The Best Movies To See In Theaters – New Movies Out Now

Last year was a notably great year for movies, having seen the release of zany sci-fi films like Everything Everywhere All At Once, entertaining whodunits like Glass Onion, and fast-paced action films like Top Gun: Maverick. As we near the end of January, though, its successor, 2023, has no shortage of similarly fantastic movies to look forward.

Starting this Friday, you’ll be able to see several new indie movies at your local art house theaters. Among these, you’ll have the chance to enjoy Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial debut, When You Finish Saving the World, and the engrossing British drama, After Love.

Along with those titles, you’ll also have time to catch up on some of the best releases from the previous few months, like James Cameron’s latest blockbuster, Avatar: The Way of Water, the darkly comedic horror movie, M3gan, and the supremely entertaining family film, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Here are all the movies you can find playing at your local movie theaters starting this weekend.

Updated: January 19.

Popular New Releases


Months before its release to theaters, horror fans began to voice eager anticipation for the sci-fi slasher, M3gan. Thankfully, the movie’s reception seems to have stuck the landing, many reviews providing favorable outlooks in regards to the movie’s horror and comedic elements.

After gaining custody of her young niece Cady (Violet McGraw), a robotics manufacturer at a toy company uses an experimental new product to bond with Cady. Designed to be the perfect playmate, Megan (Amie Donald) starts off as the ideal best friend, before slowly developing a homicidal streak, killing anyone who threatens to fracture her relationship with Cady.

A rare horror comedy that’s as equally chilling as it is humorous, M3gan has been positively received by critics, many calling it a fun, somewhat campy film that’s sure to please fans of Chucky and The Conjuring.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
IMDb score: 6.2

Avatar: The Way of Water

It’s been over a decade since we last saw a James Cameron film, the director having delivered one of the biggest critical and financial sci-fi epics in history with 2009’s Avatar. Having diligently worked on a sequel to his pop culture phenomenon for the past 13 years, Cameron finally returns this Christmas with the anxiously-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water.

Over 10 years after the events of Avatar, Jake (Sam Worthington) lives a peaceful life with his family among the Na’vi. Unfortunately, the idyllic existence of his people is once again threatened by the human colonizers who have returned to Pandora.

As you might expect, Avatar: The Way of Water has already been hailed as a cinematic masterpiece in terms of its visuals alone. As was the case with the first movie, critics have commented that watching it truly makes it feel that you’ve traveled to a distant world, inhabited by vivid flora and breathtaking fauna. It might have taken a long time for Cameron to deliver — but deliver he most assuredly did.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
IMDb score: 8.3


Gerard Butler has had a rough few years in the past, starring in a series of memorably bad action movies like Last Seen Alive, Angel Has Fallen, and Hunter Killer. With Plane, Butler successfully veers back on career course, ushering in what might be his best movie in recent memory.

Upon making a forced landing on a remote Pacific island, a pilot (Butler) and a convicted murderer (Mike Colter) team up to rescue the plane’s passengers after they’ve been taken hostage by an armed mob.

It’d be an exaggeration to call Plane a definitive masterpiece among action films, but it hinges heavily on Butler’s decent performance, as well as his chemistry with Colter. When looking at the film, critics have reacted far more favorably than they have to any of Butler’s latest movies, making it a return to form of sorts for the veteran action star.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 7

House Party

The original 1990 version of House Party remains a cult classic, benefitting from a sharp script, impeccable casting, and an energetic bundle of laughs. With how loved the initial movie was, the reboot of House Party had an admittedly tough act to follow, sadly failing to measure up to the high bar set by its ‘90s counterpart.

Fired from their job as house cleaners and lacking the finances to have a party of their own, best friends Kevin (Jacob Latimore) and Damon (Tosin Cole) decide to throw an epic shindig at the home of their former client, LeBron James.

Perhaps the greatest thing about House Party is its sizable list of celebrity cameos, with everyone from Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne to LeBron James himself making an appearance. Unfortunately, the amount of cameos isn’t enough to sustain this movie, which critics have noted significantly pales in comparison to the original House Party.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%
IMDb score: 


Damien Chazelle is one of the best young directors working today, his debut Whiplash serving as perhaps the greatest film debut by a first-time director ever put to screen. Following up on the success of La La Land and First Man, Chazelle looks back at the intricate and chaotic world of 1920s Hollywood with his latest film, Babylon.

As the film industry undergoes a major transformation from the silent era into sound, several major stars and industry figures suffer severe professional setbacks.

Between its amazing set design and massive ensemble cast (Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde, Samara Weaving, and Flea, among others), Babylon is commendable for both its size and scope. While its cast, music, and visuals all secured praise, critics were dismissive about the movie’s thin screenplay and lengthy runtime (just over three hours).

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 59%
IMDb score: 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

It’s been some years since we last saw that swashbuckling feline adventurer, Puss, in action (11 years, to be exact). After his lengthy absence, Shrek’s breakout character returns for what is quite possibly the final time.

Having cycled through eight of his nine lives, Puss (Antonio Banderas) sets out to locate the fabled Last Wish and restore his life cycle, all the while being hunted by a dangerous band of criminals led by the sinister Goldilocks (Florence Pugh).

A more than satisfying sequel to the original Puss in Boots, The Last Wish has earned instant critical acclaim, mostly owing to its vocal performances and animation. Already, it’s garnered a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes, with likely an Academy Award nomination to follow soon after.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
IMDb score: 7.6

A Man Called Otto

A Man Called Otto seems like the type of movie that would’ve done great during the holiday season. Possessing many of the same life lessons and themes presented in such timeless stories as A Christmas Carol and The Grinch, it’s an ideal movie for the Christmas season. While it failed to meet an earlier release, it’s still a decent enough movie to watch before New Year’s, full of plenty of life lessons to take with you into 2023.

Forced into retirement and still grieving from the loss of his wife, a grumpy older man suffering from chronic depression (Hanks) gets a new lease on life when he meets his energetic, upbeat neighbors.

Critics have remained mostly indifferent to A Man Called Otto, criticizing it for its unfunny jokes, its pandering style, and its largely confusing nature (the movie’s too dark to be a comedy and too light to be a drama). However, as per usual, Hanks’ performance has garnered mostly positive marks, critics feeling the movie coasts easily on his inspired lead role.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 7.3

When You Finish Saving the World

Jesse Eisenberg is a talented individual on varying artistic levels. Not only is he a skilled actor, but he’s also established himself as quite a remarkable writer, having penned various articles, short stories, and plays over the years. With When You Finish Saving the World, Eisenberg turns his attention towards the world of film, handing in his first effort as a director.

Lacking a strong connection with one another, a mother (Julianne Moore) and her teenage son (Finn Wolfhard) seek out surrogate replacements for one another.

As unlikely as its main premise is, When You Finish Saving the World has been released mostly to positive reviews. Most critics have remained a bit ambivalent about the movie’s plot and characters, but note that the whole project marks a successful first foray for Eisenberg into the art of filmmaking.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 66%
IMDb score: 6.5

After Love

One of the most remarkable drama films in recent years, After Love is a palpable meditation on numerous subjects, ranging from grief and loss to coming to terms with the reality of individual relationships with loved ones.

After her husband (Nasser Memarzia) unexpectedly passes away, a middle-aged woman (Joanna Scanlan) is shocked to learn that he secretly had another family.

Taking that brilliant premise and exploring it to its fullest potential, After Love is a poignant drama film filled with surprises. Despite being an indie film, it’s gone on to achieve almost instant widespread success from critics, leading to several nominations at the 2021 British Independent Film Awards, where it won for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
IMDb score: 7.3

The Whale

Like Keanu Reeves, Brendan Fraser can do no wrong. An unbelievably humble and likable actor, Fraser’s been beset by both personal and professional issues that have severely hindered his career. But 2022 marks the return of this superior actor, with Fraser managing to delight audiences in No Sudden Move and his most recent psychological drama, The Whale.

Facing mounting health issues, a reclusive English teacher (Fraser) tries reaching out and forming a connection to his estranged daughter (Stranger Things‘ Sadie Sink).

The Whale has been hailed as Fraser’s finest performance yet, launching what looks to be a successful, long-awaited comeback for the former action star. Most of the film’s positive reception has revolved around Fraser, with similar praise going to Sink and co-star Hong Chau.

