20 Fall Movies To Be Excited For, From Joker To Knives Out

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While big movie releases are increasingly spread out across the whole year, the summer is still seen as a season of expensive Hollywood blockbusters. Sure, 2018 might have had Avengers: Endgame released as early as April, but the vast majority of the big franchise tentpole films still arrived in the summer months, squeezing out almost everything that wasn’t a superhero epic, animated sequel, or action spin-off.

Fall is very different. There are still some blockbusters to come in 2019–Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker being the most obvious example–but for the most part, the fall movie schedule features a mix of acclaimed films likely to pick up Oscar buzz, horror films designed to pull the Halloween crowd, and movies that simply couldn’t fit into the summer schedule.

That’s not say the next three months is all serious, intelligent adult dramas. There are plenty of sequels–those venerable action franchises Rambo and Terminator both have new movies, Zombieland finally gets its belated follow-up, and Disney’s Frozen II is sure to be one of the year’s biggest movies. DC’s latest film arrives too, and although Joker is very different to the studio’s other recent superhero releases, it’s still one of the fall’s absolute must-sees. There’s also the highly anticipated new film from Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt in space, Tom Hanks as Mr Rogers, and Will Smith fighting a younger version of himself.

In all, it’s set to be a busy few months, with notable new movies releasing every week. So to help you decide what to look forward to–and what you might want to avoid–here’s our guide to the fall’s biggest movies…

1. Hustlers

Release date: September 13

Not to be confused with the recently released–and similarly plotted–comedy flop The Hustle, Hustlers is a satirical crime thriller in which a group of strippers decide to con dozens of wealthy businessmen out of their fortunes. It’s based on a true story, and is directed by acclaimed playwright Lorene Scafaria, who made her directing debut with 2012’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. The cast includes Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, plus cameos from rappers Cardi B and Lizzo. The movie picked up rave reviews from its recent premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, with critics in particular praising Lopez’s performance.

2. Rambo V: Last Blood

Release date: September 20

Sylvester Stallone has already said goodbye to one of his most iconic characters, when Rocky Balboa made his last appearance in Creed II, and he’s now set to do the same with his other great action hero–John Rambo. Rambo V: Last Blood is the fifth movie in the long-running action series, and it sees the soldier-turned-mercenary take on Mexican drug cartels in order to rescue the kidnapped daughter of one of his friends. Long-time fans of the series know what to expect–ie. lots of shooting, stabbing, and blowing-things-up–and the trailers released so far suggest that Last Blood will absolute deliver.

3. Ad Astra

Release date: September 20

Director James Gray is best known for dark, intense dramas such as The Immigrant and We Own The Night, but with Ad Astra, he makes the jump into big budget sci-fi territory. Brad Pitt stars as an engineer who heads into the outer reaches of space to find out what happened to his father–who made a mysterious one-way trip to Neptune many years earlier. The cast also includes Tommy Lee Jones and Preacher star Ruth Negga, and festival reviews suggest a cerebral space adventure in the vein of Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Original sci-fi films are often a hard sell at the box office, but Pitt’s box office power should attract plenty of attention.

4. Abominable

Release date: September 27

This latest release from Dreamworks Animation focuses on a young Yeti, who befriends a teenage girl named Yi living in Shanghai. Yi and her pals must try to reunite the Yeti with his family, while staying one step ahead of an evil zoologist who is determined to capture mythical hairy beast. Agents of SHIELD star Chloe Bennet voices Yi, with Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson in villainous roles. In typical Hollywood style, Abominable is actually the second animated Yeti movie to arrive in the space of a year, with the moderately-successful Smallfoot releasing last October, but this still looks like good fun.

5. Joker

Release Date: October 4

The Joker might be one of the best known comic book villains of all time, but it’s safe to say there’s never been a comic book movie quite like this one. Joaquin Phoenix takes on the role of Arthur Fleck in this origin movie, that shows how a disturbed, struggling comedian rose to become Gotham’s most notorious insane criminal mastermind. Directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips, the movie has won massive acclaim when it premiered at the Venice FIlm Festival last month, and against the odds, won the prestigious Golden bear at the festival. In his review for GameSpot, Michael Rougeau said Joker was “wonderfully fresh, dangerously exciting, undeniably entertaining, and rock-solid in its artistry. It might make you uncomfortable, and it will no doubt stay with you long after the curtains close; great movies often do.”

