46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (2023)

As has become standard in recent years, our annual fall and winter film preview comes with something of an asterisk: it’s (another!) unpredictable time for movies, right down to when we might even expect to see them. With both the WGA and SAG-AFRA strikes still winding on, everything from production to promotion has been disrupted for many new features, and the entire calendar remains in flux.

And yet, even with those very valid concerns in place, the next three months at the multiplex (and beyond) offer a bounty of exciting new films. We’re talking new films from Martin Scorsese, Pablo Larraín, Sofia Coppola, Denis Villeneuve, Todd Haynes, Emerald Fennell, David Fincher, Jonathan Glazer, Taika Waititi, Justine Triet, Wes Anderson, and Yorgos Lanthimos. Jeff Nichols is back, as is Godfrey Reggio and the juicy stars of “Chicken Run.” Festival faves like Christos Nikou, Kristoffer Borgli, and Chloe Domont make a play for further dominance. There are also rom-coms, musicals, chocolate factories, and even an iconic re-release to tickle all palates, plus two (!!) new Paul Mescal joints.

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In short, there’s plenty.

Per usual, this list only includes films that have confirmed release dates from September through December, though a few of IndieWire’s most-anticipated 2023 films have yet to announce their release plans. As the fall festivals kick off in the coming weeks, we expect a fresh round of new films to be excited about that just might sneak in their own autumn release plans after bowing across the circuit. (And look out for our fall festival preview, coming next week.)

That means that everything (and anything!) might shift, and as plans continue to change, this list will be updated. Whether that includes changing release dates, the method of a film’s release, or adding in some of those anticipated titles that lock in an official date in 2023, this preview remains particularly fluid. For now, however, these are the films we are most excited to see in the coming months.

We’re also thrilled to provide some exclusive new looks at some of our picks, including exclusive new stills from “Poor Things,” “Next Goal Wins,” “Rustin,” “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget,” and more, which you can check out below.

David Ehrlich, EricKohn, Christian Blauvelt, Ryan Lattanzio, Anne Thompson, Alison Foreman, Brian Welk, Samantha Bergeson, Christian Zilko, Susannah Gruder, and Ben Croll contributed to this article.

September 2023

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” (September 8, in theaters)

Finally, after 20 years, the Portokalos family is heading to Greece! The third “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” film (who knew Nia Vardalos’ 2002 indie hit would spawn its very own cinematic universe?) marks the return of Toula (Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) as they honor Toula’s late father Gus (Michael Constantine) by traveling to his Mediterranean hometown.

Vardalos directs again, picking up after the 2016 sequel, in which teen daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) has a romance of her own. There might not be nuptials this time around but love is always in the air, much like baklava and Bundt cakes. Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks produce the film, which brings back fan favorites Andrea Martin, Lainie Kazan, and of course, *NSYNC’s Joey Fatone.—SB

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (3)

“Dumb Money” (September 15, in NY and LA theaters; September 22, in limited theaters; September 29, in moderate theaters; October 6, in wide theaters)

At one point destined to be one ofabout a half dozen projectsall about GameStop and the “meme stock” phenomenon driven by a Reddit forum, Sony’s “Dumb Money” wants to be the zany, truer-than-fiction underdog story about the stock shorting mayhem that ensued. Craig Gillespie’s film looks like a mix of his own “I, Tonya” and Adam McKay’s “The Big Short,” rife with agitated Wall Street suits, a whole lot of “Holy f**king s**t” line readings, and even on-screen asterisks explaining thorny financial terms. The film, based on Ben Mezrich’s book “The Antisocial Network,” even has the real life “Winklevi” twins involved as executive producers.

“Dumb Money” stars Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, and Seth Rogen. And though thestrikes forced Sony to delay fall titleslike “Kraven the Hunter” and the next “Ghostbusters” movie to 2024, Sony actually moved “Dumb Money” up to a plumb September spot, with a long-tail release plan to follow.—BW

“A Haunting in Venice” (September 15, in theaters)

Writer-director Kenneth Branagh loves to play in his Agatha Christie playground (see: 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and 2022’s “Death on the Nile”). This time around, Michael Green adapts her little-known 1969 mystery thriller “Hallowe’en Party” with a horror twist and an all-star cast led by the mustachioed Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot and Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh as a medium who is on Poirot’s latest list of murder suspects. They’re played by “Belfast” stars Jamie Dornan and Jude Hill, plus Tina Fey, Kelly Reilly, and Camille Cottin.

Set in visually ravishing post-World War II Venice, where Poirot has elected to retire, the movie pivots around a séance at a decrepit palazzo that appears to be haunted. Count on Poirot to find a rational explanation for the many seemingly supernatural events. Bonus: Composer Hildur Guđnadóttir (“TÁR,” “Joker”) will score the film. —AT

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (4)

“El Conde” (September 15, streaming on Netflix)

After the detours through history with “Spencer” and “Jackie,” Chilean director Pablo Larraín returns to the lingering trauma of the Pinochet dictatorship he last explored in the Oscar-nominated “No” with his most ambitious treatment of the subject to date — a gothic work of historic fiction that imagines Pinochet as a vampire. Legendary Chilean actor Jaime Vadell plays Pinochet at a crossroads.

Larraín’s script, co-written with regular collaborator Guillermo Calderón, imagines Pinochet as a creature born some 250 years ago who started his life fighting against the French Revolution. Now, after faking his death years earlier, he hides away in the countryside — where his grown children find him and aim to get a piece of his inheritance. A giant metaphor for the potential for tyranny to linger in society even after rulers lose their rule, the movie should please fans of Larraín’s early work and win him some genre aficionados in the process.

Shot in glorious throwback black-and-white by veteran Todd Haynes cinematographer Ed Lachman, the provocative satire blends the familial dysfunction of “Succession” with the classic horror atmosphere of “Vampyr,” a delectable combination that proves even the most serious subjects can be entertaining at the same time. This is historical revisionism with bite. —EK

“Flora and Son” (September 22, in limited theaters; September 29, streaming on AppleTV+)

After taking a break from feature filmmaking for nearly eight years,John Carneyreturns with a familiar tune: a cozy Irish musical about the ways in which music can bond people together, the joy of creation, and the pleasure of someone unpacking their soul, all with that lovely Irish lilt. To premiere his “Flora and Son,” Carney has also returned to familiar ground, bringing the low-key and lo-fi charmer toSundance, where both his breakout hit “Once” and his crowd-pleasing gem “Sing Street” debuted in previous years. Given the spontaneous clap-a-long and rapturous standing ovation the film earned during its first screening, Carney’s instinct to deliver this particular winner to this particular audience was bang-on.

