Entertainment Movies Boxing Day movies: Your guide to films for the whole family

Boxing Day movies: Your guide to films for the whole family

Jack Black Kevin Hart Dwayne Johnson Karen Gillan
Winning: Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan team up in Jumanji: The Next Level. Photo: Columbia Pictures
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With turkey leftovers loading up the fridge, the post-Christmas comedown is the perfect time to catch a film.

Boxing Day movies this year see a brace of big hitters from fun for all the family to inadvertent digital fur terror, tissue-ready weepies to button-pushing comedies.

Here’s our guide to the films fighting for the depleted contents of your post-present buying purse.


Yes, yes, we know Tom Hooper’s take on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is a cat-astrophe of epic proportions, with dancing, prancing stars including Taylor Swift, Idris Elba and Judy Dench swathed in ‘digital fur technology’.

Reviews have been caustic and uncomfortably hilarious, which is exactly why you may decide not to pass up the sheer entertainment value of seeing what may be the worst movie in a long time.

Look out for Elba and the glitter cannon.

Jumanji: The Next Level

The other big contender is Jumanji: The Next Level.

A surprising hit, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle saw a bunch of kids sucked into the same adventure computer game from the 1995 original that featured Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst.

The update saw Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Doctor Who alumni Karen Gillan play the kids’ digital avatars.

This time round they’re joined by Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Danny DeVito and Danny Glover for more foolhardy fun with unpredictable wild things, including yet more digital fur technology.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

The biggest award winner of the bunch, this 18th century romance from fast-rising French director Céline Sciamma took home Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival.

It stars Adèle Haenel as a noblewoman resisting being married off to an Italian suitor she’s never met, and Noémie Merlant as the painter tasked with secretly capturing her likeness for him.

Pretty soon, hearts are captured too.

Taking place on a remote island in Brittany, it’s gorgeous to look at, erotic without being exploitative and a smart celebration of female love.

One for the ages, it just scored a Golden Globe nomination.

The Truth

While we’re talking French, this bittersweet comedy set in Paris comes from Japanese writer/director Hirokazu Koreeda.

Nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, he also scored the top prize at Cannes for last year’s brilliant Shoplifters.

It brings Juliette Binoche as an ageing daughter trying to reconnect with her demanding diva of an actress mother and Catherine Deneuve together on screen for the first time.

With Ethan Hawke along for the ride as Binoche’s husband, it’s a fraught family drama with teary bits and big laughs ideal for Christmas.

Jojo Rabbit

Riding high off Marvel juggernaut Thor: Ragnarok, Kiwi director Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows) delivers dark comedy adapted from Christine Leunens novel Caging Skies.

Set in a German village in the dying days of WWII, Jojo Rabbit sees Scarlett Johansson hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace) in her attic.

Unfortunately, her son (Roman Griffin Davis) has been so brainwashed by the Hitler Youth that the Fuhrer (played by the Maori director) is his imaginary best friend.

Up for two Golden Globes, it’s a wildly silly and occasionally devastating ride.

Sorry We Missed You

The Palme d’Or-nominated latest from seminal British director Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake) is your pick if you want to sob your way through the peak capitalism comedown of Christmas.

Gathering a stellar cast of non-professional actors in Loach’s almost documentary-style, it sees a fractured family driven to the edge by crushing poverty.

Mum works all hours in a home carer gig, while dad slaves away for very little pay and even fewer rights in the gig economy, delivering parcels for an Amazon-like company.

Meanwhile, their son is going off the rails.

Heartbreaking, it might make you reconsider the spending splurge next year.

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