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MoviesRecapsNovember 2019 Movie Preview

dannythemoviemanNovember 2, 2019

November is always an exciting month in the world of cinephilia, and is usually the point where the buzziest titles are released to the general public. Films that get love at both early guild screenings and film festivals get their time to shine, and it seems like this November is no exception in terms of quality. We’ve got some early best picture front-runners (The Irishman, Marriage Story), launch titles for some major new streaming services (The Elephant Queen, Lady and the Tramp), high profile original content (Knives Out, Dark Waters) and the occasional big budget franchise film too (Doctor Sleep, Terminator: Dark Fate). It may sound like a broken record at this point, but there is truly something for everything this month with the most diverse monthly slate in ages. Welcome to our November 2019 movie preview, where we let you know about the noteworthy releases of the month and follow them up with 5 top picks. Hope to see you at the movies!

Noteworthy Releases

Harriet – November 1st (Theatrical)

(review)

The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. (IMDb)

Directed by Kasi Lemmons. Written by Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard.

Starring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn and Janelle Monae.


Motherless Brooklyn – November 1st (Theatrical)

(review)
Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Edward Norton.
Starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Alec Baldwin, Leslie Mann, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Kenneth Williams and Fisher Stevens.


Terminator: Dark Fate – November 1st (Theatrical)
Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future. (IMDb)

Directed by Tim Miller. Written by David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray.

Starring Mackenzie Davis, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gabriel Luna.


The Elephant Queen – November 1st (Apple TV+)
Athena is a mother who will do everything in her power to protect her herd when they are forced to leave their waterhole. This epic journey, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, takes audiences across the African savannah, and into the heart of an elephant family. A tale of love, loss and coming home. (IMDb)

Directed by Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone.

Narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor.


American Son – November 1st (Netflix)
An estranged couple reunite in a Florida police station to help find their missing teenage son. (IMDb)

Directed by Kenny Leon. Written by Christopher Demos-Brown.

Starring Kerry Washington.


Frankie – November 8th (Theatrical)
Three generations grappling with a life-changing experience during one day of a vacation in Sintra, Portugal, a historic town known for its dense gardens and fairy-tale villas and palaces. (IMDb)

Directed by Ira Sachs. Written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias.

Starring Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei and Greg Kinnear.


Last Christmas – November 8th (Theatrical)
Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Her last date with disaster? That of having accepted to work as Santa’s elf for a department store. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true. (IMDb)

Directed by Paul Feig. Written by Emma Thompson and Bryon Kimmings.

Starring Thompson, Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Rob Delaney.


Midway – November 8th (Theatrical)
The story of the Battle of Midway, told by the leaders and the sailors who fought it. (IMDb)

Directed by Roland Emmerich. Written by Wes Tooke.

Starring Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Ed Skrein, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Aaron Eckhart and Nick Jonas.


Playing with Fire – November 8th (Theatrical)
A crew of rugged firefighters meet their match when attempting to rescue three rambunctious kids. (IMDb)

Directed by Andy Fickman. Written by Dan Ewen and Matt Lieberman.

Starring John Cena, Judy Greer, Brianna Hildebrand, Keegan Michael-Key and John Leguizamo.


The Irishman – November 8th (Theatrical), November 27th (Netflix)
A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa. (IMDb)

Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Steven Zaillian.

Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Jesse Plemons, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Sebastian Maniscalco and Ray Romano.


Let It Snow – November 8th (Netflix)
In a small town on Christmas Eve, a snowstorm brings together a group of young people. (IMDb)

Directed by Luke Snellin. Written by Victoria Strouse.

Starring Isabela Moner, Joan Cusack, Kiernan Shipka, Odeya Rush, Jacob Batalon, Shameik Moore, Miles Robbins and Mason Gooding.


Lady and the Tramp – November 12th (Disney+)
CGI and live-action re-imagining of the 1955 Disney classic. (IMDb)

Directed by Charlie Bean. Written by Andrew Bujalski and Kari Granlund.