Set in working-class Dublin, Carney’s latest concerns the messy lives of the eponymous Flora (a wonderful Eve Hewson), her troubled young son Max (a very charming Oren Kinlan in his first starring role), and Flora’s soon-to-be ex-husband Ian (returning “Sing Street” star Jack Reynor). Nothing has quite worked out for this fractured family the way they’d hoped, and it will take something special like a tossed-off guitar that Flora literally fishes out of the garbage to start them on a road to healing, all set to peppy original jams. So far, so cute. It will only get better. —KE

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (5)

“Stop Making Sense” (September 22, in theaters)

“Hi, I’ve got a tape I want to play.” The greatest concert movie of all time is coming back to theaters for its 40th anniversary, beginning with a nationally simulcast IMAX screening of the new 4K restoration followed by a live-streamed Q&A with David Byrne and three of his former bandmates. It would probably be too much to hold out hope for a Talking Heads reunion tour, but experiencing Jonathan Demme’s euphoric rock doc in a packed room full of people mouthing along to every word of “Psycho Killer” and “Burning Down the House” has to be the next best thing.

IndieWire recently asked producer Gary Goetzman to describe what it’s like to see “Stop Making Sense” in IMAX, and the producer told us everything we needed to hear: “You know the big suit?” He said. “It’s REALLY big.” —DE

“The Creator” (September 29, in theaters)

It’s beginning to look like artificial intelligence could be the 2020s equivalent of the Soviet Union in the 1980s — a source of national anxiety that becomes the go-to antagonist for every Hollywood blockbuster. First, “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part 1” introduced an algorithm so evil that evenTom Cruisecouldn’t fully vanquish it before the cliffhanger. Next, “The Creator” looks to capitalize on the trend by imagining a full-on war between humans and A.I.

Gareth Edwards’ first directorial outing since “Rogue One” stars John David Washington as a special forces agent who is hired to track down and kill a creator of a deadly A.I. software that threatens to wipe out humanity. He and his elite team risk their lives by venturing into “the dark heart of A.I.-occupied territory” — a phrase so ridiculous that its inclusion in the film’s synopsis is enough to justify buying a ticket. In any case, “The Creator” is a big-budget studio blockbuster that isn’t tied to any preexisting I.P. — which is always something to celebrate in our book.—CZ

“Dicks: The Musical” (September 29, in theaters)

What began as a two-man show for the Upright Citizens Brigade in 2014 became a buzzy off-Broadway hit called “Fucking Identical Twins.” Now, it’s about to be the first ever musical for A24, titled “Dicks: The Musical” and due out in September. Directed by three-time Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Larry Charles (“Borat,” “Brüno,” and “The Dictator”), this bonkers “Parent Trap” remix sees stars Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson playing Craig Tiddle and Trevor Brock: two rival businessmen who discover they are actually identical twins —and promptly decide to swap places to reunite their divorced parents.

Fresh off “Beau Is Afraid,” Nathan Lane plays the dad opposite Megan Mullaly’s mom. Plus, there’s Bowen Yang, Megan Thee Stallion, and two vaguely smelly-looking, diaper-wearing puppets known as the…Sewer Boys? (“They’re not disgusting, they’re gay culture!” is Lane’s explanation from the trailer, which is frankly more than enough justification for this reporter.) Tracks to look forward to include “Gay Old Life,” “All Love Is Love,” “Out-Alpha the Alpha,” “The Sewer Song,” and more. Lyrics to look forward to include “My cock is fucking massive…” and more lines, seemingly mainly also about, well, dicks. —AF

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (6)

“Fair Play” (September 29, in limited theaters; October 13, streaming on Netflix)

All is not fair in love and war and finance. In fact, it’s ugly, cruel, sexy, and trashy. Writer/directorChloe Domont’s vicious assault on ambition, attraction, masculinity, and you-go-girl feminism, “Fair Play” goes off like a bomb laced with the explosive and dually depraved chemistry of leadsPhoebe DynevorandAlden Ehrenreich. They play a New York couple who can’t keep their hands off each other. They also both work in finance. They also happen to work at the same investment firm, yet none of their colleagues knows about their elaborate and longstanding violation of company policy.

What starts as one movie on the surface, a sort of refresh on the psychosexual thrillers of the 1980s spearheaded by the likes of Adrian Lyne and since all but dead in Hollywood, then slithers into another perhaps more reminiscent of HBO’s finance episodic “Industry,” then another, and another. By the final jaw-dislocating cut to black, you’ll have no idea what just thwacked you. —RL

October 2023

“Foe” (October 6, in limited theaters)

In the Gen-Z dream team-up, Saorise Ronan and Paul Mescal play a married couple whose relationship and livelihood are both on the brink of collapse in the adaptation of Iain Reid’s haunting dystopian novel “Foe.” Reid co-wrote the screenplay along with director Garth Davis, and both Oscar-nominated lead stars are thrust into a future set 40 years from our present where environmental resources have dwindled.

Mescal plays Junior, a farmer who desperately tries to hold onto his family’s land despite low crops and a tumultuous relationship with his wife Hen (Ronan). An uninvited stranger, played by Aaron Pierre, offers a unique proposal: Junior must join a space force, and Hen has to stay behind. While the mysteries of “Foe” await given the slim logline, bestselling “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” author Reid is known for his twisted surreal elements, and it’s clear Ronan and Mescal will deliver their respective signature tour de forces onscreen, regardless if their characters are friends, foes, or lovers. —SB

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (7)

“Killers of the Flower Moon” (October 6, in limited theaters; October 20, in wide theaters; TBA, streaming on AppleTV+)

Martin Scorsesemay like to think of “Killers of the Flower Moon” as the Western that he always wanted to make, but this frequently spectacular American epic about the genocidal conspiracy that was visited upon the Osage Nation during the 1920s is more potent and self-possessed when it sticks a finger in one of the other genres that bubble up to the surface over the course of its three-and-a-half-hour running time.

