20th Century Women (dir. Mike Mills)
Anyone who's seen Beginners or Thumbsuckers knows Mike Mills has a way with the personal narrative. His idiosyncratic characters, with their ordinary hopes and dashed dreams, ring true to life. But 20th Century Women is his most personal yet. Based on Mills' own experience being raised by a single mother in '70s Santa Barbara, the film stars Annette Bening in an Oscar-worthy role as a mother who is determined to make a great man out of her teenage son. Employing the "It takes a village" approach and enlists the help of the women in his life (Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig); in the process, all discover what it means to be a modern man and woman. It's a sensitive, poignant, and funny film, as is to be expected from Mills. Release Date: December 25, 2016, via A24
The Eyes of My Mother (dir. Nicolas Pesce)
26-year-old Nicolas Pesce, a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and the newest member of the Borderline Film Collective, shocked audiences with his disturbing Sundance breakout, which many have described as a nightmare you can't unsee. The black-and-white art-house horror film is the enigmatic story of a young girl who tracks down the man who killed her parents and holds him hostage. In the trailer, he asks, "You're gonna kill me, right?" To which she replies, "Why would I kill you? You're my only friend." Release Date: December 2, 2016, via Magnolia Pictures
T2: Trainspotting (dir. Danny Boyle)
Danny Boyle reunites with screenwriter John Hodge and the entire cast of 1996's Trainspotting (Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle) for a sequel that promises to deliver a much-anticipated fix. Despite mentions of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it seems not much has changed after 20 years in the Trainspotting universe. Release Date: February 3, via TriStar Pictures
Planet Earth II (exec producer Mike Gunton)
10 years later, Planet Earth is back and bigger than ever in UHD (ultra high-definition 4K), with David Attenborough reprising his god-given duty as narrator. The series has officially upped its cinematography game, employing improved stabilization, remote recording, and aerial drone technology. The six-part Season 2 shot in 117 locations across 40 countries during a total of 2089 days of production. Release Date: TBD, via BBC
A Series of Unfortunate Events (dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)
Netflix has revived the popular Lemony Snicket book series and subsequent Jim Carrey-starring film with an eight-episode TV series. This time, Neil Patrick Harris is Count Olaf, the eccentric criminal after the Baudelaire orphans' fortune. Whether a small-screen adaptation can encompass the experience of the wildly imaginative source material remains to be seen, but if NPH's performance Gone Girl is any indication of his capacity for scene-stealing villainy, we're excited. Release Date:January 13, 2017, via Netflix
Man Down (dir. Dito Montiel)
Starring Shia LaBeouf as a Marine returning from a tour in Afghanistan only to find that his wife (Kate Mara) and son are missing, this Venice Film Festival premiere received a mixed critical reception for its heavy-handed messaging and perceived emotional manipulation.
Release Date: December 2, 2016, via Lionsgate Premiere
All We Had (dir. Katie Holmes)
Katie Holmes directs and stars in this family drama, which premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, about a mother and a daughter searching for a better life. Word on the street is that the acting is better than the movie itself, which might lead some to conclude that Holmes should stick to her day job. For our part, we're optimistic.
Release Date: December 9, 2016, via Gravitas Ventures
All release dates are US.