From The Matrix to Macbeth and Michael Caine: Your Boxing Day Movie Guide


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It is traditionally one of the biggest cinema days of the year.

A chance to escape the Boxing Day sales and post-Christmas hangover for a few hours and transport yourself to another time and place – or to a galaxy far, far away.

This year, December 26th is even more important as local cinemas try to end a difficult year on a high note, offering a solid lineup of blockbusters and arthouse dishes that should satisfy all tastes.

Right here, Things to watch gives you information about your viewing options at a movie theater near you (and what we thought about it).

The Matrix Resurrections, The Tragedy of Macbeth and Best Sellers are some of the big movies that hit Kiwi theaters on Boxing Day.

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The Matrix Resurrections, The Tragedy of Macbeth and Best Sellers are some of the big movies that hit Kiwi theaters on Boxing Day.

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* 8-bit Christmas: A fabulous festive comedy brings the perfect nostalgia for Gen Xers
* In the Shade: eight good reasons to check out the new Auckland Summer Film Festival
* Twelve Terrifyingly Terrifying Dystopian Tales (and where you can watch them)

Sir Michael Caine plays the acerbic author Harry Shaw in Best Sellers.

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Sir Michael Caine plays the acerbic author Harry Shaw in Best Sellers.

Best sellers (H, 100 minutes)

Who is in it? Sir Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza, Carey Elwes

What is it about? When a young book editor (Plaza) finds herself in dire financial straits, she turns to one of the oldest and crankiest authors on their list in hopes he can replicate her unique success of ‘decades ago, in this dramatic comedy.

What we thought: “Harry Shaw is not Harry Palmer, Peachy Carnehan or even Dr. Frank Bryant, but the acerbic free spirit that clearly masks private pain allows Caine to compose his tics and have fun, have fun and entertain. thoroughly the viewers. (*** ½, James Croot)

Entertainment stuff.  Image provided for Delicious.

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Entertainment stuff. Image provided for Delicious.

Delicious (H, 113 min)

Who is in it? Grégory Gadebois, Isabelle Carré

What is it about? Set in late 18th century France, this historic comedy drama centers on a disillusioned chef who finds an unlikely muse in a woman determined to be his protégé.

What we thought: “It offers an intoxicating attack on the senses to compete Babette’s feast Where Like water for chocolatee which will probably distract you from the more predictable elements of the plot. The story of director and co-writer Eric Besnard never quite reaches the level of perfection of the cuisine on display. (*** ½, James Croot)

Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves reunite for The Matrix Resurrections.

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Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves reunite for The Matrix Resurrections.

The Matrix: Resurrections (M, 148mins)

Who is in it? Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett-Smith

What is it about? Eighteen years later Revolutions Completing the original blockbuster sci-fi trilogy, this groundbreaking franchise is back with its plot a well-kept secret. What we do know from the trailer images so far is that Neo de Reeves has returned to San Francisco as Thomas A. Anderson and is being properly medicated to avoid other nightmarish visions.

What others thought: “In the end, it is the ideas at work in Matrix resurrections, much more than the action, which keeps us satisfied in our seats for more than two hours ”, wrote Chronicles of San Francisco Mick LaSalle.

Scarlett Johansson and Bono are among the vocal talents who morph into animated animals in Sing 2.

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Scarlett Johansson and Bono are among the vocal talents who morph into animated animals in Sing 2.

Sing 2 (PG, 110 minutes)

Who is in it? Voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson

What is it about? This animated sequel sees the return of Buster Moon and his triple-threat troop. Trying to break through in the big time, they manage to land a contract to stage an ambitious sci-fi musical. However, to be successful, they must persuade legendary musician Clay Calloway to come out of voluntary retirement.

What we thought: Sing 2 manages to be superior to its predecessor by building on the characters it created and delivering a story that carries more weight and resonance. (****, James Croot)

Udo Kier delivers an exceptional performance in Swan Song.

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Udo Kier delivers an exceptional performance in Swan Song.

Swan song (M, 104 min)

Who is in it? Udo Kier, Jennifer Coolidge, Linda Evans

What is it about? A once-legendary barber from a small town in Ohio (Kier) is summoned by a lawyer to do a job. A client from her past has passed away – and, in her will, she stated that “Mr. Pat ”will receive $ 25,000 if he does her hair one last time, for the afterlife.