The first and most obvious of those is a gangster drama in the grand tradition of the director’s previous work. Just when it seemed like “The Irishman” might’ve been Scorsese’s final word on his signature genre, they’ve pulled him back in for another movie full of brutal killings, bitter voiceovers, and biting conclusions about the corruptive spirit of American capitalism. “Gimme Shelter” may not have made it into the final cut, but the chugging bass groove of Robbie Robertson’s brilliantly anachronistic score almost leads you to believe that it might.

And yet, the “Reign of Terror” — which came in the wake of an oil discovery that made the members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma the richest people per capita on planet Earth — proves to be an uncomfortably vast backdrop for Scorsese’s more intimate brand of crime saga. The book from which “Killers of the Flower Moon” has been adapted is a sweeping tale about the end of the Wild West and the birth of the 20th century, as the author David Grann devotes roughly equal time to the modern sociopath who orchestrated the Osage slayings and the old-fashioned cowboy who J. Edgar Hoover dispatched to stop him. Scorsese’s more narrowly focused version takes stock of those tectonic shifts in our nation’s history, but only in passing. Its primary interest is limited to the sinister mastermind and his favorite lapdog, two beady-eyed fucks whose understanding of the new American landscape was limited to the belief that it still belonged to them. —DE

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“Anatomy of a Fall” (October 13, in limited theaters)

They say trends come in threes. And so, nipping on the heels of Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer” and Cedric Kahn’s Directors’ Fortnight breakout “The Goldman Case,” Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” make a compelling case that the courthouse has become the most fertile ground in contemporary French cinema, offering incisive auteurs both motive and opportunity to put social structures on trial. As it calls the institution of marriage to the stand, Triet’s piercingPalme d’Or-winning filmholds the ambient tensions and illogical loose ends of domestic life against the harsh and rational light of a legal system that searches for order in chaos.

Rounding out her own impressive hat trick, “Toni Erdmann” and “The Zone of Interest” star Sandra Hüller dazzles in a role clearly written with the performer in mind. She plays Sandra, a German-born, France-based bisexual novelist accused of killing her male partner in a way eerily foretold by one of her novels. And if that description calls to mindanothericy-blond (in a performance, incidentally, that also shook theCannesFilm Festival, back in 1992), the echo is both wholly intentional and entirely irrelevant. Indeed, “Anatomy of a Fall” is filled with such anti-portents coincidences or clues, depending who you ask, echoes or empty noise, depending on who’s listening. —BC

“The Exorcist: Believer” (October 13, in theaters)

With story help from his “Halloween Kills” cohorts Scott Teems and Danny McBride, David Gordon Green returns to Universal Pictures this October with another major IP resurrection in the form of a planned horror trilogy. “The Exorcist: Believer” comes just under 50 years since William Friedkin’s head-spinning 1973 original shattered the psyches of unsuspecting moviegoers, and cemented Linda Blair’s demonically possessed Regan MacNeil as a foul-mouthed icon of satanic cinema. Unfortunately, “Believer” also comes just over 46 years since John Boorman’s “The Exorcist II: Heretic,” which projectile puked its mesmeric mediocrity all over that legacy and teed up a tortured half-century for the franchise.

Gordon’s new film is the sixth installment in the series, and stands to finally redeem the mythology of Pazuzu with double the trouble in a modern-set sequel. Like “Halloween” (2018), “Believer” is a direct follow-up to the original, though it’s unclear how that impacts overall continuity. It’s co-written by Green and Peter Sattler (“Camp X-Ray”), and sees 90-year-old Ellen Burstyn finally reprising her Academy Award-nominated performance as Regan’s mother, Chris. Leslie Odom Jr. stars as the father to one of two possessed little girls, played by Lidya Jewett and Olivia Marcum. “The Handmaid’s Tale” standout Ann Dowd also appears alongside singer-songwriter Jennifer Nettles and actor Norbert Leo Butz. —AF

“Once Within a Time” (October 13, in limited theaters)

Forty years after “Koyaaniqatsi,” any new collaboration between Godfrey Reggio and Phillip Glass is welcome news. However, a new movie directed by Reggio, scored by Glass,and starring Mike Tysonis perhaps the best news that avant- garde cinema fans could possibly receive.

Reggio’s latest experimental work — which is playing a limited engagement at New York’s Museum of Modern Art before eventually expanding around the country — has been described as “bardic fairy tale about the end of the world and the beginning of a new one.” The film is billed a mind-bending cinematic collage on par with Reggio’s previous projects, although this one primarily pulls consists of new scripted footage rather than the preexisting images with which Reggio often works.

While it’s not clear what role Tyson plays, the film takes place in a fantasy world that pulls heavily from fairy tale imagery. “Once Within a Time” promises to expand one of the great director-composer collaborations of the past century — and continue to blur the line between cinema and fine arts.—CZ

“The Holdovers” (October 27, in NY and LA theaters; November 3, in limited theaters; November 10, in wide theaters)

Almost 20 years after “Sideways,” Alexander Payne has reunited with Paul Giamatti for a very different kind of character study. As the professor at a private school tasked with overseeing students who can’t go home during the Christmas break, Giamatti plays the kind of dyspeptic grinch he does better than anyone, while Payne (building off a script initially meant as a TV pilot by “Kitchen Confidential” showrunner David Hemingson) seems poised to resurrect his unique blend of caustic humor and poignant storytelling within the kind of personable narrative that suits him well.

After the overly ambitious and costly VFX endeavor “Downsizing” in 2017, “The Holdovers” reportedly brings Payne back to sturdier ground with the kind of “sad angry man gets emotional” trajectory that has been so well realized in everything from “About Schmidt” to…well, “Sideways.” Plus, it promises breakout potential for Dominic Sessa as the wayward student whom Giamatti’s character takes an interest in, and Payne has a good track record with emerging talent, from Reese Witherspoon to Shailene Woodley.

