Fall tends to be a good time for cinema, with Oscar season underway and Thanksgiving weekend providing a perfect excuse to get to the theater. After all, how else is your extended family supposed to survive three days under the same roof? But with so many movies out there, it can be hard to pick which ones to shell out for and which to wait to watch on Netflix. Here are our picks for must-see new releases this fall, including one you can even watch from the comfort of your own couch.
Tokyo Project, October 14
Though it’s being released on HBO rather than in theatres, Tokyo Project promises to be a far cry from the direct-to-video movies of yore. Starring Elisabeth Moss and Ebon Moss-Bachrach and produced by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner (noticing a Girls alum pattern here?), the Richard Shepard-directed flick follows a man on a business trip to Tokyo as he continually runs into a mysterious woman, which makes me think perhaps it could be 2017’s answer to Lost in Translation. It premiered at Tribeca Film Festival to strong reviews, and be honest, don’t you kind of miss Desi and his wild ways?
The Florida Project, October 5
Another film with “project” in the title, Sean Baker’s follow-up to 2015’s Tangerine, which was filmed entirely on an iPhone, follows young children residing in a strip of cheap motels in Orlando, Florida. Six-year-old Moonee lives there with her mother, Halley, and despite her shady surroundings, manages to live a life of humor, beauty, and adventure. Reviews have been rave, with Vulture calling it “a near-perfect film.”
Battle of the Sexes, September 22
Anyone who would willingly pass up an opportunity to see Emma Stone as boundary-breaking tennis champ Billie Jean King is certifiable, especially given the high praise this crowd-pleasing film has received. Also starring Steve Carell, it’s loosely based on the famed 1973 tennis match between King and Bobby Riggs, in which King emerged both the victor and an outspoken cheerleader for feminism.
Molly’s Game, November 22
This Aaron Sorkin-directed (yes, it’s his silver screen directorial debut) film tells the true story of Molly Bloom, the woman who for several years ran one of the world’s most high-stakes poker games, rubbing elbows with movie stars, athletes, tycoons, and even the Russian mafia, before becoming the target of an FBI investigation. Based on Bloom’s autobiography of the same name, it stars Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Michael Cera, and Kevin Costner.
The Disaster Artist, December 1
Don’t go see this without first watching The Room, the 2003 film widely heralded as “the worst movie ever made.” This is because The Disaster Artist stars James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, the man who wrote, directed, produced, and starred in The Room, as he faces rejection after rejection in L.A. before simply deciding, as the suggestion of his brother, to make his own movie. It’s funny, it’s weird, and it’s apparently some of James Franco’s best comedic work in years. Cameos include Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Dave Franco, and Judd Apatow.
I, Tonya, December 8
By now you’ve probably heard about Margot Robbie’s turn as skating star Tonya Harding, and you’re likely pumped to see this if for no reason other than to get a load of Robbie’s Monster’s Ball-style makeunder. But this mockumentary, which also stars the wonderful Allison Janney, has gotten rave reviews from both crowds and critics, and apparently manages to make Harding, a longtime pop culture villain, into a surprisingly sympathetic character.
Woodshock, September 22
Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy took their twisted, hauntingly beautiful view of the world from the runway to the big screen with this psychological thriller, which stars Kirsten Dunst as a young woman who falls into an all-encompassing paranoia after taking a deadly, psychedelic drug. While not all the critics have loved it, if you’re a Mulleavy fan, it’s must-see material.
A Bad Moms Christmas, November 1
Fans of Bad Moms, the Mila Kunis vehicle that was equal parts raunchy and empowering, will want to tune in for part two, which also stars Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon. The premise involves the bad moms dealing with trials and tribulations involving their own mothers over the holidays, which is something I’m pretty sure we can all relate to.