movies toronto holidays

10 movies to see in theatres over the holidays in Toronto

It's the most wonderful time of the year in Toornto to see big movies on big screens in big theatres, as they were meant to be seen. Put away your digital thingamajigs, tiny mobile screens, serial TV binges and pirated streams and reward your blessed gift of vision with a trip to the multiplex! 

Here are my picks for the top movies to see in Toronto theatres this holiday season.

LaLa Land

Jazzman (Ryan Gosling) and aspiring actress (Emma Stone) fall desperately in love in this lavish retrogression to the eye-popping studio spectacles of Hollywood’s glory days. The darling of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, LaLa Land is pretty much laboratory engineered to be the most perfect Holiday movie ever.

Arrival

A linguistics professor (Amy Adams) races to crack the code of 12 gigantic spaceships which have landed on an Earth teetering towards global war. Esoteric Sci-Fi from red-hot Canadian director Denis Villeneuve who’s next film is a sequel to Blade Runner, and some deep issues to digest alongside your turkey and stuffing.

Moonlight

Three different eras of a man’s life growing up in the badlands of Miami are chronicled, defying all genre convention, including a bizarre but amazing soundtrack. Moonlight is the best kind of forward thinking, punch up the bracket cinema.  

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rag-tag gang of rebels give their all to steal the plans for the Empire’s fierce new superweapon – the Death Star. Nothing new under the sun here, but the reality of a new Star Wars movie every Christmas is still a novelty, and Rogue One’s colorful narrative and visuals bode well for future spin-offs (plus it’s a masterclass in prequel etiquette.) 

Office Christmas Party

The brother (T.J Miller) of an uptight CEO (Jennifer Anniston) decides to throw a massive Christmas party in the hopes of landing a client, but the party soon spirals out of control. This season’s brainless yuk fest is sure to become a staple of every Christmas going forward, even though it out-grosses Bad Santa (literally and figuratively).

Manchester By the Sea

After his brother dies, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) must return to Manchester to look after his nephew while drudging up painful memories of why he left. Maudlin and sentimental but beautifully shot and performed, this one is sure to be on the Academy Awards short-list. 

Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) must contend with a Superman-esq superhero that he encountered and influenced as a young child. This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special gets a rare big-screen outing for one night only, where there will no doubt be a festive mass of Doctor Who fans in costumes (Monday, December 26th at 7:00/9:30pm. Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP). 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner) of the starship Enterprise must contend with a maniacal genetically modified soldier named Khan Noonien Singh (the unparalleled Ricardo Montalban) who is looking for revenge after being exiled to a dead planet. Still the best Trek film by a wide margin, and a stone cold classic of 80s Sci-Fi cinema. (Monday, December 26th at 9:00pm. Tiff Lightbox). 

Hockey Night (1984)

Girl power on ice! A brand new restoration of this local classic about a tough as nails female hockey player (played by Anne of Green Gables’ Megan Follows) who wants to join the boys team. Also stars Murdoch Mysteries’ Yanick Bisson, Rick Moranis, and the ever reliable Cancon doyen Maury Chaykin. (Thursday, December 29th at 12:00pm. The Revue).

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

On New Year’s Eve, the passenger ship SS Poseidon is hit by a tidal wave at sea, and the survivors must journey through the flipped behemoth to escape. The grand-daddy of all disaster films is also the ultimate New Year’s Eve flick, best viewed with a rowdy crowd and a few seasonal cocktails. (Friday, December 30th at select Cineplex Cinemas). 

What did I miss? Please add your suggestions for new movies to see in the comments.

Lead photo by

La La Land


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Film

Here's what's playing at TIFF this year

There's a public memorial for George Romero in Toronto

TIFF launches $3 million campaign to support female filmmakers

The 10 most popular locations for making movies in Toronto

Win passes to an advance screening of A Ghost Story

Drive-in movie theatres in and around Toronto

A giant red dome has just popped up in Toronto

Here are all the free movies at Yonge & Dundas this summer