Focus Features picked up “The Holdovers” for $30 million last year, another good sign that this fall release will fit into the season like a warm and welcome blanket (but hopefully with a little Payne-ian bite, too). —EK

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“Priscilla” (October 27, in theaters)

Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” features Jacob Elordi’s transformation into Elvis Presley, with Cailee Spaeny becoming American royalty(and the titular role of) Priscilla Presley for the dazzling-looking period piece. Writer-director Coppola adaptedPriscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me” for the A24 film, which will make its North American debut at 2023 NYFF.

Coppola hascompared“Priscilla” to her 2006 film “Marie Antoinette,” callingPriscillaa larger than life figure. The real-lifePriscillaPresley has already praised the film as being a“masterful” reimaginingof her teenage years at the height of Elvis’ fame.Priscillais a producer on the film, with Coppolatelling Vogueshe wanted the feature to feel as “emotionally authentic” as possible. —SB

November 2023

“Dune: Part Two” (November 3, in theaters)

Now that Denis Villeneuve has proved that there’s life for Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series beyond the David Lynch dud (though it’s still worth a second look!), it’s kind of a no-brainer that if you liked the last one, you’ll glide right into the continuing adventures of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet, in case you didn’t know) now that he’s been cast out of his kingdom and finally joined forces with the mysterious outsider of his dreams, Chani (Zendaya), and the Freemen as they prepare to ride across the desert on some giant worms.

Even if you’re not a “Dune” fanatic, the opportunity to return to Arrakis through the prism of Greig Fraser’s immersive cinematography, that absorbing Hans Zimmer score, and an epic ensemble should be exciting simply because so few blockbusters are being made on this scale with such expert craft and vision. As Marvel fractures and dumbs down its appeal, “Dune” seems to be revving its engines. And until “Andor” Season 2 arrives on the other side of the actors strike, this is the sci-fi franchise with a new chapter worth rooting for. —EK

“Fingernails” (November 3, in limited theaters and streaming on AppleTV+)

What if the key to finding your soulmate was at the tip of your finger? Lauded Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou (“Apples”) returns to the festival stage (the film will screen at TIFF in September) with sci-fi love story “Fingernails,” produced by Cate Blanchett. In the film, Jessie Buckley stars as Anna, a new employee at a company that produces a machine that can determine whether or not a couple is right for each other. All it takes is ripping off your fingernail (ouch, but writer-director Nikou promised Vanity Fair this is not a body horror film) and voila, confirmation of a soulmate.

Anna is happily dating Ryan (Jeremy Allen White), whom the machine has deemed her perfect match, so why then does she start to develop feelings for her boss Amir (Riz Ahmed)? Luke Wilson and Annie Murphy also star in the meditation on nature vs. nurture, technology vs. IRL meet-cutes, and ultimately, whether one should follow their mind or their heart. And the A-list actors involved are only half of the buzz for the upcoming feature: “Fingernails” also boasts “Euphoria” cinematographer Marcell Rév, who shot the retro-inspired romance on film. —SB

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“Rustin” (November 3, in limited theaters; November 17, streaming on Netflix)

The first narrative feature from the Obamas’ Higher Ground productions stars the ever-reliable Colman Domingo as civil rights legendy Bayard Rustin, who co-founded the March on Washington movement among many other achievements. The Netflix-produced biopic comes from director George C. Wolfe, whose 2020 “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was the latest proof that he’s well-equipped to handle the lofty task of depicting key figures in African American history on their own terms. Screenwriter Julian Breece shares a writing credit with “Milk” Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, a potent combo that suggests the movie won’t shy away from Rustin’s ability to live an openly gay lifestyle despite the inhospitable times.

Premiering 60 years after the March on Washington — and in the midst of an ugly moment for civil rights in the U.S. with the abolishment of affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — “Rustin” is likely to add a key historical perspective to a national conversation that must continue. —EK

“Quiz Lady” (November 3, streaming on Hulu)

Awkwafina and Sandra Oh are sisters in unhinged dramedy “Quiz Lady,” directed by “This Is Us” helmer Jessica Yu. Gameshow-obsessed Anne (Awkwafina) and her messy estranged sister Jenny (Oh) are forced to come up with cash, quick, to cover their mother’s gambling debts. The easiest way to do it? Turn Anne into a gameshow champion among the ranks of “Jeopardy” champion Ken Jennings.

The star-studded supporting cast includes Will Ferrell, Jason Schwartzman, Holland Taylor, and Tony Hale in the retro-inspired comedy. —SB

“Dream Scenario” (November 10, in theaters)

Get on the Kristoffer Borgli train now. The acerbic Norwegian filmmaker delighted last year’s Cannes with his painfully funny feature debut “Sick of Myself” — billed by this very website as the real Worst Person in the World — and show no signs of letting up when it comes to his A24-backed sophomore outing. Like any dedicated cinephiles with a wicked dark streak and a hearty sense of humor, Borgli reveres Nicolas Cage, enough to cast him as the “loser” start of his next feature.

In “Dream Scenario,” Cage stars as a middling professor who has mostly avoided attention — until he starts showing up in people’s dreams, like everyone’s dreams. The film will premiere at TIFF before its November premiere, and the festival’s official synopsis hints at another banger from Borgli, a “satirical swipe at celebrity and groupthink” that “features an iconic intensity not seen in a Cage part since‘Mandy.'” Borgli + Cage should be enough to thrill astute movie-goers, but further treats await: it also stars Julianne Nicholson and Michael Cera, and was co-produced by Ari Aster. —KE

“The Killer” (November 10, streaming on Netflix; TBA, in limited theaters)

“Mank” may not have littheworld on fire (it’s hard to sell a black-and-white movie about Gary Oldman writing “Citizen Kane,” especially attheheight of a global pandemic), and “Mindhunter” may have left its fans inthelurch, butDavidFincher seems happy to call Netflix his home, asthedirector has reteamed withthestreamer — and “Seven” writer Andrew Kevin Walker — for this long, long,long-in-the-works psychological action thriller about a sniper-for-hire played by an unsmiling Michael Fassbender who finds himself onthewrong end of an international manhunt after a job gone wrong.