Where to watch: In theaters for a limited time
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 9

Women Talking

Based on Miriam Toews’ best-selling novel, Women Talking is as engaging an arthouse drama film as it gets. An effortlessly impressive adaptation, the movie retains all of the philosophical and personal questions that made Toews’ book a bestseller in the first place, combined with the performances of an amazing cast.

When they discover that the men in their colony have been drugging and sexually assaulting female members of their community, a group of Mennonite women discuss whether they should run, fight, or stay before the men return.

Evaluating questions of faith, loyalty, and female’s role in conservatively religious communities, Women Talking is an intelligent and poignant film that asks audiences some fundamentally important questions. Critical reviews have been extremely favorable, many calling it a touching film loaded with great acting (especially from Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Frances McDormand, and Ben Whishaw).

Where to watch: In theaters for a limited time
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
IMDb score: 7.8

Other Movies of Note

Notable films that will likely continue playing for only a few more weeks.

Violent Night

You remember the opening to Scrooged — where they had Santa and the Six Million Dollar Man fight off a horde of ski mask-clad bad guys at the North Pole? That’s essentially the plot to Violent Night, the new comedic action film starring David Harbour as a John McClane-Santa hybrid.

On Christmas Eve, a gang of professional thieves take a wealthy family hostage and try to break into their heavily fortified vault. The family’s only chance of survival is Santa Claus (Harbour), who hands out some violent vengeance against the ne’er-do-wells seeking to ruin Christmas.

As high concept a movie as they come, Violent Night nevertheless delivers a satisfying dose of over-the-top action and deliberately-cheesy one liners. It may not be the greatest Christmas movie ever made, but it’s no doubt one of the most original — an opinion shared by most critics, who gifted the movie with mostly positive reviews.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
IMDb score: 6.9


Released way back in the summer, the South Korean drama, Broker, finally arrives in theaters abroad this coming weekend. A contender at this year’s Cannes Film Festival competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or, it’s an absolutely stunning movie that will leave you shaken and rattled.

Ha Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) are two best friends who run an illegal side hustle. Every once in a while, the pair will steal a baby left behind in an adoption box, selling it on the black market for parents unable to adopt children through the state.

After nearly having her baby stolen by the two, a young mother (Lee Ji-eun) opts to tag along with them, seeing for herself what her baby’s adoptive parents will be like.

There are many words that might immediately jump to mind when reading that premise — dark, macabre, mean-spirited being the foremost among them. However, the beauty of Broker is how well the movie maneuvers around its main concept, handling it with sensitivity and verve (a feature nearly every critic applauded upon the movie’s summer release).

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
IMDb score: 7.1

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Musical documentaries have been very much in vogue this past year, likely stemming from the critical acclaim heaped onto Disney+’s The Beatles: Get Back. This weekend, you’ll be able to look forward to one more musical documentary joining the fray — Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

Taking you on a journey through the life and career of legendary R&B singer Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance with Somebody chronicles how Houston went from relative obscurity to a major pillar in the music industry.

As heartwarming as its portrayal of Houston’s life is, I Wanna Dance with Somebody has earned mostly divided reviews from critics. Most felt the film relied on the same basic outline used by other music documentaries before it, doing little to set itself apart from other projects like Get Back or Moonage Daydream.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 42%
IMDb score: 6.7

Empire of Light

Set in 1980s coastal England, a middle-aged movie theater usher (Olivia Colman) and a new employee (Michael Ward) form an emotional connection with one another, in spite of their personal differences.

Sam Mendes is one of the more underrated directors working today. His past movies (1917, American Beauty, Skyfall) have all won notable acclaim and various international prizes, but he doesn’t necessarily come up in the same breath with other filmmakers working today.

As impressive as Mendes’ previous filmography has been, Empire of Light is a bit of a disappointing follow-up to Mendes’ award-winning 1917. The performances of the cast have been called the movie’s finest feature, with critics viewing the tone and storyline of the movie uneventful and more than a little boring.

Where to watch: In theaters for a limited time
Rotten Tomatoes score: 43%
IMDb score: 6.6

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

In the wake of T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) passing, the people of Wakanda reluctantly come to terms with their monarch’s death, facing the threat of invasion from the recently-reemerged civilization of Talokan.

Few celebrity tragedies measure up to the unexpected passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020. His death was a complete shock to movie fans worldwide, robbing audiences of a one-of-a-kind actor who had his entire future ahead of him.

Handling the subject of Boseman’s death in an emotional yet tasteful way, Wakanda Forever has earned significant praise amongst critics, many claiming it directly rivals the acclaim of the first Black Panther movie. Boseman’s presence in the film is sorely missed, but his fellow stars do a great job carrying the franchise forward.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%
IMDb score: 7.4

The Menu

Ironically arriving to theaters shortly before Thanksgiving, The Menu is a bite-sized dark comedy film that packs a wallop in regards to its satirical subject matter.

Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) are a young affluent couple who venture to an isolated island restaurant run by the enigmatic celebrity chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes). Together with the other wealthy guests, Margot and Tyler are surprised to find the night’s meal far more eventful than they originally expected.

The high-concept premise of The Menu might make it seem doomed to fail, but its inventiveness, wit, and no-holds-barred satire helps it resonate with viewers in more ways than one. The Menu has been met with phenomenal reviews, critics singling out the comedic elements of the film.

Where to watch: In theaters/On HBO Max
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
IMDb score: 7.5

The Fabelmans

For all the movies he’s made since his debut in 1974, Steven Spielberg has rarely touched upon his own background prior to becoming a successful Hollywood director. With The Fabelmans, that all changes, with Spielberg offering a moving portrait of his early life and his relationship with his parents.

Set in post-WW2 Arizona, the film follows aspiring filmmaker Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LeBelle/Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord) from childhood to young adulthood. As Sammy copes with a shocking family secret, he also learns how his dependence on making movies can help him cope.

One of the rare films Spielberg had a hand in writing (along with Pulitzer-winner Tony Kushner), The Fabelmans has been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, serving as an effective exploration of Spielberg’s early years and what drew him to movies in the first place.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
IMDb score: 8.3

Bones and All

Who would’ve ever thought a story about cannibals could be so romantic? But in director Luca Guadagnino’s very capable hands, Bones and All never comes across as gimmicky or high concept, existing as a tender, haunting, and equally terrifying story about otherness and living on the edge of society’s margins.

Maren (Taylor Russell) is a young woman whose instinctive craving for human flesh forces to go on the run. Meeting the similar-minded drifter Lee (Timothée Chalamet), the two form a friendship over their unusual diet — a friendship that grows deeper and more meaningful with time.

A cross between a love story, a creature feature, a road film, and a coming of age movie, Bones and All has been released to extremely enthusiastic reviews. Many have praised the film for its depiction of unusual subject matter, its breathtaking cinematography, and the amazing performances of the cast (Russell, Chalamet, Mark Rylance, and Michael Stuhlbarg)

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
IMDb score: 7.1


An ambitious and awe-inspiring psychological drama, Tár is at once an acting tour de force for star Cate Blanchett, as well as an engrossing meditation on power, art, and Ahab-levels of obsession.

Lydia Tár (Blanchett) is the acclaimed classical composer and chief conductor of a celebrated German orchestra. As she prepares for her inevitable rise to career prominence, she deals with various issues in her personal and professional life, threatening her ascension in the world of high art.

The premise for Tár might seem a bit dry or pretentious, but critics have universally hailed the film for its story, themes, and the performances of its lead cast (especially Blancett). It’s been toted as both a visual and audio marvel of filmmaking, with reviewers encouraging moviegoers to see it on the biggest screen possible.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
IMDb score: 8.2


For movie fans who love to laugh.

The Banshees of Inisherin

Fourteen years after their previous collaboration on 2008’s In Bruges, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and director Martin McDonagh once again pair up for McDonagh’s long-gestating dark comedy, The Banshees of Inisherin.

On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, Pádraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson) are two best friends whose relationship comes to a standstill when Colm impulsively decides to break off all ties with Pádraic.

A film as wickedly funny as McDonagh’s previous projects (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), The Banshees of Inisherin earned rave reviews upon its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.

Where to watch: In theaters, HBO Max & VOD.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
IMDb score: 8.3

Triangle of Sadness

The winner of this year’s prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Triangle of Sadness is an absurdist and comedic look at wealth, class divisions, and social privilege in a unique and poignant way.

In the middle of a dangerous storm, a luxurious private cruise filled with uber-rich, elitist passengers find themselves shipwrecked on a deserted island. While there, the power dynamic among the survivors shifts, favoring the ship’s more able-bodied crew than the upper-class vacationers.

