FALL MOVIE PREVIEW
30 films worth seeking out between now and mid-November, including Thor, Blade Runner 2049
“It’s the best movie I’ve ever made, I think.” — Denis Villeneuve is proud of his work on Blade Runner 2049.
Despite standouts like Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Big Sick, Hollywood wasn’t uncorking the champagne as its summer movie slate came to an end.
The summer’s $3.8 billion in box-office dough was actually a decline of almost 15% from last year. And even more alarming was news that this past season’s number is its lowest since 2006.
But as we slip into the warmer clothes, and the Toronto International Film Festival puts a wrap on another star-studded year, it’s time to look ahead to a fall film slate that’s packed with Oscar fare and superheroes alike.
With George Clooney’s Suburbicon, Jessica Chastain’s Molly’s Game and Jennifer Lawrence’s mother! earning raves at TIFF, and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok and Zack Snyder’s Justice League poised to take familiar characters in new directions, we make our picks for the flicks you should keep an eye out for at a theatre near you from now until mid-November.
Sept. 22 The LEGO Movie Ninjago:
Young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja (Dave Franco), along with his ninja warrior pals and their wise-cracking mentor Master Wu (Jackie Chan), must defeat an evil warlord — who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Don’t worry, the kids and grandkids can fill you in on the rest.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle:
Debonair spy Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) gets to go stateside to once again save the world in this sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s 2014 hit based on the Mark Millar comic. Despite Colin Firth’s death in the first movie, his character Harry returns. Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and Elton John also star.
Battle of the Sexes:
After finding Oscar gold at TIFF with last year’s crowd-pleasing La La Land, Emma Stone stars as tennis champ Billie Jean King in a biopic that examines her historic 1973 match against Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carell). Riggs, decades removed from any sort of tennis relevance, came up with the $100,000 winner-takeall match. King was game, wanting to prove a woman could be just as good as a man in tennis.
Jake Gyllenhaal chases an Oscar in this biopic of 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. Tatiana Maslany co-stars with David Gordon Green directing.
Sept. 29 American Made:
Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for a story that details the real-life exploits of a pilot who was recruited by the CIA and finds himself mixed up with Central American drug cartels. Cruise’s performance is already being hailed as one of his best in years.
Twenty seven years after the original, five medical students embark on a dangerous experiment to conduct neardeath medical experiments. Kiefer Sutherland
(who starred in the original) returns as Dr. Nelson Wright. The cast also includes Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev. 1
Oct. 6 Blade Runner 2049:
Thirty years have passed since the events of the first film. Now a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), uncovers a long-buried secret that sends him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who has been in hiding for three decades. The top-secret film is a passion project for director Denis Villeneuve, but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t nervous trying to breathe new life into Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic. “Once I made peace with the idea (that) what I was about to try was insanely difficult and my chances of success were very narrow, I became free,” he told the New York Times in a recent interview. “It’s the best movie I’ve ever made, I think.” Jared Leto and Robin Wright co-star.
The Mountain Between Us:
After their plane crashes in the wilderness, two strangers (played by Idris Elba and Kate Winslet) must band together to survive.
Oct. 13 Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House:
Liam Neeson plays Mark Felt, the FBI No. 2 who was the “Deep Throat” whistleblower in the 1970s Watergate scandal. The Florida Project:
One of the buzziest films to screen at TIFF, indie wunderkind Sean Baker’s (Tangerine) latest shines a spotlight on kids and adults living on the fringes of Orlando. With Willem Dafoe.
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women:
Luke Evans plays psychologist William Moulton Marston — the man who invented Wonder Woman — with the film examining the relationship between himself, his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), and their shared romantic partner Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). “It’s fundamentally a love story between the three of them,” director Angela Robinson told EW.
Oct. 20 Geostorm:
Gerard Butler has saved the president, now he’s going to save the world. After an unprecedented series of natural disasters, the world’s leaders create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate. But when something goes awry, Butler’s scientist character is tasked with solving the satellite program’s malfunction.
Michael Fassbender is in pursuit of an elusive killer in this adaptation of book No. 7 in Jo Nesbo’s bestselling crime series involving Norwegian police detective Harry Hole. “I’m normally a slow reader, but I flew through eight of them,” Fassbender told EW in a recent interview.
