The Student Pocket Guide | Films to Watch This Christmas
By Stuart Robinson

The Christmas period is one of the biggest and best times of the year for avid filmgoers, and this year isn’t any different. The question is, however, what are you going to watch? Well, to help you out we’ve compiled a list of the must-see films this Christmas, and it’s safe to say there’s a lot to look forward to.

10. V/H/S

Release Date: Jan 18 2013
Certificate: TBC
Genre: Horror

Ring in the New Year in the best possible way; by wetting yourself! V/H/S is a found-footage horror film in which a group of “misfits” are sent to break into a country house and steal a video tape, but when they find a dead body and a whole library of tapes, they uncover much more than they expected. I’ll be honest, the trailer gave me goosebumps…

9. The Man with the Iron Fists

Release Date: Dec 7 2012
Certificate: 18
Genre: Action

The debut film from Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, which he directed, stars in and co-wrote with Eli Roth (Hostel series, Cabin Fever), The Man with the Iron Fists is the story of a blacksmith who looks to defend himself and his community after a traitor threatens to destroy the village. Presented by Quentin Tarantino, and with a cast that includes Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, this violent, martial-arts riot should be one for the pure action fans.

8. Jack Reacher

Release Date: Dec 26 2012
Certificate: 15
Genre: Crime/Drama

Tom Cruise is at it again. As a homicide investigator looking into a case involving a trained military sniper arrested for shooting five random victims, Jack Reacher really has his work cut out as he digs deeper and deeper. Based on the novel ‘One Shot’ by Lee Child, Jack Reacher could be a real return to form for Cruise.

7. Monsters Inc 3D

Release Date: Jan 18 2013
Certificate: U
Genre: Adventure/Family/Comedy

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you much about this one. Continuing the trend of revamping classics with new 3D visuals, Disney/Pixar’s brilliant film about two monsters and their unexpected new friend is sure to do well even the second time around. And what could be a better way to prepare for Monsters University next year?

6. Seven Psychopaths

Release Date: Dec 7 2012
Certificate: 15
Genre: Comedy

After a four year break, Martin McDonagh gives us his follow up to In Bruges, and it looks like it’s been worth the wait. With a cast made up of Collin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko (that makes seven!), this comedy about the accidental kidnapping of a gangster’s shih tzu should not disappoint.

5. Life of Pi

Release Date: Dec 20 2012
Certificate: TBC
Genre: Adventure/Drama

Based on the critically acclaimed bestselling novel of the same name, The Life of Pi is the story of an Indian boy, the son of a zookeeper, who becomes stranded on a life boat in the Pacific Ocean with a zebra, a hyena, orangutan and a Bengal tiger for company. The film has gained a lot of hype around it, and looks brilliant, but will it be as successful as the book? We’ll have to wait and see…

4. Les Miserables

Release Date: Jan 11 2012
Certificate: TBC
Genre: Musical/Drama

While there have been mixed reactions to the casting (Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried etc. Would they be your choices?), this cinematic adaption of the much-loved classic musical has got a lot to live up to. While there have been many big screen versions of the musical, and despite the story being 105 years old, the brilliant tale of a French prisoner seeking redemption should win fans once more.

3. Gangster Squad

Release Date: Jan 11 2013
Certificate: TBC
Genre: Crime/Drama

Taking another shot at the classic Police vs. the Mafia scenario, Gangster Squad looks like dark, gritty fun. With an exciting cast led by Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone and Josh Brolin, and set in 1940’s and 50’s Los Angeles, fans of the genre will surely flock to this one.

2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Release Date: Dec 14 2012
Certificate: TBC
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy

This is undoubtedly a big one, and it’s been nine years coming. With Martin Freeman known more for his comedic acting, it will be interesting to see how well he portrays Bilbo Baggins, but with plenty of recognizable Lord of The Rings characters, there should be something to please everyone. With another two Hobbit films on the way after this one, An Unexpected Journey should be the start of another great trilogy.

1. Django Unchained

Release Date: Jan 18 2013
Certificate: TBC
Genre: Drama/Western

Quentin Tarantino’s new film. That statement alone should be enough to get you excited. Described by the director as a spaghetti western set in the Deep South, Django Unchained tells the story of a slave, who is rescued by a bounty hunter in order to help him track down his next targets. The cast is a mix of Tarantino old (Christoph Waltz and, you guessed it, Samuel L Jackson) and new (Jamie Foxx as the title character and Leonardo DiCaprio blossoming out of his usual role completely), and if it’s anywhere near the standard of Inglourious Basterds, it will definitely be one to watch.

Words: Stuart Robinson