2021 ends in style with blockbusters for your holidays


Remember these bombs? Here are the worst movies released every year, according to Metacritic scores. (Photo: Getty Images)

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving in theaters and streaming platforms for the holidays.

— Spider-Man has seen some wild adventures and this one is about to take the cake. Tom Holland stars in his third Spider-Man film in No Way Home where we see the wall crawler deal with the Marvel “Multi-verse” and going face to face with enemies of past films like Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and Jamie Foxx as Electro, and more. Enemies of old travel across the multi-verse to get revenge on Peter Parker, only Tm Holland is not the Peter Parker they expected to find. This film officially opens the multi-verse, thanks to Dr. Strange, and the possibilities are endless for the MCU from here on out.

— You can still “follow the white rabbit” with The Matrix. It’s hard to believe it’s been 22 years since the red pill/blue pill conundrum came into our lives, but Lana Wachowski has come back to make us question our realities once more with “The Matrix Resurrections,” in theaters and streaming on HBO Max starting Dec. 22. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss return as Neo and Trinity in massive cast that includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Ricci and Priyanka Chopra. And if you need a little refresher before diving into the fourth installment, the first three are also currently streaming on HBO Max.

— Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem star as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos,” a smart and quippy showbiz pic that takes audiences behind the curtains of a tricky relationship on an especially fraught week of “I Love Lucy.” Neither of the stars especially look like the icons they’re portraying, and the filmmakers have gotten some understandable criticism over casting Bardem, who is Spanish, as a Cuban-American, but they do seem to capture the spirit of the characters and all of their fascinating contradictions. “Being the Ricardos” will be available on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 21.

— Leonardo DiCaprio leads an all-star cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep in “Don’t Look Up,” an end of the world comedy that starts streaming on Netflix on Dec. 24. Directed and co-written by Adam McKay, who also took on the Cheneys in “Vice” and the financial crisis in “The Big Short,” this climate change allegory features DiCaprio and Lawrence as scientists who discover an extinction-sized comet that’s headed towards Earth. The problem is no one seems to care.

— Tireless “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda lent eight original songs to Disney’s latest animated charmer, “Encanto,” about a magical Colombian family and the one daughter who seems to have missed out. AP’s Mark Kennedy wrote in his review that, “’Encanto’ is a film about the pressure of living up to high expectations and the fear of revealing imperfections. It’s about outcasts and misfits in plain sight.” Families who didn’t get to go to the theater to see it at Thanksgiving will have another chance when the film hits Disney+ on Dec. 24, right in time for the Christmas break.

The Associated Press’ Lindsey Bahr contributed to this story. You can follow Lindsey on Twitter by clicking here.

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