The fall movie season is in full swing and this October, there are some truly great releases. I am particularly excited about “Marshall”, the biopic on my hero Thurgood Marshall, who I got to meet in college. Blade Runner 2049, a long awaited sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic,“Blade Runner” is also on my go-see list. “The Mountain Between Us” offers romantic Idris Elba memories to keep us warm all winter. I am also definitely planning to see George Clooney’s latest film, as a director, “Suburbicon” which stars his good friend, Matt Damon and “Breathe” with Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy. Plus, there is tons of Halloween fun from “Leatherface”, the prequel to the legendary “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and finally “Happy Death Day”, a horror “Groundhog Day”!
Here are the films to see this October.
The Mountain Between Us
This survival film starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, two of our highest caliber actors from across the pond, is . You will be on the edge of your seat hoping that the these two travelers (and the dog!) survive a plane crash. However, there were two distractions for me. First, the dog. I am way too much of a dog lover to see one in peril. So I spent much of the movie worrying for him. Secondly, while thrilling and well-acted, the romantic chemistry between Elba and Winslet was nil. I almost wished they had just made this a black film and cast a black actress, like Noemie Harris or Sanaa Latham, to play opposite Elba. Or alternatively, they could have cast Charlie Hunnam or to play opposite Winslet. I wanted to love these two as a couple but something just felt forced.
Plot Summary: Stranded on a mountain after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must work together to endure the extreme elements of the remote, snow-covered terrain. Realizing that help is not on the way, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing each other to survive and discovering their inner strength.
Cast: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney, Linda Sorensen, Vincent Gale, Marci T. House, Dania Nassar
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Genres: Adventure, Drama
Production Co: Twentieth Century Fox, Chernin Entertainment
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Blade Runner 2049
The studio was super secretive about these screenings. So this may or may not be a winner. I loved the ’80s original so I will definitely be checking this out.
Plot Summary: Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years.
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
Production Co: Alcon Entertainment
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures
Anyone that knows me, knows that I am mad for all animals, especially dogs and cats. I believe that they are little pieces of God placed here on Earth to help up reconnect to Spirit. Based on a true story of a boy and his dog, this movie is top of my October go-see list.
Plot Summary: This moving saga tells the story of the Davis family are going through a hard time when a stray dog, Pluto, comes into their life and, in just a short time, saves a toddler, brings comfort to a 9-year-old boy, restores a marriage and repairs a broken father-son relationship.
Cast: Michael Cassidy, Sarah Lancaster, Connor Corum, Enoch Ellis, Brennan Williams, Scott Christopher, Eliza de Azevedo Brown
Director: Mitch Davis
Distributors: Purdie Distribution, Quality Flix
Since I am the youngest child of parents, who suffered the ills of segregation and managed to overcome them and a pre-law student in college, Thurgood Marshall was always one of my heroes. I had the great fortune to meet him once and he was an amazing man with a quick sense of humor. With this film, Chadwick Boseman completes a trilogy of movies about great Black men. He previously gave two star making, yet overlooked, turns as Jackie Robinson in “42” then James Brown in “Get On Up”!
Plot Summary: As the nation teeters on the brink of WWII, a nearly bankrupt NAACP sends Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur against his wealthy socialite employer in a sexual assault and attempted murder trial that quickly became tabloid fodder. In need of a high profile victory but muzzled by a segregationist court, Marshall is partnered with Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad), a young Jewish lawyer who has never tried a case.
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, James Cromwell, Keesha Sharp, Jussie Smollett
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Genres: Biography, Historical Drama
Distributors: Open Road
Happy Death Day
A massive fan of cheesy horror, I am literally living to see this right now! A cross between “Groundhog Day” and a slasher film from the producers of “Get Out” and “The Purge, this is gonna be tons of fun.
Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named Carter. As the morning goes on, Tree gets the eerie feeling that she’s experienced the events of this day before. When a masked killer suddenly takes her life in a brutal attack, she once again magically wakes up in Carter’s dorm room unharmed. Now, the frightened young woman must relive the same day over and over until she figures out who murdered her.
Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Rachel Matthews
Director: Christopher Landon
Genres: Thriller, Horror
Production Co: Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Yet another” based on a true story” film being released this month, Breathe looks to be an Oscar contending role for Andrew Garfield. Breathe is the story of Robin Cavendish, an Englishman, who advocated for the severely disabled and became one of the longest living people in Britain to survive outside the hospital on an artificial ventilator.
Plot Summary After contracting polio at the age of 28, Robin Cavendish is confined to a bed and given only three months to live. With help from his family and inventor Teddy Hall, Cavendish devotes the rest of his life – another thirty-six years! – to help fellow patients and the disabled.
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Tom Hollander, Stephen Mangan, Hugh Bonneville, Dean-Charles Chapman, Amit Shah, Ben Lloyd-Hughes
Director: Andy Serkis
Genres: Biography, Romance, Historical drama
Distributors: Bleecker Street Media
Todd Haynes “Carol” was one of my favorite movies of 2015. I am also mad for his 2002 film “Far From Heaven”, which also starred American cinematic treasure, Julianne Moore. Based on the New York Times bestseller by Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck is their first outing together in fifteen years and sure to be amazing.
Plot Summary: Ben and Rose are children from two different eras who secretly wish that their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he’s never known, while Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue and Rose reads an enticing headline, they both set out on epic quests to find what they’re missing.
Cast: Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Millicent Simmonds, Michelle Williams, Jaden Michael, Tom Noonan, James Urbaniak, Amy Hargreaves
Director: Todd Haynes
Genres: Adventure, Drama
Production Co: Roadside Attractions, Cinetic Media, Amazon Studios
Distributors: Roadside Attractions, Amazon Studios
Anything that George Clooney directs is a must-see for every true movie fan. See it. Enough said.
Plot Summary: Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic, suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns — the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit and violence.
Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Glenn Fleshler, Alex Hassell, Marah Fairclough, Megan Ferguson, Noah Jupe
Director: George Clooney
Genres: Comedy drama
Production Co: Dark Castle Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Mike Zoss Productions, Silver Pictures, Black Bear Pictures
Distributors: Paramount Pictures
Daniel Radcliffe has come a long way from his Harry Potter days! This very adult film finds Radcliffe portraying an young adventurer, who has to fight for his life, when a night tour of the jungle turns deadly.
Plot Summary: A mysterious guide escorts an enthusiastic adventurer and his friend into the Amazon jungle. Their journey turns into a terrifying ordeal as the darkest elements of human nature and the deadliest threats of the wild force them to fight for survival.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell, Joel Jackson, Lily Sullivan, Jacek Koman, Yasmin Kassim, Luis Jose Lopez
Director: Greg McLean
Genres: Thriller, Adventure
Production Co: Screen Australia
Distributors: Momentum Pictures
Tyler’s Perry Boo 2: A Madea Halloween
Though decidedly lowbrow, Tyler Perry films are always a hoot and a guilty pleasure. I can’t get enough of them. A country gal by birth, Perry’s films always make me think of my family down South and for a moment I am home with them.
After venturing to a haunted campground, Madea, Bam and Hattie must run for their lives when monsters, goblins and the boogeyman appear.
Cast: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Yousef Erakat, Diamond White, Lexy Panterra, Andre Hall, Brock O’Hurn
Director: Tyler Perry
Genres: Adventure, Comedy
Distributors: Lionsgate Films
Twisty, detective vs. serial killer movies are always scary thrill rides. Add Michael Fassbender to the mix and this is sure to be a memorable addition in the genre.
Plot Summary: Detective Harry Hole links a woman’s disappearance to a wintertime serial killer who’s been on the prowl for years. He soon becomes embroiled in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as the madman deliberately targets and torments him.
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, Val Kilmer, Chloë Sevigny, Toby Jones, Sofia Helin
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime drama
Production Co: Universal Pictures, Working Title Films
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Only The Brave
I have had a fireman fetish since I was four years old and I lit matches in the back of my Mama’s little green Chevy. She had the local fire department suit up and come over to give me a serious talking to about not playing with fire. The image of these fine, men in uniform is one of my earliest memories. Thus, I have been firemen obsessed ever since. Another movie based on a true story, this film recounts the story of the brave volunteer firemen from Yarnell, Ariz. – The Granite Mountain Hotshots and a great fire that bonds them.
