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6 new cinema releases to watch over the Christmas holidays

Fancy catching a festive flick on the silver screen? Here are the new releases you need to know about

Written by Chris Kingston
Published 17.12.2021

Silent Night

Out now 


Love Actually meets The Day After Tomorrow in this apocalyptic comedy.

Possibly one of the strangest Christmas films you’ll ever see, Silent Night starts with family and friends come together for what promises to be a perfect Christmas gathering – as most festive films do. The only small, tiny difference even is that, in this flick, everyone is going to die on the eve of an environmental apocalypse.

Keira Knightly is no stranger to a cheeky rom-com, but we reckon you’ll see her in a new light alongside Downton Abbey’s Matthew Goode in this tongue-in-cheek epic which rings a little clearer against the backdrop of the recent COP26 discussions.

West Side Story

Out now


Steven Spielberg has directed some of the greatest movies of all time. From Raiders of The Lost Ark to ET, Jaws to Jurassic Park, he seems to have the Midas touch in making features that become cinema classics. But what we’re not used to seeing from him is taking on a timeless Broadway musical and making it his own. So, when we found out he was doing his own spin on West Side Story, we couldn’t help but feel intrigued.

This tale of star-crossed lovers, set in 1950s New York City, is already a fresh(er) spin on Romeo & Juliet and sees rival gangs The Jets and The Sharks fight for control over the city’s Upper West Side. However, when Maria – the sister of The Shark’s leader – falls for Jets member Tony, tensions heat up more than ever.

Expect stunning new renditions of the timeless score that made this musical such a hit when it debuted back in 1957 – ‘Maria’, ‘America’, ‘Tonight’ and ‘Somewhere’.


HLN Top Tip: See if you can spot a guest cameo from Rita Moreno, who played Maria in the original movie.

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Out now


If you’re looking to entertain any little ones this festive season, then this is a feel-good flick for the whole family.

Based on the children’s books of the same name by Norman Bridwell, Clifford the Big Red Dog follows Emily – a young girl whose love for a tiny red puppy named Clifford somehow makes the dog grow to an enormous size.

Funny man Jack Whitehall stars as her clueless Uncle Cassy and, together, they take on a powerful genetics company as they go on the run across New York City. Along the way, Clifford affects the lives of everyone around him and teaches them all the true meaning of unconditional love and acceptance.


Out now


If Clifford the Big Red Dog is a feel-good family movie, then Lamb is the complete opposite. This mystery drama, set in rural Iceland, tells the story of a childless couple – Maria (Noomi Rapace, of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fame) and Ingvar – who make an alarming discovery in their sheep barn. However, what initially appears to be a gift from the gods, soon turns into something very dark in this unnervingly atmospheric, surrealistic folktale.

So, if you fancy something a little different from the usual, big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, then this one’s for you.


(WARNING – this one’s not for the faint hearted).

Don’t Look Up

Out now (on Netflix from 24th December)


Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio lead a star-studded cast in this apocalyptic comedy. They play two astronomers, who embark on a media tour in a bid to warn a disbelieving world about a threat posed by an asteroid which is on a collision course with Earth. But no-one – including the President, aka Meryl Streep, is listening.

Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman and even Ariana Grande make a cheeky appearance in this offbeat flick, which has a real topical nuance. So it surely can’t disappoint, right?

The Matrix Resurrections

Out 22nd December


We couldn’t believe another instalment in the sci-fi smash franchise was ever in the offing, so when we suddenly found out The Matrix Resurrections was set to hit our screens this Christmas – reuniting original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as Neo and Trinity in the process – it was almost too much for our hearts to take.

Now pure, unadulterated excitement has now replaced the shock, and Wednesday 22nd December can’t come quick enough. The film begins with Neo and Trinity, who are both living seemingly-ordinary lives in San Francisco – so ordinary, in fact, that when they meet, neither of them recognises the other. It’s not until Neo comes face-to-face with the mysterious Morpheus, who offers to help Neo reopen his mind to the world of the Matrix again, that things really start to go down.

And HLN’s honourable mention goes to… The Beatles: Get Back

Out now on Disney+


Yes, yes, we know this isn’t at the cinema, but we just had to mention this new release on Disney+. And if you (or your parents) are a die-hard Beatles fan, you’ll be pleased I did.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson directs this three-part series, which takes audiences back in time to The Fab Four’s famous 1969 recording sessions, which is seen by many as a pivotal moment in music history. The series looks at the band’s creative processes, as they prepared for their first live concert in two years, and follows the strong friendship shared by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

With nearly 60 hours of unseen footage shot over 21 days, the series was originally directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969 and Peter Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given full access to this treasure trove, all of which has been lovingly restored.

The series also features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group on the rooftop of the Apple Corps headquarters in London.

Christopher Kingston
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