Everyone talks about the summer movie season and how all the big films come out in the hot months, but I’m going to be honest with you: I don’t really go to the movies that much over the course of the summer.
Why would I? It’s summer! We wait all year to get outside and get sunburned and get rocked by waves while frolicking in the ocean. As a result, summer being a big time for movies has never made any sense to me (which may have something to do with the fact that I have air conditioning).
Fall, though? That’s what I’m talking about.
I can really get down with going to see a movie in the fall, especially in the back-half when it starts to smell like winter and it gets darker earlier and that seasonal depression starts to kick in.
Based on the incredibly solid slate of movies coming out in the next few months, it feels like someone else agrees with me. There are so many good films coming out this fall. So many!
Here are 15 you’ll definitely want to check out.
Ad Astra (Sept 20)
It’s Brad Pitt in space but it’s a sad Brad Pitt in space because he thinks his dad (Tommy Lee Jones) died during a space mission. But hold up, Brad Pitt. Your dad isn’t dead. He’s alive!
[Cue audible gasp]
Not only is Brad Pitt’s dad alive, but he somehow poses a massive threat to mankind and only Pitt can stop him.
Talk about a bummer, huh? Finding out your Dad’s alive is super awesome but finding out he’s going to destroy the world is super terrible.
However, based on the review so far, the movie will be anything but that.
Joker (Oct 4)
Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the iconic Batman villain will always be the best but a little competition never hurt anyone. It’s too early to say whether or not Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the Joker will be better, but from the looks of things so far, it might come damn close.
Set in Gotham City in 1981, the film is an origin story outlining how failed comedian Arthur Fleck eventually turns to crime and violence as the Joker. If you thought movies and/or television shows centered around complicated anti-heroes messed with your emotions and view of the world before, Joker looks to take it up to eleven.
The film recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival and received an eight-minute-long standing ovation, which is roughly seven minutes and thirty seconds longer than any standing ovation should last. This was followed by reviews that spanned the gamut from effusive praise to gushing adoration.
Ledger’s turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2009. Could Phoenix slip past him and take home the prize for Best Actor?
At the very least, he’ll definitely be nominated.
Gemini Man (Oct 11)
Do you like Will Smith so much that sometimes you wish the world had two Will Smiths?
If so, you are in luck my friend, because Gemini Man pits present-day Will Smith against a Will Smith half his age. How is this possible?
Director Ang Lee and a team of nearly 500 visual effects artists spent over two years trying to create a perfect younger version of Smith, one we haven’t seen since the early 1990s.
“From the start, I said, ‘This will be harder than we can imagine,’ ” Lee told The Los Angeles Times recently. “Every shot is going to be under scrutiny. That’s really scary. I’m still scared.”
Yeah, you should be.
Other movies (Tron: Legacy, Star Wars: Rogue One and Blade Runner 2049) have messed around with de-aging their actors but never to this degree. The de-aging in those movies in question was done in small doses, but in Gemini Man, Lee is de-aging the film’s co-star.
So yeah man, you should definitely be scared. This could go terribly (but let’s hope it doesn’t).
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Oct 11)
Breaking Bad documented Walter White’s journey and is one of the few shows that has ever really nailed a story from beginning to end. When it wrapped up, it made sense. The Walter White saga was over. It was time to move on.
But that doesn’t mean the stories of other characters from the show were also over. As has been shown on Better Call Saul, there’s more water in the Breaking Bad well.
When the show ended, one of the lingering questions was what would happen to Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman.
The last time we saw him, he was speeding away from the Nazi compound where he had been held prisoner while being forced to cook meth for those bastards. For a show that seemed to always tie up every loose end and lingering plot thread, what the future held in store for Jesse was a pretty big tidbit they weren’t able to address.
The new movie, which will be available on Netflix, looks to clear all that up by picking up where the show left off. It might have trouble living up to Breaking Bad but I’m still pretty optimistic.
Jojo Rabbit (Oct 18)
I suppose that enough time has passed where we can have a few laughs at the expense of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. I hope I’m right about this. If not, address your concerns towards Taika Waititi and not me.
Waititi, who most recently made Thor fun in Thor: Ragnarok, adapted Christine Leunens’ book Caging Skies, which is about a young German boy named JoJo who finds out that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. JoJo tries to make sense of the situation with the help (or lack thereof) of his imaginary friend Hitler (played by Waititi.)
The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell and promises to be one of the season’s more controversial movies.
I guess only time will tell if it’s also one of the best.
The Irishman (Nov 1)
Martin Scorsese. Robert DeNiro. Al Pacino. Joe Pesci.
The film is based on I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, which dives into the alleged ties between Jimmy Hoffa and the mafia. Pacino plays Hoffa while DeNiro plays the title character, who was a hitman for the mob. Pesci, who came out of retirement for the movie, plays crime boss Russell Bufalino.
We’ve got more de-aging, kids! The film spans several decades, meaning that each of the film’s characters get the de-aging treatment a la Gemini Man, which played into the reason why the film took so long to make.
Produced by Netflix, the streaming giant is changing things up a bit with this one. The Irishman will start out in theaters on November 1st before dropping on the platform on the 27th.
Oh, it’s also over three hours long, so plan accordingly.
