Flixist’s truly grand and emotionally fulfilling Fall/Holiday movie preview


Thank everything that has ever been given thanks to this god forsaken August is almost over, and we can roll back into some decent movies hitting the theaters, and then from there we can actually get some good movies, and then we can get the holiday blockbusters, and hopefully once that’s done we’ll never have to experience another few weeks like this again. Unless, you know, January sucks. 

The point being, some really great movies are coming, and as we are wont to do at Flixist we’re going to give you a heads up about the ones you should see. And possibly a few you shouldn’t see. You can decide which ones those are, but lets just say one of them could be called G. Alone… no… that’s to obvious… Gnome A. This isn’t an exhaustive list either, it’s just the ones we had something to say about or wanted the world to pay attention to. For instance the new Jumanji movie isn’t on here because despite my love of The Rock doing things I just can’t.

Let us know how terribly wrong we are with all our choices in the comments. 

Director: Andrés Muschietti
Release Date: September 8, 2017

As I type this, I’m thinking about the NYC press screening of Andrés Muschietti’s It, which I was not invited to (and actually couldn’t make because of a prior engagement seeing the 1989 genre classic Society on the big scream, which is a much cooler opportunity). Anyways, I’ve been thinking about it because I am a fan of horror movies in critic settings; no one pulls out their phones or makes dumb jokes or does any of those things that ruin horror movies.

But even though I hate the theatrical experience of horror movies so much, I’m going to see It on the big screen, because it looks freaking amazing. I remember the whining when the first image came up, but that was all-but-silenced by that fantastic first trailer, and the footage released since has only amped up my excitement (save, perhaps, Pennywise jumping off the TV; not sold on that). The trailer comparison with the original miniseries is fascinating because of what it shows us about how technology and cinematic language have changed in the past several decades. Darker, gorgeouser, and just generally more intense: I’m hype. — Alec Kubas-Meyer

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Release Date: September 15, 2017

The marketing for Mother! has rolled out in a short amount of time and smartly revealed so little. It’s nice to be sold on the mystery of a movie. There are hints of what this Darren Aronofsky horror/thriller might be, however. One poster for the film is a direct nod to Rosemary’s Baby, which makes me think there’s some ugly, culty/religious secret between Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence’s characters. If you’re really nice, there might even be a chic Vidal Sassoon haircut. Bring on the devils and the dread. Satan is my pumpkin spice. –Hubert Vigilla

Kingsman: The Golden Circle”
Director: Matthew Vaughn 
Release Date: September 22, 2017

At some point in the past before Kingsman came out if someone had told me that I’d be incredibly excited to see a Matthew Vaughn directed spy parody movie I would still be laughing to this day. And yet here we are. The first film was an insanely clever spin on the “James Bond” genre that never went full Austin Powers, and was somehow far more clever than it had any right to be. For those who haven’t seen it yet because they assumed it was as dumb as it sounds, I urge you to go check it out so you can then go check out the sequel. With basically the same cast and crew returning to the second movie, and the same tongue-in-cheek attitude fully in check I’m hoping they can keep it up. Just seeing Colin Firth kick some more ass will probably make it worthwhile anyway. — Matthew Razak

Blade Runner 2049
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Release Date: October 6, 2017

The dude who made Arrival (and Sicario and Prisoners) doing Blade Runner? I think the name is pretty dumb, but if that’s my only complaint based on all the fantastic material that’s been put out, I’m feeling pretty good about the odds on this one. The original Blade Runner is an enduring classic for a reason, and though I prefer the Final Cut version of it, any is worth all of the hype it’s been given over the years. This looks to be another classic added to the canon. After the dumpster fire that was Prometheus 2, I’m really just glad it’s not Ridley Scott back in the director’s chair.

