As summer officially ends, it marks the end of the blockbuster movie season and more serious, awards-directed fare. To celebrate our favorite time of movies, we highlighted the 13 features you can’t miss this upcoming holiday season. Enjoy.
Blade Runner 2049—Oct. 6
Though revered properly over time, the original Blade Runner was beset by studio meddling and audience pandering, causing so many cuts of the film newcomers require user guides explaining the differences between them all. Judging by early critical praise of the film (it currently boasts a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), this long-awaited sequel is taking the opposite approach—it’ll be smash hit right out of the gate.
The Florida Project—Oct. 6
Consider this your introduction the talents of director Sean Baker. His previous film, the transgender sex drama/romp Tangerine, earned Baker attention in part because he shot the film using three iPhone 5S smartphones. The Florida Project instead is shot on 35mm and regards the motel strips surrounding Disneyland in Orlando, Florida. It is hilarious, heartbreaking, and heartwarming and features Willem Dafoe’s best work in some time.
Goodbye Christopher Robin—Oct. 13
The real-life origin story of Winnie Pooh’s creation could possibly be the family tearjerker of the season. It shares how the character was created through author A.A. Milne’s relationship with his son, the real Christopher Robin, following the aftermath of World War I and afflicted with PTSD. The trailer alone is enough to make your tears start watering.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer—Nov. 3
This film will reunite The Beguiled co-stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell for another disturbing and moody psychological thriller. It also marks the second time Farrell works with director Yorgos Lanthimos, following last years inventive dark comedy The Lobster. From early reviews, however, this film seems to leave the laughter at the door.
Thor: Ragnarok—Nov. 3
Another movie season, another Marvel project. However, the newest Thor feature could draw in even the most apathetic Marvel filmgoer. Boasting a delectable cast of Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Hiddlesworth, and Mark Ruffalo, the project seems to steer directly into the comedic and absurd. Helmed by Taiki Wattiti, the director of the delightful adventure comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople, this will be a good time.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri—Nov. 10
The return of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths director Martin McDonagh is a ripe one for our times. It features Frances McDormand causing a media maelstrom following the brutal raping and killing of her daughter. Weighty in subject matter, yet the trailers indicate a delicate release of laughter throughout. If that isn’t enough to convince you, know that it won the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Murder on the Orient Express—Nov. 10
This new version of the Agatha Christie mystery is a classic whodunit case but with some of your favorite and kookier stars. Staring and directed by Kenneth Branagh, the cast also includes Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfieffer, Penelope Cruz, and Judi Dench.
Justice League—Nov. 17
A lot rides on this movie for DC and Warner Bros. Following the massive success of Wonder Woman, the studio has built a generous momentum among fans, anticipating the superhero team origin adventure. Though originally shot by Zack Snyder, the director stepped down following the tragic death of his teen daughter by suicide. Joss Whedon took over for reshoots and post production and it remains to be seen just what possible changes in tone and look the film underwent from the change.
Molly’s Game—Nov. 22
Regardless of your level of appreciation for the man, Aaron Sorkin is a legendary screenwriter. Known for his clickety-clack dialogue, he now steps behind the camera for the first time. Sorkin fans will be comforted to know he still wrote the screenplay. It’s based on the true story of a woman who ran the world’s highest-stakes poker game for years. Those who’ve seen the film in festivals say it’s possibly his most enthralling work in years.
The Disaster Artist—Dec. 1
Here’s the quick elevator pitch: Based on the book about the making of The Room, which is heralded as the worst movie ever made, James Franco and friends reunite for what one of the year’s funniest movies. Franco directs and stars as the eccentric, mysterious Tommy Wiseau and is perhaps his best comedic work in some time.
The Shape of Water—Dec. 8
Guillermo del Toro taps into his softer side with his latest production starring a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a merman creature held hostage in a military facility. No less fantastical than his previous work—Crimson Peak is still underrated—it will tug on your heart strings.
Related Story: JJ Abrams Will Direct The New Star Wars And So What?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi—Dec. 15
It’s Star Wars so you’re going to see it. Basically anything I write in this short description is meaningless, but that’s okay—you should be excited enough about the Rian Johnson-directed sequel that will see the return of Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher in her final role. Just thank our lucky stars JJ Abrams isn’t directing.
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Movie—Dec. 25
Fervent moviegoers know why to anticipate this movie of which so little is known. But the reunion of director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis is enough to entice, the stakes being even higher considering Day-Lewis announced this will be his last film role ever. It will explore the 1950s fashion world and is purported to be titled Phantom Thread, but we’re still not sure about anything except one thing—we can’t wait to see it.