Starring Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Sam Elliot, Kiersey Clemons, Benedict Wong, Janelle Monae, F. Murray Abraham, Ken Jeong and Thomas Mann.


Noelle – November 12th (Disney+)
Santa’s daughter finds herself having to take over the family business. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Marc Lawrence.

Starring Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader, Billy Eichner, Shirley MacLaine, Julie Hagerty and Ron Funches.


Earthquake Bird – November 15th (Netflix)
An enigmatic translator with a dark past is brought in for questioning after an ex-pat friend, who came between her and her photographer boyfriend, ends up missing and presumed dead. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Wash Westmoreland.

Starring Alicia Vikander and Riley Keough.


Charlie’s Angels – November 15th (Theatrical)
When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie’s Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all.

Directed by Elizabeth Banks. Written by Banks, Semi Chellas, Craig Mazin, Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro and Jay Basu.

Starring Banks, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Sam Claflin, Noah Centineo, Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou and Nat Faxon.


Ford v. Ferrari – November 15th (Theatrical)

(review)
American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. (IMDb)

Directed by James Mangold. Written by Jason Keller, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth.

Starring Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Noah Jupe, Jon Bernthal, Tracy Letts and Catriona Balfe.


The Good Liar – November 15th (Theatrical)

Career con artist Roy Courtnay can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish online. As Betty opens her home and life to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life. (IMDb)

Directed by Bill Condon. Written by Jeffrey Hatcher.

Starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.


Klaus – November 15th (Netflix)
A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg’s new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions. (IMDb)

Directed by Sergio Pablos. Written by Pablos, Jim Mahoney and Zach Lewis.

Featuring the voices of Rashida Jones, Joan Cusack, Jason Schwartzman and J.K. Simmons.


21 Bridges – November 22nd (Theatrical)
An embattled NYPD detective is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy. (IMDb)

Directed by Brian Kirk. Written by Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael Carnahan.

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons, Keith David and Stephan James.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – November 22nd (Theatrical)

(review)
Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. (IMDb)

Directed by Marielle Heller. Written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.

Starring Tom Hanks, Christine Lahti, Matthew Rhys, Tammy Blanchard and Chris Cooper.


Dark Waters – November 22nd (Theatrical)
A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution. (IMDb)

Directed by Todd Haynes. Written by Mario Correa.

Starring Anne Hathaway, Mark Ruffalo, Bill Pullman, Bill Camp, Victor Garber and William Jackson Harper.


Frozen II – November 22nd (Theatrical)
Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom. (IMDb)

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Written by Lee.

Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Jason Ritter, Jonathan Groff, Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Tudyk, Sterling K. Brown, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Ciaran Hinds, Alfred Molina and Martha Plimpton.


The Report – November 22nd (Theatrical), November 29th (Amazon Prime)

(review)
Idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones, tasked by his boss to lead an investigation into the CIA’s post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program, uncovers shocking secrets. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Scott Z. Burns.
Starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Corey Stoll, John Rothman, Maura Tierney and Michael C. Hall.


Atlantics – November 22nd (Theatrical), November 29th (Netflix)
In a popular suburb of Dakar, workers on the construction site of a futuristic tower, without pay for months, decide to leave the country by the ocean for a better future. Among them is Souleiman, the lover of Ada, promised to another. (IMDb)

Directed by Mati Diop. Written by Diop and Olivier Demangel.

Starring Abdou Balde, Aminata Kane, and Ibrahima Mbaye.


Queen & Slim – November 27th (Theatrical)
A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over. (IMDb)

Directed by Melina Matsoukas. Written by Lena Waithe.
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner Smith, Chloe Sevigny, Bokeem Woodbine and Flea.