One part Lord of the Flies, one part HBO’s White Lotus, Triangle of Sadness is a brutally frank satire for the modern age. Like director Ruben Östlund’s previous film, The Square, it’s smart, terse, and illuminates the socioeconomic divides between the average person and the super-wealthy.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%
IMDb score: 7.8


For those looking for a good scare – one way or another.


In the middle of the night, two young brothers wake up to find their father missing and all of the windows and doorways in the house mysteriously absent.

It’s not often a movie featuring young protagonists truly allows you to see from their perspective, infecting you with the same fears you had in childhood that faded with time (fear of the dark, most especially).

But Skinamarink brilliantly looks back to those childhood fears we all had, reducing us to legitimate terror by simply showing a dark, empty hallway while a voice eerily resonates from off-screen. It’s a highly original movie, and one that critics have been extremely complimentary towards.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 73%
IMDb score: 5.2

The Devil Conspiracy

Horror movies rooted in Christianity are hardly a new thing. But every so often, a movie that makes use of Christian text comes along that’s so outlandish, it’s almost beyond belief. Such a description best applies to The Devil Conspiracy, a religious oddity in the worst way imaginable.

When a shady biotech group manages to obtain Jesus Christ’s DNA, the archangel Michael (Peter Mensah) comes to Earth, hoping to stop the company before it successfully creates an evil clone of the Savior.

Only a handful of critics have seen The Devil Conspiracy so far, but nearly all of them have pointedly dismissed the movie, relegating it to the same unremarkable breed of movies as End of Days, The Prophecy, and The Ninth Gate.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%
IMDb score: 7.9


For those looking for something a little more emotional.

The Son

There’s no question that Hugh Jackman is an actor of profound talent and dramatic range. Within the span of a few years, he’s proven himself capable of hopping from a musical comedy to headlining an R-rated superhero movie. Yet for as versatile as Jackman is, he’s not immune to the occasional weak film, as The Son most assuredly is.

Close to achieving the ideal life he always dreamed for himself, Peter (Jackman) tries his best to balance work and his personal life at home, which is thrown into disarray when his son (Zen McCrath) from a previous marriage arrives looking for a place to stay.

Premiering at last year’s Venice Film Festival, The Son was released to mostly mixed reviews. Critics were quick to compliment the movie for its exceptional performances (most especially Jackman and his co-stars Laura Dern and Anthony Hopkins), but were largely hostile to the movie’s weak script and McCrath’s acting.

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 34%
IMDb score: 6.2


Films touching upon European monarchies can be either very good or too dry for most audience members to get a handle on. Judging from early reviews, Corsage fortunately falls into the former category, existing as an effective character study of a little-known figure in European history.

With her 40th birthday on the horizon, Austrian Empress Elisabeth (Vicky Krieps) begins acting out a bit more, undergoing a midlife crisis and obsessing over what she believes are her fleeting good looks.

A lesson in vanity, Corsage is a well-done, atmospheric film that effortlessly transports you back to the mid 19th century. The film has been acclaimed for its unique approach to the historical period drama, and for Krieps’ outstanding performance as the troubled monarch at the heart of the movie.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
IMDb score: 6.8


There’s a reason A24 is practically synonymous with the indie film industry in this day and age. Time and time again, they’ve released films that are narratively complex and emotionally gripping, with A24’s newest film, Aftersun, no exception.

Sophie (Celia Rowlson-Hall) is a young woman who looks back at a childhood trip to Turkey she took with her father (Paul Mescal). As she wades through memory and fantasy, she comes to terms with the man her father actually was rather than the idolized version of him she kept in her head for the past few decades.

Aftersun may not have received a ton of critical attention so far, but critics who have seen the movie have commended it for its raw emotion, themes, and performances. It’s been nominated or received awards at various indie film festivals since its premiere, and is no doubt another huge win for A24.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97
IMDb score: 7.5


For audience members who want to be on the edge of their seats throughout.

The Old Way

At this point, it’s almost become a joke that Nicolas Cage agrees to star in every movie he’s pitched. But in all seriousness, that’s only a slightly exaggerated version of the truth, with Cage starring in the meta-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and two separate Westerns in the past year — the most recent of which is The Old Way.

After his wife is killed by an old adversary seeking revenge, an infamous gunfighter (Cage) and his daughter (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) set out to find the man responsible.

The Old Way is far from the most original Western to come out recently, but hardcore Nicolas Cage fans might find plenty to enjoy about this reasonably fast-paced revenge film (although most critics strapped the movie with mixed to negative reviews).

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 29%
IMDb score: 

Alice, Darling

It might be tough managing to see Alice, Darling right now — the movie having been slated for a limited release window starting December 30, receiving a full theatrical run later in January. However, if you’re anywhere near a theater showing this movie and you’re a massive fan of Anna Kendrick, we recommend checking this little-talked-about thriller while you can.

While on a vacation with her closest friends, Alice (Kendrick) comes to terms with how troubling her relationship is to her psychologically abusive boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick). Opting to break the relationship off, Alice must contend with her fears surrounding the mentally unstable Simon.

Movies exploring toxic relationships always make for interesting subject matter, with Alice, Darling being no exception. Led by an absolutely engrossing Kendrick, the movie manages to touch upon the subject in an enlightening yet sensitive way, accounting its mostly positive reviews thus far from critics.

Where to watch: Exclusively in theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
IMDb score: 7.2


For movie fans who love a good mystery.

Decision To Leave

Director Park Chan-wook’s movies aren’t for everyone, but for the past 30 years, the respected South Korean filmmaker has cultivated a steady following of fans for his unwaveringly brutal, darkly comic films. Like his best movies (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, and The Handmaiden), Decision to Leave is just one illustration of how phenomenal a director Park is.

Detective Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) is sent to investigate the mysterious and apparently accidental death of a man who fell from a mountain peak. Trying to find out if the man was pushed or whether he truly did slip, Hae-jun begins to develop romantic feelings for his main suspect: the man’s widow (Tang Wei).

Most of the reviews for Decision to Leave have been positive, although most critics felt the movie didn’t match the same quality as some of Park’s earlier films. However, those same critics lauded the film for its complexity, darkness, and ability to blend multiple genres into one cohesive film (including mystery, thriller, neonoir, and romance).

Where to watch: In limited theaters
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
IMDb score: 7.3

Popular Re-Releases

Iconic movies that are headed for the big screen for a limited time.

Roman Holiday

Returning to theaters to celebrate its 70th anniversary is Roman Holiday. A beloved romantic comedy and a classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood, it’s a cinematic achievement in every conceivable way, serving as the blueprint for virtually every rom com that came after it.

Ann (Aubrey Hepburn) is a European princess trying to enjoy the sites of Rome on her own. After happening across an American reporter (Gregory Peck) interested in an interview, the two immediately begin to develop a mutual attraction to one another that only grows with time.

Few romantic comedies have seen as marvelous a cinematic pairing as Hepburn and Peck. Like Bogart and Bergman, Allen and Keaton, or DiCaprio and Winslet, the two radiate such intense warmth and longing for one another that it’s almost impossible not to be won over by their affection towards each other.

Where to watch: In theaters/On Paramount+ and VOD
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
IMDb score: 8

Grab your tickets ahead of time and skip the lines at the theater.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).

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Small Ships Are Making Big Waves: The Growing Demand for Luxury Cruises | Wealth of Geeks

You won’t find waterparks or mega theatres on small cruise ships. Instead, small cruise ships like award-winning Silversea’s Silver Cloud can pull up next to a glacier in Alaska and pluck some ice for an authentic Alaskan cocktail hour. Luxury small ship cruising is surging in popularity, with the number of ships set to double by 2030.

Small ship cruise lines typically offer up to 50% more personal space per person compared to their mega-ship counterparts. Service levels are significantly higher with one-to-one service levels or nearly double the amount of crew per passenger.

But perhaps the biggest draw for travelers considering a small ship cruise: adventure. Small ships can easily navigate remote harbors of coveted destinations that typical cruise ships can’t get anywhere near.

“Just as travelers on land are making their booking decisions based on their personal comfort level, cruisers are doing the same. Small-ship cruising addresses two big trends among cruisers that we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic: a growing interest in intimate cruising, with fewer passengers onboard and a greater space-to-guest ratio, and the desire to have more bucket list-worthy travel experiences,” comments Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic.

