Santa Claus is bringing all the good stuff to movie theaters the next two months, including the return of Marvel’s resident thunder god, an epic DC team-up with Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman, the latest Star Wars blockbuster-to-be and even Hugh Jackman singing and dancing. 

Rey (Daisy Ridley) wields a mean lightsaber in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'

Here are 10 films you won't want to miss in November and December:

 

'Thor: Ragnarok' (Nov. 3)

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Cate Blanchett

Director: Taika Waititi

The skinny: On the road to saving his home of Asgard, Thor (Hemsworth) unexpectedly runs into his Avenger buddy Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in an alien world, and becomes “the mother character" to his trickster brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and new ally Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), “keeping everyone alive and happy,” Waititi says. “I love it when heroes have a bigger goal that they need to achieve but also these really small goals that are more relatable to human beings, like just looking out for your best friend.” Having to deal with Bruce Banner, “a ticking time bomb” who could turn into the Hulk at any time, also emphasizes Thor’s quasi-parental nature, the director adds. “Because he’s naturally caring and loyal and very funny, I feel like this is the closest version of Chris that Thor’s ever been.”

Review: 'Thor: Ragnarok' is a fun romp that doesn't take itself seriously enough

Personal assistant Hector MacQueen (Josh Gad, left) is questioned by super-sleuth Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) in the Agatha Christie mystery adaptation 'Murder on the Orient Express.'

'Murder on the Orient Express' (Nov. 10)

Stars: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer

Director: Kenneth Branagh

The skinny: The all-star adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery revolves around a luxury train trip through Europe, a passenger’s death and a host of stranded suspects. Luckily, impressively mustached Belgian super-sleuth Hercule Poirot (Branagh) is on the case. This new screen take on the literary detective tends to be more obsessive compulsive than “dandyish or fastidious” like past Poirots, Branagh says. “Imbalance is an absolute enemy to him — it’s almost as if it’s a heartbreaking characteristic in him, which makes him ultimately quite lonely and vulnerable.” The precise problem solver is at peace with those aspects of himself, even if they tend to agitate him. “He’s a genuinely odd individual but with a big and rather bruised heart who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty,” Branagh adds. “Of course, once they are dirty, they have to be very, very thoroughly washed afterward.”

Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), the Flash (Ezra Miller) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) form the supergroup of 'Justice League.'

'Justice League' (Nov. 17)

Stars: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa

Director: Zack Snyder

The skinny: Summer hit Wonder Woman placed Gadot’s Amazon princess back in World War I but at least one character trait carries over into the contemporary DC supergroup film: She enjoys “working with people who are also outsiders and different like she is,” Gadot says. In the case of Justice League, that means banding together to fight evil with Batman (Affleck), finding oceanic bad boy Aquaman (Momoa) and recruiting a pair of rookies, speedy Flash (Ezra Miller) and half-machine Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Wonder Woman and Batman are still working out their dynamic as team leaders. “This is the first time we actually see them not only fighting together but also strategizing on what’s the right thing to do together," Gadot says. "They’re not always on the same page.” 

Previously: Ben Affleck confirms he's staying on as Batman in DC films

Aspiring musician Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (Gael García Bernal) for a talent show in the Land of the Dead in Pixar's animated 'Coco.'

'Coco' (Nov. 22)

Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt

Director: Lee Unkrich

The skinny: Hector is different “in a million ways” from every other character that Bernal has played. "First of all, he’s dead,” the Mexican actor says with a laugh. The animated Pixar movie centers on Miguel (Gonzalez), a musically inclined boy who travels to the Land of the Dead seeking his famous great-great-grandfather (Bratt), and Hector acts as his guide through the colorful skeleton-filled afterlife. Bernal’s biggest inspiration for Hector: the charismatic bear Baloo from The Jungle Book. “I had to keep that secret," says Bernal, who performs three Coco songs, including a talent-show rendition of Un Poco Loco. "I wouldn’t want to say, ‘I’m going to do it like Baloo!’ ” It’s the first time he’s sung for a role: “If anyone would ask me to sing right now, I still get nervous.”

Margot Robbie plays polarizing figure skater Tonya Harding in the darkly comic biopic 'I, Tonya.'

'I, Tonya' (Dec. 8)

Stars: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan

Director: Craig Gillespie

The skinny: In the darkly comic biopic, Robbie plays Tonya Harding from awkward 15-year-old to disgraced figure-skating champion following the 1994 attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan; Janney co-stars as her abusive mom LaVona Golden and Stan is infamous ex-husband Jeff Gillooly. One of the keys to playing the polarizing Olympic hopeful was “embracing the spirit of real-life Tonya (as well as) the spirit of the person audiences had seen over the years,” Robbie says. The movie also maps Harding’s longtime struggle to belong in the skating world as a blue-collar athlete while also refusing to conform to the dainty, unaggressive ideology judges preferred. “It is a wonderful character conflict to map throughout the story and it’s always evidently there,” Robbie says. “I definitely feel moments of that when I watch real-life interviews with Tonya. Whether she sees it that way or not, that’s how I perceived it.”

