Welcome to a new series I will be doing every month where I take a look at five films being released in theaters that I am excited to see! These are films that I want to see for various reasons, and I wanted to take some time to spotlight them. For this post, I will be discussing the films being released this month that I am looking forward to for one reason or another. They will be ranked in order of how much I am wanting to see them, and I will also include some honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut, but I still want to talk about. These next few months are going to be quite full, as it is the wonderful time of year that a lot of potential awards nominees come out, as well as other big budget films. So between this month and December, I will have quite a bit to discuss. That being said, let's take a look at the movies I'm looking forward to checking out this month.
November is quite a busy month for films. In addition to my five picks below, there are several films set to come out that I am quite intrigued by. These aren't films that I am necessarily going to be rushing to see, but I can't help but be curious about.
As much as I hate to admit it, seeing the less than stellar reception that Eternals is getting only makes me more curious to see it. The fact that Chloe Zhao is directing a Marvel movie is enough to pique my interest, but seeing how divisive it is already proving to be only makes more interested to see it. It might end up being a huge disaster, or it may end up surprising me. Either way, I have to say that I can't help but be intrigued.
Eternals comes out in theaters on November 5th.
Despite the buzz surrounding Will Smith's performance, I wouldn't say that King Richard is high on my list. Considering that Smith is currently a frontrunner for Best Actor this year, I am wanting to see it, but the trailers haven't really done much to get me pumped for it. It just looks pretty standard, but I'll still give it a fair shot when it comes out later this month.
King Richard comes out in theaters and will be available to stream on HBO Max on November 19th.
tick, tick... Boom!
I must confess that I am a theatre nerd, and as such, and when an film adaptation of a musical comes out, I almost always feel the need to check it out, even if I know it's going to be bad. Because of this, I always approach these types of films with a healthy dose of skepticism, and that is precisely where I am at when it comes to tick, tick... Boom! On one hand, you have Andrew Garfield as the lead, and a pretty good supporting cast alongside him, but on the other, this is being directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda in his feature debut. While I can appreciate Miranda's writing to a certain degree, I am just unsure as to how he will fare as a director. Either way, I'll end up watching this at some point, but I'm very cautious about it.
tick, tick... Boom! will have a limited theatrical release starting on November 12th, and will be streaming on Netflix starting November 19th.
When it comes to Ghostbusters, I am a fan of the original film, and that's about it. The sequel is perfectly okay, and I actually didn't mind the 2016 reboot too much, but I do feel it has some pretty big issues. So with this reboot/sequel we're getting with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, I'm not fully sure where I stand on it. I feel that the more serious tone it seems to have based on the trailers is a bit of a confounding choice, given how comedy forward the other films have been, but who knows, it may actually work in the context of the film. I can't say this is something I'm dying to see, and I may skip while it is in theaters, but who knows?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife comes out theaters on November 19th.
House of Gucci
Finally, we have a film that almost made my top five, but after a bit of thought, it barely missed the cut. I, of course, am talking about House of Gucci. Does it look a bit cheesy? Yes. Does that bother me? Not as much as it probably should. You can't make a movie that's directed by Ridley Scott, and stars Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, and Al Pacino and expect me not to be at least a little curious. I'll admit that Jared Leto's involvement does give me some pause, but everything else about it intrigues me too much for me to want to pass it up. And the cherry on top is that this film clocks in at a whopping 164 minutes. I don't see a world where this film needs to be that long, but I am here for it either way.
House of Gucci comes out in theaters on November 24th.
And now, onto my official top five:
Kenneth Branagh may not be my favorite director, but I can at least say that the films he makes are interesting. He has had such an interesting career so far, and I feel that this might be the film he has been working towards for decades now. It is without a doubt his most personal film to date, given that it is based on his own childhood growing up in Belfast, Ireland. Based on what I've seen so far, this feels like a huge passion project for Branagh, and has the potential to be one of his better directorial efforts. The film has already drawn comparisons to Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, mainly because both films were inspired by their respective director's childhoods, and that they both were filmed in black and white. I can't say whether these are apt until I see the film for myself, but I definitely feel that this looks much more straightforward and schmaltzy than Roma. It definitely feels more overtly like Oscar bait, and it may pay off for Branagh and company. The film won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and has a lot of awards buzz surrounding it. It has a strong chance to rack up some nominations this Oscar season, and I must admit that the trailers do look pretty good. I am a bit worried it might be a bit too saccharine for my liking, but I also can see myself liking this one as well, so I'll save any judgment until after I see it.