I Lost My Body – November 29th (Netflix)
A story of Naoufel, a young man who is in love with Gabrielle. In another part of town, a severed hand escapes from a dissection lab, determined to find its body again. (IMDb)

Directed by Jeremy Clapin. Written by Clapin and Guillame Laurant.
Featuring the voices of Dev Patel, Alia Shawkat, and George Wendt.


The Two Popes – November 29th (Theatrical), December 20th (Netflix)

(review)
Behind Vatican walls, the conservative Pope Benedict and the liberal future Pope Francis must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church. (IMDb)

Directed by Fernando Mereilles. Written by Anthony McCarten.

Starring Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins.


Varda by Agnes – November 29th (Theatrical)
Agnès Varda, photographer, installation artist and pioneer of the Nouvelle Vague, is an institution of French cinema. Taking a seat on a theatre stage, she uses photos and film excerpts to provide an insight into her unorthodox oeuvre. (IMDb)

Directed by and featuring Agnès Varda.


Dan’s Top Five Picks of the Month

5. Deerskin – November 1st (Theatrical)
A man’s obsession with his designer deerskin jacket causes him to blow his life savings and turn to crime. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Quentin Dupieux.

Starring Jean Dujardin and Adèle Haenel.

Why You Should See It: Quentin Dupieux isn’t really known for being an accessible filmmaker, nor known well at all, but Deerskin’s buzz out of Cannes and Toronto could put him into a spotlight that he hasn’t got an opportunity to be in before. Also, imagine NOT being sold on a movie about a dude who wants to kill everyone on the planet who owns a jacket!


4. Doctor Sleep – November 8th (Theatrical)

(review)
Years following the events of “The Shining,” a now-adult Dan Torrance meets a young girl with similar powers as his and tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children with powers to remain immortal. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Mike Flanagan.

Starring Rebecca Ferguson, Ewan McGregor, Jacob Tremblay and Bruce Greenwood.

Why You Should See It: Flanagan has a tough balancing act to complete here since he has to please fans of his own, fans of both Stephen King’s The Shining and Doctor Sleep, as well as fan’s of Kubrick’s version of The Shining, but he does it with absolute grace. A truly absorbing escape for it’s entire 2.5 hour running time, Doctor Sleep is definitely one to seek out if you love a good scare!


3. Waves – November 22nd (Theatrical)

(review)
Traces the journey of a suburban African-American family – led by a well-intentioned but domineering father – as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults.

Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr, Alexa Demie, Sterling K. Brown, Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Clifton Collins Jr.

Why You Should See It: Visionary American independent Trey Edward Shults returns after his two previous smashes Krisha and It Comes at Night with something completely different from the both of those, for multiple reasons. This is Shult’s most emotional, most creative and overall most hard-hitting project yet, and is one we’ll definitely be talking about for months to come.


2. Marriage Story – November 22nd (Theatrical), December 6th (Netflix)

(review)
Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Noah Baumbach.

Starring Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Ray Lioatta, Alan Alda, Wallace Shawn and Merritt Wever.

Why You Should See It: What will likely be Noah Baumbach’s biggest venture into the mainstream yet, Marriage Story might be one of the most heartbreaking portrayals of divorce on film in recent memory. It also has one of the best ensembles of the year as well. It’s difficult to discuss why this is so special without ruining so many emotional moments, but just be prepared for this one to change you.


1. Knives Out – November 27th (Theatrical)

(review)
A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Rian Johnson.

Starring Ana De Armas, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Katherine Langford, Michael Shannon, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, LaKeith Stanfield and Noah Segan.

Why You Should See It: The audacity Lionsgate had to give Rian Johnson this much creative control after one of the most controversial movies of all time is pretty much unprecedented, and DAMN does it pay off. You’ve never seen such a simple genre portrayed with this level of complexity, you’ve never seen something so simultaneously captivating and funny, and this is no doubt one of the best ensemble casts of ALL time. Don’t sleep on this one!


Follow me on twitter @daniel_azbel and on letterboxd @danthemovieman.

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