Here are all the movies to catch in Chinese theaters this December.
Now Playing: Coco
The much anticipated Pixar film Coco follows aspiring muscian Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), who is disheartened by his family's mysterious anscestral ban on music. In order to find out the source of the ban, he journeys to the land of the dead to find his great-great-grandfather, who was a legendary singer, and the last musician before Miguel. The story explores the sacred Mexican tradition of Diá de Los Muertos, and it is the first Pixar film to center around a Latino main protagonist. Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt and Renee Victor star.
Now Playing: Darkest Hour
Gary Oldman stars in a career-defining performance as Winston Churchill in this WWII-era biopic. The film centers on Churchill’s early days as Prime Minister, chronicling several major decisions he made early in his tenure to guide the UK in its fight against Nazi Germany, while also focusing on his personal life and relationship with his wife. While reviews of the film have been mixed, Oldman has earned universal acclaim for his depiction of Churchill, with some critics going so far as to name him a frontrunner for the Best Actor award at this year’s Oscars.
Now Playing: Patriots Day
Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan star in this action-drama film about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, including the infamous manhunt for the terrorists that gripped the city for days. The film debuted in the US in 2016 but finally secured a China release late last month. Critics overall gave the movie generally favorable reviews.
Now Playing: Kill Switch
This American/Dutch sci-fi film revolves around pilot Will Porter (Dan Stevens) as he fights to save his family — and the entire planet — after his company Alterplex's experiment for unlimited energy goes horribly wrong. Bérénice Marlohe and Tygo Gernandt also star. The movie's gotten lukewarm reception from critics.
Now Playing: Man with the Iron Heart
Featuring Jack O'Connell and Rosamund Pike, this war drama directed by Cédric Jimenez is based on the 2010 novel HHhH, which explores the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in Prague. Critics have praised the cast, but are less enthusiastic about the screenplay.
December 8: Paddington 2
With a 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5/5 on Empire, this sequel is defying all the odds. Everyone's favorite marmalade-loving bear is back on the big screen. This time, Paddington plays the part of a detective when a book he wanted to buy as a gift for his Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday gets snatched by a mystery thief. The simple story and the warm aesthetics have won over critics and audiences alike. Ben Whishaw lends his voice to Paddington, while Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson and Peter Capaldi also star. BAFTA nominated director Paul King directed the film. The Paddington movies are based on the children's books written by the late, great Michael Bond and hold a special place in the hearts and memories of millions worldwide.
December 8: 47 Meters Down
This aquatic horror film tells the true story of two American women vacationing in Mexico who must battle for their survival after a diving exhibition goes horribly wrong. The two women, played by Mandy Moore and Claire Holt, are viewing sharks underwater in a diving cage when the cage’s rope supports snap, dropping them 47 meters to the ocean floor as man-eating sharks swim around hungrily. Tense scenes of heavy breathing in oxygen masks and shark chase sequences ensue. 47 Meters Down received mixed reviews, but is currently the highest grossing American indie film of 2017.
December 8: Only the Brave
Only the Brave honors the real-life heroes of on the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who put their lives on the line to save a town from a historic wildfire. The movie, directed by Joseph Kosinski, boasts some big names like Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, and Jeff Bridges. The powerful drama has a score of 89 percent for critic, and 93 percent for viewers on Rotten Tomatoes.
December 8: Loving Vincent
This biopic about troubled 19th century Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh is the first ever fully painted animated film. Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, and starring Douglas Booth, critics have raved about the movie's dazzling visuals and hand-drawn effects.
December 8: Heist
This 2015 thriller starring Robert DeNiro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kate Bosworth has finally secured a China release this month. Directed by Scott Mann, the film circles around a father (Morgan) who, with his partner (Dave Bautista), robs a casino run by notorious gangster Francis "The Pope" Silva (DeNiro) after being unable to afford his daughter's hospital bills. They hijack a bus when that plan goes wrong. The movie was rather poorly received by both viewers and critics, who ripped it for being a low-quality version of Speed.
[Images via IMDB]