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Here Are The 25 Fall 2017 Movies We Can't Wait To Watch
Reality rarely matches up with our expectations, but the 2017 Summer Movie Season was a huge exception to that generalization. For the first time in a long time, the five best reviewed movies of the summer were also the five best movies of the summer: Baby Driver, The Big Sick, Dunkirk, War For The Planet Of The Apes, and Logan Lucky. Throw in some quite good superhero movies (Wonder Woman, Spider Man: Homecoming), a few well-received artsy movies (The Beguiled, A Ghost Story, Good Time) and at least one surprise hit (Girls Trip), and there was enough good stuff on the screen to ignore all the bombs and disappointments (The Dark Tower, The Mummy, Rough Night).
But those noisy, CGI-infested summer blockbusters are now giving way to the more diverse Fall Movie Season, where we get awards-bait material (Battle Of The Sexes, The Meyerowitz Stories), the latest films from some of the best directors in the business (Darren Aronofsky, Martin McDonagh, Todd Haynes, Richard Linklater), artsy movies (Woodshock, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, The Florida Project) and the occasional popcorn flicks (Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, Justice League).
Below, you'll find 25 films that'll help get you through the months of September, October and November, and give you an excuse to get out of your home and enjoy the crisp fall air in between showings. (And you can check out our most anticipated TV shows of the fall here.)
mother! (September 15th): Darren Aronofsky takes a step back from biblical-based epics and Russell Crowe-herding (Noah) for a light-hearted romcom with IRL love interest Jennifer Lawrence. Just kidding: very little is known about the plot of mother!, but according to Vulture, it is "the most alarming entry in Aronofsky’s two-decade career" and sounds like a spiritual cousin to psychological thriller Black Swan. "It’s a cruise missile shooting into a wall, this film," Aronofsky told Vulture. "I want audiences to be prepared for that and prepped that it’s a very intense ride."
Brad's Status (September 15th): Thanks to his brilliant work on Enlightenment (not to mention School Of Rock and Freaks and Geeks), I'll always be curious about any work from Mike White. White writes and directs this low-key film about a dad (Ben Stiller) whose road trip with his college-bound son "triggers a crisis of confidence." While the premise sounds forgettable, White has proven that he can spin even the most mundane-sounding concept into something intimate and moving.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (September 22nd): Kingsman: The Secret Service, an ultra-violent, over-the-top spy comedy/thriller, was a big hit in 2014, enough so that they brought the main gang back for a sequel...including Colin Firth's character Harry Hart, who was shot in the head and killed in the first movie. How is he alive? Why is he wearing an eye patch? And how did they rope so many great actors (Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Pedro Pascal) into joining this sequel?
Battle Of The Sexes (September 22nd): The latest from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the directing team behind Little Miss Sunshine, is a re-telling of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell). The gender politics unfortunately still have some serious real-world resonances today, which could guide the leads toward award season.
Woodshock (September 22nd): This is the first film directed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy, aka the sisters behind the Rodarte fashion line, which is definitely something I knew about before I had to look it up for this preview. It stars Kirsten Dunst as a woman "in the wake of profound loss [who] is torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug." Sounds a bit like the fun romp Melancholia! The trailer looks suitably artsy, so perhaps the sisters will follow in the footsteps of Tom Ford to make the leap from fashion to film—and hey, psychotic pirate Euron Greyjoy is in this too!
American Made (September 29th): Tom Cruise grins his way through this biographical crime film based on the life of Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler in the 1980s (for the Medellín Cartel, R.I.P. Entourage) and was recruited later by the DEA to provide intelligence. At the very least, this looks way more fun than The Mummy.
Blade Runner 2049 (October 6th): The biggest sci-fi blockbuster of the season is the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott's 1980s classic. It's directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) and has cinematography by the great Roger Deakins. Ryan Gosling stars as Agent K, Harrison Ford is back as Rick Deckard, Jared Leto wears funny contact lenses, and Mackenzie Davis and Robin Wright are in there somewhere too. If you like movies, you should probably go see this one in the cinema—it's going to be beautiful to look at no matter what.