Smaller Means More Spacious

While a mass-market cruise ship can carry up to 7,000 passengers and weigh more than 225,000 tonnes, luxury ocean liners usually accommodate far fewer passengers. Generally speaking, the guest capacity of these elite vessels falls under 1,000 people.

For instance, Regent’s ‘Seven Seas Explorer’ weighs 55,254 tonnes and can accommodate 750 passengers. Despite being much smaller in size, Seven Seas Explorer provides 2.5 times more space per individual on board.

In addition, the ratio of passengers to crew members is significantly higher on Seven Seas Explorer compared to most other large vessels, ensuring that travelers receive an unprecedented level of service with nearly 2.5 times as many crew members for every passenger.

A Focus on Itineraries & In-Port Experiences

With small-ship cruising, the environment is more relaxed and laid back. Rather than pushing for huge crowds and supercharged activities as a mega-ship does, this type of cruise opts for educational enrichment experiences that attract fewer guests. You won’t feel like you’re in an overfilled auditorium or theater with high-production shows here; rather, it’s a much simpler setting where everyone can truly enjoy themselves.

“Many small ships also have a greater focus on itineraries and in-port experiences versus their larger counterparts. Smaller ships are able to visit a number of destinations the larger ships can’t, and they tend to have more off-the-beaten-path destinations on their itineraries.

“For travelers who have put their adventures on hold for an extended period of time, this is something that’s really enticing – the ability to hit a number of dream destinations in one trip and have those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We’ve seen a number of non-cruisers embrace cruising for this reason as well – particularly in the growing expedition market – as cruising can really deliver an experience you’re unable to replicate easily on land,” comments McDaniel.

Ultra-Luxury Market Growing

Panache Cruises, specializing in luxury cruise vacations, has seen a significant increase in sales from cruise lines Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Seabourn, Oceania, Azamara, and Explora Journeys. Before the pandemic, these six cruise lines had 28 ships between them; during the pandemic, that number jumped to 35 ships and is projected to reach 56 vessels by 2030.

“Small ship luxury and ultra-luxury cruising is growing in demand, with customers wanting to travel further and for longer but in luxurious surroundings. Everything is usually included too on an ultra-luxury cruise from flights, transfers, exquisite cuisine, personal almost 121 service, excursions, WiFi, all tips and gratuities, all drinks including premium spirits, vintage wines, cocktails, and Champagne,” comments James Cole, the founder and managing director of Panache Cruises.

“Following the pandemic, we’re seeing a shift in the priorities of travelers. Small ship ocean cruising has certainly become more attractive due to smaller passenger numbers and the fact that small ships often offer up to 50% more personal space per person compared to the largest cruise ships. This is mainly because smaller ships are operated by luxury and ultra-luxury cruise lines where service levels are much higher. As a general rule, a luxury cruise will have nearly double the number of crew for each individual passenger,” continues Cole.

Award-Winning Cruise Line

On Windstar’s small, luxurious sailings and all-suite yachts, you can journey to exotic locations far beyond the beaten path. Explore captivating ports of entry, secluded harbors, and remarkable cultures that will leave an indelible mark on your memory. Windstar Cruises recently won the award in the Luxury Category for Best Shore Excursions by Cruise Critics’ Editors’ Awards in 2022.

The exclusive cruise line is widely acclaimed for its outstanding service as well as for transporting savvy vacationers. Its friendly crew members and kindred passengers aboard the ship often form lasting relationships during the voyage — some even reuniting annually.

“Expect once-in-a-lifetime shore excursions and chatting with the Captain on the open Bridge. There’s a Watersports Platform on the stern with complimentary activities. We have exceptional, locally sourced culinary experiences from some of the most recognized chefs in the world. All this is on yachts with an unpretentious and relaxed ambiance serving between 148 to 342 guests,” comments Windstar President Christopher Prelog.

Two popular destinations for Windstar Cruises are the Panama Canal, Cartagena, San Blas Islands & More itinerary, which goes from Aruba to Panama City (and the reverse), and cruises to the Middle East, which will be a first for Windstar, beginning November 2023, on the all-suite, 312-guest Star Legend.

The Popularity of Sailing Vacations Is Surging

2022 has seen an exponential rise in interest in sailing vacations, particularly skippered/crewed charters. Since 2018, the number of catamaran charters rented with skippers to assist with sailing has more than doubled (+133%) in select destinations like the Mediterranean, according to Dream Yacht Worldwide, one of the world’s leading ocean tourism companies.

“Sailing vacations continue to gain popularity as a different way of experiencing the world and bringing people together – Dream Yacht Worldwide wants to make the transformative experience of sailing as easy as possible for as many as possible by offering customizable experiences using the knowledge and expertise of our team of sea professionals,” shared Dan Lockyer, Vice President of Global Tourism, Dream Yacht Group.

In light of the surging demand for Marine tourism and industry analysis confirming its growth, Dream Yacht Worldwide will introduce 150 new boats for the upcoming season. They also have a by-the-cabin offering, a great introduction to the intimate/small cruising industry. The yachts are typically 54 to 62 feet, have private bathrooms and bedrooms, and come with two crew members, a captain and Hostess/cook, and a max of 12 guests or six cabins.

The Future of Cruising

The post-pandemic world has left people eager to explore the places they have been longing to visit. In 2023, luxury cruises will become the obvious choice for savvy travelers looking to get the most bang for their buck.

When you compare current rates of upscale hotels and account for restaurant bills and other expenses like airfare or car rentals necessary to explore multiple cities – it all adds up quickly. Not only can cruising provide unbeatable value in terms of cost, but they also offer a unique experience that allows passengers to truly immerse themselves in new cultures and destinations.

“Take, for example, the Caribbean, where Windstar sails in the winter months to smaller ports and less-visited bays away from the crowds on ships so small you can swim in the sea right off the back of the yacht. Seven-day cruises are available from $1,899 per person and include accommodations, all meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and even snorkel equipment. Plus, there’s the benefit of included travel between islands like Tortola, Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Barts, Virgin Gorda, and Antigua, adding variety to a traditional one-stop beach vacation,” says Prelog.

“Assuming a luxe hotel in the Caribbean at $400/night (and we’re being generously low on this) for seven nights, $20/day for a snorkel equipment setup for a few of those days, and around $200/day per person in food and drinks, you’re already over $4,900 for two people,” he continues.

Cole shares similar sentiments. “I think also there is a growing awareness about the ‘total cost’ of a cruise and not just the initial price to get on board. When you factor in all the extra costs for drinks, specialty restaurants, excursions, and gratuities, it is often comparable to the cost of a luxury cruise, where these elements are generally included in the ticket price.

“I think people are becoming more savvy about this, and as a result, more and more people are trying a luxury cruise for the first time with lines like Oceania, Azamara, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, and Seabourn.”

Windstar’s President sums up this growing demand perfectly. “My travel prediction for 2023: luxury, and particularly small ship cruising ‘off the beaten path,’ is the future in the cruising sector.”

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Casandra is the founder of Karpiak Caravan Adventure Family Travel and a mother to two adventurous young boys. Casandra is a family-focused, adventure travel advocate.

A Toronto native with Danish roots, she became an avid traveler after her first trip to Europe as a college student. Casandra’s goal is to provide an educational experience for her family when she travels. When visiting historic sites like D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, or learning about ranch life at a dude ranch on horseback, it’s always a priority to provide an educational experience and to learn about the culture and history of each destination.

You can follow her adventures at karpiakcaravan or get in touch via her social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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Don’t Be a Scrooge: Everyday Ways To Be More Charitable in 2023 | Wealth of Geeks

Even with rising inflation rates, Americans are still finding room to be charitable. While many popular New Year’s resolutions are focused on changing yourself and your personal situation – exercise more, lose weight, spend less, a growing number of people are resolving to give back.

Being more charitable was among the top ten New Year’s resolutions last year. And it’s no wonder why. Giving back to others is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

A recent study by Tracking Happiness found that people who commit to raising money for charity are generally the happiest. You can not only make a difference in the lives of others, but you’ll also find yourself happier in the process.

There are simple ways to be more charitable in your everyday life. And it doesn’t have to cost you anything, either. It’s a resolution you’ll be glad you made.

Make Generosity a Habit

You don’t need to be rich to be a generous person. You can start by giving up some of your time to volunteer.

If you’re like the 14.5% of people surveyed by Tracking Happiness last year, volunteering and doing charity work is one of your goals for the following year. It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Regularly giving up an hour or two of your time can make a big difference. It also teaches you new skills and introduces you to new people.

