Fall Movie Preview 2017

The summer movie season is officially behind us (thankfully), so it’s time to get excited for the Oscar bait that comes every autumn.

Indeed, a quick look at the upcoming release schedule suggests there’s plenty to look forward to between now and Christmas. Remember release dates are subject to change, but you’ll want to keep this lighthearted preview handy to know what to look for.

September 8
Not sure what’s scarier: The return of Stephen King’s shape-shifting clown who terrorizes kids, or the fact that the movie is two hours and 15 minutes.

September 15
In this thriller from director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”), a married couple (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) is tested when another couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) visits. I guess the visitors never heard Benjamin Franklin’s saying about fish and houseguests smelling after three days.

September 22
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”
Colin Firth is back from the dead in this sequel to the 2014 hit “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” This time there’s an American twist on things with Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore and Halle Berry also starring.

“The LEGO Ninjago Movie”
You wouldn’t think a LEGO ninja movie would be good, but remember the first two LEGO movies were surprisingly good. In other words: This is going to be good.

“Battle of the Sexes”
Steve Carell and Emma Stone play Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King, respectively, in the lead up to their 1973 tennis grudge match. Yes, this is the first time “tennis” and “grudge match” were used in the same sentence.

September 29
“American Made”
Tom Cruise plays a drug runner for the Medellin Cartel and a CIA informant, which makes you think there’s no way his character should make it out alive.

Remember the 1990 original with Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts? Good. Re-watch that instead.

October 6
“Blade Runner 2049”
Harrison Ford returns and Ryan Gosling takes the lead in this sequel to the 1982 cult classic. There are seven versions of the original, so I’m going to wait until at least the third or fourth version of this one before I bother.

“The Mountain Between Us”
Kate Winslet and Idris Elba star as strangers trapped atop a freezing mountain after a plane crash. I don’t understand the title. If they’re trapped together on top of the mountain, the mountain isn’t between them, it’s below them, right?

October 13
“Goodbye Christopher Robin”
Bet you didn’t know Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, et. Al., were created by depressed WWI veteran A.A. Milne (Domhnhall Gleeson) as he tried to connect with his son, Christopher. The question is: Did you want to know that?

Chadwick Boseman, who recently played Jackie Robinson, James Brown and the Black Panther, stars in this biopic about the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. If nothing else, Boseman is showing his range.

Robin (Andrew Garfield) and Diana (Claire Foy) are a loving couple who don’t let his polio prevent them from enjoying their lives together. Directed by Andy Serkis!

October 20
Julianne Moore stars in a dual role in director Todd Haynes’ (“Carol”) latest, a drama that shifts between 1927 and 1977 that is sure to be a stylistic gem.

October 27
“Professor Marston & The Wonder Women”
Based on a true story, Luke Evans, Bella Heathcote and Rebecca Hall play parts of the love triangle that led to the creation of Wonder Woman. Somebody should’ve told the studio that a period piece drama is not the way to shamelessly capitalize on one of the biggest hits of the year.

George Clooney directs Matt Damon and Julianne Moore (her again) in this home invasion dramedy, because nothing says “ha-ha!” like being terrorized by a stranger in your home.

November 3
“Thor: Ragnarok”
The bad: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) cut his hair and lost his hammer. The good: Cate Blanchett is the villain, and the trailers promise a playful tone and a lot of Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

“The Man Who Invented Christmas”
Don’t be fooled by the title, which should really be “The Inspirations for Charles Dickens to write ‘A Christmas Carol.’”

“A Bad Moms Christmas”
The bad moms (Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell) have their own bad moms (Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines) come to help ruin Christmas.

November 10
“Daddy’s Home 2”
Good dads (Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell) welcome bad dad (Mel Gibson) and overly affectionate dad (John Lithgow) to town for Christmas. Will there be any peace, love and understanding this holiday season?

“Murder on the Orient Express”
Director Kenneth Branagh’s all-star cast includes Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and many more in this adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel. It’s one of the great mystery stories ever written, so in fear of spoilers be sure to avoid the Internet for the next three months.

November 17
Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play parents who send their son (Jacob Tremblay) – who has a distorted face – to mainstream school for the first time when he gets to fifth grade.

“Justice League”
Okay, “Justice League.” “Wonder Woman” just saved your fledgling DC Comics Extended Universe, so don’t screw it up by being all dark and moody and blurry like “Batman v. Superman.”

November 22
This is the second Pixar release of 2017 after “Cars 3”; the only other time the studio released two movies in one year was 2015, when we got “Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur.” Let’s see if this year is as hit-and-miss as 2015 was.

“Death Wish”
Bruce Willis’ plan to make the world dumber by watching his movies is in full force with this remake.

December 1
“The Disaster Artist”
“The Room” is a 2003 film that has earned a reputation as being spectacularly, stupendously terrible. Actor/director James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” is about the making of “The Room,” and early buzz suggests it’s…spectacular.

“Wonder Wheel”
Woody Allen’s latest follows a bored 1950s Coney Island wife (Kate Winslet) who develops a huge crush on the hunky new lifeguard (Justin Timberlake), only to have her husband’s (Jim Belushi) daughter (Juno Temple) become “competition” for him. Let’s face it: This is what Woody Allen does best. Count me in.

December 8
“All the Money in the World”
In Rome in the early ‘70s, Italian kidnappers abduct the grandson of the richest man in the world, John Paul Getty (Kevin Spacey). Director Ridley Scott (“The Martian”) is underrated as a dramatic filmmaker, and with a cast that also includes Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, this is one to look forward to.

“The Shape of Water”
During the Cold War, a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) discovers a secret government experiment. For as creative and visionary as Guillermo Del Toro (“Crimson Peak”) is as a director, he’s terrible at naming his movies.

December 15
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Also known as “Episode VIII” in the “Star Wars” saga, and the last time we’re going to see Carrie Fisher as Leia. Some people think it might do okay at the box office.

December 20
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”
Kind of odd to name this remake after a Guns N’ Roses song, but hey, it stars The Rock, and who doesn’t like The Rock?

December 22
“Pitch Perfect 3”
This time our favorite a cappella group goes on a USO tour to perform for the troops – cue the cute outfits, energetic covers and inspired mash-ups that we’ve come to expect and love from these movies.

“The Papers”
Spielberg, Streep, Hanks. “The Washington Post,” Nixon, the Pentagon Papers. Oscars?

Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) directs Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig in this social satire about people who shrink themselves because they believe it will lead to a better life. Sounds corny, but Payne and Damon have been too good over the years to not trust them here.

December 25
“The Greatest Showman”
Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams star in this original musical about P.T. Barnum’s famous circus. The songs will sound “modern” in spite of the mid-1800s setting, which Baz Luhrmann proved in “The Great Gatsby” doesn’t really work. Perhaps director Michael Gracey has some tricks up his sleeve?

Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film
Daniel Day-Lewis’ allegedly last performance is in this original story from his “There Will Be Blood” director. All we know is that it’s set in 1950s London and deals with high society fashion.

Photo Credits: Main image from; all movie images courtesy of their respective studios.

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