Also, the fact that Harrison Ford was actually happy to get back into this one (whereas he clearly was not happy to be back for Star Wars) says a lot about what we are going to be getting. — Alec Kubas-Meyer

The Florida Project
Director: Sean Baker
Release Date: October 6, 2017

When you get past the fact that Sean Baker shot his most recent feature Tangerine entirely on iPhones, you wind up with a funny, acerbic, disarming film about trans sex workers. The Florida Project (not shot on iPhones) looks much more benign, focusing on children who live in a motel for a summer. While I’m sure Willem Dafoe turns in a solidly humane performance, I’m more interested in how Baker explores poverty in America. We don’t see many movies about the struggles people face each day, or what it’s like to live in less-than-ideal and possibly inescapable circumstances. Movies like this make A24 one of the best studios around. –Hubert Vigilla

Brawl in Cell Block 99
Director: Craig S. Zahler
Release Date: October 6, 2017

I’m not 100 percent on this one to be honest, but Vince Vaughn playing a drug dealer who has to fight his way out of jail in order to save his wife and unborn daughter from some even more evil kingpin just seems too much fun to ignore. Reviews of the movie out of festivals have all been positive heralding the extreme violence and give no fucks attitude of the film towards basically any semblance of decency. Plus, non-skinny guy Vaughn really needs to switch his roles over from sleezy comedy dude or he’s not going to be in too many more movies. — Matthew Razak

The Foreigner
Director: Martin Campbell
Release Date: October 13, 2017

Jackie Chan has been in the movie business a long time, and for years I’ve loved to watch him work his magic as he does all his own stunts and makes generally happy-go-lucky movies. Recently though it seems as if the west has left him and eastern martial arts movies behind in favor of shoot-em-ups. So when the first trailer for the horrendously named The Foreigner came out I was super excited to see Jackie Chan both getting work again and seemingly taking on a more serious role. Although it breaks my heart to see him look so sad, I can understand the gravity behind his character and not even the fact that Martin Campbell directed Green Lantern will keep me from seeing this. –Anthony Marzano

Gnome Alone
Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Release Date: October 13, 2017

Have you ever looked at your garden gnomes and thought “I wonder what type of inter-dimensional monsters they are protecting me from right now?” Well if you have then Gnome Alone is the movie for you. Gnome Alone tells the story of Chloe, the new girl who just happens to move into a long abandoned house that has a collection of garden gnomes who use super soakers to protect Earth from purple space creatures. Throw a child friendly cover of Katy Perry into this and over season it with too many gnome puns and you’ve got something to park your kids in front of for two hours while you sleep off last nights booze. I got 1:15 into the 2:04 trailer before I had to nope out so try and beat my high score! –Anthony Marzano

Happy Death Day
Director: Christopher Landon
Release Date: October 13, 2017

It’s Groundhog Day, but a slasher horror movie. Also, that mask up there is already haunting your dreams so might as well go see the movie it’s in. — Matthew Razak

Director: Dean Devlin
Release Date: October 20, 2017

Is Geostorm too stupid for audiences to succeed? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself since I first had the misfortune of seeing its trailer, itself a sanitized spectacle of mayhem and destruction envisioned by a film producer who probably saw An Inconvenient Truth and thought, “How could I make this more badass?” Gelatinized in the same mold that gave us Hilary Swank as a hero astronaut and John Cusack as the father of a girl who only learns how to stop pissing herself after the end of the world, Geostorm looks to be another brainless Hollywood disaster pic that tantalizes potential ticket buyers with images of foreigners getting killed, aging white millionaires living out their action hero fantasies, and scientists straight from the set of Scorpion showing how smart and cool and awkward they are while nimbly escaping every potential disaster that wipes out the unseeing millions who we’ve learned by now not to care about. Collateral damage doesn’t matter, science doesn’t matter, and the script certainly doesn’t matter. All that matters here is Gerard Butler saves the day in space, Jim Sturgess kisses Abbie Cornish, and Andy Garcia as the President probably learns a lesson and makes one of those fucking awful “inspirational” speeches at the end about mankind and surviving and some other bullshit.

But is it too dumb for audiences? Americans will have to choose between it, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Leatherface, The Snowman and Same Kind of Different as Me when it opens, the latter of which a critic for The Guardian called “…the worst, most offensive thing I have ever seen…”. What I’m saying is it’ll probably tank int he US, but fuck me if China doesn’t gobble this shit up all the way to a $500 million worldwide gross. — CJ Andriessen (Ed Note: CJ doesn’t write for Flixist normally, but he had… feelings about this movie he needed to express)

Director: George Clooney
Release Date: October 27, 2017

Do I really have to pump you up to be excited about a new Coen brothers penned crime story? sure it’s being directed by George Clooney who isn’t as experienced as the brothers but it’s got Matt Damon and Julianne Moore in a classic appearance versus reality look at small town facades covering up seedy crimes. You’re still not excited? Fine here comes the big punch. Oscar Isaac. There I said it. –Anthony Marzano