Adapted fromtheFrench graphic novel ofthesame name, “TheKiller” promises to bethemost elliptical of Fincher’s many elegant genre exercises, asthedirector vibes off Jean-Pierre Melville and ’70s noir for this minimalistic revenge story. Tilda Swinton co-stars, intheunlikely event you weren’t sold already.—DE

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“The Marvels” (November 10, in theaters)

Brie Larson is back as Captain Marvel in Marvel’s whopping 33rdfeature film (who said anything about comic book fatigue?). The sequel to 2018’s “Captain Marvel” picks up where Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel” left off, reminding MCU fans just how interconnected the superhero world truly is. Larson reprises her role as Carol Danvers, with Iman Vellani returning as Kamala Khan who idolizes Captain Marvel and emulates her own superpowers after.

“The Marvels” adds in “WandaVision” star Teyonah Parris, playing Monica Rambeau, the adult daughter of Carol’s longtime friend (Lashana Lynch), as the three Marvel superheroes swap places whenever they wield their respective powers. Nia DaCosta directs and co-writes the third film in Marvel’s Phase Five rollout. Buckle up, because there’s more Marvel(s) ahead. —SB

“May December” (November 17, streaming on Netflix)

A heartbreakingly sincere piece of high camp that teases real human drama from the stuff of tabloid sensationalism,Todd Haynes’ delicious “May December” continues the director’s tradition of making films that rely upon the self-awareness that seems to elude their characters — especially the ones played by Julianne Moore.

Here, the actress reteams with her “Safe” director to play Gracie Atherton-Yoo, a lispy former school teacher who became a household name back in 1992 when she left her ex-husband for one of her 13-year-old students. Now it’s 2015, the situation has normalized somewhat, and Gracie and Joe (a dad bod Charles Melton) have been together long enough that their youngest children are about to graduate high school. The occasional package full of poop still arrives at the waterside Savannah mansion that Gracie and Joe paid for with appearances on “Inside Edition,” but suchdeliveries — gifts from random strangers who can’t stomach the couple’s love story — have become less common now that their scandalous romance has settled into suburban reality. Or so it would appear.

Alas, the past isn’t quite ready to release its grip on these crazy kids just yet, and Gracie lacks the good sense to keep it at a safe distance. Despite her skepticism of celebrities — the result of an unspecified run-in with Judge Judy — Gracie decides to roll out the welcome mat for breathy TV actress Elizabeth Berry, who’s played by Natalie Portman (phenomenally on pointe in a merciless performance that feels like it’s dressed in some kind of “Closer” drag). Elizabeth is the same age that Gracie was when she first had sex with Joe in the back of a pet store, and is set to play her in an upcoming independentfilmabout the scandal.—DE

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“Next Goal Wins” (November 17, in theaters)

Years after its initial production (reshoots were necessary after Armie Hammer was replaced by Will Arnett and the initial shoot was waylaid by the pandemic), the latest energetic comedy from Taika Waititi has crowdpleaser written all over it. A sports movie adapted from the 2014 documentary of the same name, “Next Goal Wins” stars Michael Fassbender as soccer coach Thomas Rongen, who’s tasked with improving the odds for the failing American Samoa soccer team.

With Elisabeth Moss as the coach’s wife and Arnett as a soccer executive (as well as non-binary actor Kamaina as trans players Jaiyah Saelua in a potential breakout role), “Next Goal Wins” has a stacked cast that even includes Waititi in a supporting role. The writer-director-actor excels at uplifting storytelling that blends silliness with surprise emotional depth, and as interest in “Ted Lasso” wanes, “Next Goal Wins” may benefit from its many delays by staking its claim as the major soccer story of the moment. —EK

“Maestro” (November 22, in limited theaters; December 20, streaming on Netflix)

Venice premiere “Maestro,” producer-star Bradley Cooper’s sophomore directing effort after “A Star is Born,” is more than a biopic of “West Side Story” composer and New York Philharmonic conductor Leonard Bernstein. Steven Spielberg intended to direct the movie before passing it off to Cooper; Martin Scorsese is also listed in the producer credits.

Co-written by Cooper and Oscar-winner Josh Singer (“Spotlight”), the movie highlights the composer-conductor’s relationship with Costa Rican-born actress/activist Felicia Montealegre (first-billed Carey Mulligan), his wife of 27 years and the mother of his three children. Their family life was vital to him; she accepted that he had affairs with other women and men. But after he left her to live with another man, he returned to her side until she passed away from cancer in 1978. The film also stars Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, and Josh Hamilton, and features Academy ratio cinematography by Matthew Libatique and Cooper’s prominent prosthetic nose, designed by two-time Oscar-winner Kazu Hiro (“Bombshell,” “Darkest Hour”). —AT

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (13)

“Napoleon” (November 22, in theaters)

Ridley Scott’s one-man crusade against ageism in Hollywood continues apace, as the cigar-chomping 85-year-old director of “The Last Duel” and “House of Gucci” continues to churn out some of the biggest movies of his (or anyone’s career). Up next: a roughly $130 million historical epic about Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the pint-sized emperor-to-be and Vanessa Kirby as his tortured love, Josephine.

Scripted by “All the Money in the World” screenwriter David Scarpa (who also has sole credit on Scott’s forthcoming sequel to “Gladiator”), “Napoleon” appears to put an emphasis on its namesake’s emerging prominence during the French Revolution, with Scott pouring all of his resources into massive-scale recreations of the Siege of Toulon, the Battle of the Pyramids, and more of the skirmishes that defined his legacy. Spoiler alert: Waterloo isn’t just a city in Iowa.—DE

“Wish” (November 22, in theaters)

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, so what better time to release an animated movie about one of the company’s most enduring storytelling concepts: The idea of making a wish. Like in “Pinocchio,” the wishing star is the focus of “Wish,” set in the fictional kingdom of Rosas (inspired by Spain and Portugal). A young girl named Asha (Ariana DeBose) makes a wish on the wishing star, then finds it come to earth to in cute, Pokemon-like form. One wish we know it grants right off the bat is to Asha’s goat Valentino (Alan Tudyk): the ability to talk.

