The Greatest Showman leads Sky Cinema's Christmas highlights.
'Tis the season. The season to shut out the meteorological misery and park your turkey-stuffed keister in front of Sky Cinema's knockout Christmas line-up. Led by The Greatest Showman, viewers are in for a treat as Sky will air a host of blockbusters alongside a huge selection of Christmas classics.
The Greatest Showman
Hugh Jackman trades razor sharp claws and fuzzy mutton chops for a top hat and tap shoes in this smash-hit, Golden Globe®-winning musical, based on the life of businessman PT Barnum. After his employer's bankruptcy puts his young family's already humble lifestyle in jeopardy, the ambitious Barnum (Jackman) decides to risk everything to make it big. With the help of playwright Zac Efron and acrobat Zendaya, he assembles a cast of misfits to put on an unforgettable show.
From Saturday 1 December
Avengers: Infinity War
The Russo brothers take the reins for a breakneck superhero blockbuster that requires the Avengers, new and old, to assemble once more. The resulting supergroup - now bolstered by the likes of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) - are up against Thanos (Josh Brolin), a giant, ogre-like brute who hopes to bejewel his custom-built gauntlet with all six Infinity Stones. Should he succeed it's pretty much curtains - particularly for Vision (Paul Bettany). The poor chap's got one of the things in his head...
From Tuesday 25 December
Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg's dazzling sci-fi romp stars Tye Sheridan as Wade Watts, a lonely, slum-dwelling teen who finds himself taking the fight to the money-hungry suits out to turn the Oasis - an immersive VR fantasyland created by oddball genius James Halliday (Mark Rylance) - into a soulless, corporately controlled advertising tool. Together Wade and a group of likeminded underdogs, including Olivia Cooke's Samantha, must use their in-game avatars to complete three challenges before chief wrong'un Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) beats them to it.
From Friday 21 December
A Wrinkle in Time
Ava DuVernay's sparkly, cosmos-spanning adventure stars Storm Reid as troubled youngster Meg Murry. She's retreated into herself since the mysterious disappearance of her scientist dad (Chris Pine), but a visit from the even more mysterious Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) provides renewed hope. Apparently pops is stranded somewhere across the universe, and with some additional assistance from Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey) and Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling), Meg, little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) are hopping across galaxies in hot pursuit.
From Friday 28 December
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
The smash-hit teen dystopian series - based on the trio of bestselling books by James Dashner - reaches its conclusion. American Assassin's Dylan O'Brien returns as the leader of a renegade group immune to the devastating Flare virus. Their mission? To battle through the zombie-infested wilderness and save their friends and fellow rebels from a city stronghold controlled by the sinister and all-powerful WCKD organisation. The impressive ensemble cast includes rising stars Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter, plus Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito and the always excellent Walton Goggins.
From Friday 7 December
The Shape of Water
An old-school creature feature, Cold War thriller and timeless love story all rolled masterfully into one, Guillermo del Toro's stunning fantasy drama was the big winner at this year's Oscars®. Sally Hawkins (astonishing) is Elisa, a mute orphan whose humdrum life working nights as a cleaner is forever changed when she meets a tall, dark stranger. This being del Toro, said stranger is a half-man, half-fish hybrid pulled from the rivers of South America and held in a top-secret government lab by dark-hearted brute Michael Shannon.
From Friday 14 December
Oscar®-nominated family animation based on 1930s children's book The Story of Ferdinand and featuring WWE man mountain John Cena as the voice of the titular toro, a big-hearted, flower-sniffing fella mistaken for a dangerous beast after accidentally causing a big old ruckus downtown (yes, a china shop is involved). Carted back to the bull-fighting ranch he ran away from years before he must plot his escape with the "help" of neurotic goat Lupe (Kate McKinnon) and mischievous hedgehogs Uno, Dos and Cuatro (they do not speak of Tres).
From Saturday 29 December
Easy A's Will Gluck serves up a modern twist on Beatrix Potter's classic creation, with the rabbit himself now a cheeky, smart-talking rascal voiced by James Corden. He and his furry siblings think they've got it made when old Mr McGregor (Sam Neill) bites the big one, but his cottage and grounds are inherited by a neurotic London ne'er-do-well - great-nephew Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) - who takes the human-animal warfare to new heights. Caught in the middle is kindly neighbour and wannabe artist Bea, played by Rose Byrne.
From Monday 24 December
30 Rock and Pitch Perfect scribe Kay Cannon makes her behind-the-camera debut with this prom-night crowd-pleaser. Combining solid, cine-literate gags with gross-out set-pieces that actually deliver, it follows three trigger-happy parents - clingy single mum Lisa (Leslie Mann), sports-loving beefcake Mitchell (John Cena) and philandering man-child Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) - as they waste zero time launching into a woefully misguided and increasingly calamitous quest to stop their BFF high-school daughters from making good on a sex pact. Precisely how isn't something they pause to consider.
From Saturday 22 December
This pleasingly ludicrous sci-fi action romp sees Dwayne Johnson reprise his unflappable day-saving routine as Davis Okoye, a hunky primatologist called into action when his beloved albino gorilla, George, is infected by a serum developed by a shady gene manipulation company… in space! Before you know it George and two fellow infectees (a crocodile and a wolf) are monstrously oversized and threatening to level Chicago, but our Dwayne - ably assisted by scientist Naomie Harris - isn't about to let that happen.
From Wednesday 26 December