I love November movies. It is officially Oscar Season. Little by little potential Best Picture winners will be pouring in, blending with Hollywood blockbusters and Animated marvels. This year there are a solid couple dozen films being released in the month of November which I am curious to see. Below is my top ten most anticipated, with an alternate list of ten movies likely to follow at some point:
Doctor Strange 98% on Rotten Tomatoes
What is this about you ask? I don’t know. Initial reviews though are more than enough to keep me excited about Marvel’s latest superhero adventure. Scott Derrickson directs -probably best known for directing the superb horror flick, Sinister (2012)-and Benedict Cumberbatch heads a great cast that seems unique for a superhero movie (Tilda Swinton, Chiwetal Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelson).
Trolls 85% on Rotten Tomatoes
Based on the inexplicably popular dolls, this movie attempts to flesh out a backstory for the inanimate toys, and all indications are that the artists working at DreamWorks have succeeded. Anna Kendrick voices Princess Poppy, an endlessly chipper troll who goes on a journey with Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake), an endlessly anxious troll. Plot seems scarce, but the beautiful animation and music are sure to make Trolls a fun time at the movies.
Hacksaw Ridge 94% on Rotten Tomatoes
Mel Gibson’s return to the director’s chair tells the story of Desmond Doss, the only conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor in U.S history. Doss served as a medic in the United States army, refusing to bear arms, but instead committed himself to saving the lives of his peers. Andrew Garfield gets his first big lead in a dramatic picture after an only moderate star turn in the Spider-Man reboots. I normally dislike what are deemed important movies-these overly earnest true stories that often seem greedy for Oscars-but Gibson is such a strong craftsman and visual storyteller that I am willing to see this film in theaters.
Loving 93% on Rotten Tomatoes
This is a film many people will likely love, one that will probably see its two leads earn Oscar nominations. As I previously stated, I generally am disinclined to these kinds of pictures. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga play Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple fighting for their right to love each other in Supreme Court after the state of Virginia comes down on their union. Great human interest story, great social history no question, but as for the movie, I have doubts.
Arrival 100% on Rotten Tomatoes
From French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Prisoners, Sicario), this sci-fi drama said to be a “thinking man’s sci-fi flick” looks a little too stark to make me truly excited, but I think Villeneuve is one of the best filmmakers working at the moment, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m especially curious to see how he does with the sci-fi genre as his next film will be the Blade Runner sequel. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forrest Whitaker star.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk 47% on Rotten Tomatoes
Ang Lee, whose previous adaptations include Life of Pi (for which he won an Oscar), Sense and Sensibility, and The Ice Storm, carries the burden of high expectations with him to any film project he takes on. Perhaps it is these expectations that are weighing down his newest film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, based on Ben Fountain’s acclaimed novel, or, perhaps, this war picture truly is as mediocre as its Rotten Tomatoes scores are indicating.
The Edge of Seventeen 92% on Rotten Tomatoes
Awkward teenager Nadine, played by Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld, struggles her way through high school. Her life gets even worse when her best friend begins dating her popular older brother, leaving her with just her history teacher (Woody Harrelson) to confide in. The red-band trailers and reviews promise a strong teenage comedy.
Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them No Reviews Yet
A prequel series spun off the colossal Harry Potter franchise, written by J.K Rowling and helmed by David Yates (director of the final four Harry Potter films). Spin-offs often come off like afterthoughts meant to milk every cent studios can from some beloved work. The first in what Rowling has said will be a five film series, the trailers look pretty spectacular, but that’s only a matter of special effects. Story is what I’m unsure about. Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston star.
Moana No Reviews Yet
It’s no secret I am a huge fan of Disney animation, and the directors of Disney’s latest, Moana, are responsible for some the studio’s finest: Aladdin (1992), Hercules (1997), The Little Mermaid (1989), The Great Mouse Detective (1986). It’s been a great year for animation, and this film should add to an already crowded pool.
Bad Santa 2 No Reviews Yet
Zoolander 2 didn’t set the bar very high for sequels to classic comedies. Like that film, Bad Santa 2 comes more than a decade after its predecessor. Can this film be funny? It’s possible. I’m not betting on it, but I’ll keep my eyes open.