Fall Film Preview
17 Movies to See in Theaters (and 4 to Stream) as Oscar Season Approaches
The Predator: Not to be confused with Predator (or Predators), writer-director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nice Guys) returns to everyone’s favorite franchise about extraterrestrial sports hunters, this time bringing them to the suburbs. Among those tasked with stopping them are Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown, and Olivia Munn.
Mandy (Limited): The last film scored by Jóhann Jóhannsson (with contributions by Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley), Director Panos Cosmatos’s follow-up to Beyond The Black Rainbow phantasmagorically follows Nicholas Cage as a lumberjack on a journey of revenge against the unhinged ‘80s acid cult that murdered his wife.
The Land of Steady Habits (Netflix): Based on Ted Thompson’s novel of the same name, Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) writes and directs Ben Mendelsohn as Anders Hill, a man in his mid-fifties who leaves his job and wife and, clumsily making use of his newfound freedom, struggles to come to terms with himself.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls: Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Director Eli Roth (yes, that Eli Roth) come together to adapt John Bellairs’s novel in the Gremlins/Poltergeist ‘horror film for kids’ tradition. It’s 1953, and Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) discovers the uncle he’s just moved in with (Jack Black) is a warlock and their neighbor (Cate Blanchett) a powerful witch. Together they must find and stop the clock, hidden in the titular residence by the previous owner (Kyle MacLachlan), before it kickstarts the apocalypse.
The Sisters Brothers (Limited): Director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Dheepan) makes his English language debut with this picaresque dark comic western, adapted from the Patrick deWitt novel, starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as the titular hitman siblings who leave Oregon City on the trail of a prospector and get caught up in the California Gold Rush. Also starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed.
Colette (Limited): Keira Knightley plays the titular French novelist in Still Alice writer-director Wash Westmoreland’s biographical drama about her early career in bohemian Paris, in which she fought to reclaim the works she was forced to write in her husband’s name and had a relationship with a gender non-conforming lover.
Life Itself (Limited): This is Us creator and Crazy, Stupid, Love. writer Dan Fogelman writes and directs this multigenerational story about everyday life, set in New York City and Carmona, Spain. Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Benning, Mandy Patinkin, Antonio Banderas, and Olivia Cooke star.
The Old Man & The Gun (Limited): David Lowery (A Ghost Story) directs Robert Redford, in his last film role, as Forrest Tucker, a career criminal who escaped San Quentin at the age of 70 and embarked on a series of bank heists because he loved doing them, captivating the authorities pursuing him (Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, BlacKKKlansman’s John David Washington), while developing a relationship with a woman (Sissy Spacek).
Hold the Dark (Netflix): Director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room) and writer Macon Blair (I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore) team up for this thriller based on the William Giraldi novel. Jeffrey Wright stars as a retired naturalist who develops a strange relationship with a mother (Riley Keough) who hires him to track down her six-year-old son who has gone missing in the Alaskan wilderness, following the deaths of three other children suspected to have been by wolves. Things take a violent turn when her husband (Alexander Skarsgård) returns from the Iraq War.
A Star Is Born: The third remake of the 1937 film of the same name, Bradley Cooper’s rapturously reviewed directorial debut stars Lady Gaga as the younger singer-actress his established musician helps find fame and develops a relationship with as his career begins to spiral downward.
First Man: Academy Award winning director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) reunites with Ryan Gosling, his La La Land star, in this thriller-drama that follows Neil Armstrong from 1961–1969 as he prepares for and undergoes the most dangerous and unprecedented human technical achievement up to that point. Claire Foy (The Crown) leads a supporting cast also featuring Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, and Corey Stoll.
Bad Times at the El Royale (Limited): Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) returns with this ‘60s-set tale of seven strangers with secrets to hide meeting at the titular hotel, looking over the course of one night to redeem themselves before everything gets worse. The cast includes Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Russell Crowe, and Chris Hemsworth as a charismatic — and frequently shirtless — cult leader.
Beautiful Boy (Limited): Based on the pair of memoirs by David Sheff (Steve Carell) and his son Nic (Timothée Chalamet), Felix Van Groeningen’s English-language debut chronicles their family’s experience with addiction and recovery over a period of years. Also starring Maura Tierney (The Affair) and Amy Ryan.
Apostle (Netflix): Gareth Evans (The Raid films) writes and directs this action horror film set in 1905, starring Dan Stevens as a man who travels to a remote island and infiltrates the community of the religious cult, led by Michael Sheen, that lives there and has taken his sister hostage. Dark things are soon uncovered.
Halloween: David Gordon Green (George Washington, Pineapple Express), with a screenplay co-written by Danny McBride, stages a final denouement between Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers, four decades after their first interaction, laying aside the sequels and reboot that followed. John Carpenter returns to score.
The Hate U Give: Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) leads this adaptation of the bestselling YA novel as Starr Carter, a low-income black student at a rich, predominately white prep school who is made to find her voice and place within her community after her best friend is murdered by a police officer. Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae, K.J. Apa and Common co-star.
Wildlife (Limited): It’s 1960 and a family moves into a small town in Montana. The father (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his job and leaves to fight a nearby forest fire. The mother (Carey Mulligan) finds a relationship with an older man. Paul Dano makes his directorial debut, co-written by Zoe Kazan.
Mid90s (Limited): A coming of age film in 16mm, set in the LA of the titular period and its skate culture as a thirteen-year-old (Sunny Suljic) navigates his way around them. Lucas Hedges and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) co-star as, respectively, his brother and mother.
22 July (Netflix): Paul Greengrass (the Bourne trilogy, Captain Phillips, United 93) employed an entirely Norwegian cast and crew for this dramatization of the country’s deadliest terrorist attack, in which 77 members of the social-democrat Labour Party, 68 of them participants in a youth camp, were murdered by a right-wing extremist. The aftermath is told from the perspectives of the survivors, the government leadership, and the lawyers involved.
Suspiria (Limited): Call Me By Your Name Director Luca Guadagino travels in the opposite aesthetic direction for his remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic, favoring cold atmospherics and further emphasizing the occult presence making itself nightmarishly known at a certain dance company in Berlin. Dakota Johnson takes on the lead while Jessica Harper, the original star, takes on a new role. Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, and Chloë Grace Moretz also star. Thom Yorke provides his first original score.
Burning (Beoning) (Limited): Lee Chang-dong’s acclaimed adaptation of the Haruki Murakami short story “Barn Burning” stars Yoo Ah-in as Jong Su, a part time worker who runs into an old classmate Hae-mi he at first doesn’t remember. Tasked with taking care of her cat during her trip to Africa, he’s introduced to Ben (Steven Yeun), a man she met while in Africa, upon her return. Some time later, Ben confesses a strange hobby.