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15 Films to See in October

Written by on October 4, 2017 

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If September was a precursor to the fall season, October delivers beyond imagination with a slate packed with some of the year’s best films (not just limited to arthouse and foreign fare). There’s big-budget sci-fi, jaunts through the French countryside, cinematic social experiments, explorations of cinematic icons, gruesome exploitation films, and much more. Check out our picks of what to see and let us know what you’re most looking forward to.

Matinees to See: Walking Out (10/5), Better Watch Out (10/6), The Mountain Between Us (10/6), Dina (10/6), Breathe (10/13) Man From Earth: Holocene (10/13), The Foreigner (10/13), Human Flow (10/13), Marshall (10/13), Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (10/13), The Killing of the Sacred Deer (10/20), The Strange Ones (10/20), One of Us (10/20), Félicité (10/27), and Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (10/27)

Bonus: Spielberg (Susan Lacy; Oct. 7)

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Synopsis: A documentary about the king of blockbusters.

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Why You Should See It:  What more could we want to know about one of the most popular directors of all-time? Evidently, a lot. While Steven Spielberg is hard at work in the editing bay finishing his drama The Post in time for a release in later this fall, a new documentary spanning a comprehensive 2.5 hours will premiere at the New York Film Festival, followed by a HBO debut. Aptly titled Spielberg, Susan Lacy’s documentary chronicles the life and career of the blockbuster king, featuring interviews with Francis Coppola, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Tom Hanks, John Williams, Janusz Kamiński, Leonardo DiCaprio, Spielberg himself, and even his parents. Although it’s not getting a theatrical release, we’ll make a special mention to kick off this list.

15. Suburbicon (George Clooney; Oct. 27)

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Synopsis: A home invasion rattles a quiet family town.

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Why You Should See It: Directed by George Clooney, written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac, this dark comedy was well-received upon its Venice premiere (including our review) before getting quite a beating when it hit TIFF. I’m quite curious to see what caused the divide, and at the very least, everyone seems to agree it’s worth seeking out for Isaac’s small role.

14. Abundant Acreage Available (Oct. 6)

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Synopsis: After their father dies, a middle-aged brother and sister wrestle with legacy and ownership when three brothers, whose family farmed the land for generations, return after 50 years.

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Why You Should See It:  Having worked under the direction of Kenneth Lonergan, Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet, Ben Affleck, Bennett Miller, Lodge Kerrigan, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Greengrass, Joachim Trier, Tom McCarthy, and more, it’s astounding that Amy Ryan has never had a leading role — until now. Premiering at Tribeca Film Festival, where it won a Best Screenplay jury award, we said the actress gives her finest performance in our review from its premiere.

13. Una (Benedict Andrews; Oct. 13)

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Synopsis: A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbour, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship when she was thirteen.

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Why You Should See ItUna, starring Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, and Riz Ahmed, is a difficult sell, which is perhaps the reason it has taken over a year to come out. We said in our review, “The debut feature from theater veteran Benedict Andrews, Una is an astonishing success. Anchored by two exhilarating performances from Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, the film is also harsh, moving, and extraordinarily riveting, one of the more unsettling works to play the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and undoubtedly among the most provocative.”

12. 78/52 (Alexandre Philippe; Oct. 13)

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Synopsis: An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), the “man behind the curtain”, and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.

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Why You Should See It: There’s been documentaries that analyze entire cinematic movements, directors, actors, writers, specific films, and more aspects of filmmaking, but it’s rare to see a feature film devoted to a single scene. With 78/52, if the clunky title addition didn’t tell you already, it explores the infamous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho with exacting precision and depth. Featuring interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Guillermo del Toro, Elijah Wood, Peter Bogdanovich, Karyn Kusama, and more, it’s bound to be better than most horror films this fall.

11. Novitiate (Maggie Betts; Oct. 20)

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Synopsis: Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.

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Why You Should See It: Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where writer-director Maggie Betts picked up the Breakthrough Director award, we said in our review, “the equally harrowing and frank Novitiate, like Martin Scorsese’s Silence, is about the dangerous consequences and ends in which those that have heard the calling are willing to go.”

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