Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington Return to Screen in Historical Movies This Fall
Moviegoers will be getting a history lesson this fall at theaters across the country. From September through November, a number of historically themed films will take moviegoers back to World War II, the Civil War, and Vietnam. Here’s a curated list of five of the top options:
‘The Magnificent Seven’
Seven outlaws, bounty hunters, and hitmen try to help free the small town of Rose Creek from the despotic industrialist Bartholomew Bogue. One year after Southpaw, Antoine Fuqua is trading boxing gloves for pistols with this Western inspired by the 1960 John Sturges movie of the same name, which was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke star in the adventure, picked to close the Venice International Film Festival in September.
U.S. release: Sept. 23
‘The Birth of a Nation’
After scooping the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2016, Nate Parker’s first movie tells the story of a bloody slave revolt in 1830 in Virginia. The film seems certain of a bright future, following in the footsteps of 12 Years a Slave, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 2014. The drama could, however, be sidelined, as media attention has brought rape charges made against its director in 1999 back into the public eye.
U.S. release: Oct. 7
For his directorial debut, Ewan McGregor is adapting the Philip Roth novel American Pastoral, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. The actor also takes the lead role, playing a wealthy businessman whose shining career is tarnished by his daughter, a militant antiwar protester who sets off a bomb, killing a bystander. Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning also star in the film.
U.S. release: Oct. 28
Mel Gibson has also picked a World War II setting for his fifth stint in the director’s chair—his first in 10 years. His movie is based on Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) takes the lead role, starring alongside Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn. The film will be shown in an out-of-competition screening at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, which runs Aug. 31 to Sept. 10.
U.S. release: Nov. 4
One year after The Walk, Robert Zemeckis’ latest picture is a story of wartime espionage and romance set during the Second World War. Brad Pitt plays a secret agent on a mission in Morocco, who falls in love with a French Resistance fighter played by Marion Cotillard. However, their relationship is threatened by the ongoing conflict and a shocking revelation. (You’ll have to watch the movie to figure out what that is.)
U.S. release: Nov. 23