The Florida Project (October 6th): After utilizing nonprofessional actors and an iPhone 5s to film his critically-adored 2015 film Tangerine, director Sean Baker is getting slightly more conventional for his newest project. He's ditched the iPhones (but mostly kept the nonprofessional actors) for The Florida Project, which follows a single mother (Bria Vinaite), her daughter (Brooklynn Prince), and other kids who are hanging around a budget motel just outside Disney World. The other big upgrade? Getting Willem Dafoe to play the guy who runs the motel.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (October 13th): Noah Baumbach's latest on the struggles of well-to-do white people stars Adam Sandler (in serious actor mode!), Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, along with a murderer's row of great actors in supporting roles (Adam Driver, Judd Hirsch, Candace Bergman, Rebecca Miller, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Marvel). It involves an estranged family (duh), bittersweet confrontations (duh), artistic angst (duh) and everything else you associate with Baumbach movies.
The Snowman (October 20th): Michael Fassbender stars as detective Harry Hole in this crime thriller horror adaptation of the popular Jo Nesbø book. It co-stars Rebecca Ferguson, Chloe Sevigny, Val Kilmer, and J.K. Simmons, it's directed by Tomas Alfredson (who ably handled Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and it's the perfect film to get over your Michael Fassbender face blindness.
Wonderstruck (October 20th): Todd Haynes makes beautiful films, whether they involve AIDS allegories (Safe), Douglas Sirk homages (Far From Heaven), torrid romances (Carol) or odes to Bob Dylan (I'm Not There). His latest film follows two different deaf children from two different time periods (1927 and 1977) who run away from home. The scenes set in 1927, in particular, are styled like a silent film, shot in black and white with occasional intertitles. The Hollywood Reporter called it "an uncommonly grownup film about children, communication, connection and memory."
Suburbicon (October 27th): George Clooney has been pretty hit (Good Night, and Good Luck, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind) and miss (Leatherheads, The Monuments Men) behind the camera, but we feel pretty hopeful about his latest—both becuase of its star-studded cast (Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore), and the fact that it was written by the Coen Brothers. Though the buzz has been that it is a dark comedy, Clooney says the emphasis is squarely on the dark part of it: "It starts out feeling like a Disney film and, by the end, it feels like it takes a pretty dramatic, serious turn to, like, an acid trip of some form."
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (October 27th): Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos made a big splash in America with his first English-language film, The Lobster. He continues his noble quest to revive Colin Farrell's career with this psychological horror-thriller film, in which Farrell and Nicole Kidman play a husband and wife whose family is cursed by a sinister teenage boy.
The Square (October 27th): Director Ruben Östlund's last film, Force Majeure, was one of the best movies of the last decade, an uproarious look at bourgeois complacency, gender stereotypes and Kristofer Hivju's ginger beard. His newest film, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, is a satire of the art world starring Dominic West (The Affair, The Wire) as a famous American artist exhibiting his latest work, an installation meant to promote altruism. The film also stars Elisabeth Moss and Claes Bang, and the director says it is about "how we look to individual versus [societal] responsibility and how we take care of each other, and topics like trust and responsibility."
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (October 27th): If you saw Wonder Woman earlier this summer, here's your chance to learn the even more interesting story behind the creation of the feminist icon. This movie follows the life of Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), the creator of Wonder Woman, and the two women who inspired her: his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), and Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), who lived with the couple in a harmonious extended relationship.
Thor: Ragnarok (November 3rd): Thor has always been the runt of the Marvel solo films: his first movie was a decent if somewhat unmemorable showcase for Chris Hemsworth's comedic timing (with a Shakespearean-bent, because of course you would go there, Kenneth Branagh), and I don't think anyone remembers anything about Thor: The Dark World (something something holes?). But that's all about to change, because Marvel has handed over the third installment (Thor: Ragnarok: The Thor Movie We're Excited About Seeing: Gladiator Bros Unite!) in the franchise to the wonderful, quirky director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows) who has turned this ambling series into a full-on '80s buddy comedy/gladiatorial disaster film.
