australian filmmaker Michael Gracey makes his feature film directorial debut with The Greatest Showman, a story that, in the larger-than-life spirit of Barnum, bursts into a fictional realm full of pop tunes, glam dances and a celebration of the transformative power of showmanship, love and self-belief.

STARS: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Williams, Zendaya.

DIRECTOR: Michael Gracey

RATING: PG

VERDICT: Hugh Jackman is perfectly suited to this musical drama - as supported by his recent Golden Globe nomination - which celebrates the birth of show business.

Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in a scene from The Greatest Showman.
Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in a scene from The Greatest Showman. Supplied


CCTV: Maclean crash caught on film

premium_icon CCTV: Maclean crash caught on film

VIDEO: Driver flees the scene following crash

Godot and friends takes audiences on ride of their life

Godot and friends takes audiences on ride of their life

REVIEW: One of the best theatre experiences you will have this year

Clarence Valley fires: what we know so far

Clarence Valley fires: what we know so far

Latest updates on fires burning in the Clarence Valley

Local Partners