The fall always brings the first wave of Oscar contenders and this October some of the best films of the year are being released. The Hate U Give is hands down the best script of the year and a must-see. First Man is one of the best space films ever made and A Star is Born is breathtaking. And for the Halloween season, there are two must-see reboots – the John Carpenter/Jamie Lee Curtis produced Halloween and a new and even creepier version of Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria with Luca Guadagnino of “Call Me By Your Name” fame at the helm.
A Star Is Born
This is so intimate and beautiful that it stays with you for days after. Oscar-worthy performance from Bradley Cooper, who completely disappears into the role of Jackson Maine. The direction is perfect and Lady Gaga is wonderful in her screen debut.
R |2 hr 15 min
Plot Summary: Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Rafi Gavron, Anthony Ramos, Dave Chappelle, Alec Baldwin
Director: Bradley Cooper
Genres: Romance , Drama , Music
Production Co: Warner Bros. Pictures, Peters Entertainment, Thunder Road Pictures, Gerber Pictures, Joint Effort
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures
The Hate You Give
This is the best movie of the year and definitely the best script of the year. Every single line and action was true to the black experience in a way that I have never seen on screen.
PG-13 |2 hr 13 min
Plot Summary: Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds — the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what’s right.
Cast: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, K.J. Apa, Anthony Mackie, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, Issa Rae
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Production Co: State Street Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Couldn’t see this at the press screening and not sure I really want to. I love Tom Hardy but am waiting for on demand on this one.
PG-13 |1 hr 52 min
Plot Summary: Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Eddie’s body merges with the alien Venom — leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, Melora Walters, Woody Harrelson
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Genres: Science Fiction , Adventure , Action , Fantasy
Production Co: Matt Tolmach Productions, Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Pascal Pictures
One of the best movies of the year, First Man completely took my breath away. I had the great honor to meet Neil Armstong on the 40th anniversary of his moonwalk and had no idea about his life. Ryan and Claire should definitely be Oscar nominated.
PG-13 |2 hr 21 min
Plot Summary: Hoping to reach the moon by the end of the decade, NASA plans a series of extremely dangerous, unprecedented missions in the early 1960s. Engineer Neil Armstrong joins the space program, spending years in training and risking his life during test flights. On July 16, 1969, the nation and world watch in wonder as Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embark on the historic Apollo 11 spaceflight.
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Patrick Fugit, Christopher Abbott, Ciarán Hinds
Director: Damien Chazelle
Genres: Historical Drama , Adventure , Biography
Production Co: Perfect World Pictures, DreamWorks, Phantasma Films, Universal Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Bad Times At The El Royale
Great cast and a great script make this a mash-up of a Tarantino flick and “Cabin In the Woods”! It’s a really odd story with tons of fun twists. I adore Jeff Bridges and Cynthia Erivo is stellar. The one miss is Dakota Johnson, who can’t act.
R |2 hr 21 min
Plot Summary: The El Royale is a run-down hotel that sits on the border between California and Nevada. It soon becomes a seedy battleground when seven strangers — a cleric, a soul singer, a traveling salesman, two sisters, the manager and the mysterious Billy Lee — converge on a fateful night for one last shot at redemption before everything goes wrong.
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Offerman
Director: Drew Goddard
Production Co: 20th Century Fox, Goddard Textiles
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Who can believe it’s been 40 years since Michael Myers entered our horror consciousness? Laurie is back and has spent the last 40 years getting into kick-ass shape to take out Micheal once and for all. This time, the victims at the mercy of Myers’ bloodthirst are the friends, neighbors and classmates of Laurie’s granddaughter. A fun script with throwbacks to the original – the titles are done in the original fonts – some truly horrible deaths and some nailbiting moments make this a remake not to be missed!
R |1 hr 49 min
Plot Summary: It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield, Ill. — but this time, she’s ready for him.
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Ginny Gardner, Nick Castle, Haluk Bilginer, James Jude Courtney
Director: David Gordon Green
Genres: Thriller, Horror
Production Co: Miramax, Blumhouse Productions, Rough House Pictures
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Can You Ever Forgive Me
This amazing true story finds Melissa McCarthy in her first dramatic role and she is Oscar-worthy. As a woman over forty, I found the story of Lee Isreal both sad and a cautionary tale. As women, we really do have to provide for ourselves better. Lee was not a criminal. She was just trying to pay these crazy NY rents and keep her cat alive. The acting was pitch perfect by both McCarthy and Richard Grant.
R |1 hr 46 min
Plot Summary: Celebrity biographer Lee Israel makes her living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack.
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone, Gregory Korostishevsky, Jane Curtin, Stephen Spinella, Christian Navarro
Director: Marielle Heller
Genres: Biography, Historical drama
Production Co: 20th Century Fox, Archer Gray Productions
A powerhouse leading performance and a killer script make this the Best Foreign Movie of the year and one of the best films of the year, in general! I loved this one. It’s Rear Window meets The Call meets The Detective Story meets Locke with some Usual Suspects thrown in! I am not going to say anything more but SEE THIS FILM!
- RT| 1 hour 25 minutes
Plot Summary: A police officer assigned alarm dispatch duty enters a race against time when he answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman.
- Cast: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen, Omar Shargawi, Katinka Evers-Jahnsen, Jakob Ulrik Lohmann, Jeanette Lindbaek.
- Director: Gustav Möller
I am an avid Ben Foster fan and feel he is one of the most underrated actors of our generation. Plus, I am a sucker for noir, so I will definitely be checking this out.
Not Yet Rated |1 hr 31 min
Plot Summary: Roy is a hard-drinking criminal enforcer and mob hit man who gets double-crossed by his powerful boss. He soon finds himself on the run with a young woman and her daughter as they try to find sanctuary in Galveston, Texas.
Cast: Ben Foster, Elle Fanning, Lili Reinhart, María Valverde, Beau Bridges, Adepero Oduye, Robert Aramayo, Jamel Chambers
Director: Mélanie Laurent
Genres:Thriller, Crime drama
Production Co: Jean Doumanian Productions, Low Spark Films
The original Dario Argento movie is one of my favorite creepy films of all time, so I can’t wait to see this. The one bad spot, Dakota Jackson. I truly hope this director finally pulls a performance out of her, cause so far she has been terrible in just about everything I have seen her in. But then, that may just be the taint of that “50 Shades of Grey” mess!
R |2 hr 32 min
Plot Summary: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director, an ambitious young dancer and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare — others will finally wake up.
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Angela Winkler, Ingrid Caven, Elena Fokina, Sylvie Testud, Renée Soutendijk
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Genres: Horror , Thriller
Production Co: Muskat Filmed Properties, Mythology Entertainment, Amazon Studios
Distributors: Amazon Studios
Johnny English Strikes Again
I have loved Rowan since my time living in England and Mr. Bean. Plus with all the hard things going on politically, the world needs a laugh.
PG |1 hr 28 min
Plot Summary: The new adventure begins when a cyber attack reveals the identities of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English as the secret service’s last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives headfirst into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analogue methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.
Cast: Rowan Atkinson, Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson, Jake Lacy, David Mumeni, Miranda Hennessy, Pippa Bennett-Warner
Director: David Kerr
Genres: Adventure , Comedy
Production Co: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Focus Features, Studio Canal, Working Title Films
Distributors: Universal Pictures