November! American Thanksgiving rears its mighty head and
releases massive blockbusters from its terrifying maw! Weep, small indie films
looking for Oscar gold, for ye shall be buried under the crimson wave of advertising
and hype for the corporate leviathans! But lo, I shall avenge thee! Well, if
you’re more interesting than the big releases. Which they’re kinda not. We
should probably look into it though.
- KNIVES OUT – Nov. 27. Rian Johnson is one of the
most exciting filmmakers out there, and this may be one of his best works.
There’s nothing like a good whodunit, and Johnson has assembled one of the best
casts of all time here, with Daniel Craig investigating the death of a not-so-beloved
patriarch, and everyone’s a suspect, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans,
Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, hell, even Frank Oz is in the mix!
Can’t miss this one.
- A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD – Nov. 22.
Tom Hanks IS Fred Rogers. ‘Nuff said.
- FROZEN II – Nov. 22, RealD3D, IMAX. Things look
even more epic for this followup to an all-timer. Early buzz is strong. Gotta
love that there’s no subtitle, just the classy ‘II’!
- DOCTOR SLEEP – Nov. 8. Based on Stephen King’s
sequel to THE SHINING, but visually follows Kubrick’s film, by most accounts
this successfully merges the two potentially incompatible sources. And hey, it’s
- TERMINATOR: DARK FATE – Nov. 1, IMAX. If you can
pretend this is the first actual Terminator film since T2, it’s a worthy
followup. Seriously, it’s solid stuff. Turns out the most important element was
always Linda Hamilton!
- 21 BRIDGES – Nov. 22. The Russo Brothers
produced this big-budget cop thriller, featuring Chadwick Boseman as a
detective trying to solve the murder of eight cops, only to get mixed up in the
age-old tale of drug dealers and dirty cops. Looks intense, and features a
strong support cast with JK Simmons, Sienna Miller, and Keith David, who for
some reason still hasn’t appeared in the MCU.
- DARK WATERS – Nov. 22. This year’s SPOTLIGHT also
features Mark Ruffalo, playing a corporate lawyer who ends up going after his
masters in defense of his hometown which is being poisoned by Dupont Chemical. It
looks fine, just not exceptional, despite coming from director Todd Haynes (FAR
FROM HEAVEN, CAROL) and featuring Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins.
- WAVES – Nov. 15. This could be this year’s
MOONLIGHT, telling the story of a suburban African-American family dealing with
tragedy. Looks intense.
- THE GOOD LIAR – Nov. 15. It’s Helen Mirren vs
Ian McKellen! He’s trying to scam a rich lady but it all backfires
tremendously. Reviews are pretty soft but it should still be fun watching those
two on screen.
- QUEEN AND SLIM – Nov. 29. GET OUT’s Daniel Kaluuya
and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith are a couple on their first date who end up on the
run from law enforcement for no good reason. It’s directed by Melina Matsoukas
who’s been tearing up the hip-hop video world, most notably directing Beyonce’s
FORMATION. Looks stylish as hell, could be a real dark horse.
- FORD V FERRARI – Nov. 15, IMAX. Though it’s
being sold as two auto titans dueling, the film focuses on designer Carroll
Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) trying to come up
with a solution to end Ferrari’s dominance at Le Mans. Mixed reviews, though it’s
got strong performances and some great race scenes in the third act.
- CHARLIE’S ANGELS – Nov. 15. No one has really
asked for another kick at the franchise, but with Elizabeth Banks writing and
directing, this may turn out to be a worthy take. Kristen Stewart, ALADDIN’s Naomi
Scott, and relative unknown Ella Balinska are the Angels this time around,
making for a fairly young trio. In this iteration there are teams of Angels all
over the world, each with their own Bosley. Seems like a better idea for a TV
series than a movie, but hey. Looks OK.
- MIDWAY – Nov. 8. Somebody let disaster master Roland
Emmerich make a sequel to PEARL HARBOR. Sounds like he’s fairly respectful but
it still doesn’t seem to be necessary in any way. If you like war porn, it should
hit your buttons.
- HARRIET – Nov. 1. It feels like someone should
have made a proper Harriet Tubman movie long ago, and the first real shot at it
seems to have missed the mark. Reviews are soft but positive, but in the hands
of a visionary it could have been something special.
- MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN – Nov. 1. Ed Norton does double
duty directing and starring in this detective story set in 1950s New York.
Reviews are, in the trend this month, soft. Just doesn’t seem worth a trip to
- LAST CHRISTMAS – Nov. 8. Your first crack at the
holiday market, but it’s too damn early for a Christmas movie. It’s a rom com
set in London featuring Emma Thompson so it’s trying to get that LOVE ACTUALLY
heat but its main gimmick is telegraphed in the trailers. Sadly, Emilia Clarke
just can’t carry a film.
- PLAYING WITH FIRE – Nov. 8. Another great cast
wasted in a dumb family comedy. John Cena proved his chops in BLOCKERS, Keegan-Michael
Key and John Leguizamo are already legends, but they’re at the mercy of a crappy
story about a group of smoke jumpers that have to take care of a group of kids
for a weekend. Blah.
- ARCTIC DOGS – Nov. 1. Another weak animated film
set in the north. This one set a record for lowest opening for a film that premiered
on over 2800 screens. Guess they forgot to advertise, but it wouldn’t have helped
since it’s pretty weak sauce.
Wow, eighteen movies going wide this month! And seventeen of
them are terrified of FROZEN II. So many films to choose from for your American
Holiday based entertainment. Lots more coming next month, including the latest
installment of a beloved franchise: JUMANJI!