Most Anticipated! The Absolute 20 Must-see Films You Should Catch Come Fall


If you’re like me and like movies, especially films that make you think and feel. Catching a good one (with of course the complementary popcorn) usually amounts to a pretty good weekend. To make your search as easy as 1.2.3, here are my week-by-week picks for the most promising flicks of the cooler season (with a few honorable mentions for good measure). The list extends from Labor Day Weekend (the unofficial start of fall) through Christmas Day (after which we get to do this again).

The Light Between the Oceans (Family Drama)
Rated: PG-13 (for thematic material and some sexual content)
Shingles: Dreamworks, Disney
Plot: Following World War 1, an Australian couple rescue an infant girl in a rowboat and raise her as their own.  You just know rending trouble follows.
Starring: Michael Fassbinder, Rachel Weisz, Alicia Vikander, Caren Pistorius
Written & Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
“WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: What better way to kick off the fall season than with a potentially-classic tearjerker.

Sully (True-life Drama)

Rated PG-13 (for some peril and brief strong language)
Shingle: Warner Bros.
The Plot: Tom Hanks has portrayed real-life hero astronauts (Apollo 13, 1995), mariners (Captain Phillips, 2013). This time he’s hero US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger who successfully landed a distressed airliner in New York’s Hudson River just moments after takeoff. The film focuses on the intense investigation that followed – one which depics hostility toward Sullenberger’s version of events. (Offered in IMAX)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Written & Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Why are family members very likely to enjoy this?  Simply put, Sully Sullenberger is a true American hero. Brave, able and modest to boot. Is it too late for him to announce for president?

SEPT. 23
The Magnificent Seven (Western)

Rated PG-13 (for some thematic elements)
Shingles: MGM , Columbia Pictures and Village Road Show
Star-studded remake of the classic 1960 oater about seven misfit gunmen who rescue a poor town from evil oppressors. (Offered in IMAX)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio , Peter Sarsgaard, Byung-Hun Lee
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Written by: Nic Pizzolatto & Richard Wenk
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: A memorable movie that actually deserves to be remade for a new generation. Plus, you can’t beat that cast

Queen of Katwe (True-Life Inspirational Drama)

Rated: PG (for some thematic elements, an accident scene and some suggestive material)
Shingle:  Disney
The Plot: A Ugandan girl trains to become a world chess champion.
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Madina Nalwanga
Directed by: Mira Nair
Written by: William Wheeler
WHY: Who isn’t a sucker for an intelligent underdog story.

SEPT. 30
Deepwater Horizon (True-Life Disaster)

Not Yet Rated
Shingles: Summit Entertainment, Participant Media
The true story of offshore catastrophe involving the oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon which exploded in 2010 creating the worst oil spill in American history
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich
Directed by:
Peter Berg
Written by: Matthew Michael Carnahan & Matthew Sand
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: A film that can work on two levels, as an update on the old Irwin Allen disaster movies of the 1970’s and as a serious exploration of one of the first crises faced by the Obama administration – one in which his experience as a community organizer putting pressure on corporations to better serve their communities (or, at least not royally screw them) came in handy.

OCT. 7
Voyage of Time (Documentary)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: IMAX Entertainment
An in-depth look at time as experienced through the universe.(Offered in IMAX)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett
Written & Directed by: Terrence Malick
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: Once in a while its worth (and even fun) to ponder life’s imponderables. Time well spent, so to speak.

Middle School: The World Years of My Life (Comedy)

Not Yet Rated
Shingles: Lionsgate, CBS Films, James Patterson Entertainment, Participant Media
The quiet teenage artist decides middle school blows – and decides to break all the rules. Starring: Lauren Graham, Griffin Gluck, Rob Riggle
Directed by:
Tim Burton
Written by: Jane Goldman (Based on the novel by Ransom Riggs)
WHY: Could this be this generation’s Ferris Bueller? If so, consider it fun for the whole family.

OCT. 14
With only major releases slated for the week (both R-rated), your best bet may be catching Middle School which, hopefully, will be held over from the previous weekend.

OCT. 21

Not Yet Rated
Shingles: Paramount Pictures, Skydance
Former military cop Jack Reacher becomes the chief suspect in a 16-year-old cold homicide case.
Starring: Tom Cruise
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Written by: Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick & Marshall Heskovitz (Based on the book by Lee Child)
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: A good fall action film is something almost any guy likes to kick back with.

Boo! A Madea Halloween (Family Horror Comedy)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Lionsgate
Tyler Perry’s most famous character battles poltergeists, ghosts and zombies.
Starring: Tyler Perry, Bella Thorne, John West Jr.
Written & Directed by: Tyler Perry
WHY: A nice seasonal family-friendly alternative (I’m assuming) to Jack Reacher.

OCT. 28
Inferno (Mystery/Sci-Fi Thriller)

Rated PG-13 (for action, violence, disturbing images, some language, brief sensuality and some thematic elements)
Shingles: Sony, Columbia Pictures, Imagine Entertainment
Fresh off his turn as Captain Sully Sullenberger, Tom Hanks is back as the adventurous symbologist Robert Langdon (of The Da Vinci Code fame). This time the mystery involves Dante’s Inferno.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster
Directed by:
Ron Howard
Written by: David Koepp (Based on the novel by Dan Brown)
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: Another good kickback-and-relax actioner. If you don’t take it all too seriously, you’ll probably have fun.

NOV. 4
HacksawRidge (Inspirational Military Biopic)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Summit Entertainment
The true story of America’s first conscientious objector.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington
Directed by:
Mel Gibson
Written by: Andrew Knight & Robert Schenkkan
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: Check out that trailer. This looks like a story that deserves to be told. It just may be Mel Gibson’s ticket back to some respectability.

