We've never fully understood why the wintertime isn't more movie release-heavy. People are cold, suffering from cabin fever and really just trying to kill time most days—we think this is about the most captive audience the studios could hope for. Anyway, some films do come out in the winter—films like these.

The Shape of Water
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
R, Dec. 8

Seems del Toro was so bummed about that Silent Hill video game of his getting canceled that he went out and took the aesthetic of the first Bioshock game and made a film out of it. It's about a young woman (Sally Hawkins, Maudie) who falls in love with a fish man and the shadowy gov't org that just won't have it. Looks gorgeous, we'll see it for sure.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Directed by Rian Johnson
PG-13, Dec. 14

Now that Star Wars is an annual thing, you'll never have to wait too long between installments of the space opera. Yes, they're preying on your nostalgia; yes, this one is all about how that new gal has Jedi powers; yes, it's gonna be stupid; yes, we already have our tickets. If you don't try to apply Joseph Campbell levels of mythology dissection, it'll be a fun time about lasers in space.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Directed by Jake Kasdan
PG-13, Dec. 20

Oh boy—it's the 20-years-later sequel no one asked for and Dwayne Johnson (he's The Rock) rejoins Kevin Hart for middling jokes aimed at people with underdeveloped senses of humor. This one's about a video game console (instead of a board game) making crazy animal things happen (y'know, because of modern times) and apparently Jack Black is in it, too. Why have you allowed this to happen, America?

Paddington 2
Directed by Paul King
PG, Jan. 12


Maze Runner: Death Cure
Directed by Wes Ball
PG-13, Jan. 26

This Hunger Games clone apparently finds a cure for death. Do you think it's just … not dying? Either way, bummer if you have teenagers who will force you to see this dreck.

Black Panther
Directed by Ryan Coogler
PG-13, Feb. 16

Kudos to Marvel Studios for a mostly black cast, which follows the king of the fictitious African nation of Wakanda (Chadwick Boseman, 42) as he takes the throne and takes out the trash (bad guys who probably have an evil plot to pull off).