Bad Moms Christmas
Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Release Date: November 3, 2017

Uunfortunately for it, Bad Moms Christmas will be going head to head with Thor when it opens and is bound to come in at no higher than no. 2. On the other hand, they’re different movies that will draw different crowds, and its longevity shouldn’t be hampered by a non-number-1 opening. Comedy sequels are hit or miss, but the original was a surprise hit and quite hilarious, and as they’ve not waited very long to produce the sequel like some comedy sequel fails (looking at you Anchorman, Zoolander), I expect Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn to produce the Christmas comedy of the year (that’s right Nick! Even over the Bellas!). –Rick Lash

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Release Date: November 3, 2017

Whatever Yorgos Lanthimos does, I’m willing to give it a shot. “Discomfitting” might be the best word to describe most of his films (Dogtooth, The Lobster), and The Killing of a Sacred Deer looks rife with general unease. This looks like a story of revenge and family dissolution, with a sinister teenager played by Barry Keoghan trying to destroy the stable family unit of Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Raffey Cassidy. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but I guess that’s the reason I’m excited to see it. –Hubert Vigilla

Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
Release Date: November 3, 2017

Two words: Hulk. Smash. And there you have it. I haven’t been this excited for a Marvel movie since Captain America: Civil War and that proved to be tremendous. Not only that, but Natalie Portman returns as Thor’s love interest and I hear there’s a steamy love scene, the most graphic to grace a marvel movie yet. *muffled asides* So my intern just told me I’m making shit up again, and that’s not cool, as we’re a reputable outlet with something called ‘journalistic integrity,’ but a man can dream! A man can dream! Easy to predict that Thor: Ragnarok will crack all-time top-10 November movie openings and best Skyfall that currently sits at no. 9 with $88.4M. –Rick Lash

Murder on the Orient Express
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Release Date: November 10, 2017

In the era of movies following films like Valentines Day, I’ve become somewhat wary of a star-studded cast list. To me, more often than not it implies that a studio wants to inflate a movies quality by casting a bunch of familiar, likable faces to boost sales. However, when you look at a film like Murder on the Orient Express, it becomes clear that a scenario like that is not what’s happening with this movie. All the respective actors are well suited to their roles, and this adaption of the titular Agatha Christie novel looks like it’s on the right track. –Drew Stuart

Justice League
Director: Zack Snyder
Release Date: November 17, 2017

I’d wish I could tell you that after Wonder Woman, DC was primed to deliver another excellent film that would satisfy both audiences and critics alike. I wish I could tell you that. But Hollywood is no fairy-tale world, and with Zack Snyder leaving the project, leaving the film in the hands of that Joss Whedon guy, people aren’t exactly holding their breath for another amazing film. Still, Justice League has a lot going for it. Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller returning to play The Flash, and of course Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman will be fun to watch, and despite some folks not liking this version of Batman, I quite like Ben Affleck’s interpretation of the caped crusader. I’m in high hopes that the story comes together, and does these legendary heroes justice. –Drew Stuart

Director: Lee Unkrich
Release Date: November 22, 2017

I’ve been obsessed with the Mexican afterlife ever since I played the video game Grim Fandango as a young impressionable child. I don’t know if it’s the bright colors that contrast so many other cultures views on death or whether there is the belief that you can visit your family once a year but it’s always stuck with me. Coco is about a boy who wishes to become a musician like his idol despite what his family says against music. On his rebellious journey to become a musician he lands himself and his dog in the land of the dead where he must prove his worth. It sounds like a more family friendly version of Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny which is great in my book. It also helps that I’m a sucker for anything Pixar puts out and this is the follow up for Lee Unkrich after the childhood ending masterpiece Toy Story 3. –Anthony Marzano

The Disaster Artist
Director: James Franco
Release Date: December 1, 2017

With James Franco getting method actor up on our asses like my man Daniel Day-Lewis, not only starring in, but directing, and I’ll assume writing The Disaster Artist, this has pure comedy gold written all over it. OK, OK, so it’s crap writing, just like the writing of Tommy Wiseau, the man Franco portrays, and writer/producer/director/star of The Room, the cult movie classic, but that’s not going to stop anyone who’s a fan of b-movies or bad movies, or team Franco from seeing this thing. Look for this to provide more real laughs than the film they’re parodying, and for it to crush its budget at the box office. –Rick Lash

