Between the flurry of Oscar buzz December releases and the shower of new streamable content ushered in with the new year, winter break was the prime time to catch up on the movies and television shows that will have everyone talking upon returning to the bleak Philadelphia winter. However, if sunny vacations and family obligations kept you from the theater, the remote, or the simple comforts of a night in with Netflix, Street has you covered for all that you missed while away. 

Movies

December theater releases are exciting for most movie buffs as they tend to be the films to watch for Oscar nominations and other various accolades. Many of these critically–acclaimed limited release films are expanded to wide release as the new year rolls in and a handful are showing at theaters around Philadelphia.

The Favourite – Currently showing at the Landmark Ritz V

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ most recent film is a uniquely comedic take on a period piece surrounding the reign of Queen Anne. With an excellent ensemble cast and snappy screenplay, it is anything but the usual period fare.



If Beale Street Could Talk – Currently showing at the Landmark Ritz East

His first movie since the Oscar–winning Moonlight, Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the James Baldwin novel of the same name is a poetic reflection on love and injustice as it shapes the lives of a young Black couple in Harlem in the 1970s.



Vice - Currently showing at PFS Roxy Theater

Revisiting the political circumstances of recent history has shown to be quite telling of our current political climate. In Vice, Christian Bale takes on the role of Dick Cheney in a surprisingly comedic exploration of the power wielded by this figure during the presidency of George W. Bush.



Roma - Currently showing at the Landmark Ritz at the Bourse (Also available on Netflix)

Though Alfonso Cuarón’s visionary masterpiece is a Netflix film, select theaters are screening the directors monochromatic, semi–autobiographical family drama including Philadelphia’s very own Ritz at the Bourse. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy one of 2018’s best pictures on the big screen.



Spider–Man: Into the Spider–Verse – Currently showing at the Cinemark University City Penn 6 

This innovative, pop–culture savvy animated film gives Pixar a run for its money for 2018’s best animated film, expanding the Spider–Man universe and giving audiences one of the most visually stunning cinematic experiences of the past year. 



Television

In the age of streaming, the traditional weekly–release television series seem to have drifted off the radar for most Penn students and young people in general. However, a couple weeks at home with family could very well have rekindled a love for scheduled cable television, or perhaps recent buzz around new shows has sparked a renewed interest in some currently–running seasons. Here are several television shows that premiered over winter break worth checking out. 

Brooklyn Nine–Nine: Season 6 – Available on NBC

Moving to a new network has boosted this workplace comedy to public attention, keeping the sitcom format alive and well. Andy Samberg leads as a goofy NYPD detective in a show following the hilarious antics of a group of cops in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct. 



True Detective: Season 3 – Available on HBO

Fresh off a Golden Globe win, Mahershala Ali stars in the third season of this anthological crime series. 



Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 4 (winter premiere) – Available on the CW

The highly–praised comedy series is going into its final season this winter, finishing strong with the musical numbers and careful exploration of mental illness that shot it to success as a remarkably poignant romantic dramedy.



Netflix

It is no easy task to condense the barrage of new content available on Netflix into a bitesize list, conquerable before midterm season takes hold. Before you get the rug pulled out from under you, here are some fresh Netflix Originals and newly available movies to fill your dwindling free time.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 3 

Another installment of the tragically wacky musical lead by Neil Patrick Harris, as well as the last, this bizarre adaptation of an equally bizarre children's book series can serve as a great bingeable show to start 2019.



Pan’s Labyrinth 

This twisted fantasy is hailed to be one of the greatest films of the 21st century. It is gritty, dark, and full of imaginative monstrous creations from the mind of Guillermo Del Toro, with enticing visuals that amplify the film’s take on a horror–filled fairytale.



The Dark Knight

Possibly the best superhero film ever made, Christopher Nolan’s first installment of the Dark Knight trilogy is newly available to stream on Netflix, complete with Heath Ledger’s mind–bending, Oscar–winning performance.



Monty Python and the Holy Grail 

You can’t go wrong with a little Monty Python, particularly on a list so marked by darkness and tragedy. This 1975 satire is a delightfully absurd take on the classic medieval tale complete with a number of memorable gags, including limbless enemy knights and a creative use of coconut shells. 



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