Movies Update: ‘Soul,’ ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and More

Plus, more movie recommendations for the holidays.

By Susanna Timmons

Hey, movie fans!

The holiday weekend is here, so it’s time to settle in on the couch, grab the remote — and maybe a cup of hot chocolate — and indulge in the highly anticipated films now available for streaming.

Pixar’s new feature, “Soul” — on Disney+ — “is a movie about death, about jazz, about longing and limitation,” writes A.O. Scott. It’s a critic’s pick.

“Wonder Woman 1984” brings Gal Gadot back as the bracelet-wearing superhero in this sequel to the 2017 blockbuster. Manohla Dargis writes that while the film’s title suggests juicy Orwellian intrigue, “the year mostly proves an excuse to pile on side ponytails, fanny packs and nostalgic nods to the kind of Hollywood blowouts that feature cartoonish violence and hard-bodied macho types.” It’s streaming on HBO Max.

Kyle Buchanan caught up with George Clooney, who has been quarantining in Los Angeles with his wife and 3-year-old twins. Clooney talks about “The Midnight Sky,” which he directed and stars in. And, he had a few words about our outgoing president.

Kyle also spoke with Carey Mulligan, who shed her usual period costumes for “Promising Young Woman,” a black comedy about consent and revenge. “The film is a tonal tightrope walk, and Mulligan is astonishing in it,” he writes.

In The Lives They Lived, The New York Times Magazine remembers some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year. Not to be missed is Ismail Muhammad’s essay on Chadwick Boseman.

And, finally, photographers for The Times reflect on the unusual photo shoots this year, which include portraits of Amanda Seyfried, Jesse Plemons, Francis Ford Coppola and more.

See you next year!

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MOVIE REVIEWS

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Universal Pictures

‘News of the World’ Review: Tom Hanks Does the Strong, Silent Type

The star can’t help but bring decency to Paul Greengrass’s lean, efficient western set in 1870s Texas.

By A.O. Scott

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Focus Features

‘Promising Young Woman’ Review: Courting Dangerous Liaisons

Carey Mulligan stars in this feminist revenge thriller that too often backs away from its potentially searing setup.

By Jeannette Catsoulis

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Philippe Antonello/Netflix, via Associated Press

‘The Midnight Sky’ Review: It’s the End of the World, in the Arctic

George Clooney takes on his biggest challenge, as both actor and director, yet: Saving humanity itself.

By Glenn Kenny

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Briarcliff Entertainment

‘The Dissident’ Review: A Murder for Power

Bryan Fogel’s new documentary about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi underlines the disregard for human rights when money and geopolitics are at play.

By Devika Girish

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Netflix

‘Your Name Engraved Herein’ Review: When Love Is All You Can See

The filmmaker Patrick Liu keeps the focus on the two young men in this Taiwanese drama and blurs the rest.

By Teo Bugbee

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Greta De Lazzaris/Roadside Attractions

‘Pinocchio’ Review: An Enchanting Yet Befuddling Adaptation

Matteo Garrone, who directed the searing true-crime drama “Gomorrah,” takes a whack at Carlo Collodi’s classic tale.

By Glenn Kenny

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Malgosia Abramowska/Netflix

‘DNA’ Review: Digging for Roots

After her immigrant grandfather dies, a woman wants to reclaim her ethnicity.

By Jeannette Catsoulis

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NEWS & FEATURES

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Danny Kasirye for The New York Times

The Projectionist

Carey Mulligan Won’t Let Hollywood Off the Hook

The actress delivered the performance of her career in the dark comedy “Promising Young Woman.” Then came those with their tired views of women.

By Kyle Buchanan

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Disney/Pixar

‘Soul’ Features Pixar’s First Black Lead Character. Here’s How It Happened.

Mindful of animation’s history of racist imagery, the studio aimed to make the jazz pianist at the center of the film as specific as possible.

By Charles Solomon

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Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times

George Clooney on ‘The Midnight Sky’ and Donald Trump

His new movie is on Netflix, but the actor-director says theaters won’t go away and Hollywood will be fine. He’s not so sure about Washington.

By Kyle Buchanan

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Natalia Mantini for The New York Times

Patty Jenkins on ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and the Future of Theaters

Jenkins made history with a lucrative deal to direct this sequel. With Warner Bros. opting to debut it on HBO Max, will she come back for a third film? “We’ll see.”

By Kyle Buchanan

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