“Coco”: Despite being based on an original idea by “Toy Story 3” director Lee Unkrich, the latest from Pixar bears a strong resemblance to the 2014 Golden Globe-nominated animated fantasy film “The Book of Life.” The story concerns a guitar-playing kid (Anthony Gonzalez) who travels to the Land of the Dead to unlock his family’s history. The voice cast includes Gael García Bernal and Renée Victor. 1 hr. 45; PG.
“Daddy’s Home 2”: In a premise not unlike “Bad Moms Christmas,” this heavily advertised sequel to the heavily advertised 2015 Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg hit takes place during the holidays and involves the fathers of the leading men paying a visit (John Lithgow stars as Ferrell’s pop and opposite Mel Gibson as Wahlberg’s). This is Gibson’s first big comedic role since “What Women Want” in 2000. 1 hr. 40; PG-13.
“The Darkest Hour”: During the course of shooting this World War II biopic, Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight”) spent over 200 hours in the makeup chair and smoked over 400 cigars to portray Winston Churchill during his early days as Britain’s Prime Minister facing off against Hitler’s army. This looks to be director Joe Wright’s best since 2007’s “Atonement” as well as an Academy Award lock for Oldman. 2 hr. 5; PG-13.
“The Disaster Artist”: Art imitates life in this comedic biopic based on the making of the 2003 cult drama “The Room,” widely considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. James Franco (“127 Hours”) directs and stars as Tommy Wiseau, director and star of “The Room,” along with real-life brother Dave (“Neighbors”) and frequent screen partner Seth Rogen (“This is the End”). 1 hr. 44; R.
“Downsizing”: Indie director Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) also co-wrote this Charlie Kaufman-esque comedic fantasy that takes place in an alternate reality in which people can pay to shrink themselves down and start a new life in an experimental miniature community. Matt Damon (“The Martian”) stars opposite Kristin Wiig (“Ghostbusters”), Cristoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”) and Hong Chau (“Inherent Vice”). 2 hr. 15; R.
“Father Figures”: “Hangover” cinematographer Lawrence Sher makes his directorial debut with this raunchy slapstick comedy about two brothers (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) who set out to find their biological father based on a stack of photos given to them by their promiscuous mom (Glenn Close). J.K. Simmons, Ving Rhames, Cristopher Walken, and Terry Bradshaw play the possible dads, and Katt Williams co-stars as a hitchhiker. 1 hr. 53; R.
“Ferdinand”: Based on the 1936 children’s classic “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, this computer animated comedy stars the voice of pro wrestler John Cena to tell the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight matadors. Directed by Carlos Saldanha (“Ice Age”) and featuring the voices of Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Gina Rodriguez, and Gabriel Iglesias. 1 hr. 48; PG.
“The Greatest Showman”: “Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman trades his claws for a top hat for this musical biopic about the life of P.T. Barnum, co-founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus that was purchased by the Ringling Brothers in 1919 and ran until its closing in May 2017. The film centers on Barnum (Jackman) and the lives of the show’s attractions played by Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. 1 hr. 45; PG.
“Justice League”: Following this summer’s unanimously beloved “Wonder Woman” and last year’s poorly received “Batman v Superman,” Warner Bros. makes their big attempt at an “Avengers” style team-up despite audiences’ relative unfamiliarity with half of the team (Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash all make their big-screen debut) or the villain: a CGI alien called Steppenwolf. 1 hr. 59; PG-13.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”: A sequel in name only to the 1995 Robin Williams family adventure, this action-oriented comedy transports four teenagers into a video game set in the jungle where they inhabit the bodies of Dwayne Johnson (“Baywatch”), Kevin Hart (“Ride Along”), Jack Black (“School of Rock”), and Karen Gillan (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) as their avatars as they navigate the Jumanji world. 1 hr. 59; PG-13.
“Pitch Perfect 3”: In the third and supposedly final entry in this musical comedy series, the Barden Bellas get back together to bring their high energy a capella vocal stylings overseas for a USO show in Europe. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and all of the main cast return under the direction of frequent OK Go music video director Trish Sie. Ruby Rose (“Orange is the New Black”) co-stars as the head of a rival group. 1 hr. 33; PG-13.
“The Shape of Water”: For years, director Guillermo del Toro (“Crimson Peak”) was attached to a remake of the Universal classic “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” that never happened, but now it looks like he sort of did it anyway. Sally Hawkins (“Paddington”) stars as a mute janitor who develops a relationship with an amphibious creature (Doug Jones, “Hellboy”) at the facility where she works. 2 hr. 3; R.
“The Star”: The first faith-based family flick to come from a major studio is a comedic adaptation of the Nativity story from the Bible’s New Testament as told from the perspective of a host of talking animals voiced by over a dozen celebrities. “The Walking Dead” star Steven Yeun plays a donkey, Tracy Morgan, Oprah and Tyler Perry play camels, and Mariah Carey plays a chicken named Rebecca. 1 hr. 26; PG.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”: Picking up where 2015’s “The Force Awakens” left off, the eighth movie in the “Star Wars” series finds Rey (Daisy Ridley) training with an elderly Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as her friends Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) battle the evil First Order lead by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). The film features the final screen performance of Carrie Fisher in the role of General Leia Organa. 2 hr. 32; PG-13.
“Wonder”: Inspired by a real-life incident and named after the pop song by Natalie Merchant, this light-hearted drama stars Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) in a heavy makeup role as Auggie, a young boy who has undergone multiple surgeries to correct a facial disfigurement. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson co-star as Auggie’s parents. Based on the 2012 children’s novel by R.J. Palacio. 1 hr. 53; PG.
— Compiled by Andrew Shearer/Staff