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Our 30 Most-Anticipated Fall 2017 Films

Written by on August 24, 2017 

20. Suburbicon (George Clooney; Oct. 27)

suburbicon

In terms of sheer star wattage, nothing this fall tops Suburbicon. Directed by George Clooney, written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac, the dark comedy depicts unrest in 1950s America. While the previews thus far have sold a satire with more pizazz than Clooney’s last directorial offering, he doesn’t exactly have the best batting average behind the camera. With that said, we’ll take what we can get from the Coens until their Netflix series next year, so check back soon for our review from Venice. – Jordan R.

19. Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve; Oct. 6)

blade-runner-2049

We nearly put Duncan Jones’ Blade Runner-inspired Mute in this spot, but considering Netflix has been, well, mute, regarding its release as of late, Denis Villeneuve’s actual Blade Runner sequel deserves a mention. We’re still not sold that this is a property worth revisiting, story-wise, but with the director’s slick approach and Roger Deakins having a gigantic budget and this sci-fi world as his cinematographic playground, it will, at the very least, be a sight to behold. – Jordan R.

18. Wormwood (Errol Morris; TBD)

wormwood

After the quaint documentary The B-Side, Errol Morris’ next project is far more ambitious. Although technically not classified as a film, the six-part series remains to be seen how Netflix will pitch it, so we’ll give it a mention here. Described as “a twisting, evolving story of one man’s sixty-year quest to identify the circumstances of his father’s mysterious death, “Peter Sarsgaard leads Wormwood, which combines Morris’ documentary approach with narrative. – Jordan R.

17. The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro; Dec. 8)

the-shape-of-water-2

Despite the love thrown his way daily on Twitter, it’s been around a decade since Guillermo del Toro has made a flat-out great film. With that said, potential is high for The Shape of Water, an other-worldly romance set against the backdrop of the Cold War, and starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Lauren Lee Smith, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. The director’s bread and butter is mixing the fantastical with a real-world setting and all the pieces are in place here for a knock-out. – Jordan R.

16. Thelma (Joachim Trier, Nov. 10)

thelma

With films like Oslo, August 31st and Louder Than Bombs, Joachim Trier has built a modest but steady oeuvre over the past decade, and with Thelma, his fourth movie, he seems to be branching out into more fantastical, but presumably no less dramatically focused, subject matter. The film follows a young student (Elli Harboe) who discovers that she has mystical and fearsome powers at the same time that she falls in love with another woman. Tackling themes of religion along the way, the movie will hopefully surprise and thrill in equal measure. – Ryan S.

15. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson; Dec. 15)

star-wars-the-last-jedi

Kathleen Kennedy has led Lucasfilm with an iron fist since George Lucas retired. Most recently, she hired Ron Howard to replace Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on the Han Solo film. The “Star Wars Story” standalone films were sold to the public as more experimental, auteur-driven projects than their Episode counterparts. That hasn’t proved to be the case; rather in big-budget Hollywood filmmaking, this is the era of producer auteurs. However, hopefully Rian Johnson brings some of his directorial personality to The Last Jedi, which picks up where J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens leaves off. After the fun rehashing of previous Star Wars plots in Awakens, it’s really up to Johnson and Kennedy to bring something new to the table in this eighth episode. We already know that this is Carrie Fisher’s last go-around as General Leia and we can predict Luke Skywalker’s journey is deciding if the Jedi should go the route of integration, with a worldview that’s less black and white and gnostic. Also, the porgs look cute. – Josh E.

14. The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood; TBD)

cint-eastwood

Although it just started shooting, word is circulating that Clint Eastwood’s workmanlike approach will continue with The 15:17 to Paris and the thriller will be completed in time for a release this December, if Warner Bros. would like to debut in time for awards season. Following his last film, Sully — which surprised with an effective structure and clear-eyed direction — his newest is another depiction of heroism, capturing the events when three Americans foiled an ISIS terrorist plot on a train. Perhaps most interesting is Eastwood’s choice to cast the actual soldiers — Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone — as themselves, an experiment in realism I greatly look forward to witnessing. – Jordan R.

13. Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig; Nov. 10)

lady-bird

Greta Gerwig makes her solo directorial debut this fall with Lady Bird. This movie follows a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) who is escaping her family and her small town for the finer concrete pastures of New York City. Gerwig has recently risen to prominence in the North American independent film scene by working as a co-writer and co-director to such names as Noah Baumbach and Joe Swanberg, respectively. Her trademark verbal dynamism and comedy of body language and dance has elevated the films of others for the past decade. Lady Bird will be all hers. – Willow M.

12. Downsizing (Alexander Payne; Dec. 22)

downsizing

Alexander Payne has made a distinct name for himself with his slightly larger-than-life characters living out relatable journeys. For his next film, he’s upping his scope by capturing smaller-than-life characters in what will still hopefully have some relatable fiber. Downsizing, led by Matt Damon, takes place in a future where humans have the ability to downsize themselves, and in doing so, require much less resources. Damon’s down-and-out character decides to do this with his wife so they can make their money go further, but problems when arise when they aren’t on the same page. Also starring Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jason Sudeikis, it’s the sort of concept that may be better on the script than on screen, but we trust Payne to make something special out of it. – Jordan R.

11. The Snowman (Tomas Alfredson; Oct. 20)

the-snowman

After Let the Right One In led to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tomas Alfredson could have easily continued down a trajectory that saw him take on more prestigious awards season fare. Thankfully, he seems to be defiantly bypassing that entirely with The Snowman, which looks to be a shlocky, rancorous crime drama. Starring Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson as their characters uncover clues leading them to a serial killer, hopefully Alfredson’s distinctive formal style is on full display for this grim-looking procedural. – Jordan R.

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