Veteran animation director Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Frozen”) is co-directing with first-time director Fawn Veerasunthorn, who previously served as a story artist on “Moana” and “Zootopia” and head of story on “Raya and the Last Dragon.” And the celebratory vibe for the company and its classic themes extends to the short that will precede “Wish” called “Once Upon a Studio,” which stars the late animator Burny Mattinson (who died in February after working for Disney for almost 70 years) and nearly 400 Disney characters that suddenly spring to life. —CB

“Saltburn” (November 24, in limited theaters; December 1, in wide theaters)

The next offering from “Promising Young Woman” filmmaker and general bad-ass Emerald Fennell has been mostly kept under wraps: we know it stars Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi, follows a friendship built on fixation, and involves an “eccentric” but uber-rich family, but that’s about it. That’s enough.

Fennell’s Oscar-winning feature debut popped because of its razor-sharp takedown of post-#MeToo politics, but it also boasted go-for-broke performances, crackling writing, and a creepy center that was hard to shake. And it was also a film about the power — and pain — about a BFF-ship gone totally off the rails, an idea it appears Fennell is further mining this time around, though with unhinged men at the heart of it, instead of her hardened and heartbroken women (never fear, Fennell’s “PYW” star Carey Mulligan also appears in this one). We’ll show up for anything Fennell makes, the secretive stuff? That just thrills us more. —KE

December 2023

“The Bikeriders” (December 1, in theaters)

The fall and winter movie season always comes with new offerings from some of our favorite filmmakers, but in a period in which we’ll see new films from Scorsese, Fincher, Coppola, and many more, it’s telling how very much we’re also anticipating the release of a new Jeff Nichols joint. It’s been seven years since such a treat — in 2016, we were gifted the two-fer of “Midnight Special” and “Loving” — and it seems as if Nichols himself would likely agree his “The Bikeriders” was worth the wait.

A long-gestating project for Nichols — the “Take Shelter” filmmaker has wanted to make a film about ’60s-era bikes for nearly decade — “The Bikeriders” finally took shape in 2022, pushing Nichols to leave “A Quiet Place: Day One” (which would have ruled) and take on a story that eventually found its center in Danny Lyon’s photo-book of the same name, which followed a Midwestern motorcycle club. Nichols’ take promises to be more sprawling, following the club through many permutations, and with a jaw-dropping cast on board (perpetual Nichols star Michael Shannon, plus Tom Hardy, Jodie Comer, Mike Faist, Austin Butler, and Boyd Holbrook). —KE

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (14)

“Eileen” (December 1, in limited theaters; December 8, in wide theaters)

In the first scene of “Eileen,” the protagonist stakes out in her car on a dreary winter lakefront lovers’ lane in the Boston outskirts. As another couple makes out in a backseat of the next car, Eileen watches, glowering lustily, and grabs a handful of muddy snow, shoves it down her pants, and masturbates.

The rest of “Lady Macbeth” director William Oldroyd’s second feature never quite matches the giddy perversity of that image, but no matter, because this stylish 1960s-set noir adapted from Ottessa Moshfegh’s mean and pungent novel of the same name is a dark treat throughout. Thomasin McKenzie, playing the title character, and Anne Hathaway, playing the alluring blonde-headed woman that seemingly drops from the sky and into her life, give career-best performances in an oddly touching queer almost-romance that feels like a cross between “Carol” and Hitchcock (Moshfegh herself has named his film “Rebecca,” which shares a name with Hathaway’s character here, as a touchstone). But it’s also entirely its own weird, beautiful thing, even if it doesn’t quite rub audiences as deeply in the muck of Eileen’s miserable existence as the novel did. —RL

“Shayda” (December 1, in theaters)

The actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi’s eyes are an arresting contradiction. In “Shayda,” dark circles hang heavy below them, contributing to her world-weary, anxious gaze. But if you look deeper into her uneasy stare and almost translucently hazel irises, there lurks a bit of light, and a sense of hope that hasn’t been completely stamped out.

In Noora Niasari’sdebut feature, Ebrahimi is cast as the eponymous Shayda, an Iranian woman living in Australia in 1995, trying to break free of her abusive husband Hossein (Osamah Sami), who’s finishing his medical studies in Brisbane. Her immense exhaustion is visible from the film’s first scene, in which she instructs her six-year-old daughter Mona (Selina Zahednia) what to do if Hossein tries to kidnap her. While her strained expression betrays her anguish, she resists the urge to give in to despair as she speaks softly to her daughter, knowing she has to keep up her strength for both of their safety.

Ebrahimi brings this subtle mix of emotions to “Shayda,” which is modeled after Niasari’s own upbringing and her mother’s attempt to escape her own abusive husband, along with the strict moral codes of Iranian culture. When the story begins, Shayda and Mona have already relocated to a women’s shelter in a secret location, where she’s attempting to build a case for divorce with the help of the warm and pragmatic shelter director Joyce (Leah Purcell). While they’re far from Iran, the country’s attitudes toward women’s autonomy follow her in the form of criticisms from her small Persian circle in Brisbane and phone calls from her mother back home begging her to give her husband Hossein a second chance.—SG

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (15)

“Poor Things” (December 8, in theaters)

Returning to directing after five years, three-time Oscar nominee Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite,” “The Lobster”) reunites with his “The Favourite” Oscar nominee Emma Stone and co-writer Tony McNamara (adapting Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel) in Venice premiere “Poor Things.”

The darkly humorous coming-of-age tale stars Stone as free-wheeling Frankenstein’s monster Bella Baxter, who was created by unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). As she thirsts for experience, she takes off on a raucous cross-continental adventure with decadent lawyer Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo). Searchlight pushed the film back from September to December due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. —AT

“The Zone of Interest” (December 8, in theaters)

Holocaust cinema has so implicitly existed in the shadow of a single question that it would no longer seem worth asking if not for the fact that it’s never been answered: How do you depict an atrocity? The most urgent and indelible examples of the form offer equally simple yet perfectly contradictory responses. Documentaries like “Shoah” and Alain Resnais’ “Night and Fog” suggest that you don’t, while historical epics like “Schindler’s List” insist that you must. If the latter argues that seeing is believing, the former maintains that seeing wouldn’t help — that some things are too unfathomable for the human eye to comprehend from a distance, and can only hope to be understood by their absence. A tsunami might not seem much bigger than any other wave if you stare at it from a distant shore, but watching the ocean water as it gets sucked back into the sea reveals the full immensity of what’s coming.

