The fall movie season is traditionally the busiest, and not just for the massive amount of audiences who turn up. Between now and December 31, there are 120 movies scheduled for release. That doesn’t even include the dozens more that will be added late to the schedule.
There’s no need for me to mention Jason Momoa in Aquaman or Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns – you know you’re seeing them and that they’ll make a lot of money. Likewise, Bumblebee or the CGI take on Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, which look awful but you know you can’t resist, right? Amidst all the sequels, prequels, remakes, and comic book movies, there’s a lot of promise in the upcoming lineup.
Here are 10 of the most enticing films coming soon to a theater near you.
A Star is Born (opens Oct 5)
The Gist: Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, starring himself and Lady Gaga
Why It Could Succeed: The early word on this musical drama is that Cooper and, yes, Ms. Gaga are in their element. Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliot are also in the cast.
On the Other Hand: There’s the creakiness of the material (this is the third remake, folks). It needs to play like Jeff Bridges’ Crazy Heart, not Gwyneth Paltrow’s Country Strong.
Venom (opens Oct. 5)
The Gist: Remember the ending of Spider-Man 3? It’s back, but new and improved!
Why It Could Succeed: Tom Hardy, one of our finest actors, is taking on the title role. This promises to be an edgier comic book movie than anything from Marvel or the competing Aquaman.
On The Other Hand: Director Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad looked like a sure thing, too. If it gets a PG-13 rating, will the fanboys instantly turn on it?
First Man (opens Oct. 12)
The Gist: Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in this true life drama about the 1969 space race.
Why It Could Succeed: Writer/director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash and La La Land) is on a roll. The trailer looks great and Gosling brings mystique and charisma to Armstrong.
On The Other Hand: Knuckleheaded audiences convinced the moon landing was faked may turn their noses on this film.
Halloween (opens Oct. 19)
The Gist: Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode, once again facing Michael Myers (cue the music…)
Why It Could Succeed: Curtis did scream queen nostalgia duty 20 years ago, in Halloween H20, and it was a glorious return to form. John Carpenter is the film’s executive producer.
On The Other Hand: David Gordon Green also made Pineapple Express, and may not have been the best choice to step in Carpenter’s shoes. Of all people, this was written by Gordon and Danny McBride.
Bohemian Rhapsody (opens Nov. 2)
The Gist: At long last, the story of Freddie Mercury and the legacy of Queen
Why It Could Rock: Here is the season’s biggest curiosity item. At least we know the soundtrack is aces. Despite the controversy over who directed this thing, Bryan Singer is still listed.
On The Other Hand: Rami Malek is a poor substitute for Sacha Baron Cohen, the original choice for Mercury. This deeply troubled production might play more like “mud on your face… big dis-grace!”
Suspiria (opens Nov. 2nd)
The Gist: Remake of the Italian horror classic, stars Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton
Why It Could Succeed: The cast is game and talented, director Luca Guadagnino is coming off Call Me By Your Name, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke did the soundtrack, and the trailer is fantastic.
On The Other Hand: The mix of grotesque imagery and heady artiness might turn off mainstream and horror audiences, the same way Mother! had audiences crying uncle the year before.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web (opens Nov. 9)
The Gist: The first new Lisbeth Salander thriller, not written by creator Stieg Larsson.
Why It Could Succeed: Claire Foy (on a roll after Unsane and playing Mrs. Armstrong in First Man) is an ideal choice for Salander. Director Fede Alvarez is a maestro with suspense
On The Other Hand: With David Fincher, Daniel Craig, and Rooney Mara gone, this only has Foy and the name to carry it. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a hit that left a bad aftertaste.
Widows (opens Nov. 16)
The Gist: A heist thriller for grown-ups, starring Viola Davis and Liam Neeson
Why It Could Rock: Director Steve McQueen’s post-12 Years a Slave film looks like a rousing antidote for quality-starved audiences. Davis’ first film since winning Best Actress for Fences.
On The Other Hand: McQueen’s ultra-serious approach to pulpy material might squeeze the fun out of it. Will audiences go for a grittier, longer Ocean’s 8?
The Front Runner (opens Nov. 21)
The Gist: Remember Senator Gary Hart, Donna Rice, and the S.S. Monkey Business?
Why It Could Succeed: Hugh Jackman is playing one of the most gossiped-about and controversial former presidential candidates. Vera Farmiga and J.K. Simmons are in the supporting cast.
On The Other Hand: This may prove our 1980s nostalgia craze has its limits in the tale of an ’88 candidate. Will Hart’s once red-hot journey seem like much in the era of a certain Billy Bush interview?
Creed II (opens Nov 21)
The Gist: Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa are back… and so is Ivan Drago.
Why It Could Succeed: Michael B. Jordan returns as the son of Apollo Creed and Sylvester Stallone once again reminds us why Balboa is among our most endearing characters. Who can resist Creed v. Drago?
On The Other Hand: Stallone wrote the screenplay but Ryan Coogler is out. Untested newcomer Steven Caple Jr. takes over directing duties. Also, like Balboa, this series doesn’t know when to quit.
Photo courtesy IMDB