While summer may be an exciting time for blockbusters movie fans know that fall and winter are where the real action is. You’ve got award season contenders, quiet indies, movies meant to draw crowds in the long dark months, and movies they hope will bring families out to theaters over Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year sees no shortage of films that will delight all manner of cinephiles, from franchise favorites to long awaited sequels to intriguing originals. Here are ten that we’re most excited for.
El Camino (October 11)
As great as Breaking Bad was they did sort of leave Jesse Pinkman hanging in the wind. Sure, we could imagine that he drove off into the night and started a new life for himself after his escape from the meth dealing Nazis holding him captive, but it was equally easy to imagine him getting him picked up and spending the rest of his life in jail. Thankfully, creator Vince Gilligan decided to return to the stash and give us one final hurrah with Aaron Paul’s loveable Pinkman in order to give him a more proper ending. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will be available to stream on Netflix starting October 11 but those who just love the cinematic experience can check it out in theaters for one weekend only.
Gemini Man (October 11)
It’s Will Smith vs Will Smith in this Ang Lee directed sci-fi epic co-written by Game of Thrones co-creator David Benioff. Smith stars as an aging hitman who finds himself facing off against a clone of himself who is decades younger setting off a mystery of who created the clone and why. This one could honestly go either way, but Lee is a director with a peerless voice and Smith can, on occasion, reach truly fantastic heights as a performer.
The Lighthouse (October 18)
Robert Eggers has a high bar to read on the heels of The Witch but early buzz regarding The Lighthouse suggests that his follow up is every bit as wonderful as his debut. The Lighthouse pits Willem Dafoe against Robert Pattinson as two lighthouse keepers off the coast of New England. Billed as a psychodrama, we’re sure to see a slow and baffling descent into madness as these two gentlemen are forced to endure each other and their isolation.
Jojo Rabbit (October 24)
Director Taiki Waititi wrote, directed, and stars in this satirical look at Nazi Germany that follows a young boy, a member of the Hitler Youth, who discovers his mother hiding a Jewish woman in their home. Guided by his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, played by Waititi, the young boy learns moralistic lessons regarding right and wrong as he confronts his beliefs and nationalism. Those who’ve seen it on the festival circuit swear it’s hilarious and heart-warming. Given Waititi’s track record, this isn’t at all difficult to believe.
Doctor Sleep (November 8)
At this point, can anyone but Mike Flanagan be trusted to adapt Stephen King? He’s certainly made a name for himself as a filmmaker who can handle King’s subtleties but, in this outing, he’s not just taking on the Master of Horror, he’s talking on Stanley Kubrick. Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining and, as such, is forced to contend with the unenviable task of staying true to King and to Kubrick, whose adaptation of King’s haunted tale his notoriously hated by the author. Can he do it? No idea, but it’ll be exciting to see how he manages.
The Irishman (November 27)
Martin Scorsese. Robert DeNiro. Al Pacino. Joe Pesci. I almost don’t believe that three and a half hours will be enough to satisfy movie watchers but I’m sure we’ll make do. Though it will be getting a limited theatrical release, putting Netflix firmly in contention for next year’s Oscars, you can also watch this epic from the comfort of your home.
Knives Out (November 27)
Rian Johnson, the director of the greatest Star Wars movie yet made, returns to his roots with this murder mystery that recalls the work of Agatha Christie. It’s a classic whodunnit that finds a detective (Daniel Craig) trying to find out who killed a renowned novelist when everyone in his family and on his staff might have had a reason to do so. Joining Craig are Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Frank Oz, and Michael Shannon so, if nothing else, it features the most amazing cast you’ll see all year.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (December 20)
Director J.J. Abrams returns to complete the trilogy he began with 2015’s The Force Awakens. The Rise of Skywalker will no doubt break endless records at the box office as what promises to be the for real and actual conclusion to the story that began in 1977. But not forever. No. At least two more trilogies are planned which promise to follow different characters in, perhaps, different eras.
Little Women (December 25)
Greta Gerwig was an American treasure long before her directorial debut Ladybird captivated the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere. Her follow up film is a star-studded remake of the classic Louisa May Alcott story and it seems almost too perfect for a filmmaker with her sensibilities. Little Women finds her reunited with her Ladybird stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet and also includes the likes of Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Bob Odenkirk. This has every opportunity to become the definitive adaptation of the novel and should make for a perfect Christmas afternoon outing with the family.
1917 (December 25)
Director Sam Mendes returns with a World War I epic that has shades of Saving Private Ryan to it. Two privates are given a mission to penetrate German lines to deliver a message to a battalion that the mission they’re on is, in fact, a trap. Mendes shot the film in way to give it the illusion of a single take, which will no doubt lend to the epic scope of the project. War movies are always hit or miss but this one has the potential to become a massive contender come nomination time.