A narrative Holocaust drama that’s defined by its rigorous compartmentalization and steadfast refusal to show any hint of explicit violence,Jonathan Glazer’sprofoundly chilling“The Zone of Interest” stands out for how formally thefilmsplits the difference between the two opposite modes of its solemn genre —a genre that may now be impossible to consider without it. No Holocaust movie has ever been more committed to illustrating the banality of evil, and that’s because no Holocaust movie has ever been more hell-bent upon ignoring evil altogether. There is a literal concrete wall that separates Glazer’s characters from the horrors next door, and not once does his camera dare to peek over it for a better look. It doesn’t even express the faintest hint of that desire. —DE

“Leave the World Behind” (December 8, streaming on Netflix; TBA, in limited theaters)

Sam Esmail, best known for his TV work on the likes of dystopian series “Homecoming” and “Mr. Robot,” directs his first feature since the 2014 cosmic rom-drama “Comet.” With “Leave the World Behind,” an adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s unsettling novel about Airbnbers caught in an apocalyptic global blackout, Esmail returns to the terrain of a world on the edge of collapse. Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke play Amanda and Clay, white upper-crusty married parents of two, whose Long Island vacation is disrupted by the arrival Black couple, played by Mahershala Ali and HBO’s “Industry” breakout Myha’la Herrold. They, too, hail from New York City, and they own the getaway home at which Amanda and Clay thought they’d he having an idyllic escape-from-the-city weekend. Alas, power is down up and down the East Coast, and ominous omens of world doom start to invade their surroundings: wild flamingos out of the blue on the lawn, a tick bite whose venom takes hold of one child, and a thunderous crashing sound that can’t bode well.

Alam’s novel ends on a terrifyingly ambiguous note that on its surface suggests the writer couldn’t find a proper ending to his story, but in the aftermath lingers darkly with its implications for widescale human annihilation. The material should lend itself to a nervy, behind-closed-doors thriller that will leave you feeling very bad about the state of our universe. —RL

“Anyone but You” (December 15, in theaters)

Has there been a more exciting rom-com pairing in recent memory than Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney? The duo have emerged as two of the hottest young stars of the 2020s, thanks to Sweeney’s constant presence on HBO and Powell’s blockbuster turn in “Top Gun: Maverick.” Together, they could be unstoppable.

Little is known about the specific details of Will Gluck’s “Anyone but You.” A vague synopsis indicated that it follows two people who hate each other so much that they can’t resist each other — which is to say, it’s a rom-com. But in a sea of mediocre direct-to-Netflix films, it’s not often that a new rom-com offers enough movie star gravitas to lure fans back to the theaters. Sweeney and Powell might be enough for “Anyone but You” to do just that — so anyone who enjoys watching attractive people engage in ridiculous high jinks in exotic locales should be rooting for this one.—CZ

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (16)

“Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” (December 15, streaming on Netflix)

The original “Chicken Run” from 2000 still holds up as the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film ever. The screwball jailbreak comedy about a gaggle of plump chickens trying to escape being turned into pies was Aardman Animation’s first feature and still the studio’s best, a movie that two decades later surprises with its energy, creativity, and dry British wit.

Netflix has seen how the movie still performs and has doubled down on Aardman projects, including recruiting Aardman mastermind Nick Park for an eventual Wallace and Gromit special. The “Chicken Run” sequel “Dawn of the Nugget” picks up with the original characters now living in freedom but grappling with a new threat: parenthood.

The new film is directed by Sam Fell and stars Zachary Levi, Thandiwe Newton, Imelda Staunton, Bella Ramsey, and Nick Mohammed. While it’s understandable that Mel Gibson isn’t returning to the voice cast, the original’s Julia Sawalha cried “fowl” over the new project,accusing Aardman and Netflix of ageismfor not being allowed to re-audition for the character she originated.—BW

“Wonka” (December 15, in theaters)

The “Paddington” movies were two of the most beloved family films in years. As a director, how do you follow those up? By turning to an even more beloved property, of course. Director Paul King took on this origin story to Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” applying the candy-colored aesthetic he gave to the “Paddington” films to a story about actual candy. Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy has contributed original songs so that the film is truly of a piece with the Gene Wilder-starring original 1971 classic.

Into Wonka’s iconic purple jacket and cravat slipped Timothée Chalamet, keen to show off his musical comedy chops after showing his ability to lead a franchise with “Dune.” Filming took place all over the U.K., with cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung behind the camera after having helped conjure up 1960s London when he lensed Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho.” And of course, director King couldn’t have done “Wonka” without bringing back his “Paddington 2” villain Hugh Grant, who plays an Oompa-Loompa in the movie. The result should be sweet indeed. —CB

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (17)

“All of Us Strangers” (December 22, in theaters)

Andrew Haigh — director of the adored gay what-might-have-been romance “Weekend” and crisply told, Oscar-nominated marital breakdown portrait “45 Years” — writes and directs films that feel as finely sculpted as short stories. His latest film, “All of Us Strangers,” finds the director wading into supernatural territory but hardly far from his usual stomping grounds: Star Andrew Scott, in fact, has teased that it’s very gay indeed, and out actor Scott co-starring opposite Paul Mescal should be enough to send fans ablaze as the movie’s first look foretells.

It’s based on a 1987 novel, “Strangers,” by Japanese author Taichi Yamada, transplanting the story to an empty tower block in London. Screenwriter Adam (Scott) has an encounter with his mysterious neighbor, Harry (Mescal), that flips his world upside down, as Adam finds himself pulled back to his childhood home where his long-dead parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) are alive again and look just as they did when they died 30 years before. Is this our last chance to see “Aftersun” Oscar nominee Mescal in his indie roots before he’s swept away by the tides of franchises with “Gladiator 2”? Here’s hoping not. He’s told IndieWire that independent cinema is where he wants to be. —RL

“The Iron Claw” (December 22, in theaters)

Borderline Films co-founder Sean Durkin has made only three features in his career, directing Elizabeth Olsen in her breakout performance in rural cult drama “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and setting up a masterful dissolution of a bourgeois marriage between Carrie Coon and Jude Law with “The Nest.” His third, A24’s “The Iron Claw,” is a surely dark-leaning sports drama about the rise and cataclysmic fall of the Von Erich wrestling dynasty. The Von Erich brothers — played by already meme-ready Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson — suffered endless tragedies, including two suicides and even more controversies, throughout the ’80s. Their ruthless competitiveness in and out of the ring was their downfall, and expect pessimistic storyteller Durkin to glean all the grit and glory and ugliness from their legacy.