Motherless Brooklyn (Nov 1)
Edward Norton stars in this movie, which is about a New York private detective with both Tourette’s Syndrome and a dynamite memory. When his mentor (Bruce Willis) gets killed, Norton’s Lionel Essrog sets out to figure out who did it.
Norton directed the movie and adapted Jonathan Lethem’s book of the same name. He has apparently been trying to get the movie made for nearly a decade so hey, congrats to Ed Norton.
It also stars Alec Baldwin as a corrupt city official, Willem Dafoe as an engineer in trouble, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as an attorney and activist.
That’s a cast I can get behind.
Terminator: Dark Fate (Nov 1)
Wait, we’re still doing Terminator movies? Is it the future now? Or still the past? Or the present? Or is it an alternate future and only the actions in the present can determine which future we get?
Apparently, it doesn’t really matter because this new movie is being sold as the continuation of the story told in the franchise’s original two movies, something James Cameron elaborated on during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“We’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse. This was really driven more by [director Tim Miller] than anybody, surprisingly, because I came in pretty agnostic about where we took it. The only thing I insisted on was that we somehow revamp it and reinvent it for the 21st century.”
Okay, then. Works for me.
Doctor Sleep (Nov 8)
Quick show of hands: Who here has been angling for a sequel to The Shining?
[Maybe one or two hands raise]
Yeah, that checks out.
Screw it. We’re getting one anyway.
In Doctor Sleep, Danny Torrance is all grown up and is understandably trying to put the events of the past behind him. However, there are some things you just can’t walk away from. You know, like the shit that went down in The Shining.
Older Danny Torrance (played by Ewan McGregor) meets a young girl who also has creepy superpowers and the two team up to take on The True Knot (whatever that is).
I’m not sure how it’ll turn out, but if it’s even half as good as The Shining, we’re in for a treat.
Ford v Ferrari (Nov 15)
This is one of those movies that you didn’t think they made anymore. It doesn’t have any superheroes in it and it’s not part of a franchise. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t adapted from a Young Adult book and (unless he makes a surprise cameo) it doesn’t feature The Rock.
Ford v Ferrari is but the rarest of birds, my friends.
Starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, the movie takes place in the 1960s as Ford is looking to reinvent itself and appeal to the youth of America, who are turning their attention to cooler, faster European cars. Jon Bernthal plays a young Lee Iacocca, who is trying to get one of Ford’s cars to France to race in Le Mans.
So you have Bale, Damon, racing scenes, and a plot loosely based on real events.
You also have me going to see it as close to opening night as possible.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Nov 22)
Tom Hanks playing Mister Rogers almost makes too much sense. If you’re the nicest guy in Hollywood then why not then play the nicest guy in America?
Based on the legendary Esquire profile by Tom Junod, the film focuses on a journalist played by Matthew Rhys, who visits the set of Rogers’ show to interview him and (wouldn’t you know it) has his life completely changed.
His wife gives him a simple request before he goes, asking him not to “ruin her childhood.” What they don’t show is that she actually said this to him every day, regardless of what he has going on.
The film has been in the works for years, having landed on The Blacklist (a list of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays) in 2013.
It’s okay to cry when you see it. Don’t be ashamed. Everyone else will.
Knives Out (Nov 27)
Ladies and gentlemen, there has been (pause for dramatic effect) a murder.
Knives Out is director Rian Johnson’s first movie since Star Wars: The Last Jedi (the one that pissed so many people off) and it’s a good old murder mystery. It even takes place in an old manor!
The cops investigating the murder are Daniel Craig and Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield, which is also a major selling point. I feel like this movie was stolen from my dream journal.
The rest of the cast includes Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and Christopher Plummer (among others).
To say I’m amped would be an understatement.
Bombshell (Dec 20)
How you feel about Fox News will likely play into how you feel about this movie, which recounts the scandal that brought down Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News. Ailes stepped down in 2016 following accusations of sexual harassment from more than 20 women, including former on-air talents Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson.
As if that wasn’t enticing enough, Charlize Theron plays Kelly, Nicole Kidman plays Carlson, and Margot Robbie is in a fictional role in what looks like a lower level producer (John Lithgow plays the infamous CEO).
Whereas the Showtime series about the scandal, The Loudest Voice in the Room, focused more on Ailes, Lithgow says Bombshell will be more about the women and less about him.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be making sure that’s actually Charlize Theron because THAT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE HER AND IT’S FREAKING ME OUT.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Dec 20)
This is it. After this one, we’re done.
No, not with Star Wars. Star Wars will never be done, silly. I’m talking about the Skywalker saga part of Star Wars. After this movie, that part will be done, which does make you wonder why the title sounds like the beginning of something as opposed to the end of something.
1917 (Dec 25)
Sure, this is technically coming out in the winter but it’s still worth a mention.
I think we need more movies about World War I just to keep reminding us how absolutely insane that war was. They dug trenches, lived in trenches, and when it was fighting time, climbed blindly out of those trenches and had a better chance of being shot than not.
Sam Mendes, who directed American Beauty, Road to Perdition and two Bond movies (Skyfall and Spectre) tells the story of two young British soldiers who are ordered to deliver a message of an impending attack to another unit—a unit that includes their brother. It’s also Mendes’ first time as a screenwriter.
The film stars Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, and Mark Strong. I think it gets bonus points for including both Firth and Cumberbatch because I’m pretty sure any movie starring British actors has to include one of them to get made.
I’ll need to look that up, though.