6. Zombieland: Double-Tap

Release date: October 11

Although the zombie comedy Zombieland was a critical and commercial success, it’s taken nearly a decade for the sequel to happen. Since then lead actors Jesse Eisenberg and in particular Oscar-winning Emma Stone have become major stars, while the movie’s writers–Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese–have scored major success with the Deadpool movies. But all are returning for the sequel, as are director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) and co-stars Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin. The hilarious trailer suggests the movie will be every bit as funny, gory, silly, and heartfelt as the original.

7. Gemini Man

Release date: October 11

Sometimes one Will Smith is not enough. The sci-fi thriller Gemini Man sees the Fresh Prince play a veteran assassin who is his hunted by a younger clone. The movie was in development for many years, but advances in de-aging technology have now made it a possibility, as 50-year-old Smith fights a version of himself who looks just like the youthful star of ’90s films such as Bad Boys and Independence Day. Gemini Man is directed by Ang Lee, who is known for dramas such as Brokeback Mountain, but also proved he can deliver the action goods with the martial arts classic Crouching TIger Hidden Dragon and the 2003 version of Hulk.

8. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Release date: October 11

Disney’s hit 2014 movie Maleficent might have been based on Sleeping Beauty, but it predated the studio’s current series of live-action adaptations of its animated classics. But following the huge success of Aladdin and The Lion King this year, the Maleficent sequel arrives in October. Angelina Jolie returns as the evil fairy of the title, with Elle Fanning also back as Princess Aurora. Michelle Pfeiffer, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, and Sam Riley co-star, and the director is Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).

9. The Addams Family

Release date: October 11

The spooky family were last seen in a pair of live-action movies in the 1990s and return for this new animated film. An impressive voicecast includes Oscar Isaac as Gomez and Charlize Theron as Morticia, plus Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley, Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday, Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester, and Allison Janney as villainous Margaux Needler. The movie seems to be aimed at a younger audience than the ’90s movies, but it should make for suitably spooky Halloween viewing for families.

10. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

Release date: October 15

In more recent years, Kevin Smith has been branching out beyond the comedies that made him famous, but he returns this fall to the characters for which he’s best known with the sequel to 2000’s Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. The plot sees the iconic stoner heroes–played by Smith and Jason Mewes–heading to Hollywood in an attempt to stop a reboot of that earlier movie happening. The movie features appearances from lots of actors who have appeared in Smith’s previous films, including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Shannon Elizabeth, and Rosario Dawson, plus a cameo from Chris Hemsworth. Expect exactly the same brand of foul-mouthed pop-culture referencing comedy that has won Smith such a fan following over the years.

11. Jojo Rabbit

Release date: October 18

Thor Ragnarok director Taiki Waititi is one of the busiest filmmakers in Hollywood–he’s lined up to make the next Thor movie, is attached to a new animated Flash Gordon movie, and will hopefully eventually get to make the long-delayed live-action Akira adaptation. But before we get to all that, we have Jojo Rabbit. It’s an unusual World War II satire, in which a German boy called Jojo discovers that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in his attic.The cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, and Rebel Wilson, but the strangest bit of casting is Waititi himself, who is playing Jojo’s imaginary friend–a clownish version of Adolf Hitler.

12. Terminator: Dark Fate

Release date: November 1

After the commercial and critical failure of 2015’s Terminator Genisys, few fans expected to get a new Terminator movie quite so soon after. But Terminator: Dark Fate has got a few things going for it. Original star Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor, one of the most iconic action heroines of all time, while Arnold Schwarzenegger co-stars and series creator James Cameron is back as a producer. It’s directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller and is a direct sequel to Cameron’s 1991 classic T2: Judgement Day, ignoring the three movies in-between.