The Shape of Water
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Release Date: December 8, 2017

I’ve always preferred Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish-language movies to his American fare. Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, and Pan’s Labyrinth have so much heart. There’s a palpable love in those films and a personal touch that many of his other movies lack. The Shape of Water looks like an English-language version of a Spanish-language del Toro movie. Visually, this misfit romance between a mute woman and an experimental merman reminds me of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. Reviews out of the Venice Film Festival have been glowing, and the December release may indicate a heavy award push for the film. I’ll take aquatic crpytids like The Shape of Water over the usual Oscar bait any day. –Hubert Vigilla

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Director: Rian Johnson
Release Date: December 15, 2017

Look, I’m not a huge Star Wars guy. I haven’t seen the original trilogy since around the time DVD became a thing (and I watched them on VHS), and I saw the prequels in theaters but, like, eh (I did watch Mr. Plinkett’s reviews, though). In its modern incarnation, though, I’ve been a fan. I liked Episode VII (more the second time around) and loved Rouge One (less the second time around), and what The Last Jedi has shown off looks goddamn fantastic. I mean, that trailer, though. Just the part where it comes around the thing and she’s doing the thing at a distance… did you see that? Oh my god, and the music swelled, and the ticket was sold then and there.

It seems like Johnson is doing something other than remaking The Empire Strikes Back, which a good thing. I look forward to seeing what new ground he breaks. — Alec Kubas-Meyer 

Director: Lawrence Sher
Release Date: December 22, 2017

Things have really been touch-and-go (and more of the go-go-go-get out of here!) for Owen Wilson and Ed Helms since they crashed a wedding and got hangovers, but despite how long ago the films that made them comedy gold came out, something about this movie makes me hope this time they’ll get it right. This is Director Lawrence Sher’s first time helming his film, but he was the cinematographer for The Hangover, so maybe he picked up a few tips along the way. Writer Justin Malen also wrote last year’s Office Christmas Party which had that zany energy in a comedy that I crush on hard. So we’ll see. But with a mix of veterans and guests like Glenn Close, J.K. Simmons, Ving Rhames and Terry Bradshaw it could be great. –Rick Lash

Pitch Perfect 3
Director: Trish Sie
Release Date: December 22, 2017

It’s the third one of these. Hopefully the last. — Nick Valdez

The Greatest Showman
Director: Michael Gracey
Release Date: December 25, 2017

I’m not so sure what to think about The Greatest Showman as a movie. It’s got a first time director and is about P.T. Barnum as it’s subject, which wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t look like they were glossing over every bad thing the man had ever done. However, it also has Hugh Jackman singing catchy songs, and that man can sing anything he wants to me in whatever form he wants to sing it in. With the Christmas day release date I’m pretty sure I’ll come out of this feeling all sticky with saccharine, and dirty from the desperate attempts to garner Oscar votes… but I’ll also be tapping my toe. — Matthew Razak

Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson/Daniel Day-Lewis Film (Phantom Thread)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Release Date: December 25, 2017

Ten years after There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis have reunited for a movie about the 1950s fashion industry in London. Like many of Anderson’s other movies, I assume the setting is a pretext to explore strained father-son relationships and family units that are broken or at the verge of breaking apart. Fun. This is supposedly Daniel Day-Lewis’ final role, which makes me wonder if he’s going out with something wild and unexpected. I similarly wonder what tone Anderson will strike with this one. Will this be something repressed like The Master or stoned out-of-its-gourd a la Inherent Vice? We’ll find out on Christmas. –Hubert Vigilla

I Love You Daddy
Director: Louis C.K.
Release Date: TBD

Louis C.K. is a very problematic person. He might even be a total scumbag if some of those rumors are true. That I can’t deny. And yet, I have liked his stand up in the past and lots of the show Louie, so I’m curious about I Love You Daddy. Shot in secret on black-and-white 35mm, the film is set to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival this month. No idea what the plot is, but I assume this will be Louis C.K. doing something akin to Robert Downey Sr.’s 1969 cult classic Putney Swope, a movie that was deeply influential to him. –Hubert Vigilla

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.