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Indie Film Release Guide: December 13th [An ONTD Original]

ONTD Indie Release Guide Graphic.png

Three new major studio contenders enter the ring this weekend: Jumanji: The Next Level, Black Christmas, and Richard Jewell. These films represent the first serious challenge to Frozen 2’s three-week reign of box office dominance, and perhaps one of them will be able to topple Disney from the top spot for a week until Star Wars reclaims it. However, it’s not all multi-million dollar films opening this weekend.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: December 6th, November 27th, and November 22nd.

Uncut Gems

Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin Garnett, The Weeknd, Idina Menzel
Writer: Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Director: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Plot: A charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score, makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
What you should know: The first draft of the film was written in 2009.
Opens in: Select cities

A Hidden Life

Stars: August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Matthias Schoenaerts, Bruno Ganz
Writer/Director: Terrence Malick
Genre: Biography, Dramm, Romance
Plot: The Austrian Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.
What you should know: It’s just about three hours long, so come prepared.
Opens in: Select cities

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

Stars: Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Susan Sarandon
Writer: Xavier Dolan, Jacob Tierney
Director: Xavier Dolan
Genre: Drama
Plot: A decade after the death of an American television star, a young actor reminisces about the written correspondence he shared with him, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives.
What you should know: Jessica Chastain filmed scenes playing a villain type character, but ended up being cut from the film for pacing and story purposes.
Opens in: Select cities


Stars: Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Ted Atherton, Hanneke Talbot
Writer: John Serge, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Plot: The quiet Rose works in women's fashion clothing, hoping to be a designer. A traffic accident damages her face. She gets experimental stem cell treatment, leaving her stronger and prettier than ever - but there's a side effect.
What you should know: Remake of David Cronenberg’s 1977 film of the same name.
Opens in: Select cities


Stars: Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow
Writer: Charles Randolph
Director: Jay Roach
Genre: Biography, Drama
Plot: A group of women decide to take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.
What you should know: The film was originally supposed to be called Fair and Balanced.
Opens in: NY & LA; expanding next week


Stars: Kristen Stewart, Anthony Mackie, Yvan Attal, Margaret Qualley
Writer: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Director: Benedict Andrews
Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller
Plot: Inspired by real events in the life of French New Wave icon Jean Seberg. In the late 1960s, Hoover's FBI targeted her because of her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal.
What you should know: Premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
Opens in: Select cities

Code 8

Stars: Stephen Amell, Greg Bryk, Robbie Amell, Peter Outerbridge
Writer: Chris Pare, Jeff Chan
Director: Jeff Chan
Genre: Sci-Fi
Plot: A desperate young man possessing special powers clashes with a militarized police force after committing a petty crime.
What you should know: The film was crowdfunded via Indiegogo.
Opens in: Select cities


Stars: Karen Allen, Hannah Gross, Kevin J. O’Connor, Craig Walker
Writer/Director: Tom Quinn
Genre: Drama
Plot: For thirty-five years, Nora Pancowski has been the postmaster of Colewell, Pennsylvania. When the USPS decides to close her office, she must choose whether to relocate for a new position or face retirement in Colewell.
What you should know: The film is up for two Independent Spirit Awards - female lead, and the John Cassavetes Award for a film with a budget under $500,000.
Opens in: Select cities


Director: Alla Kovgan
Genre: Documentary
Plot: The iconic Merce Cunningham and the last generation of his dance company is stunningly profiled in this 3D documentary, through recreations of his landmark works and archival footage of Cunningham, John Cage, and Robert Rauschenberg.
What you should know: The director’s last full-length documentary feature was 2010’s My Perestroika.
Opens in: Select cities

Mob Town

Stars: David Arquette, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, P.J. Byrne, Jennifer Esposito
Writer: Jon Carlo, Joe Gilford
Director: Danny A. Abeckaser
Genre: Drama
Plot: It is a story about the famed meeting of the heads of the Mafia in 1957 in upstate Apalachin, NY.
What you should know: David Arquette seems to work more or less constantly, on this and many other movies you’ve never heard of before.
Opens in: Select cities

Also opening: Windows on the World (Trailer), Hell on the Border (Trailer), Chinese Portrait (Trailer), Line of Descent (Trailer), Kitty Party (Trailer), Ernesto’s Manifesto (Trailer)

Source 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

What have you been watching lately, ONTD? Seeing anything this weekend?
Tags: actor / actress, adam sandler, anthony mackie, black celebrities, charlize theron, david arquette, european celebrities, film, film - comedy, film - documentary, film - drama, film - historical, film - horror, film - romance, film - science fiction, film - suspense / thriller, film trailer / stills / clips, idina menzel, indie film release guide, kate mckinnon, kit harington, kristen stewart, margot robbie, natalie portman, nicole kidman, ontd original, susan sarandon, television - cw, the weeknd

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