The Fall Movie Guide

Quality is up this season. So is real-life heroism.

By The Editors
August 24, 2017 9:00 am

Hollywood had a terrible summer.

But fall is a season for change, and we’ve got 14 good reasons for you to head back to the local cinema this month.

The first is that unlimited-theater-ticket service MoviePass now costs just $10 a month.

The other 13 come in the form of our Fall Movie Preview, flush with the one movie you’ve gotta see each week from now until November.

Highlights: a Coen Brothers caper, killer clowns (and snowmen!) and a few real-life tales of heroism.

Rather stay home? Don’t worry. We also offer 13 worthy alternatives you can watch, read or listen to from the comfort of your couch.

I Do … Until I Don’t (Sep. 1)

The pitch: “Cheating, divorce, orgies … but with funny, attractive people.”
The fine print: Lake Bell’s charming indie comedy In a World … bodes well for her follow-up, a dissection of marriage in a modern world starring an A-level comedic cast (Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, Wyatt Cenac).
Or stay home and … Binge the third season of Narcos, which returns today to Netflix.

IT (Sep. 8)

The pitch: “It’s like Stranger Things before Stranger Things. Also: There’s a clown. ”
The fine print: It’s taken a while for Stephen King’s tale of misfit kids who face an unspeakable evil (usually in the shape of a clown nicknamed Pennywise) to hit the big screen. True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga was once behind the camera — now replaced by Mama’s Andy Muschietti — and the film is now a two-parter, with the first half updated to take place in the ‘80s. Troubled beginnings aside, this looks legit scary.
Or stay home and … Read the scathing reviews for 9/11, the new drama about the Sept. 11th attacks starring Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg. That’s gonna be a true horror show.

mother! (Sept. 15)

The pitch: “Home invasion with a twist. By the guy who did Black Swan.”
The fine print: Darren Aronofsky’s creepy new thriller centers on a happy couple (Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem) who see their idyllic life disrupted by uninvited guests. Cue blood on walls, angry mobs, plot twists galore.
Or stay home and … Uncover the secrets that lurk within Netflix’s American Vandal, a spoof of Serial/Making a Murderer that asks, “Who drew all the penises on those cars?”

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Sept. 22)

The pitch: “Young, hip James Bond comes to America.”
The fine print: The 2014 spy caper that made 007 irrelevant heads to our shores, as the Kingsman agents meet their Stateside compatriots—who pose as good ol’ boy bourbon distillers. Returning director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake) should keep the action kinetic and waaaaaay over-the-top.
Or stay home and … Relive the genre classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, celebrating its 40th anniversary with a new 4K Blu-ray containing three different versions of the film (theatrical, special edition, 1997 director’s cut) and illuminated packaging that plays the movie’s iconic five-note motif.

Battle of the Sexes (Sept. 22)

The pitch: “Oscar bait: Great actors, true story, goofy ‘70s haircuts.”
The fine print: The real life tale of a 1973 gender wars tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and willing chauvinist Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). Perhaps you can find some modern-day parallels. Or just appreciate the glorious amount of mutton chops.
Or stay home and … Relive your youth with the new handheld Super NES (Sept. 29). Good luck finding one, however.

Stronger (Sept. 22)

The pitch: “It’s the tough, ultimately feel-proud movie America needs.”
The fine print: The inspiring story of Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhal), a victim of 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing. Directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Prince Avalanche).
Or stay home and… Rediscover heroism on the big networks. This week, NBC debuts a military procedural (The Brave, Sept. 25) while CBS goes with SEAL Team (Sept. 27)

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton (Sept. 29)

The pitch: “Did we miss the summer? We need a surf film.”
The fine print: Four decades of amazing action footage mixed with a deep dive into the personal side of the big-wave, larger-than-life surfer.
Or stay home and… Watch the season premieres of Hawaii Five-O, MacGyver and Marvel’s The Inhumans, which together kind of replicates Laird’s life.

Blade Runner 2049 (Oct. 6)

The pitch: “Let’s do a sequel to the most visually influential film of the last 35 years….but not let the original guy anywhere near the director’s chair.”
The fine print: Replicants! Eerie synths! Harrison Ford! The tone and style of Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi dystopia seems intact, with the welcome addition of director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) — and director subtraction of Scott, whose recent pillaging of his Alien franchise means his behind-the-scenes role is just fine.
Or stay home and … Realize we’re living in a dystopian future already. Witness: Season 3 of Mr. Robot (Oct. 11).

Marshall (Oct. 13)

The pitch: “A tense legal drama that involves race, deception and history.”
The fine print: A true story inspired by a case involving Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first African-American Supreme Court justice. Marshall’s played by Chadwick Boseman, who’s already inhabited the likes of Jackie Robinson and James Brown in recent biopics.
Or stay home and… Take stock of our modern history with Sarah Silverman’s new weekly talk show I Love You, America (debuts Oct. 12 on Hulu), which examines “un-like-minded” people.

The Snowman (Oct. 20)

The pitch:The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But in Norway, and with Fassbender.”
The fine print: It’s a cold case, literally. A serial killer with a snowman fetish returns to the bleak wintery streets of Oslo, as porn-named detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) hunts for clues. Based on a best seller and directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).
Or stay home and… Rock out. You want blood? GWAR has a new album. Notes the band: “Just hearing these songs performed will result in an instant paroxysm of weeping, gnashing of teeth, and the uncontrollable voiding of your filthy bowels.”

Suburbicon (Oct. 27)

The pitch: “It’s a Coen Brothers movie…sort of. With Matt Damon!”
The fine print: Written by Joel and Ethan Coen but directed by some guy named George Clooney, this is a pitch black tale of a typical suburban family in 1959 that gets involved with loan sharks, murderers and assorted lowlifes. A juxtaposition echoed nicely in that trailer soundtracked by Run the Jewels.
Or stay home and… Beat up Nazis. It’s OK because it’s a video game (the much-anticipated Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus) and the plot is ridiculously far-fetched: Nazis have come to America!

Thor: Ragnarok (Nov. 3)

The pitch: “Thor goes full Gladiator with the Hulk.”
The fine print: The Norse god, minus his hammer, tries to prevent the end of Asgard with help from a rogues gallery of heroes. Directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi (What We Do In the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople).
Or stay home and… Bone up on the movie’s backstory. Some of the film’s ideas were lifted from the seminal Planet Hulk comic book storyline, as yours truly/geekily will remind you ad nauseum.

Molly’s Game (Nov. 22)

The pitch: “Beautiful Olympic skier runs illegal high-stakes poker game with Hollywood elite. True story!”
The fine print: Based off of Molly Bloom’s real-life adventures, this legal drama marks screenwriting giant Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. With Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Chris O’Dowd and Michael Cera. What’s not to like?
Or stay home and … Get a different take. Our Creative Director’s rant on the original book that became the film: “The fact that an absolute abomination like this got made into an Aaron Sorkin movie starring Jessica Chastain proves that Hollywood is flat out of ideas. Read this shit. It’s drivel. Garbage. Criminally awful. Fuck Molly Bloom and the piece of shit ghostwriter she rode in on. And fuck talented filmmakers for wasting their talents on it.”

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