Only the Brave:
Billed as the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots — a firefighting team that battled the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. The cast includes Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges.
Andy Serkis, known to most movie fans as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings series, directs Andrew Garfield in this biopic based on Robin Cavendish, who was stricken with polio at the age of 28 and went on to become an advocate for the disabled.
George Clooney teams with the Coen brothers — “the boys” as he called them during a conversation at TIFF — for a dark comedy about an exec (played by Matt Damon) who embarks on a get-rich-quick scheme with deadly consequences. “People are angry,” Clooney said of the film — his sixth as a director — that mixes in social commentary with a subplot about a black family moving into the idyllic town. “It’s certainly angry and it got angrier as we were shooting.”
Jigsaw: Oct. 27
The eighth film in the Saw franchise comes seven years after the supposed “Final Chapter.” In this reboot, police investigate after a new series of murders seems to mimic the crimes of the original series’ Jigsaw killer.
Thank You for Your Service:
Returning U.S. soldiers struggle to integrate back into family life after a tour of Iraq. With Miles Teller and Amy Schumer.
Nov. 3 Thor: Ragnarok:
Thor goes on a galactic road trip
1. Thor: Ragnarok; 2. Blade Runner 2049; 3. Kingsman: The Golden Circle; 4. Coco; 5. A Bad Moms Christmas; 6. Molly’s Game; 7. The Justice League.
with his buddy the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in this third — and final — solo story involving the God of Thunder. “Things change drastically in Ragnarok and then build directly into Avengers: Infinity War,” Marvel studio boss Kevin Feige teased in an interview with the Sun.
A Bad Moms Christmas:
“No more perfect gifts. No more perfect decorations. No more perfect anything!” Three women band together as they rebel against what’s expected of them over the holidays in this sequel to Bad Moms.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer:
Nicole Kidman told us she liked to shock people. “The Killing of a
Sacred Deer,” she said during a sitdown. “I’ll just let that sit there for a moment. That’s the title, get ready.” Colin Farrell co-stars as Kidman’s husband, who forms a bond with a sinister teenager. Something tells us the deer is toast.
Roman Israel, Esq.:
Denzel Washington has Oscar on his mind in this legal thriller that is described as being in the same vein as Paul Newman’s The Verdict.
Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) directs, with Colin Farrell co-starring.
Nov. 10 Murder on the Orient Express:
Director Kenneth Branagh — and a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz, among others — promises to infuse the latest big screen version of the famed Agatha Christie novel with something new: terror. “I think we’re making a scarier film than people might imagine,” Branagh, who plays sleuth Hercule Poirot, told
EW. “Because the book is also a dark psychological revenge drama.”
Daddy’s Home 2:
Mel Gibson and John Lithgow crash the party as feuding fathers, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell), try to put on a spectacular Christmas celebration.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri:
A woman (Frances McDormand) sparks controversy when she targets her town’s revered sheriff (Woody Harrelson) in a series of painted signs to call attention to the lack of progress in solving her daughter’s murder.
Nov. 17 Justice League:
DC is hoping lightning will strike twice after its Wonder Woman won over movie fans and critics alike earlier this year. Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) to face an even greater enemy — Steppenwolf. It will be interesting to see how much influence co-director Joss Whedon (who took over from Zack Snyder) has on the finished film.
Based on the bestselling novel, Wonder tells the inspiring story of August Pullman, who, afflicted by facial differences, becomes an unlikely hero to his Grade Five classmates. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson also star.
Nov. 22 Death Wish:
Bruce Willis revamps the Charles Bronson revenge classic with horror maestro Eli Roth at the helm.
Jessica Chastain stars as an Olympic-class skier who ran one of the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker games for years before being arrested by FBI agents. The Aaron Sorkindirected film earned raves at TIFF.
You know it’s a good year when you get two Disney-Pixar films in a 12-month span. Following the surprisingly moving Cars 3, the latest entry from the animation powerhouse follows Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) as he dreams of becoming an accomplished musician, despite his family’s disapproval.