Belfast comes out in theaters on November 12th.
Rebecca Hall makes her directorial debut with an adaptation of the classic Nella Larsen novel. The film details the reunion of two light-skinned black women who were childhood friends, and the complexities they face in their respective lives. The film looks to be a subtle, yet rich tale about race, identity, and security, and has been getting a lot of great buzz off the festival circuit. With a great cast led by Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, this looks to be quite powerful and relevant despite it being a period piece. I am especially curious to see how Hall fares as a director. I have enjoyed her acting work, and with this clearly being a personal film for her, I am excited to check it out once it drops on Netflix.
Passing is currently playing in limited release, and will arrive on Netflix on November 10th.
3. C'mon C'mon
Mike Mills is a director that I like quite a bit, as everything I've seen from him has been quite good. I am hoping he continues this streak, as this looks to be another great exploration of family and human connection from him. Shot in black and white (which seems to be a running theme for some of these November releases) and featuring Joaquin Phoenix in his first role since his Oscar-winning turn in Joker, so much of this film seems right up my alley. It looks rather simple and mellow, and has a certain charm that intrigues me. Given how much I have enjoyed Mills's other work, I'm pretty optimistic about this one. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I am very much looking forward to it.
C'mon C'mon comes out in theaters on November 19th.
I must confess that at the time of me writing this, I haven't seen Pablo Larrain's Jackie. I definitely plan to fix this before I see Spencer, as the two seem to be on similar wavelengths. I am quite fascinated by the stylistic choices Larrain seems to be making here, and Kristen Stewart is currently a frontrunner for Best Actress for her performance as Princess Diana. Throw in the promise of a Jonny Greenwood score, and a supporting cast of excellent actors, and I'm all in on this. This is yet another film that seems right up my alley, especially since it appears to be an idiosyncratic interpretation of history, and it appears to have some interesting ideas bubbling below the surface. I'm especially curious to see Stewart's performance, as I believe she doesn't get quite as much credit for her acting as she deserves. Sure, she's an indie darling by this point, but many people still just see her as Bella Swan. Hopefully, this will help audiences see her as more than this, and that she will end up getting wider recognition as a result. The film itself looks immaculate, and it is easily one of my most anticipated films of award season.
Spencer comes out in theaters on November 5th.
1. Licorice Pizza
Anyone who knows me knows that my top pick for the month of November couldn't be anything else. Paul Thomas Anderson is my favorite director, and Licorice Pizza is my most anticipated film of 2021. PTA takes his time with his films, so when he releases a new one, it is always exciting. This film is absolutely fascinating to me, as we see PTA return to the San Fernando Valley, where a lot of his earlier films such as Boogie Nights and Magnolia take place. This film also sees him tackling a 70s period piece yet again, which he has proven is firmly in his wheelhouse. While we have a trailer and a brief synopsis, this film is otherwise shrouded in mystery. All we know is that it is about the life of a child star (played by Cooper Hoffman, son of the late, great, Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his various misadventures. The cast is rounded out by Alana Haim, who is making her feature film debut, Bradley Cooper, who portrays a fictionalized version of Hollywood producer Jon Peters, as well as Sean Penn, Tom Waits, and Benny Safdie. There are so many possible directions the film could go in, and with PTA, you never fully know what you're going to get. But between the film's aesthetic, the talent surrounding it, and the fact that this is a new film from my favorite director, I am all in on this film, and cannot wait to finally see it.
Licorice Pizza comes out in theaters on November 26th.
Which of these films are you most excited about? Is there any in particular that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and check back near the end of the month to see my most anticipated films for December.