Doctor Strange (Fantasy Adventure)

Rated Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Marvel Studios
A sorcerer trains an arrogant surgeon to fight evil.
Starring: Benedict Cumberpatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong
Directed by:
Scott Derrickson
Written by: Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill (Based on the comic book created by Steve Ditko)
WHY: The Marvel Universe hasn’t delivered a misfire in quite some time. This could be it – but, more than likely, the Marvel magic continues. Besides, Doctor Strange may be just the movie to see before Election Day (Nov. 8).

NOV. 11 (Honorable Mention)
Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk (War Drama)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Sony/Tristar, Studio 8
19 year-old hero war vet Billy Lynn’s victory celebration is tinged with harrowing memories of the war in Iraq.
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Steve Martin, Chris Tucker, Joe Alwyn
Directed by:
Ang Lee
Written by: Jean Christophe Castelli (Based on the novel by Ben Fountain)
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: It looks like a good solid reminder that war – even if it can be justified – is hell.

NOV. 18
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Fantasy Adventure)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Warner Bros.
From the creator of Harry Potter. Writer Newt Scamander finds adventure among old New York’s secret society of witches and wizards.
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight
Directed by:
David Yates
Written by: J.K. Rowling
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: It’ll be interesting to see if Rowling can recreate that Harry Potter magic.

NOV. 23
Allied (Romantic Action Drama)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Warner Bros.
British agents falls in love while on a dangerous mission in WWII-era Casablanca.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard
Directed by:
Robert Zemeckis
Written by: Steven Knight
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: Rick and Ilsa, anyone?

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 9.02.19 PM

Moana (Animated Adventure Comedy)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Disney
A young woman sets sail for a fabled island.
Starring the voices of: Auli ‘i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
Directed by:
Ron Clements & John Musker
Written by: Jared Bush, Ron Clements, John Musker, Pamela Ribon, TaikaWaititi
WHY: For the family, you almost can’t go wrong with a Disney animat

NOV. 25
Lion (True-Life Drama)

Not Yet Rated
Shingles: Narrative Capital, Screen Australia
In India, a lost five-year-old boy is adopted by an Australian couple. 25 years later he returns to look for his biological family.
Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman
Directed by:
Garth Davies
Written by: Luke Davies (Based on the book by Saroo Brierley & Larry Buttrose)
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: I’ve seen this story featured on the news – and thought then that it would make a good movie.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 9.16.30 PM

DEC. 2
An uninspiring weekend for inspirational films. I just Moana is still playing.

NOV. 9
Miss Sloane (Drama)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: FilmNation
A determined lobbyist has a showdown with anti-gun control forces on Capitol Hill. .
Starring: Jessica Chastain
Directed by:
John Madden
Written by: Jonathan Perera
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: It actually reminds me of one of those issues-oriented old-fashioned movies of the week from the glory days of the TV movie. Plus, it’s a slow weekend.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 9.21.22 PM

DEC. 16
The Founder (Biopic)

Rated: PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Shingle: FilmNation Entertainment
The Plot:The true story of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc
Starring the voices of: Michael Keaton, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Written by: Robert D. Siegel
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: The McFounder of the world’s most ubiquitous fast-food franchise finally gets his cinematic due. Another Oscar for Michael Keaton?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Biopic)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Lucasfilm Ltd.
Jedis on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star
Starring : Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelson, Forest Whitaker, James Earl Jones (voice)
Directed by:
Gareth Edwards
Written by: Chris Weitz (Based on a story by John Knoll & Gary Whitta
WHY: In a stellar week for promising film releases, this cross-generational franchise (there’s that word again) is about as four-quadrant as you can get.

DEC. 16
Fences (Family Drama)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: Paramount Pictures
An African-American father struggles to raise his family in 1950s America.
Starring : Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mikelti Williamson
Directed by:
Denzel Washington
Written by: Tony Kushner (Based on a play by August Wilson)
WHY: If Keaton doesn’t get the Oscar, bet on Denzel Washington.

DEC. 21
The Space Between Us (Sci-fi)

Rated PG-13 (for brief sensuality and language)
Shingle: STX Entertainment
The first person born Mars returns to Earth as teenager.
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, Gary Oldman, B.D. Wong
Directed by:
Peter Chelsom
Written by: Allan Loeb (Based on a story by Stewart Schill, Richard Barton Lewis & Allan Loeb)
WHY IT’S THE “MOVIE OF THE WEEKEND”: A very strong premise and check out that trailer. This could be classic.

Patriots Day (True-Life Thriller)

Not Yet Rated
Shingle: STX Entertainment
The events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing are recounted.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg. John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan
Directed by:
Peter Berg, Matt Charman, Matt Cook, Eric Johnson, Paul Tamasy, Casey Sherman & Wedge (Based on the book by Sherman & Wedge)
Written by: Allan Loeb (Based on a story by Stewart Schill, Richard Barton Lewis & Allan Loeb)
WHY: Serious subject matter with all the makings of a taut thriller. Like Apollo 13 and Captain Phillips, the events as they actually happened virtually write the screenplay.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 9.46.03 PM

DEC. 21
Sing (Animated Comedy)

Not Yet Rated
Shingles: Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment
A motley group of animals stage a singing competition to save a dying theater.
Starring the voices of: Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett, Johansson, Reese Witherspoon
Written & Directed by: Garth Jennings
WHY: This one looks to be strictly for the kids — but kids should have their movies too.

CHRISTMAS DAY: Just take the kids to see Sing.

Bill Kenedy

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