Plot Summary: Through hope, determination, sacrifice and the drive to protect families and communities, the Granite Mountain Hotshots become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the country. While most people run from danger, they run toward it — watching over lives, homes and everything people hold dear, forging a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire in Yarnell, Ariz.
Cast: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Jennifer Connelly, Andie MacDowell, Alex Russell
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Genres: Adventure, Drama
Production Co: Di Bonaventura Pictures, Black Label Media
Distributors: Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most iconic horror films in history. This prequel takes us back to the very beginning and tells the story of how Leatherface becomes his monstrous, murdering self.
Plot Summary: A violent teen and three others kidnap a young nurse while escaping from a Texas mental institution. Pursued by a vengeful sheriff, the disturbed young man embarks on a murderous rampage that shapes him into a legendary killer known as Leatherface.
Cast: Sam Strike, Stephen Dorff, James Bloor, Sam Coleman, Jessica Madsen, Vanessa Grasse, Lili Taylor, Nicole Andrews
Director: Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo
Production Co: Campbell Grobman Films, Lionsgate Films, Mainline Pictures Inc., Millennium Films Inc.
Distributors: Lionsgate Films
I love rom-coms and this one pairs “Married With Children” star, Christina Applegate and Thomas Haden Church as a married couple with Domhall Gleeson of “Star Wars Awakens,” portraying her reluctant one-night stand. Comedic hijinks ensue.
Plot Summary: A man thinks he has found true love with an older woman until he finds out she is married and using him to get revenge on her husband.
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Thomas Haden Church, Christina Applegate, Nina Dobrev, Aliyah O’Brien, Anna Van Hooft, Britt Irvin, Anja Savcic
Director: Kevin Tent
Genres: Romantic Comedy
Production Co: Indomitable Entertainment
Distributors: Vertical Entertainment, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions
All I See Is You
Blake Lively is one of Hollywood’s most talented, but underused, actresses. Her previous outing last year’s, “The Shallows” was amazing and this romantic thriller looks to be a return to form for her.
Plot Summary: Gina is a beautiful young woman who’s still haunted by the accident that took her sight years earlier. Living in Bangkok with her husband, James, she undergoes a cutting-edge operation that restores the vision to her right eye. Now that Gina can see again, she slowly starts to realize that her newfound independence makes James feel jealous, threatened and insecure.
Cast: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Ahna O’Reilly, Yvonne Strahovski, Wes Chatham, Danny Huston, Kaitlin Orem
Director: Marc Forster
Genres: Drama, Thriller
Production Co: Link Entertainment, 2DUX2, Wing and a Prayer Pictures, SC Films International
Distributors: Open Road
The latest in the “Saw” franchise, Jigsaw is just in time for Halloween. I stopped watching the series after the third film in what seemed to be, a release a year. But I will definitely see this one, which appears to be a re-boot.
Plot Summary: A mysterious madman rounds up a group of victims to play sadistic games of life and death. Police soon find evidence that link the crimes to Jigsaw, the infamous killer who died 10 years earlier.
Cast: Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Production Co: Twisted Pictures, Lionsgate
Distributors: Lionsgate Films
Thank You For Your Service
A “Best Years Of Our Lives” for our continually warring times, “Thank You For Your Service” is a must-see for every American. We simply have to find a way not to be involved in constant conflicts and to take better care of our troops once they are home! Based on his book of the same name, the screenplay is by David Finkel of “American Sniper” fame. The film stars smoking hot Miles Teller, who has always reminds me of a young Robert Mitchum, and Haley Bennett of “The Girl On The Train.”
Plot Summary: Some U.S. soldiers return from Iraq and struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.
Cast: Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Amy Schumer, Joe Cole, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Brad Beyer
Director: Jason Hall
Genres: War, Biography, Drama
Production Co: Universal Pictures, Universal Studios Inc., Amblin Entertainment
There has been some controversy over this film’s portrayal of the Nun’s life, which for me makes it all the more reason to see it.
Plot Summary: A 17-year-old trains to become a nun as the Roman Catholic Church undergoes radical changes in the early 1960s.
Cast: Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo, Julianne Nicholson, Dianna Agron, Morgan Saylor, Rebecca Dayan, Maddie Hasson, Liana Liberato
Director: Maggie Betts
Production Co: Sony Pictures Classics, Maven Pictures
Distributors: Sony Pictures Classics