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10 Films To See In November

Written by on November 1, 2011 

Adam Sandler‘s Jack and Jill may be the crowning cinematic achievement in theaters this month, but since you already know that, I’ve decided to focus on some other selections in the tail end of the year. Many titles in the mix are Oscar hopefuls, as we’ll get the first major critics circle decisions at the end of the month. Check out the list below and as always, refer to distributor pages or your local theater to see when you’ll receive some of the limited releases.


10. My Week with Marilyn (Simon Curtis; Nov. 23rd)

Synopsis: Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier’s, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.


Why You Should See It: Reviews have been mixed for this biopic, but as our report from New York Film Festival confirms, this Marilyn Monroe biopic is worth seeing her for the portrayal by one of the greatest actresses of our generation, Michelle Williams.

9. The Muppets (James Bobin; Nov. 23rd)

Synopsis: With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.


Why You Should See It: The marketing for The Muppets seems to be on overdrive for the last few months, but will it deliver on more that just nostalgia and quick quips? I’m not entirely sure, but it should prove to be at the very least entertaining with the many celebrity cameos and the return of Jim Henson‘s creations.

8. A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg; Nov. 23rd)

Synopsis: A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.


Why You Should See It: One of the bigger disappointments at Toronto this year was the next film from David Cronenberg. A stellar cast including Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen all do their best and this one is on this list for them alone, but the trio can’t save the static material and flat direction found here. Check out my TIFF review here.

7. The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius; Nov. 23rd)

Synopsis: Hollywood, 1927: As silent movie star George Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he sparks with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break.


Why You Should See It: The Artist is a fine film with romance, laughs and drama. But this black and white silent film experiment doesn’t extend much beyond that. It is bound to reap awards among critics this fall (already picking them up at various film festivals), but I’m afraid this one will fall victim to over-extended hype come Oscar time. Check out my full TIFF review here.

6. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (José Padilha; Nov. 11th)

Synopsis: After a prison riot, Captain Nascimiento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves only government officials and paramilitary groups.


Why You Should See It: Foreign audiences will be shocked to see this on the list, but yes, the massive Brazilian hit is finally hitting our theaters here. It is a great action flick and I’m looking forward to director José Padilha heading to Hollywood for the Robocop reboot and its star Wagner Moura in Neill Blomkamp‘s District 9 follow-up Elysium. Check out the reason for their acclaim this month in limited theaters.

5. Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine; Nov. 18th)

Synopsis: Joseph, a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction, earns a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker.


Why You Should See It: The dark material and gratuitous violence turned many away, but we loved the directorial debut of Hot Fuzz star Paddy Considine at Sundance. Unfortunately its distributor isn’t planning a big push this fall, but one can see the Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman drama in limited release this month.

4. Melancholia (Lars von Trier; Nov. 11th)

Synopsis: Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide into the Earth.


Why You Should See It: I struggled after leaving Lars von Trier’s latest film, disappointed by the first half, but feeling left stunned by the finale. As the weeks go by, I’m growing more fond of this apocalyptic drama and after being in VOD release for a month, it finally hits theaters; the way it was meant to be seen. Check out our glowing TIFF review here.

3. Hugo (Martin Scorsese; Nov. 23rd)

Synopsis: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.


Why You Should See It: Going by the rough cut I saw last month at the New York Film Festival (see full impressions here), Scorsese’s first family film reveals a legendary filmmaker pushing his boundaries with excellent 3D, as well as sneaking in a wonderfully vibrant lesson on film history. Hugo would be desirable with his just a name attached, but rest assured it is one of the best theatrical experiences this fall and it absolutely must be seen in the three-dimensional format.

2. Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog; Nov. 11th)

Synopsis: Conversations death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people – and the state – kill.


Why You Should See It: After his hit Cave of Forgotten Dreams 3D this year, Herzog had his latest documentary pushed up at the last minute to see a release this month. Easily in my top 10 films of the year, we loved it at Toronto saying, “Herzog remains a master, providing us humanity, which is far more complex – and troubling than the facts.”

1. The Descendants (Alexander Payne; Nov. 16th)

Synopsis: A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.


Why You Should See It: After a seven-year break, Sideways director Alexander Payne has finally returned with one of the most touching films of the year. George Clooney delivers the best performance of his career, emoting more than ever before and you can see it this month, letting Payne’s loose, relaxing tone wash over you. Check out my TIFF review here.

Check out matinees to see on the next page >>

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