Raising money for charities is another popular way (11.1%) to show your generosity and increase your happiness. The resolution is also broken the least, with a 70% success rate.

You don’t need to give a large amount of money to make a difference. Leave a dollar in the donation box at the grocery store check-out line whenever you see one. Better yet, donate $5 or $10 each time if you can. You will likely not miss this small amount of money, and it will help someone tremendously.

Start by making small changes. Before you know it, generosity will become second nature.

Follow Charities on Social Media

If you’d like to stay up to date with your favorite charity or are curious to learn more about them, start by simply following them on social media.

Not only will this keep the charity in your thoughts, but you’ll also be the first to know about any events or fundraisers they may be hosting and when they require volunteers or donations.

What’s more, with a simple click of a button, you can share the event and need with all of your followers. It’s literally the easiest way to help a charitable organization, and raise awareness.

Find a Cause That Matters – to You

You won’t stick to a cause if you’re not interested in it. So what do you care about? It may be the environment, animals, children, veterans, poverty, homelessness, injustice, education and literacy, access to clean water, human rights, accessibility, immigration, discrimination, or bullying. There are many to choose from.

Did you have a strong reaction to any of these suggestions? That’s a good indication of where to start.

Choose Charities Carefully

Before you donate your time, and more importantly, your money, to a particular charity, check to make sure it’s a legitimate organization. Many scammers are trying to take advantage of your goodwill. More than $15 million has already been lost this year through fraudulent charitable solicitations as of September 2022, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

To protect yourself, research the organization online with the terms “scam” or “complaints” to see what comes up. Check with other organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau or Charity Navigator, to see how the charity is rated.

On the charity’s website or social media pages, look for contact information, mission statements, financial records, a breakdown of how they use donations, and a charity registration number. Be cautious if you can’t find this information. Unfortunately, some well-known charities spend more money on their CEO’s salaries than on the cause they are supposed to support.

What Do Those in Need Actually Need?

Shelters and soup kitchens happily welcome donations. But before you donate those canned goods from your pantry, know that other people are also contributing the same. Why not donate something that these organizations need but don’t already have?

People rarely think to donate toiletry items such as shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper. These items are needed just as urgently as that can of creamed corn.

Many charities prefer monetary donations so that they can purchase whatever they need. You can also deduct your contributions from your taxes if you go this route.

Browse The Web

Yes, there are ways for you to go about your day online and simultaneously be charitable. One of the easiest ways to support charities online is by clicking on their ads or sharing their links on social media.

Do you shop online? Raise money for charities through sites including Amazon Smile, eBay for Charity, or Goodshop, where a portion of your purchase price is donated to whichever charity you choose.

You can also use search engines and Chrome extensions that donate to charity, including Goodsearch and Tab for a Cause, and click-to-donate sites like Freerice and the Hunger Site.

Donate Your Unwanted Items

If you’re like one of the 12.3% of respondents who have resolved to decorate or renovate your home this year, decluttering should be your first step. Not only is decluttering good advice for everyone, but it’s also a great way to be more charitable.

Rather than throwing something away, consider if it could be useful to someone else. Things like your unworn clothes, furniture, and old electronics could make someone’s day. Plenty of charities and thrift stores would love to take your unwanted items off your hands.

Being more charitable doesn’t have to mean changing your whole lifestyle or making sacrifices you’re not ready to make. Every act of kindness can make the world a better place, no matter how small.

This article was produced by My Life, I Guess and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the “person” in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and more. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations – including a free library of career & job search resources.

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20 Affordable Ways To Spend Quality Time With Your Family This Holiday Season | Wealth of Geeks

The holidays are about spending time with family, celebrating the season, giving gifts, and indulging in delicious food and drink.  But all that spending on get-togethers, events, and merriment adds up. Here are some ideas that are big on family togetherness and low on cost.

The average American spends $1,000 during the holiday season, with 1 in 3 going into credit card debt. During a time when it’s about being present with your family and not necessarily the presents, here are 20 ways to spend quality time together that don’t cost a lot of money.

1. Create Time Capsules

Image Credit: Unsplash.

Choose a time this holiday season for everyone in your family to write out things they’re grateful for and goals they have for the following year.  You can also include a small item representing who you are this year. Put the notes and the item in a small box and keep them for next year.

“Creating a family time capsule is a great way to bond, share things you’re grateful for with one another, and plan goals you have for the following year with your family,” says Victoria from Motherhood Life Balance. “Keep your time capsules together in one bigger box or keep individual boxes for everyone to look back on each year.”

2. Family Picnics

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Image Credit: Unsplash.

If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere warm during the holiday season, this is an excellent idea for you and your family.

“It’s the holiday season, so why not take your family out? If the weather is nice, why not have a family picnic by a lake? Picnics are a great way to get out of the house and bond with one another,” says Cindy from The Money Dreamer.

“A break is what we need when it’s the holiday. There are many things to do on a picnic like taking pictures, feeding the ducks, playing with your kids, reading a book, and napping. Just being outside and taking a breather can relieve all our worries.”

3. Evening Walks

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Image Credit: Pexels.

Many families find this time of year perfect for starting or continuing traditions that can help people come together to enjoy the holiday season. “During the Christmas holidays, my family’s tradition is to take evening walks together during the Rauhnächte,” says Nora Breyer from Vivdily Christmas. “This custom and its meaning may have nothing to do with our strolls, but there is something magical about going for a walk together at night.”

4. Holiday Markets and Events

holiday market
Image Credit: Unsplash.

The season offers lots of markets, tree farms, and more. It’s a great time to get the family out and start some traditions.

Sarah Molenda from I Heart Frugal says, “Every year we like to pick one paid holiday event and a few free ones to attend. We love the zoo lights in our hometown, and we also love going to tree lighting together. We set up a special night to decorate the house, and we absolutely love baking and decorating cookies together.”

5. Holiday DIYs Together

holiday craft
Image Credit: Pexels.

Crafting and creating is an excellent way to spend some quality time together. Grab a craft and plan some time together to be creative.

“Creating these beautiful marble ornaments is a great way to spend time together as a family,” says Kate from Swanky Den. “Together, hopefully, everyone involved in making the marble ornaments would have a great time recalling memories from Christmases past.”

6. Baking Cookies

holiday cookies
Image Credit: Pexels.

The smell of freshly baked goods coming from the kitchen is a smell that always reminds me of the holidays. This year might be when you start a baking tradition with your family.

“One of our favorite ways to spend time together as a family during the holidays is baking holiday cookies.  My sister and I get together each year with our children (we have seven kids between the two of us). We invite the children into the kitchen to roll out the dough and cut out holiday-shaped sugar cookies.  We handle the baking while the kids mix the icing colors.”

“Once the cookies are out of the oven, the real fun begins,” says Crystal from Simply Full of Delight. “The kids go wild decorating with red, green, white, and blue icing and an overabundance of sprinkles.

7. Making Gingerbread Houses With a Twist

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Image Credit: Unsplash.

Have you ever created a gingerbread house that you don’t eat and you can keep for years to come?

“Creating gingerbread houses together is a lovely tradition that brings together families from youngest to oldest. I’ve found a way to treasure these houses for years to come by creating them with cinnamon and applesauce dough,” says Paula from Colorful Craft Corner.

“They look almost like real gingerbread, you can decorate them with candies and puffy paint as an icing replacement, and they have a lovely cinnamon scent that lasts for years. Make a house every year, and your children will have the loveliest Christmas village when they grow up.”

8. Enjoying Special Meals Together

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Image Credit: Pexels.

The chatter, the smells from the kitchen, and the kids are playing around the house. Family get-togethers and meals prepared together are often a tradition that is remembered for years to come.

“Growing up in an Italian American Family, Holidays and family gatherings always revolve around the food. We’d open a bottle of wine, pour a glass, then roll up our sleeves and help prepare the dinner. From preparing antipasto and olive tapenade to lasagna, turkey, and desserts,” says Paul from A Grill For All Seasons.

“The laughter, singing, and yelling at times, are always moments I will treasure. We would finish cooking. Set everything out, say a prayer over the meal, and then enjoy each other as we celebrated the Holiday and cherished the time together.

9. Making Decorations for the Christmas Tree

9. Making Decorations for the Christmas Tree Image Credit Unsplash e1671239572922
Image Credit: Unsplash.

Homemade Christmas decorations are something you can keep for years to come. It’s a great way to revisit the memory of making them year after year.