Last Flag Flying (November 3rd): It's only been a year since Richard Linklater's last film, the criminally-underrated Everybody Wants Some!!, but the prolific director already has a new movie in the can. This "lyrical road movie," which is also a sequel to the 1973 Hal Ashby film The Last Detail, stars Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston as three Navy vets who reunite for the burial of one of their kids, who was killed in the early days of the Iraqi Invasion.
Roman Israel, Esq. (November 3rd): There's no trailer available yet for the latest film from Dan Gilroy, the writer/director of 2014's excellent Nightcrawler. But with a cast including Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo, we are very curious about this one. Here's the synopsis: "A liberal lawyer named Roman J. Israel has been fighting the good fight while others take the credit. When his partner, the firm’s front man, has a heart attack, Israel suddenly takes on that role. He finds out some unsettling things about what the crusading law firm has done that run afoul of his values of helping the poor and dispossessed, and he finds himself in an existential crisis that leads to extreme action."
Lady Bird (November 10th): If you've been wondering what Greta Gerwig has been up to recently (and who among us hasn't), her directorial debut is coming this fall. Not a lot is known about Lady Bird, which was also written by Gerwig (who co-wrote Frances Ha and Mistress America), so far—there is no trailer, or even a basic synopsis. It reportedly revolves around a year in the life of a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) yearning to escape her conservative life in Sacramento, California. It co-stars Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea), Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne), playwright/actor Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name).
Justice League (November 10th): DC's flagship movie has a lot going against it: its predecessor, Men Of Steel 2: Batman v Superman: Yawn Of Justice: Batfleck Begins: The Spin-Offs Cometh: $800 Million Or Bust!, was a little-loved franchise starter. The movie has been dogged by behind-the-scenes retooling and reshoots. The movie's director had to drop out because of a family tragedy (though trading Zack Snyder for Joss Whedon seems like a definite upgrade). Ben Affleck seemingly hates playing Batman. Even after years of playing Superman, no one recognizes Henry Cavill. But on the other hand...Khal Aquaman seems like a fun dude to hang out with?
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (November 10th): Playwright Martin McDonagh has been responsible for one of the best movies of the 21st century (In Bruges) and one of the most underrated (Seven Psychopaths). His latest film stars a profanity-happy Frances McDormand as a no-bullshit grief-stricken mother pressing police to investigate her daughter's murder. She's joined by Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage.
Murder on the Orient Express (November 17th): Kenneth Branagh brings Hercule Poirot to the big screen in this adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie novel. There is CGI, train intrigue, intimidating mustaches, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, and Michelle Pfeiffer—and best of all, Johnny Depp is the victim.
Call Me By Your Name (November 24th): This coming-of-age queer romance has already been getting some of the best reviews of the year. The plot involves an American scholar (Armie Hammer) who spends the summer in Italy and develops an intense romance with a 17-year-old boy (Timothée Chalamet). Variety writes that director Luca Guadagnino "recreates Elio’s life-changing summer with such intensity that we might as well be experiencing it first-hand."
Molly's Game (November 22nd): Walk-and-talk pioneer Aaron Sorkin will make his directorial debut with this adaptation of the memoir of the same name by Molly Bloom, which is about her journey through the world of underground poker. Jessica Chastain stars as the titular Molly, and her co-stars include Idris Elba, Chris O'Dowd, Michael Cera, and Kevin Costner.
The Disaster Artist (December 1st): Tommy Wiseau's disasterpiece The Room is one of the most enjoyable movies of all time (that happens to be one of the worst movies ever made). James Franco will direct and star in this (already well-reviewed) movie about the making of the film, assembling an all-star cast (DEEP BREATH: Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Zac Efron, Hannibal Buress, Melanie Griffith, Sharon Stone, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, Nathan Fielder, Paul Scheer, Bryan Cranston, Adam Scott, Jason Mantzoukas, Keegan-Michael Key, Kristen Bell, Lizzy Caplan, and of course, Tommy Wiseau) for my single most anticipated film of the year.