The 3biggest animated opening of all-time, and the biggest global opening of 2023, The Super Mario Bros. Movie follows a couple of plumbers named Mario and Luigi, a princess named Peach, and an evil Koopa king known as Bowser … Sound familiar? That’s because the animated film The Super Mario Bros. Movie, from Nintendo and Illumination, is based on the classic megahit Mario video game franchise loved by generations of kids and kids-at-heart.
The film’s all-star voice cast is led by Kids’ Choice winner Chris Pratt (Owen Grady in the Jurassic World movies, and Marvel’s Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord) as Mario and Emmy nominee Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit) as Princess Peach. Critics Choice nominee Charlie Day (Charlie in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the voice of Benny in The Lego Movies) voices Luigi, with Kids’ Choice winner Jack Black (the Jumanji and Goosebumps movies, School of Rock, and the voice of Kung Fu Panda’s Po) as the villainous Bowser. Variety says The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s “ingenuity is infectious. You don’t have to be a Mario fan to respond to it, but the film is going to remind the millions who are why they call it a joystick.”
GENIE | Stream from Friday, 8 December From Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated writer of Love Actually and Notting Hill, comes Genie, a fairy-tale comedy about a workaholic man who enlists the help of a genie to help win his family back before Christmas. Emmy nominee Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You, Gangs of London, The Capture) and two-time Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Can You Ever Forgive Me?) co-star, opposite the likes of Critics Choice nominee Marc Maron (GLOW), four-time Emmy nominee Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Screen Actors Guild winner Luis Guzmán (Wednesday) and Deneé Brenton (The Gilded Age). Love Life creator Sam Boyd directs.
65 | Stream from Monday, 11 December In 65, a catastrophic crash strands Pilot Mills on an unknown planet, where he quickly discovers he’s not alone. With only one chance at rescue, Mills and the only other survivor, a young girl named Koa, face an epic fight to survive as they make their way across an unknown terrain riddled with dangerous prehistoric creatures … that look uncannily like those that roamed the Earth 65 million years ago.
The sci-fi thriller stars Oscar nominee Adam Driver (Star Wars’ Kylo Ren and Enzo Ferrari in Ferrari) and Ariana Greenblatt (young Ahsoka Tano in Ahsoka, young Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War, and Minnow in Love and Monsters), along with Screen Actors Guild nominee Chloe Coleman (Kira in Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, and Lou in Marry Me), and Nika King (Leslie Bennett in Euphoria). Written and directed by the Critics Choice Award-nominated writers of A Quiet Place, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, 65 is produced by the likes of Sam Raimi (who directed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Spider-Man trilogy and the Evil Dead movies) and four-time Emmy nominee Deborah Liebling (PEN15).
MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE | Stream from Monday, 25 December Directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh (the Ocean’s films), Magic Mike’s Last Dance sees People’s Choice winner Channing Tatum back in the third instalment of the blockbuster film franchise, which went straight to #1 at the US box office.
The story picks up with “Magic” Mike Lane returning to the stage again after a lengthy break, following a business deal that went bust, leaving him broke and taking bartender gigs in Florida. For what he hopes will be one last hurrah, Mike heads to London with a wealthy socialite (Oscar nominee Salma Hayek from House of Gucci and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) who lures him with an offer he can’t refuse…and an agenda all her own. With everything on the line, once Mike discovers what she truly has in mind, will he—and the roster of hot new dancers he’ll have to whip into shape—be able to pull it off? As Huffington Post says, “Tatum, whose stripper past first inspired the character, looks more comfortable than ever in a role that, like the film, is in equal parts funny, playful, sexy and sincere.” THE AMAZING MAURICE | Stream from Thursday, 7 December Based on Terry Pratchett’s Carnegie Medal-winning novel The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (which was in turn inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s Pied Piper of Hamelin), The Amazing Maurice follows a sassy, street-smart ginger cat with a sneaky disposition. Together with his band of rats and pied-piper friend Keith, he travels across the countryside, swindling villagers with a staged rat plague. But when the gang sets its sights on a scenic market town, they quickly realise that someone else got there first…
The all-star voice cast is led by Emmy nominees Hugh Laurie (House M.D., Avenue 5) as Maurice, Emilia Clarke (G’iah in Secret Invasion and Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones) as story narrator Malicia, Himesh Patel (Dr Watson in Enola Holmes 2) as Keith, and David Thewlis (Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter movies and Grail in Enola Holmes 2) as the dastardly Boss Man, with Emmy winner David Tennant (Doctor Who, Crowley in Good Omens, and the voice of Huyang in Ahsoka) as Dangerous Beans. Common Sense Media gives it a 4/5-star rating, recommending the film for ages 8+ and saying “this fun-packed animation captures the [Terry Pratchett] magic that appeals on multiple levels to kids and adults alike.” MARGAUX | Stream from Thursday, 28 December In Margaux, a group of college friends rent a smart house for a weekend of partying but soon begin to realise that the house’s super advanced AI system, Margaux, has sinister designs for them. And what Margaux wants, Margaux gets.
The cast includes Teen Choice winner Vanessa Morgan (Riverdale’s Toni Topaz), Richard Harmon (John Murphy in The 100), Madison Pettis (American Pie Presents: Girls’ Rules), Lochlyn Munro (Peacemaker’s Detective Larry Fitzgibbon, Hal Cooper in Riverdale), and Jordan Buhat (Vivek Shah in Grown-ish), with Susan Bennett (the original voice of Siri) as the voice of Margaux. Nominated for three awards in its native Canada, including a Leo Award for Best Male Supporting Performance (for Richard Harmon), the thriller is directed by SXSW Award nominee Steven C Miller (In the Line of Duty, Marauders). “What makes Margaux an interesting antagonist is the idea that she’s always watching, listening, and collecting information. Even the greatest of slasher villains aren’t omnipresent,” says Dread Central, praising the horror’s “darkly comedic sensibility” and calling the film “a fun time at the movies [that] entertains from start to finish.”
HOUSE PARTY | Stream from Thursday, 7 December House Party, the remix to the fan-favourite 90s comedy, follows aspiring club promoters and best buds Damon (Saturn award nominee Tosin Cole from 61st Street, Till and Doctor Who) and Kevin (BET and Black Reel Award nominee Jacob Latimore from Detroit, The Chi, and Like a Boss), who are barely keeping things together. Out of money, down on their luck and about to lose the roofs over their heads—and freshly fired from their low-lift jobs as house cleaners—the pair needs a huge windfall to make their problems go away. In a “what the hell?” move, they decide to host the party of the year at an exclusive mansion, the site of their last cleaning job, which just happens to belong to none other than real-life NBA star LeBron James.
No permission? No problem. What could go wrong? The cast includes Melvin Gregg (Snowfall), award winners Karen Obilom (Doom Patrol), Allen Maldonado (Heels, The Wonder Years) and Nigerian-American actor Rotimi (Dre in Power), and Emmy winners Lena Waithe (The Chi, Ready Player One) and Snoop Dogg, Grammy winners Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) and Lil Wayne, and of course, LeBron himself.
Also look out for original franchise stars Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin (aka Kid ‘n Play). House Party is written by the Emmy-nominated duo, Jamal Olori and Stephen Glover (Guava Island, Atlanta), and is the feature film debut of Grammy-winning music video director Calmatic, who directed Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road feat. Billy Ray Cyrus, and has worked with Pharrell Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Anderson .Paak, and Jay-Z.