I don't know about you, but for me, nothing completes a great festive period that the chance to watch a terrific Boxing Day movie on the big screen… and there really are some terrific films to choose from this year.
Yes, Boxing Day is big business on the big screen and there is something for everyone this December, as the musical, sword and sandal epic, war movie, and biopic drama are all set for release with some of Hollywood's biggest stars and directors. We take a look at some of the movies that you cannot miss this Boxing Day if you are looking for some big screen entertainment or just to escape from the family for a couple of hours.
We haven't been treated to too many musicals this year, but this Boxing Day we are going to see Annie return to the big screen. This will be the first time that we have seen this much love musical in film form since 1982, and it will see Will Gluck back in the director's chair.
Gluck has been behind movies such as Fired Up, Easy A, and Friends With Benefits during his directing career, and while he is no stranger to the comedy genre, this is the first time that he has tackled a musical - having said that, Annie really does look like it is going to be a lot of fun.
The movie marks the return of Quvenzhané Wallis as she take on the role of Annie, another major acting part in her acting career. Wallis grabbed everyone's attention when she starred in Beasts of the Southern Wild, but this is perhaps the biggest movie of her career to date - this movie will also allow her to show off her singing voice.
Wallis is still making a name for herself but she is set to lead an all-star cast as Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, and Bobby Cannavale are all also on board.
Annie (Wallis) is a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan ( Diaz).
But everything's about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Foxx) - advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Cannavale) - makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.
Stacks believes he's her guardian angel, but Annie's self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it's the other way around.
- Big Eyes
I don't know about you, but it is always exciting when a Tim Burton movie is on the horizon because you never quite know what he is going to deliver. Burton is back the director's chair this Boxing Day as he returns to the biopic genre with new film Big Eyes.
Big Eyes is a movie that has already been winning over critics as Burton brings the true story of artist Margaret Keane - whose work was fraudulently claimed by her husband in the fifties and sixties - to the big screen for the first time.
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are both teaming up with the director for the first time as they take on the central roles of Margaret and Walter Keane in the movie - it is also the first time that Adams and Waltz have worked together and I am super excited to see their partnership.
As if having Adams and Waltz on the same cast list wasn't enough, they are joined by Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, and Terrence Stamp - this is another impressive cast list that is not to be missed this Boxing Day.
Big Eyes is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters 1950s and early 1960s. The artist earned staggering notoriety by revolutionizing the commercialization and accessibility of popular art with his enigmatic paintings of waifs with big eyes.
The truth would eventually be discovered though: Keane's were actually not created by him at all, but by his wife, Margaret (Adams). The Keanes, it seemed, had been living a lie that had grown to gigantic proportions. Big Eyes centres on Margaret's awakening as an artist, the phenomenal success of her paintings, and her tumultuous relationship with her husband, who was catapulted to international fame while taking credit for her work.
This is the first directorial outing for Burton since Frankenweenie back in 2012, and it is great to see him returning to live action for the brand new film project.
- Exodus: Gods and Kings
If you are looking for a movie of epic proportions to enjoy this Boxing Day, then look no further than Exodus: Gods and Kings as Ridley Scott returns to the director's chair.
The sword and sandal epic used to be a common sight on the big screen but now it has become something of a rarity… but this Christmas, Scott is bring this genre back as he tells the tale of Moses as he rose ups against Pharaoh Ramses.
Scott is no stranger to this genre if film with the likes of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven already under his belt, but this promises to be the most adventurous movie of the director's career to date and looks set to be one that is not to be missed.
Christian Bale is teaming up with Scott for the first time, as he takes on the central role of Moses. Joel Edgerton is set to play Ramses, while Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, and Ben Mendelsohn are all also on board.
Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.
I have been a huge fan of Scott for years, and he has been behind some of the cinema biggest, best, and most iconic movies. This is the first time that Scott has tackled a biblical story and I am looking forward to seeing this translate onto the big screen.
Unbroken is one of the most talked about movies of 2014, as it sees Angelina Jolie return to the director's chair for her second feature film. She made her debut with In The Land of Blood and Honey, but Unbroken sees her tackle a much bigger movie project.
Unbroken, which tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, is already being tipped as a potential Oscar contender and is the Boxing Day movie that I have been looking forward to the most.
Jack O'Connell, who has had a stunning 2014 with the likes of Starred Up and '71 already under his belt, is set to take on the central role of Zamperini and is joined on the cast list by Domhnall Gleeson, Jay Courtney, Garrett Hedlund and Finn Wittrock.
Unbroken is an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini (O'Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII-only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Jolie has hinted that she is going to start to move away from acting and focus more on her directing career, and Unbroken looks set to be the film that really announces her as a major filmmaking forces.
Annie, Big Eyes, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Unbroken are all released 26th December.