What we thought: “As a place to display Kier in flight for a while, Swan song is a treat. It might not really be a story, but it’s still a hell of a movie. “ (****, Graeme Tuckett)

Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand team up for The Macbeth Tragedy.

Alison cohen rosa

Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand team up for The Macbeth Tragedy.

The Tragedy of Macbeth (M, 105 min)

Who is in it? Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Brendan Gleeson

What is it about? Joel Coen looks back on William Shakespeare’s beloved Scottish play about a lord who becomes obsessed with a prophecy that he will be king.

What we thought: “Both Washington and McDormand deliver truly compelling performances, ensuring that no line is delivered without meaning, nuance, gravity or purpose. (**** ½, James Croot)

This image posted by 20th Century Studios shows Ansel Elgort as Tony, left, and Rachel Zegler as Maria in "West Side Story." Zegler was named Best Actress by the National Board of Review for her role in the film.  (Niko Tavernise / 20th century studios via AP)

Niko tavern

This image posted by 20th Century Studios shows Ansel Elgort as Tony, left, and Rachel Zegler as Maria in “West Side Story”. Zegler was named Best Actress by the National Board of Review for her role in the film. (Niko Tavernise / 20th Century Studios via AP)

West Side History (M, 156 minutes)

Who is in it? Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, Rita Moreno

What is it about? Steven Spielberg and Angels in America Scribe Tony Kushner teams up for a new take on the Beloved Romeo and Juliet-sque musical, whose 1961 adaptation won 10 Oscars.

What we thought: “What Spielberg has achieved here is very special. This West Side Story respect where it comes from, stay true to its sources and will not offend the nostalgic among you at all. But it is also a fiery, combative and relevant reading of the text that brings the show trampling and singing into the 21st century. (****, Graeme Tuckett)

Still in screening

Timothée Chalamet is a key part of the impressive ensemble of Dune.

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Timothée Chalamet is a key part of the impressive ensemble of Dune.

Dune (H, 155 min)

Who is in it? Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson

What is it about? Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival Director Denis Villeneuve is the latest to attempt to tackle Frank Herbert’s 1965 Space Opera about two warring dynasties fighting for control of the desert planet of Arrakis.

What we thought: “Villeneuve did Dune into something accessible and human, while maintaining and celebrating the epic scale of the source. It is a breathtaking achievement. ” (**** ½, Graeme Tuckett)

Fans of Wes Anderson's films should definitely check out The French Dispatch.

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Fans of Wes Anderson’s films should definitely check out The French Dispatch.

The French Dispatch (M, 108mins)

Who is in it? Bill Murray, Benicio Del Toro, Tilda Swinton

What is it about? From the wild and eccentric spirit of The Royal Tenenbaums and The island of dogs Creator Wes Anderson comes this love letter to journalism that brings to life a series of stories destined for the pages of the final edition of the eponymous magazine.

What we thought: “For those who can’t get enough of his unique way of telling stories, this nearly two-hour coat rack piece will be pure catnip. Welcome to the Wes Anderson Summit. (****, James Croot)

Zendaya and Tom Holland light up the screen in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Matt kennedy

Zendaya and Tom Holland light up the screen in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Spider-Man: No Way Home (M, 148 minutes)

Who is in it? Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch

What is it about? Events resumed shortly after the very public revelation of the identity of the webslingers at the end of 2019 Far from home, this sees Dutchman Peter Parker looking for Doctor Strange to help turn the tide – with disastrous results.

What we thought: “It might not win any awards… and critics won’t seek out their dictionaries for further adulation. But the movie is a hell of a lot of fun. It’s shameless fan service and likely a smart Marvel reset after the silence and the unknown Eternals and Shang-Chi. ” (****, Graeme Tuckett)

Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock and his symbiote sparring partner are back in Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

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Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and his symbiote sparring partner are back in Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (M, 97 min)

Who is in it? Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams

What is it about? Eddie Brock, an eponymous symbiote, attempts to revive his media career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson) in this sequel to the 2018 hit. However, their meeting has some unexpected and certainly unexpected consequences.

What we thought: “Superhero origin movie sequels are hard to come by. Venom: let there be carnage sidesteps that by giving herself a hell of a new villain or two to play with – then devoting a good chunk of her runtime to being an origin movie for them instead. (*** ½, Graeme Tuckett)

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