Beach, sales, and movies. Boxing Day is wild in Australia, and some perfectly planned combination of all three activities is usually the way to go after you’ve shrugged off any Christmas Day hangovers/food comas. You’ll be lugging yourself along to the cinema at some point, so it’s best to know what you’ve got ahead of you before you get there.
Here are the films arriving in Australian cinemas on Boxing Day.
Jumanji 2: The Next Level
Director: Jake Kasdan
Our Score: 3.5/5
A follow-up was inevitable, and to the credit of co-writer/director Jake Kasdan (fellow Welcome to the Jungle scribes Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg similarly returning to their duties) The Next Level manages to avoid serious franchise fatigue by adopting just enough freshness within the expected formula to be deemed a worthy adventure on its own accord.
Director: Taika Waititi
Our Score: 3/5
A feel-good comedy about a Nazi summer camp and post-war anxiety? Sure. Auteur Taika Waititi brings in Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell for a wacky comedy about Hitler, hate and rebellion.
Sorry We Missed You
Director: Ken Loach
Our Score: 4/5
British director Ken Loach turns in a compelling and bleak yet sympathetic look into crippling working-class domesticity under financial strife and unfair work practices, managing to work in a family drama that is both heartbreaking and incredibly powerful.
Director: Tom Hooper
Our Score: 2/5
Tom Hooper’s iteration of Cats is as weird and laughingly bad as you’ve heard, but it’s also unforgettable in a way. The fact is, there’s no real plot here. It’s more of a through-line, as the audience is introduced to each of the cats, and their inevitable song. Every character has a musical number of their own, and the actors are all game enough – especially veteran singers Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson – to handle the singing and dancing with enthusiasm. If you want a flamboyant and so-bad-its-funny film to see this Boxing Day, this is it.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Director: Céline Sciamma
Our Score: 5/5
Not one moment in the film feels superfluous, gratuitous or needless — thanks to the the brilliant script by Sciamma and the fluid editing by Julien Lacheray, which lay out the groundwork with such simplicity and efficiency as Sciamma subtly uncovers and handles emotional layers over the two hour runtime so delicately to the point one would not realize how invested they are to the characters and their romance.
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Read: What we learned from The Truth Q&A with Hirokazu Kore-eda
For Koreeda’s first film shot outside of Japan, the thoughtful director turns in a story based in upper-class Parisian society, gathering an all-star cast including Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke to help tell a very dignified story revolving around a daughter reunited with her actress mother.