Ella Balinska, Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott star in “Charlie’s Angels,” opening in November. (Courtesy Sony Entertainment)

Fall 2019 Arts Preview: Movies

With fun and serious offerings, there’s something for everyone

Opening dates are subject to change.

Child characters from the 2017 horror hit “It” have grown up, in the new “It: Chapter Two.” (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

It: Chapter Two: Taking place 27 years later, with Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader and others playing grown-up versions of the kids from the 2017 horror hit “It,” this follow-up continues the terror of Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård). (Sept. 6).

Freaks: In this terrific, low-budget sci-fi tale, Emile Hirsch plays a paranoid father who, for mysterious reasons, refuses to let his young daughter (Lexy Kolker) leave the house; Bruce Dern co-stars. (Sept. 13)

The Goldfinch: Based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and directed by John Crowley (“Brooklyn”), this story of a young man (Ansel Elgort, of “Baby Driver”) whose mother is killed in an art gallery bombing is sure to be one of the fall’s most prestigious offerings. (Sept. 13)

Ad Astra: James Gray (“The Lost City of Z”) directs the sci-fi tale of an astronaut (Brad Pitt) who travels to the edge of the solar system to find his father and hopefully save the earth. (Sept. 20)

A magical yeti joins some kids on an adventure in “Abominable.” (Courtesy Universal)

Abominable: The animated feature about three kids in Shanghai who discover a magical yeti and embark upon a journey to return him home looks like a charmer. (Sept. 27)

First Love: The extraordinarily prolific (and slightly disturbed) Japanese director Takashi Miike (“Audition,” “13 Assassins”) returns with a crime story involving a boxer, a call girl, drug smugglers, crooked cops, gangsters and assassins. (Sept. 27)

Judy: Renée Zellweger could be nursing Oscar hopes (she won in 2004 for “Cold Mountain”) as she plays legendary entertainer Judy Garland, circa 1969, as she arrives in London for a series of sold-out concerts. (Sept. 27)

Also in September: “Bloodline,” “The Day Shall Come,” “Downton Abbey,” “Hustlers,” Night Hunter,” “Rambo: Last Blood,” “The Sound of Silence,” “Villains,” “Where’s My Roy Cohn?,” “Zeroville”

Joker: The standalone story, separate from other Batman films, stars Joaquin Phoenix, shedding weight and digging deep to play the psychotic clown prince of crime. (Oct. 4)

Antonio Banderas plays a film director in “Pain and Glory,” the new film by Pedro Almodovar. (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

Pain and Glory: Antonio Banderas won the best actor award at Cannes for his role as an aging film director who looks back over his life, “8 1/2”-style, in Pedro Almodovar’s latest. (Oct. 4)

The Current War: The battle between AC and DC rages in this period piece (long delayed because of the Weinstein scandal); it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison, Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse and Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla. (Oct. 4)

Gemini Man: Oscar-winning director Ang Lee attempts another “Life of Pi”-type special effects marvel, with Will Smith as an aging hitman targeted by a younger clone of himself. (Oct. 11)

The Addams Family: This third feature (and first animated) film based on Charles Addams’ famous cartoons from The New Yorker actually may do justice to the family’s cheerfully ghoulish humor. (Oct. 11)

Parasite: The Palme d’Or winner from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (“The Host,” “Snowpiercer”) is about a struggling, streetwise family that clashes with a wealthy family. (Oct. 11)

Zombieland-Double Tap: Zombie fighters Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin return, battling among themselves as vigorously as with the undead — but it remains to be seen whether this sequel will repeat the happy surprise of the 2009 original. (Oct. 18)

Scarlett Johansson costars in the World War II-set satire “Jojo Rabbit.” (Courtesy Fox Searchlight)

Jojo Rabbit: From director Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”), this intriguing-looking comedy/drama is about a German boy whose imaginary friend is Hitler (Waititi), and who discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. (Oct. 18)

The Lighthouse: The sophomore horror feature by Robert Eggers (“The Witch”), shot in black-and-white, is about two isolated lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson) plagued by their own worst nightmares. (Oct. 18)

Also in October: “Black and Blue,” “By the Grace of God,” “Countdown,” “Frankie,” “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” “Jexi,” “The Last Full Measure,” “Lucy in the Sky,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” “War”

Cynthia Erivo plays the title character in “Harriet,” telling the story of iconic American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. (Courtesy Focus Features)

Harriet: Director Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou,” “Talk to Me”) makes a most welcome return with this biopic of Underground Railroad heroine Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo). (Nov. 1)

Doctor Sleep: Horror director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus,” “Gerald’s Game”) once again ventures into Stephen King territory with this sequel to “The Shining,” featuring a grown-up Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor). (Nov. 8)

Honey Boy: Actor Shia LaBeouf apparently worked out some personal demons writing the screenplay for this drama, based on his own life; he plays a version of his own father, with Lucas Hedges as a version of young LaBeouf. (Nov. 8)

Waves: The coming-of-age drama written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, set in suburban south Florida, stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Sterling K. Brown. (Nov. 8)

Last Christmas: Emilia Clarke plays a grumpy worker in a year-round Christmas shop in this romantic comedy directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”); Emma Thompson co-stars and co-wrote the screenplay. (Nov. 8)

Charlie’s Angels: Elizabeth Banks directs the third movie based on the 1970s TV series, and the first since 2003. Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska take over as the new Angels. (Nov. 15)

The Good Liar: Sure to be a slice of acting heaven, the movie stars Ian McKellen as a conman who finds his plans upset when he meets his internet date (Helen Mirren). Bill Condon, of “Gods and Monsters,” directs. (Nov. 15)

Frozen II: This hotly (or coldly?) anticipated sequel brings back the old characters, and some new ones, for what looks to be a magical road trip story. But will there be another “Let It Go”? (Nov. 22)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Just as last year’s documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” did, this biopic of children’s TV host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) already promises to bring tears to the eyes of viewers looking for a little kindness. (Nov. 22)

21 Bridges: Anthony and Joe Russo (“Avengers: Endgame”) produced, and Chadwick Boseman (“Black Panther”) stars, in this crime drama about a NYPD detective who does everything in his power to stop a pair of cop killers. (Nov. 22)

Also in November: “All Rise,” “Arctic Dogs,” “Burden,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Lodge,” “Midway,” “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Paradise Hills,” “Playing with Fire,” “The Report,” “Terminator: Dark Fate”

 

In “21 Bridges,” Chadwick Boseman portrays a New York police detective who goes to great lengths to apprehend cop killers. (Courtesy STX)

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