More: Margot Robbie's Tonya Harding movie is officially the darling of Toronto

Elisa (Sally Hawkins, right) is able to confide in her neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins) about her fishy new love in the unconventional fairy tale 'The Shape of Water.'

'The Shape of Water' (Dec. 8)

Stars: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones and Michael Shannon

Director: Guillermo del Toro

The skinny: The Shape of Water is “a movie about love and embracing the ‘other’ at a time when we are told to embrace fear and hatred as measures of safety,” del Toro says. Set in 1962, a janitor (Hawkins) at a research facility becomes enamored with a fish man (Jones), whom she seeks to break out of captivity. Del Toro wanted Hawkins’ character to be voiceless because “I didn’t want the falling in love to be anything but pure energy and pure innocence — the looks between them, the chemistry — rather than romantic dialogue,” says the director, who recommended that Hawkins watch silent movies with Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel. “I said, ‘You have to study the way they use their whole body to communicate longing, emotion, nearness, proximity,’ and she did.”

Earlier:Guillermo del Toro casts a spell in Toronto with ‘The Shape of Water’

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is in self-imposed exile on an island when he's found by a potential new apprentice in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' (Dec. 15)

Stars: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill and John Boyega

Director: Rian Johnson

The skinny: Luke Skywalker (Hamill) has been in exile for years when Rey (Ridley) finds him on the island of Ahch-To, but the Jedi’s ancient tomes don’t look like easy reading. “It would be funny if you zoom in on that bookshelf and it’s all Robert Ludlum thrillers,” says Johnson, whose first duty was figuring out why Luke was there. “So when you see it in totality you’re like, ‘Oh, OK, this is why the galaxy’s greatest optimist and hero would be doing this.’ ” Johnson promises that Luke’s still strong and the years of isolation haven’t dulled his mind at all. Hamill’s "always been handsome and he’s just in this place now where he’s got so much gravity: You point a camera at his face and you feel depth and wisdom. He’s seen some stuff.”

More: See exclusive new behind-the-scenes 'Last Jedi' video with Carrie Fisher

Also: The Mothership podcast: Let's talk about that 'Star Wars: Last Jedi' trailer

A mysterious guide (Nick Jonas, left) shows Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart) and Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black) around the wild video-game landscape of 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.'

'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' (Dec. 20)

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black

Director: Jake Kasdan

The skinny: In the reinterpretation of the 1995 Robin Williams movie, four teenagers get sucked into a wild video-game world and become very different avatars — which meant actors playing way against type. “That was the ongoing thing the whole time: How do we keep these kids alive in every minute of this movie?” Kasdan says. Black had to inhabit the personality of a teenage girl, Karen Gillan contrasts a crop-topped action heroine with the mind of a brainy youngster, Hart is a football stud in a short body, and Johnson is the muscular version of a nerdy guy. The Rock especially “embraced so completely the challenge of playing this awkward teenager and stepped up to the fun in that,” Kasdan says. “What would you discover about yourself if you could spend the day in someone else’s body? It goes to a fantasy but also to this story about what are we capable of that we may or may not realize.”

Related: The Rock shares perilous details about 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle'

Chloe (Brittany Snow, front center) and the rest of the Barden Bellas join a European USO tour in the musical comedy 'Pitch Perfect 3.'

'Pitch Perfect 3' (Dec. 22)

Stars: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson

Director: Trish Sie

The skinny: The Barden Bellas reunite for yet another aca-awesome musical adventure, this time heading to Europe for a globetrotting USO tour, where they need to prove their singing abilities. Brittany Snow’s high-strung Chloe is one of the girls who’s had the hardest time moving on from college to adulthood and is “still kind of a hot mess, which I love,” the actress says. “She just slowly unravels. She definitely has a continuous problem of not being able to grow up and get rid of the Bella image in her mind.” There is some maturing at least — Chloe gets a love interest in a hunky Army soldier played by Matt Lanter — “but in the meantime she gets drunk a lot and she cries a lot and she has a lot of dramatic speeches,” Snow adds. “So everything that people love about her, it’s all back.”

P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman, center) creates a family of circus stars out of society's outcasts in the musical 'The Greatest Showman.'

'The Greatest Showman' (Dec. 25)

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Zendaya and Zac Efron

Director: Michael Gracey

The skinny: The original musical (with songs by La La Land duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) chronicles the rise of P.T. Barnum from a nobody to the charismatic creator of a spectacular and successful circus. Two strong stories at play: One is the tight-knit group that Barnum inadvertently puts together with his various oddities, “all these people who otherwise would be invisible to society," Gracey says. "He’s turning them into stars, but more importantly he’s making them feel love for the first time in their lives. It’s about embracing what is different about you and that it’s something to be celebrated.” But there’s also his actual family, including wife Charity (Michelle Williams), who play into a tale of “realizing that your greatest wealth is the people you’re surrounded with and the love they have for you. I don’t think that’s a bad message to have at Christmas.”