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Upcoming movies wrap up annual box office

Biopics to superheroes, 2018’s final films show diversity

Written By Amanda Myers, A&E Editor

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The year in movies has kept with formulaic fanfare – superheroes, thrillers, action romps – but has broken that linear mold through diverse, ensemble films like “Black Panther,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and
“Ocean’s 8.”  

Showcasing minorities in movies and including narratives on the throes of adolescence – “Love, Simon” and “Eighth Grade” – helped audiences not only see themselves up on the screen in 2018, but increase expectations for films
following.  

From the historical bite of “The Favourite,” to the small-sized heroics of “Welcome to Marwen” to an on-the-noise impression of Dick Cheney in “Vice,” these are the must-see films rounding out 2018.

THE FAVOURITE: LIMITED RELEASE NOV. 23, WIDE RELEASE SOON

In what may be the literal favorite of the Oscar race, “The Favourite” tells the tale of Queen Anne, frail and near mad, who discovers her own ambitions within the conflict conjured by two women companions. 

Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) looks to have the performance of the year for her off-the-rails and absurd take on the once Queen of Great Britain.  She is not to be out done by her masterful co-stars, though.

Lady Sarah, Queen Anne’s closest friend, is played by Rachel Weisz who is shaken to her core when Emma Stone turns up as Abigail Hill.  Sarah’s cousin and albeit royal outcast, latches onto the Queen and forges a tempting friendship, creating inner and outward turmoil for our characters.

Director Yorgos Lanthimos, who worked with Colman on “The Lobster,” is known for his off-brand dark humor, and is sure to have an interesting take with “The Favourite” – a premise that what would normally turn into a dry, period piece in the hands of any other director.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE: DEC. 14

While you may think audiences would be too stuffed from superheroes to digest another Spiderman film, this new animated take on our friendly neighborhood hero proves that theory wrong.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a fully animated venture through the eyes of a young Miles Morales as he navigates his powers.  But once he enters the Spider-Verse, he quickly discovers he’s not the only Spiderman.  

Morales, played by Shameik Moore, lives a contrasting life to fellow spidey mentor Peter Parker.  His half-Puerto Rican and half-African-American heritage makes him different, but those differences are set out to be celebrated in
the film.

With an animation style taken straight from the pages of a comic book, this latest Spiderman entity looks to be the most original superhero movie in years.

THE MULE : DEC 14

     If “The Mule” is the last time we get to see Clint Eastwood’s piercing stare or hear his husky voice in theaters, then he leaves a legend at the top of his game.

At age 88, Eastwood plays the role of Earl Stone, a World War II veteran that became a mule for the Sinaloa Cartel and was later caught in a high stakes delivery.  After his directing of another true story faltered with “The 15:17 to Paris” earlier this year, Eastwood’s place in the director’s chair feels snug as evident from multiple trailers.

The film also has a “returning home” feel in a number of ways.  

The bleak subject matter of an aging renegade parallels Eastwood’s role in 2008’s “Gran Torino.”   He reunites with “American Sniper” star Bradley Cooper, who plays a headstrong DEA agent out for Stone.  And his own daughter, Francesca Eastwood, turns the event into a family
affair.

WELCOME TO MARWEN: DEC. 21

For the past few years, it feels as though Steve Carell has been waiting in the wings, at the ready to run for that Oscar.  Audiences wouldn’t think that possible when they were seeing Carell in films like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” over a decade ago, but the comedic turned dramatic actor has come to captivate critics with award worthy performances in “Foxcatcher” and “The Big Short” as of recent.

“Welcome to Marwen” may finally get him that trophy, though.  The trailer alone brings tears, as audiences see Mark Hogancamp (Carell) suffer both mentally and physically at the hands of a violent assault. 

He slowly brings himself out of his shell by creating a town of people he calls Marwencol.  The inspiring females in his life are turned into a tough form of Barbie dolls who lift each other up, and give Hogancamp a creative way to channel
his pain.

Director Robert Zemeckis returns with a story only he could tell, and ends up giving moviegoers a heartfelt classic for the holiday
season.

VICE: DEC. 25

Who wouldn’t want to see an off-the-rails Dick Cheney take over the Vice Presidency this Christmas?

Once you see the trailer, you definitely will.  

The Killer’s “The Man” serves as the sound track while we see Christian Bale for the first time, whose settled so unnervingly in the skin of Cheney, negotiate his terms as Vice President.

Director Adam McKay gathers familiar faces like Carell, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell who also offers a spot on impression in the form of George W. Bush to round out the cast.  McKay, who has a comedy background from films like “Anchorman,” will give an over-the-top portrayal paralleling the real world events of Cheney’s life, and settle for far more than a dry
biopic.

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