Viral first looks have shown how the main trio of actors have glutted themselves for their roles. Efron plays Kevin Von Erich while “The Bear” Emmy nominee White portrays Kerry Von Erich, along with “Triangle of Sadness” breakout Harris Dickinson as David Von Erich, “Mindhunter” star Holt McCallany as Fritz Von Erich, Emmy nominee Maura Tierney as the family matriarch, Doris, and Lily James as Kevin’s wife, Pam. —RL

“Rebel Moon” (December 22, streaming on Netflix)

Following the successes of “Army of the Dead” and its prequel “Army of Thieves,” Zack Snyder is once again bringing epic imagination to Netflix with screenwriter Shay Hatten. Joined by another frequent Snyder collaborator, Kurt Johnstad (“300,” “300: Rise of an Empire”), the former DC Extended Universe auteur is delivering the first half of the planned two-part space opera “Rebel Moon” this December.

“This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a ‘Star Wars’ fan,” Snyder said of the project’s scope, when “Rebel Moon” was first announced in 2021. “It’s my love of sci-fi and a giant adventure. My hope is that this also becomes a massive IP and a universe that can be built out.”

“Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire” (sure!) stars Sofia Boutella as Kora: a mysterious, guilt-ridden woman, whose former alliance to the dictatorial Imperium drives her desire to fight against the fascist galactic force. Ed Skrein, Charlie Hunnam, Michiel Huisman, Djimon Hounsou, Staz Nair, Bae Doona, Ray Fisher, and E. Duffy also appear. The film also features Anthony Hopkins as “Jimmy”: “an ancient robot knight that once defended a slain king but has now faded into a more peaceful existence.” —AF

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (18)

“The Color Purple” (December 25, in theaters)

There are many shades to Alice Walker’s seminal novel “The Color Purple,” and director Blitz Bazawule’s Warner Bros.musical feature aims to illuminate even more. While most movie audiences are most familiar with Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated 1985 adaptation, a stage musical adaptation of Walker’s book debuted on Broadway in 2005, which reoriented the story of Celie (R&B star Fantasia Barrino, who played the role on Broadway from 2007 to 2008 and then in the national tour two years later, and returns for the big screen take) in the post-Antebellum South around a stirring set of songs.

In Bazawule’s big screen take on the story, Barrino stars alongside Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Danielle Brooks, H.E.R., Ciara, Bailey, Louis Gosset Jr., David Alan Grier, Aunjanue Ellis, and many more, offering up a rich and rewarding new take on the beloved story. And Bazawule and his talented cast have the goods: he previously directed segments of Beyoncé’s visual album “Black Is King” and the celebrated 2018 Ghanaian feature “The Burial of Kojo.”—KE

“Ferrari” (December 25, in theaters)


TBD 2023

“All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt” (TBA 2023, in theaters)

A whispered symphony of sense memories that cycles through the decades like rain water — heavy with images and ambient sounds that trickle down from the generations above before they’re absorbed into the earth and suffused back into the air — the vague but vividly rendered “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt” runs a little drier every time writer-directorRaven Jacksonloops back to squeeze another drop of meaning from the textures and traditions that connect a Black Mississippi woman to the place where she was born (and vice-versa).

Her name is Mackenzie, she’s played by a small troupe of different actresses over the course of Jackson’s freeform debut, and the body they share between them serves as a kind of living conduit between then, now, and whatever comes next. Her story is filtered through a too-studied slipstream of a movie that makes its vignettes feel as neatly arranged as the verses of a poem, its scenes spanning from the ’60s to the ’80s but all located in an eternalnowthat quickly does away with the linearity of flashbacks or forwards. —DE

46 Must-See New Movies to Watch This Fall Season (19)

“The Boy and the Heron” (TBA 2023, in theaters)

Watching Hayao Miyazaki’s final movie is a lot like seeing KISS on their farewell tour — it’s sad at first, but it makes the next one so much sweeter.Cinephiles around the world bid goodbye to the animation legend when “The Wind Rises” hit theaters in 2013, but it wasn’t long before the ever-restless auteur found himself embarking on another film. Animation fans were so overjoyed by the news that Studio Ghibli opted to release the film without trailers or marketing materials.

In an attempt to preserve the purity of the moviegoing experience, plot details about “The Boy and the Heron” have been kept under wraps. (The film has already been released in Japan, but western audiences will get their first look at it when it opens the Toronto International Film Festival.) But the film is rumored to touch on themes of death, with Miyazaki claiming that he made it to explain his own mortality to his grandson. If you cried watching “The Wind Rises” — which is to say, if you saw “The Wind Rises” — you might want to bring some Kleenex.—CZ

“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” (TBA 2023, streaming on Netflix)

Most of the chatter around Wes Anderson’s first Netflix project has sprung from a deceptively simple question: Whatisit? Initially it seemed as if “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” would be a single feature-length film, only for word to come out that Anderson’s second Roald Dahl adaptation would actually tackle four of the seven stories in Dahl’s anthology, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More,” and that — taking advantage of the streamer’s flexible release model — each of its parts would be released on their own, with the 37-minute title episode debuting at Venice.

But that news only begat more questions, as rumors began to swirl that Anderson’s latest would err closer to a stage play than a movie, one in which the filmmaker’s typically star-studded cast (including Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar, himself) would be reading Dahl’s prose exactly as it was written rather than performing an original script. What that means in practical terms remains to be seen, but Anderson’s affection for the theater has been evidence throughout his film career — most dramatically in this summer’s “Asteroid City” — and we can’t wait to see how he embraces it in a project that doesn’t require him to do anything else. —DE

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