Holiday movie preview: Oscars and blockbusters

Looking ahead to what's in store for the coming weeks at the movies

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

Holiday blockbusters, Oscar hopefuls and however you want to quantify a "Transformers" spin-off are all on deck at the movies in the coming weeks. 

Emily Blunt stars in "Mary Poppins Returns."

Among the top-ticket items are "Mary Poppins Returns," Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma" and Robert Zemeckis' "Welcome to Marwen," all of which hope to be collecting Oscar statues, as well as audience acclaim as awards season heats up. 

Even "Deadpool" is getting in on the holiday movie action, with a remixed version of this year's movie edited with younger fans in mind. 

Here are the films set to roll out between now and Christmas, with a few January add-ons thrown in for good measure: 

Note: Dates are subject, as always, to change.  

Dec. 7

"Border": This Swedish film about an agent a border agent in Sweden comes from writer John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay for "Let the Right One In." 

Dec. 12

"Once Upon a Deadpool": A PG-13 version of this year's "Deadpool 2," with some additional scenes unique to this cut. 

Dec. 14

"Capernaum": This Lebanese drama about a child who sues his parents for giving birth to him received a 15-minute standing ovation at this year's Cannes Film Festival. 

"The Favourite": Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman star in this delicious period drama about an 18th century royal power struggle from director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster"). 

"Mary, Queen of Scots": Another royal period piece, this one starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie in the story of  the 1569 conflict between Scotland and England. Oscar bait alert!

"Mortal Engines": Based on the 2001 novel, this post-apocalyptic adventure is produced and written by Peter Jackson, and follows an assassin out to stop a mobile London from rolling over everything in its path. 

"The Mule": Clint Eastwood plays Leo Sharp in this true story of the world's oldest drug mule, who hailed from right here in Detroit. With Bradley Cooper and Laurence Fishburne. 

"Roma":  Alfonso Cuarón ("Gravity," "Children of Men") directs this drama about a maid (Yalitza Aparicio) in Mexico City in the early 1970s that Netflix hopes is its first Best Picture contender.  

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse": Another "Spider-Man" reboot? Not quite. This animated adventure spins a new web and unfolds in a world of many Spider-Men. (Which is actually kind of like our own, in a way.)  

Dec. 19

"Mary Poppins Returns": The title is the plot. Emily Blunt stars as the world's greatest nanny in this sequel to the 1964 original, which was nominated for 13 Oscars and won five. 

A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process in "Welcome to Marwen," starring Steve Carell.

Dec. 21

"Aquaman": After appearing in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Justice League," Jason Momoa finally gets his own standalone film as the King of the Sea.  

"Bird Box": You see it, you're dead. Based on the 2014 novel by Ferndale's Josh Malerman, this Netflix horror outing stars Sandra Bullock and looks to do for sight what "A Quiet Place" did for sound. 

"Bumblebee": Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena are the human characters in this origin story about the yellow car from the "Transformers" movies. And you thought Hollywood had run out of ideas.  

"Cold War": A love story set against the backdrop of Poland's Cold War of the 1950s. With Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot. 

"Holmes and Watson": The "Step Brothers" dream team of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are back, this time as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, in this comedy from Etan Cohen ("Get Hard"). 

"Second Act": Jennifer Lopez climbs the corporate ladder under false pretenses in this comedy that co-stars Vanessa Hudgens and Leah Remini.

"Welcome to Marwen": A man (Steve Carell) slips into a fantasy world populated with action figures to help with his recovery after a violent assault in the latest from director Robert Zemeckis. 

Dec. 25

"If Beale Street Could Talk": "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins returns with this drama about a couple in 1970s Harlem. Based on the novel by James Baldwin. 

"Vice": Christian Bale's Oscar was practically handed to him the moment the trailer debuted online for this comedy-drama from director Adam McKay ("The Big Short") in which he plays Vice President Dick Cheney to Sam Rockwell's George W. Bush. Ch-ching!


"Ben is Back": Lucas Hedges stars as a drug addict who returns home on Christmas Eve and Julia Roberts is the mother trying to keep him straight in this family drama from Peter Hedges ("Pieces of April"). (Jan. 11) 

"On the Basis of Sex": Felicity Jones is Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this biopic about the Supreme Court Justice's early years. (Jan. 11) 

"Destroyer": Nicole Kidman is nearly unrecognizable in this harsh drama about an L.A. cop confronting a tough case and her own demons. From director Karyn Kusama ("Jennifer's Body"). (Jan. 25)

Twitter: @grahamorama