“Each year, our family sits down together to make decorations for our Christmas tree. The decorations vary slightly from year to year. Sometimes we paint cork or make salt dough decorations, and other times we create picture baubles. We make extras too, to gift to friends and family members,” says Claire from Craving Christmas.

10. Exploring the Holiday Lights

10. Exploring the Holiday Lights Image Credit Unsplash scaled e1671239619955
Image Credit: Unsplash.

There are usually some neighborhoods that go all out for the holidays. Take some time to drive or walk around the area to see them.

“A favorite holiday tradition is driving around to look at Christmas lights, says Suzanne from The Remote Mom. “A group of neighborhoods in our city that have an incredible light display that almost every neighbor participates in, it’s stunning and free!”

11. Give to Others

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Image Credit: Samaritan’s Purse.

Find a local charity helping others in need and create a tradition of supporting and gifting others.

“For the last eighteen years, my children and I have made inexpensive shoebox gifts together for Operation Christmas Child. We have loved doing this and knowing that the child recipient will be super happy to receive a box full of age-appropriate gifts,” says Michelle from Mummy from the Heart.

“It’s been a wonderful teaching moment for my children to understand how fortunate they are, and I was so privileged to travel with OCC to Belarus on a shoebox distribution trip. There, I got to see the joy on the children’s faces as they received and opened their gifts. For some, it was the only gift they got that Christmas.

12. Enjoy the Outdoors

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Image Credit: Pexels.

The winter can be cold, but it still offers excellent winter activities like ice fishing, skating, snowshoeing and hiking.

“The holidays are the perfect time to slow down and head into nature with your family.  Try heading to a frozen pond or lake for some outdoor family skating this season.  Skating is an activity all generations of your family can enjoy,” says Jenn from Take them Outside.

“Littles can be pulled in sleds, and older family members can be made comfortable and warm with blankets and camping chairs to watch on the shore.”

13. Make a Hersheys Chocolate Tree

Hershes Christmas Tree Image Credit Annie from Everyday Gifter
Image Credit: The Unique Gifter.

There are a lot of family holiday craft ideas, but we especially love this one as the supplies are inexpensive and it can be used as a gift or home decor that everyone will love.

Annie from Everyday Gifter says, “Hershey’s Kisses Christmas trees are a fun holiday craft your family can make together. This project is very beginner-friendly and doesn’t require a ton of supplies. You can easily make these festive trees using a styrofoam cone, foil, Hershey’s Kisses, and a hot glue gun.”

14. Family Photos

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Image Credit: Pexels.

Matching PJs and cute holiday backdrops make an excellent time for family photos. These are a great tradition to start, so you can look back on these images for years to come. There’s no need for an expensive photography session with advanced cameras now on most cell phones.

“Every year, our family loves taking holiday photos for Christmas. We get all dressed up in matching Christmas PJs (including our dogs) and let the jolly festivities begin,” says Karissa from Mom After Baby.

15. Advent Angels

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Image Credit: Unsplash.

Everyone in the family draws names from a hat. You are that person’s advent angel, which means you do nice things for them in the coming weeks.  On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, everyone reveals who they drew and gives them a gift.

“One of our favorite traditions is having each of our six kids pick one of their siblings’ names from a hat. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, they do extra nice things for that sibling, says Taryn from Joy Filled Eats. “Then, on Christmas Eve, we all put on holiday pajamas and gather around the tree with hot chocolate and cookies. They reveal who they had as their Advent Angel and give that person a gift.”

16. Enjoy Board Games

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Image Credit: Unsplash.

Make it a tradition to play a family board game together around the holidays. It’s a great time to try out a new game someone might have gotten for the holidays or play ones you haven’t played all year.

“Over the holidays, my family spends time playing board games; it has become our family tradition. We always play a new board game after Christmas dinner. But we play our favorites throughout the holiday period, as it’s an excellent way for us to bond and to create memories away from screens, says Claire from Strapos Thrifty Life Hacks.

17. Make Homemade Cards Together

17. Make Homemade Cards Together. Image Credit Unsplash scaled e1671239909193
Image Credit: Unsplash.

Ditch the store-bought cards and make them for your friends, family, and acquaintances. Creating your holiday cards is a great way to spend quality time together.

“When the children were tiny, we stopped buying Christmas cards and started crafting them ourselves. Everybody gets involved, Christmas music plays, and mince pies in plentiful supply,” explains Vikki from Family Travel with Ellie. “Even now the children are older, they still really look forward to “CCC” – Christmas Card Crafting!”

18. Special Breakfast Pancakes

18. Special Breakfast Pancakes. Image Credit Unsplash scaled e1671233139159
Image Credit: Unsplash.

Turn breakfast into a fun holiday-themed meal with family. Have a look at these adorable Santa pancakes that you can make for a delightful family breakfast that’s also easy on your wallet.

“What better way to kick off Christmas morning than by sitting around the table together enjoying these yummy Santa pancakes. These are so easy to make even your kids can help, and they’ll have a blast decorating these pancakes into Santa faces,” says Annie from Savvy Honey.

“All you’ll need is pancakes from scratch or a mix, berries, bananas, marshmallows, and whipped cream. Whether your surprise your family in the morning with these pancakes or you make them together, this is a fun holiday tradition you can enjoy for years to come.”

19. A Santa Gift Giving Game

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Image Credit: Pexels.

There are many versions of the Santa Gift Giving game, but it’s a great way to save money on gifts and have a ton of fun. You can all add a budget cap to the gifts and play this fun gift-giving and stealing game.

“Each year, we like to incorporate the Santa game in our extended family celebrations. It is a fun way to exchange gifts without busting your wallet,” says Bridget from Sunshine and Rainy Days. “This makes it an excellent choice for extended families with young adults! If you’re ready for a lighthearted way to gift that brings lots of laughter and boisterous joy, check out the Santa Gift Exchange Game!

20.  Free to You Holiday Events

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Image Credit: Liberty Science Center.

If you have an annual pass to an amusement park, play place or science museum, check out what special events they are having during the holidays.

“My kids can never get enough of our regional learning center Liberty Science Center and beg to visit all the time. During the holiday season, they have special events, including an NYE “Countdown to Noon” event, that’s a fun way to celebrate, especially with younger kids. Since our annual pass includes unlimited admission it’s a free fun day out with the family at one of our kids’ favorite places,” says Monica from Planner at Heart.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks

Victoria Cornell is the founder of Motherhood Life Balance. She helps busy moms find peace in the midst of the chaos, transform their mindset, get organized, and find the fuel to live their best life. You can find her at

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25 Celebrities With Surprising University Degrees | Wealth of Geeks

Skills, talent, and the art of portrayal primarily rule a celebrity’s world. A college degree is the last thing to add credit to their resume. Still, several superstars defy the fact and put education over their careers. Others changed their mind about their profession after graduating with a prestigious degree.

Hollywood is rich in talented, beautiful, and intelligent celebrities. Let’s find out about 25 superstars that are top-tier in their art and have surprisingly impressive college degrees.

25 Celebrities With Surprising College Degrees

We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but did you also suspect your favorite celebrities might have some pretty impressive qualifications? From astrophysics to French poetry these stars are living proof – when it comes down to talent and skills there’s no telling what someone will do or be able to accomplish.

Gerard Butler

The incredibly handsome and charming Scottish actor is actually an attorney at law. He earned a degree in law from the University of Glasgow but moved to London at 25. Imagine him in a sharp black suit and tie arguing in a court! We’re not drooling; you are!

Rebel Wilson

Rebel recently amazed everyone with her shocking transformation. But losing pounds is not her only talent. The famed comedy star is also a law graduate from the University of New South Wales, which according to her, is an Australian equivalent of Harvard. Impressive!

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

The most electrifying man in sports entertainment has an impressive academic record. The megastar has not one but two degrees in criminology and physiology from the University of Miami.

Image Credit: Frank Masi, Courtesy Disney Enterprises.

Kourtney Kardashian

In a turn of dramatic events, the eldest Kardashian sibling earned a degree in theatre in 2002. Kourtney is the only Kardashian with a degree at the moment, while Kim is out pursuing her law career through an apprenticeship.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

After entering the limelight as a globally recognized bodybuilder, Arnold put education first by graduating from theUniversity of Wisconsin-Superior in International business and economics. But life had other plans, and he returned to the world of fame with an extraordinary acting career ahead of him.

