The ghosts and goblins may be out to play, but not everything hitting theaters is out to spook you. In fact, as we switch over to November, the films hitting theaters are a little more contemplative and character-driven, rather than all about that spectacle. Certainly helps that Award Season is just revving up and many of the films in contention are rolling out. To help you sort through the variety of films coming to your local cinema, here’s a short-list of 26 films.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Director: Tim Miller.
Cast: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta.
Welcome to the day after Judgment Day.
Linda Hamilton (“Sarah Connor”) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (“T-800”) return in their iconic roles in Terminator: Dark Fate, directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and produced by visionary filmmaker James Cameron and David Ellison. Following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator: Dark Fate also stars Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta.
The Irishman (Limited)
Director: Martin Scorsese.
Cast: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, an epic saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.
Director: Kasi Lemmons.
Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters.
Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, “Harriet” tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
Director: Edward Norton.
Cast: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Cherry Jones, Michael Kenneth Williams, Leslie Mann, Ethan Suplee, Dallas Roberts, Josh Pais, Robert Ray Wisdom, Fisher Stevens, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe.
Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely guarded secrets that hold the fate of New York in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.
Director: Aaron Woodley.
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Heidi Klum, James Franco, John Cleese, Omar Sy, Michael Madsen, Laurie Holden with Anjelica Huston and Alec Baldwin.
Swifty the Arctic Fox (Jeremy Renner) works in the mailroom of the Arctic Blast Delivery Service but dreams of one day becoming a Top Dog (the Arctic’s star husky courier). To prove himself worthy of the Top Dog role, Swifty secretly commandeers one of the sleds and delivers a mysterious package to a secret location. He stumbles upon a hidden fortress, where he comes face to face with Otto Von Walrus (John Cleese), a blubbery evil genius, who walks around on mechanical legs and commands a loyal army of oddly polite puffin henchmen. Swifty soon discovers Otto Von Walrus’ plan to drill beneath Arctic surface to unleash enough ancient gas to melt the Arctic, in order to reign as the world’s supreme leader. Now, Swifty has to enlist the help of his friends: PB (Alec Baldwin), an introverted polar bear, Lemmy (James Franco), a scatterbrained albatross, Jade Fox (Heidi Klum), a tough as nails mechanic, Leopold (Omar Sy) and Bertha (Heidi Klum), two conspiracy theorist otters and Magda (Anjelica Huston), the curmudgeonly boss. This ragtag group of Arctic misfits has to band together to stop Otto Von Walrus’ sinister plans and save the day.
Director: William Fichtner.
Cast: William Fichtner, Kim Coates, Harold Perrineau, Robin Weigert, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Brad William Henke.
Cold Brook is the story of Ted & Hilde, two ordinary guys in a small town who embark on an extraordinary adventure and risk everything for a stranger in need. It’s a story about coming home; something everyone, everywhere has an innate desire to do.
Love Is Blind
Director: Andy Delaney and Monty Whitebloom.
Cast: Shannon Tarbet, Aidan Turner, Benjamin Walker, Matthew Broderick, Chloë Sevigny.
A young woman with selective blindness. A brooding stranger who wishes he was invisible. The eccentric psychiatrist helping them both – is he though?
Seductive and surreal; stylish and a little dark, Love Is Blind is a modern-day fairytale about choosing to see only what you want to see – from your very own mother to the beauty of how connected we all are.
Director: Paul Feig.
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson.
Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart … and you gotta have faith.
Director: Mike Flanagan.
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran.
The World Will Shine Again.
Doctor Sleep continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and newcomer Kyliegh Curran star in the supernatural thriller, directed by Mike Flanagan, from his own screenplay based upon the novel by Stephen King.
Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra (Kyliegh Curran), a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.
Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.
Director: Roland Emmerich.
Cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Etsushi Toyokawa, Tadanobu Asano, Luke Kleintank, Jun Kunimura, Darren Criss, Keean Johnson, Alexander Ludwig, with Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid and Woody Harrelson.
Midway centers on the Battle of Midway, a clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater during WWII. The film, based on the real-life events of this heroic feat, tells the story of the leaders and soldiers who used their instincts, fortitude and bravery to overcome the odds.
Director: Alma Har’el.
Cast: Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, FKA twigs, and Shia LaBeouf.
From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on his own experiences, award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach, LoveTrue) brings to life a young actor’s stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health. Fictionalizing his ascent to stardom, and subsequent crash-landing into rehab and recovery, Har’el casts Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) and Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased, Manchester by the Sea) as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Dancer-singer FKA twigs makes her feature-film debut, playing neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home. Har’el’s feature narrative debut is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as medicine and imagination as hope through the life and times of a talented, traumatized performer who dares to go in search of himself.
Playing with Fire
Director: Andy Fickman.
Cast: John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, Dennis Haybert, Judy Greer.