13. The Irishman

Release date: November 1

If you needed proof that Netflix is one of the biggest players in cinema right now, just consider the fact they’ve spent a reported $175 million on the new Martin Scorsese movie. The legendary director of such classic as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas will make his streaming debut with the epic crime saga The Irishman, which stars Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, labor union leader and mob hitman. The cast also includes Joe Pesci and Al Pacino (remarkably, this is the first Scorsese movie Pacino has appeared in), and the film will make extensive–and expensive–use of the de-aging VFX seen most recently on Sam Jackson in Captain Marvel. It’s getting a limited theatrical release before it hits Netflix on November 27, but however you choose to watch it, The Irishman is unquestionably one of 2019’s most anticipated movies.

14. Doctor Sleep

Release date: November 8

With movies like Gerard’s Game and Oculus under his belt, Mike Flanagan was already one of horror’s best young filmmakers when he co-wrote and directed last year’s highly acclaimed Netflix hit The Haunting of Hill House. The success of Hill House has raised his profile even further, and expectations are high for his next movie, Doctor Sleep. It’s an adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 sequel to his classic The Shining, and stars Ewan McGregor as the adult version of the earlier novel’s young, psychic protagonist Danny Torrance. In this new story, Torrance meets a young girl with similar powers to his and must protect her from a sinister cult who are targeting children with similar gifts.

15. Last Christmas

Release date: November 8

Director Paul Fieg made a brief detour from the comedies he’s best known for with last year’s thriller A Simple Favor, but he returns to more familiar territory in November. Last Christmas is–of course–a London-set festive romantic comedy featuring the music of George Michael. It stars Emilia Clarke, in her first post-Game of Thrones role, Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding, and Emma Thompson, who also co-wrote the movie. Expect lots of seasonal fuzziness and big box office.

16. Ford v. Ferrari

Release date: November 15

From Amadeus to Frost/Nixon, there have been some great movies made from real-life rivalries. Ford v. Ferrari is the latest addition–as the title suggests, it focuses on the rivalry between the two famous car manufacturers for dominance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race that took place in France in 1966. Christian Bale plays British driver Ken Miles and Matt Damon is Ford’s pioneering car designer Carroll Shelby, who set about building an entirely new car that might challenge the might of Ferrari. It’s directed by James Mangold, who is best known for Logan and The Wolverine, as well as the western 3:1- To Yuma and Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line.

17. Charlie’s Angels

Release date: November 15

The iconic female crime-fighters were last seen in a pair of movies in the early 2000s, and are back in this latest film version. It’s the second directing credit for Pitch Perfect and Power Rangers star Elizabeth Banks, with Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska as the Angels this time round. The trio are brought into Charlie Townsend’s crime-fighting agency, which is now a global spy network, by Bosley, played by Banks. Patrick Stewart and Dimjou Hounsou also appear as other spy bosses using the Bosley alias. Interestingly, the movie isn’t a remake, but a continuation of the story that started with the original ’70s TV show and continued with the 2000s movies.

18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Release date: November 22

The 2017 Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor stands as one of the most successful docs ever made, and it will soon be joined by a live-action movie about the iconic TV host and family entertainer (with a title also taken from the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood theme song). Fred Rogers is played by Tom Hanks–and frankly, it’s hard to think of anyone else in the role–and the plot centers upon a cynical journalist whose life is changed when he’s assigned to profile Rogers. The script for this movie sat around unmade for many years, but renewed interest in Mr Rogers has finally meant it reaches the screen in November.

19. Frozen II

Release date: November 24

The long-awaited sequel to Disney’s 2013 blockbuster animated movie Frozen continues the icy adventures of Elsa and Anna. All of the key cast members are returning, including Kristen Bell as Anna and Idina Menzel as Elsa, plus Jonathan Groff as Kristoff and Josh Gad as Olaf. The recent first trailer didn’t exactly reveal much about the plot, but it was certainly dramatic, with Elsa trying to cross a stormy sea using her icy magical powers, Anna looking concerned about a hall of weird icy diamonds, Kristoff riding his horse, and the three walking through a spooky forest. All will be revealed in November.

20. Knives Out

Release date: November 27

Rian Johnson might be best known these days for directing The Last Jedi, but prior to that Star Wars blockbuster, he was the acclaimed filmmaker behind movies such as the teen noir Brick and gripping sci-fi Looper. Knives Out sees Johnson return to his offbeat thriller roots–it’s a ridiculous star-studded murder mystery, with a cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette.

Source: Game Spot Mashup