Angela Bassett

Bassett holds a bachelor’s in African-American studies, plus a master’s in fine arts. The term “beauty with brains” seems like it was coined for her!

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell graduated in 1990 from the University of Southern California. He majored in Arts of sports information, a subject that was discontinued just eight years after he graduated. Slow claps, Will!

Image Credit: NBC Universal.

Natalie Portman

The “Black Swan” star takes her education seriously. She attended the esteemed Harvard University and graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology. You can even find her published work in scientific journals.

Chris Martin

The Coldplay lead went to the University College London to earn a bachelor’s in Greek and Latin. According to him, he went to London with just his baggage but met his three future bandmates there, and the rest is history!

Carrie Underwood

The music sensation wasn’t always set on being a singer. She graduated from Northeastern University in 2016 with a degree in mass communications. She would have been a news anchor if American Idol didn’t bring her massive success.

Rowan Atkinson

Although Rowan is famous for playing dumb in his ever-green comical series Mr. Bean, he is an electrical engineer in real life. The actor graduated with a master’s in electrical engineering from Oxford. However, during his education, he participated in writing and performance-based activities and realized his priorities career-wise.

Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow stepped into the limelight with her world-renowned role as Phoebe in the super-hit comic sitcom Friends. But acting wasn’t always her career choice. Initially, she graduated with a bachelor’s in biology and planned to help her physician father in his research work.

Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong is a licensed physician with an M.D. from the University of North Carolina. However, he later decided that being a doctor was not for him and left practice to pursue a career in comedy.

Eva Longoria

The gorgeous “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria has more to her than just good looks. Apart from being insanely talented on-screen, she is an alumnus of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She graduated with a bachelor’s in kinesiology – a subject dealing with body motions’ mechanics.

John Legend

The esteemed music star studied English as his primary subject at the University of Pennsylvania. He even started a job at a consulting firm but soon realized his passion for music and never looked back. Well, we’re glad he didn’t!

James Franco

Acting is not the only art form James Franco has mastered. He earned an MFA from the University of Columbia and even went to Yale for a Ph.D. in English. He has authored several short stories, poems, and writings published in various magazines.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster graduated in 1985 from Yale University. Her primary subject was literature, and she even wrote her thesis on the writer Toni Morrison. Foster has “fostered” several other talents, too; one includes fluency in French!

David Spade

You may know David Spade as the funniest stand-up comedy guy, but his educational background will likely surprise you. The comedian graduated with a bachelor’s in business from Arizona State University. But while pursuing his degree, he took part in several stand-up comedies leading him to his future career path.

Gabrielle Union

The insanely talented and beautiful movie star Gabrielle Union has a bachelor’s in sociology. After graduating from the University of California, she planned on studying law. However, before graduating, she got an offer from a modeling company where she interned during her senior year.

Ashton Kutcher

The comedic actor Ashton Kutcher has a rather emotional educational background. He studied biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa, where he hoped to develop a cure for his brother with a heart condition.

Mayim Bialik

Talk of accurate casting! The actress played a genius in the hit sitcom “the big band theory” and has a Ph.d. in real life. Her Ph.D. subjects include a major in neuroscience with minor studies in Jewish and Hebrew. Wow, brainy!

Freddie Highmore

Not all child stars turn into brats! Some like Freddie Highmore went on to pursue a bachelor’s in Spanish and Arabic in 2014 from Emmanuel College, Oxford. Freddie completed his education after getting major stardom as a child actor. Bravo!

Riz Ahmed

Good looks, sharp brains, and extreme charisma – Riz Ahmed is a gift to humanity. The actor graduated with a degree in philosophy, economics, and politics from Oxford University in 2003.

Joseph Gordon-levitt

As if the “300 days of summer” star needed anything else to impress the ladies. Joseph graduated with majors in French poetry and history. Le parfait!

Brooke Shields

French has attracted more celebrities than we know. Just like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the supermodel and actress Brooke Shields went to Princeton and graduated with a bachelor’s in French literature.

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The Top 14 Classic X-Files Episodes | Wealth of Geeks

No matter how busy you are, there is always time to sit down with an X-Files episode. Over 25 years, there have been 218 episodes and two movies. So whether you have time for one episode or have a few hours to binge, here are some of our favorites throughout the series.

It doesn’t matter if you are Team Fox or Team Scully, we’ve got the best episodes from all of the many seasons.

1. “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

The first episode of the entire series introduces you to Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), the top FBI agents of the show.

Mulder’s whole life revolves around his need to, or rather, his “I want to believe” attitude, and Scully will always be the skeptical one of the pair. We love how they balance each other. We get to see both sides of the story as they solve the cases together. We always want to believe as Mulder does, but sometimes we can’t help but be skeptical about certain things like Scully. In this first episode, Scully is instructed to debunk Milder’s basement FBI project dubbed “The X-Files,” paranormal cases that he’s reopened.

2. “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (Season 3, Episode 4)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

Clyde Bruckman (Peter Boyle) is a grumpy older man with psychic powers that show him how someone will die. Bruckman assists the agents with the hunt for a killer who targets psychics. He also reveals to Mulder and Scully their ultimate fates.

The X-Files won its first two major Emmys after these episodes. One of the awards went to writer Darin Morgan, and the other went to guest star Peter Boyle for his performance as the psychic. Nobody in the episode wants to find out from Bruckman about their future, and neither does he.

Bruckman tells Mulder throughout the episode that these “visions” just come to him and can’t be turned on with the snap of a finger. The killer in this episode has you questioning who he really is, and the slightest physical clue that Scully finds leads her and Mulder to the cusp of their demise.

This episode also makes us crave a banana cream pie.

3. “Squeeze” (Season 1, Episode 3)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Squeeze” follows the story of Eugene Victor Tombs (Doug Hutchison), a humanoid killer whose savage murder spree reoccurs every 30 years. Mulder and Scully follow the clues to catch the killer, who is only set free by his psychologist. After a twist and turn of events, Tombs is finally caught and sent to prison. The ending leaves you hanging when you see Tombs plotting his way out of jail.

4. “Pusher” (Season 3, Episode 17)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Pusher” shows that average men will go to all lengths to hold on to power. This episode introduces us to Robert Patrick Modell (Robert Wisden), whose brain tumor has allowed him to compel people to do whatever he wants.

Modell uses his ability to talk to victims to do whatever he wants and has weaponized this so well that he can even give a man a heart attack over the phone. We enjoy Modell’s little schemes to get past security with his paper “pass” as an ID badge into a secured building. What makes this episode one we can’t forget is when Modell forces Mulder to turn a gun on himself and then on Scully in a game of Russian roulette. This episode also highlights just how close Mulder and Scully care for one another that helps them be a pawn in Modell’s game.

5. “Conduit” (Season 1, Episode 4)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Conduit” is about Mulder becoming obsessed with solving a case that closely parallels an “encounter” he experienced as a child. Section Chief Scott Blevins (Charles Cioffi) expresses his concern with the direction of the X-Files department. At the same time, Mulder obsesses about this case because it reminds him of the alien abduction and his determination to find his sister, Samantha Mulder. Mulder’s emotions are hit hard as this case affects him personally as he is on the search determined to find his sister and explore every possibility of what happened to her.

6. “Ghost In The Machine” (Season 1, Episode 7)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Ghost In The Machine” takes you to Halloween, where Mulder and Scully investigate the death of a corporate executive who a thinking computer may have murdered. This episode makes you question technology and if it’s safe to ride an elevator. These twists will keep you at the edge of your seat and wonder just how far a computer can go and if they can think for themselves.

7. “One Breath” (Season 2, Episode 8)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

The episode opens up with Scully’s comatose body discovered at a local hospital. Mulder will do whatever it takes to find out why she ended up at the hospital. Mr. X (Steven Williams) shows Mulder the price he’d have to pay if he wants justice for Scully. Mulder must choose between hope and revenge. We enjoy seeing Mulder getting protective of Scully and wondering if he is developing romantic feelings for her.

8. “Paper Clip” (Season 3, Episode 2)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Paper Clip” is about a government hit squad that closes in on the agents. Mulder searches for clues about his father’s involvement in a top-secret project. Many secrets are learned, and Mulder wonders how involved his father was in this government project. A search with Scully takes them to the abandoned Strughold Mining Facility, where they uncover a dangerous secret. The secret they discover is a long stretch of filing cabinets containing files and medical histories of their past and even current events. This makes you wonder if the government does keep files like this in real life.