When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson (John Cena) and his elite team of expert firefighters (Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo and Tyler Mane) come to the rescue of three siblings (Brianna Hildebrand, Christian Convery and Finley Rose Slater) in the path of an encroaching wildfire, they quickly realize that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet – babysitters. Unable to locate the children’s parents, the firefighters have their lives, jobs and even their fire depot turned upside down and quickly learn that kids – much like fires –are wild and unpredictable.
Director: Elizabeth Banks.
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Hounsou, Noah Centineo, Sam Claflin, and Patrick Stewart.
Director Elizabeth Banks takes the helm as the next generation of fearless Charlie’s Angels take flight. In Banks’ bold vision, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose security and investigative agency has expanded internationally. With the world’s smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe, there are now teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys taking on the toughest jobs everywhere.
Ford v Ferrari
Director: James Mangold.
Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon.
Academy Award-winners Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in Ford v Ferrari, based on the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
The Good Liar
Director: Bill Condon.
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, and Jim Carter.
Career con artist Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren) online. As Betty opens her home and life to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.
Director: Trey Edward Shults.
Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Sterling K. Brown.
Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, and featuring an astonishing ensemble of award-winning actors and breakouts alike, Waves traces the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family—led by a well-intentioned but domineering father—as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. From acclaimed director Trey Edward Shults, Waves is a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth even in the darkest of times.
The Warrior Queen of Jhansi
Director: Swati Bhise.
Cast: Derek Jacobi, Rupert Everett, Jodhi May.
The Warrior Queen of Jhansi tells the true historical story of the Rani (translation: Queen) of Jhansi, a feminist icon in India and a fearless, freedom fighter – a real-life Wonder Woman who earned a reputation as the Joan of Arc of the East when in 1857 India, as a 24-year old General, she led her people into battle against the British Empire. Her insurrection shifted the balance of power in the region and set in motion the demise of the notorious British East India Company and the beginning of the British Raj under Queen Victoria.
The Report (Limited)
Director: Scott Z. Burns.
Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, and Jon Hamm. Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll, and Maura Tierney.
The Report is a riveting thriller based on actual events. Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was created in the aftermath of 9/11. Jones’ relentless pursuit of the truth leads to explosive findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation’s top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a brutal secret from the American public.
White Snake (Limited)
Director: Amp Wong and Ji Zhao.
Cast: Zhe Zhang, Tianxiang Yang, Xiaoxi Tang.
From Light Chaser Animation, one of China’s premiere animation studios, comes a visually stunning new take on a classic legend. One day a young woman named Blanca is saved by Xuan, a snake catcher from a nearby village. She has lost her memory, and together they go on a journey to discover her real identity, developing deeper feelings for one another along the way. But as they learn more about her past, they uncover a darker plot of supernatural forces vying for power, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Conceived as a prequel to one of the most ancient and enduring stories in Chinese history, White Snake presents a sumptuous tale of trickster demons, deadly mythical beasts, assassins, wuxia action, and the promise of eternal love.
Director: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee.
Cast: Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel, and Josh Gad.
Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll face a dangerous but remarkable journey. In Frozen, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In Frozen 2, she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award®-winning team—directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez—and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Director: Marielle Heller.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Chris Cooper.
Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor.
Director: Brian Kirk.
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Keith David with Taylor Kitsch and J.K. Simmons.
21 Bridges follows an embattled NYPD detective (Chadwick Boseman), who is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy. As the night unfolds, lines become blurred on who he is pursuing, and who is in pursuit of him. When the search intensifies, extreme measures are taken to prevent the killers from escaping Manhattan as the authorities close all 21 bridges to prevent any entry or exit from the iconic island.
Director: Todd Haynes.
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper, Bill Pullman.
Inspired by a shocking true story, a tenacious attorney (Ruffalo) uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths due to one of the world’s largest corporations. In the process, he risks everything – his future, his family, and his own life – to expose the truth.
Director: Rian Johnson.
Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Noah Segan, Edi Patterson, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
Acclaimed writer and director Rian Johnson pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie in Knives Out, a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. With an all-star ensemble cast including Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell, Knives Out is a witty and stylish whodunit guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the very end.
Queen & Slim
Director: Melina Matsoukas.
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith.
From trailblazing, Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe (Netflix’s Master of None) and Melina Matsoukas, the visionary director of some of this generation’s most powerful pop-culture experiences, including Beyonce’s Formation and the Nike Equality campaign, comes Makeready’s unflinching new drama, Queen & Slim.
While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man (Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya) and a black woman (Jodie Turner-Smith, in her first starring feature-film role), are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense. Terrified and in fear for their lives, the man, a retail employee, and the woman, a criminal defense lawyer, are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people across the country.
As they drive, these two unlikely fugitives will discover themselves and each other in the most dire and desperate of circumstances, and will forge a deep and powerful love that will reveal their shared humanity and shape the rest of their lives.
The Two Popes (Limited)
Director: Fernando Meirelles.
Cast: Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins.
From Fernando Meirelles, the Academy Award-nominated director of City of God, and three-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten, comes an intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world.
*Inspired by true events