’Tis the sea­son

16 films to watch, whether you like re­al­ity or want to es­cape it

The Washington Post - - FRONT PAGE - THE WASH­ING­TON POST IL­LUS­TRA­TION; ISTOCK; SONY PIC­TURES EN­TER­TAIN­MENT; AMA­ZON STU­DIOS; WALT DIS­NEY STU­DIOS; UNI­VER­SAL PIC­TURES

A guide to films land­ing around the hol­i­days.

Santa’s work­shop isn’t the only pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity where the out­put is bi­nary: What you get — a lump of coal or a shiny new toy — de­pends on whether you’ve been naughty or nice. Hol­ly­wood also op­er­ates in po­lar­i­ties, a di­vi­sion made more acute this time of year, when movies as en­ter­tain­ment are coun­ter­bal­anced by Films of Sub­stance — as of­ten as not, ones that are based on true sto­ries.

That doesn’t mean that fic­tion is all fun and games, nor that fact-based films also can’t be richly en­joy­able. It de­pends on what you like.

For that rea­son, this hol­i­day movie guide of­fers not one but two shop­ping lists: the first for the movie­goer with a taste for verisimil­i­tude, and the sec­ond for any­one look­ing to get away from all that. Open­ing dates and rat­ings are sub­ject to change.

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