9. “Syzygy” (Season 3, Episode 13)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Syzygy” is about two homicidal teenage girls who are dangerous with telekinetic powers. This rare alignment of the planet is what powered these girls and drives their small town in New Hampshire insane with satanic panic. Mulder’s interest in the local female detective Angela White (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) is what makes Scully jealous. Events like this make us question if moments like this do happen.

10. “Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man” (Season 4, Episode 7)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man” is about the reveal of the Lone Gunmen’s secret history of the Smoking Man (William B. Davis) to Mulder with the focus of three episodes from his life – the assassination of JFK, his attempts at becoming a novelist, and one of his UFO cover-ups. Mulder, Scully, and Byers meet up with Frohike to find out all the details of the Smoking Man and what effect he has on their investigations. This episode makes us wonder what it was like for those who were around for the assassination of JFK and what kind of toll it took on their mental health.

11. “Kitsunegari” (Season 5, Episode 8)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Kitsunegari” brings back Robert Patrick Modell (Robert Wisden), aka “Pusher.” Modell has recovered from his injuries and has escaped from a prison hospital. Scully and Mulder lead the search even as Modell may be using his mind-controlling capabilities to target Fox for revenge. The second episode of Modell questions just how he was able to recover after being told in the first episode that he would never regain consciousness. This makes us wonder just how Modell was able to heal, let alone escape from a prison hospital.

12. “Terms of Endearment” (Season 6, Episode 7)

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Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

A pregnant woman’s baby is snatched away from her belly by a devil. When she is accused of killing her unborn child, Mulder and Scully discover that the father, Wayne, has his secrets. The investigation in this episode focuses on Wayne. This episode makes you question religion.

13. “First Person Shooter” (Season 7, Episode 13)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

The Lone Gunmen summon Scully and Mulder to the headquarters of a video game design company. This new virtual-reality game, which the Gunmen helped design, is taken over by a strange female computer character whose power is more than virtual. Scully must battle this character to save Mulder’s life in this high-tech world.

Virtual reality games are pretty popular today, and this has us thinking that you should be careful about what you play and how much you get involved with it because you never know when it can take over.

14. “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” (Season 11, Episode 7)

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Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Rm9sbG93ZXJz,” is about the world of artificial intelligence. Mulder and Scully dine in a fully automated sushi restaurant. Things go out of order when the hardware starts to glitch, and they find themselves hunted by diverse robots. Faced with a life-threatening force, they find themselves in a deadly game of cat and mouse. A technical episode makes us question the creators’ intentions.

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Thanksgiving Turkey With a Twist – Try These Deliciously Different Approaches | Wealth of Geeks

It’s time to tackle that turkey tradition by planning and prepping our holiday meal, and often the turkey can be the most intimidating. People are looking for new ways to ensure the turkeys they serve to family and friends are not dry and bland.

Meal Kits Canada dug deep into Google Trends data and found that over the past 30 days, searches for “How to cook a turkey” have increased by 233% worldwide. And the results are looking a little less traditional. A lot of home cooks may be trying newer methods of preparing their plump poultry this Thanksgiving.

Spoiler alert: despite new advances in cooking technology and unique kitchen gadgets available to consumers, home cooks still prefer to go the traditional route when cooking a turkey. Regardless, here are some of the top options.

Most Popular Ways To Prepare Turkey

1. Wet-brined

According to Epicurious, brining gives you the juiciest possible bird. Soaking the turkey in this saltwater solution forces the bird to absorb moisture, so much that it weighs more after brining.

Adding citrus fruits, spices, and herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme to your brining solution can also help boost flavor with minimum effort. You can get creative with your flavor add-ins and adapt them to suit your tastes.

2. Spatchcocked

Spatchcocking the turkey is a method that originated with Mark Bittman, New York Times food writer, in 2002. It has long been used for chicken but has grown in popularity for turnkey preparation. It drastically reduces a turkey’s cooking time by creating more surface area – the meat cooks quickly.  How quickly? Imagine cooking your turkey in half the time!

It can be a little intimidating because it requires removing the backbone and then pressing down and flattening the bird, so it resembles a butterfly. But the bird cooks more evenly and becomes crispier, because you’re exposing all of the skin to the oven’s heat. So you get a juicier turkey in less time, and get more time to watch football on the couch.

3. Smoked

Prefer your turkey sweet, smokey, and tender? Smoked turkey is for you. It does require more time to ensure the meat is cooked and has reached a safe internal temperature, though.

This ‘set it and forget it method’ is very popular because you simply leave the bird alone for a few hours to do its thing. Using aromatic wood, spice rubs, and basting can add flavor to the smoked turkey while it cooks.

4. Dry-brined

Dry brining, also called pre-salting, is an easier alternative to its wet counterpart because it does not require soaking in water. The salt and spices are rubbed directly onto the bird under the skin, then left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours. The salt pulls the moisture out of the turkey and creates its own brine without adding any liquid.

Jenn Segal from Once Upon a Chef says, “When it comes to turkey, dry-brining is much easier than wet brining and basically accomplishes the same thing. The salt in the brine not only deeply seasons the meat but also ensures the turkey bakes up tender and juicy with golden, crispy skin.” You can find Jenn’s delicious recipe for Herb and Brown Sugar Dry-Brined Turkey at Once Upon a Chef.

5. Oven Roasted

Roasting has become less popular lately since it is time-consuming and often results in dry meat. But you can still get a delicious turkey with this method. Oven-roasted turkeys require more prep and basting time. Because there is no moisture, and the heat is consistent, some parts of the bird can cook quicker than others resulting in dry meat if not basted properly throughout the cooking time.

Cynthia from What A Girl Eats says, “Roasting the turkey is the easiest part of the meal. Make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted. Instead of stuffing your bird with dressing, try filling the cavity with lemon wedges and fresh herbs. It will cook faster, and the flavor is amazing.”

6. Deep Fried

Fried turkey is a showstopper and became popular in the 1970s, especially in the South, but it is not for the faint of heart. Deep frying results in a golden bird with crispy skin and juicy meat. Alton Brown of the Food Network recommends soaking it in a mixture of kosher salt and brown sugar for 8 to 16 hours before frying. Compared to other methods, this is one of the quickest ways to cook a turkey.

Some people shy away from frying a turkey because it requires gallons of oil to be heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with propane tanks. In America, fire departments respond to at least 1,000 fires caused by deep fat fryers. To ensure a turkey is cooked safely, thaw and dry out the bird thoroughly, if not brining, and be careful!

7. Air Fried

Are you hosting a small Friendsgiving this year? The air fryer may be your answer. Air fryers have become popular since they give you that crispy fried taste without all the oil and in half the time.

According to the NPD Group, air fryer sales have increased by 76% in the last two years. You can easily cook a smaller turkey in an air fryer, but you will have to cut it into pieces to fit it into a conventional air fryer. Covering the turkey in a bold spice rub will add some delicious flavor.

8. Grilled

Try grilling or barbecuing a turkey if you want to really change up the traditional Thanksgiving meal. It provides juicy meat, crispy skin, and a smoky flavor.

According to CNBC, more than $1.8 billion worth of grills, smokers, and stoves were sold between March and May in the United States. Traeger grills reported revenue of $235.6 million in the first three months of 2021, up 107% year over year. Barbecuing and grilling skyrocketed during the pandemic while everyone stayed home, and many people see grilling as a new hobby to invest in.

Andrew Karpiak from Kamloops Living comments, “using my Traeger to cook a turkey not only frees up coveted oven space but also resulted in the best-tasting turkey I have ever had.”

In addition to freeing up space in the oven for other dishes, grilling or barbecuing is a healthy way to cook poultry and requires less fat than other traditional methods. You can stuff the turkey with onions, lemons, oranges, and herbs to bring on that fall flavor. Be sure to use a digital thermometer to ensure your bird cooks to the perfect temperature.

Even though home cooks have many new ways to cook turkey, they still take the traditional route of wet-brining their birds. Whatever method you choose to prepare and cook your turkey this year, don’t take on more than you can handle. Keep it simple and focus on spending time with loved ones.

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This article was produced by Seasonal Cravings and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Karen Kelly is the gluten free food blogger and health coach over at Seasonal Cravings.  She is a busy wife and mother to three teenagers who loves creating gluten free recipes in her kitchen outside of Washington, D.C. She has a wealth of resources on how to manage a gluten free diet.

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