Fall Movie Preview: Scorsese’s latest, locally shot rom-com, Taylor Swift highlight fall movie season

A look ahead at some of the movies that will open in theaters during the fourth quarter


September is one of the oddest months in the year for movie theaters and film-goers.

The summer blockbuster season is over, but it’s still too early for the Oscar hopefuls to begin making their debuts. It’s sort of the calm between two storms.

That makes it a decent time to take a look ahead at some of the movies that will be opening in theaters during the fourth quarter, and while most of Hollywood remains on strike at the moment, the docket for movie theaters is loaded with promising films of all sorts.

Here is a summary of most the movies that will be making their way into theaters over the next four months. Opening dates are tentative and subject to change.

A Haunting in Venice (Sept. 15)

Kenneth Branagh returns for his third go at Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot in this star-studded adaptation of “Hallowe’en Party.” A murder during a seance keeps the oddly mustachioed detective from retiring to see if he can sleuth out the culprit before the murder strikes again. The first two films in the series have been a bit dry. Perhaps the third try will produce a more succulent dish?

Dumb Money (Sept. 15)

A killer cast — Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson, Shailene Woodley, Nick Offerman, America Ferrera among others — and a stick-it-to-the-man plot make this biopic by director Craig Gillespie (“I Tonya”) one of my most anticipated releases of the fall.

The Creator (Sept. 29)

Gareth Edwards (“Rogue One”) directs this near-future sci-fi tale in which machines, driven by artificial intelligence, have declared war on humanity, and only a lone soldier (John David Washington) has the opportunity to turn the tide of the war by destroying the AI’s secret weapon — a young girl.

Pete Davidson and Paul Dano in Dumb Money (Black Bear Pictures)

Foe (Oct. 6)

More sci-fi from director Garth Davis. His story centers around a farmer named Junior (Paul Mescal) who must leave his pregnant wife, Henrietta (Saoirse Ronan) to go on a two-year space mission in hopes of saving Earth from an eco-disaster. No worries, though. Junior will be replaced by a robot duplicate while he is off in space.

Exorcist: Believer (Oct. 6)

The creatives that brought you the latest “Halloween” trilogy, are now giving the Devil his due with a sequel to William Friedkin’s 1973 classic “The Exorcist.” Ellen Burstyn returns as Chris MacNeil, the mother of Regan, the character that was possessed in the original film. This time, though, there are two pea-soup spitters as two junior-high aged girls and their families have to deal with the Devil inside. This is supposed to be the first of a trilogy.

Anatomy of a Fall (Oct. 13)

A husband is found splattered in the snow after falling or being pushed from the second floor of a house in the French Alps. The suspect is the wife, and the film, which won higher honors at the Cannes Film Festival this year, is about the trial.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Oct. 13)

This is a concert film recorded during Taylor Swift’s record breaking Eras Tour, and the pre-sale of tickets for the concert film is also setting records.

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple Studios)

What Happens Later (Oct. 13)

In this rom-com shot in Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport at Highfil, Meg Ryan directs and stars along with David Duchovny as former lovers stranded overnight in an airport. As they revisit their past, they begin to consider what might happen in the future.

Killers of the Flower Moon (Oct. 20)

Martin Scorsese’s latest film may be the most anticipated of the season. It certainly is for me. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Ernest Burkhart, a man who has mob ties through his big-shot uncle (Robert DeNiro), but is married to a wealthy Osage woman, whose family has experienced mysterious deaths and murder in this film set in Oklahoma as Native American culture clashes with jazz-age politics during the early 20th century.

Pain Hustlers (Oct. 20)

Director David Yates of Harry Potter movie fame directs this satirical send-up of the pharmaceutical sales industry as Emily Blunt’s character Liz Drake is duped into to becoming a salesperson for a company that is tied into white-collar crime. The standout cast also features Chris Evans, Andy Garcia, Catherine O’Hara, D’arcy James, and Jay Duplass.

Priscilla (Oct. 27)

Director Sofia Coppola offers the other side of the Elvis Presley story from the vantage point of his young bride Priscilla in the film that recounts the legend from his wife’s standpoint. Jacob Elordi plays Elvis with Caile Spaeny starring as Priscilla in this film, based on the memoir “Elvis and Me.”

Holdovers (Oct. 27)

Paul Giamatti reunites with his “Sideways” director Alexander Payne for this film set during winter break at a prestigious prep school where a cantankerous professor (Giamatti) is stuck on campus with a troublemaking pupil (Dominic Sessa), and the school’s sassy head cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph).

Brie Larson in The Marvels (Marvel Studios)

The Marvels (Nov. 10)

Nia DaCosta (“Candyman”) directs this teaming of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), teenage Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and Captain Marvel II (Teyonah Pharis) from Disney Plus’ “WandaVision” in this film in which they battle the female alien warlord Dar Benn in the latest Marvel super-hero flick.

The Killer (Nov. 10)

Based on a French crime comic book about an assassin, who is going crazy, director David Fincher teams with Michael Fassbender, who plays the hitman who is struggling with his sanity. Tilda Swinton also stars in this Netflix movie that might get a theatrical release.

Dream Scenario (Nov. 10)

Nicolas Cage stars as an otherwise ordinary man who begins making creepy appearances in the dreams of millions of other people in this A24 freak fest, directed by Kristoffer Borgli.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Nov. 17)

The Hunger Games return to the big screen in this prequel in which Rachel Zegler plays the hero Lucy with Tom Blyth as her conniving mentor Coriolanus Snow. Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage add star power to the cast of this seemingly never-ending dystopian epic.

Ariana DeBose in Wish (Disney)

Next Goal Wins (Nov. 17)

Take Waititi directs Michael Fassbender as a Dutch soccer coach hired to whip an American Soma soccer squad into shape in this inspiring underdog tale.

Wish (Nov. 22)

Disney’s latest animated musical fantasy is about 17-year-old Asha, who wishes upon a star, and it answers in a way only a Disney hero can.

Napoleon (Nov. 22)

Ridley Scott directs Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby in this historical epic about the great French military strategist who sought to rule the world along with his soulmate Josephine.

Austin Butler in The Bikeriders (20th Century Studios)

Maestro (Nov. 22)

Writer-director-actor Bradley Cooper offers his take on the life of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, one of the 20th century’s premier figures in classical music. Carrie Mulligan co-stars with a cast that includes Jeremy Strong, Maya Hawke, Matt Bomer and Sarah Sliverman.

Saltburn (Nov. 24)

Barry Keough plays a working-class Oxford student befriended by a rich classmate (Jacob Elordi) in this film about their escapades during summer break at the latter’s posh country estate where Keough’s ambition and manipulatory skills push him up the social ladder at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.

The Bikeriders (Dec. 1)

Writer-director Jeff Nichols offers a gritty Arthurian-type tale starring Tom Hardy as the leader of a biker gang struggling to maintain control of his organization while new gang member (Austin Butler) takes up with his old lady (Jodie Comer) in this film that is drawing comparisons to “The Godfather.”

Leave the World Behind (Dec. 8)

This paranoid apocalyptic thriller stars Ethan Hake and Julia Roberts as a couple with kids who have rented out a Long Island house for a vacation when a mysterious coast-wide blackout hits that forces the house’s owners (Mahershala Ali and Myhal’la Herrold) to return home as things begin to get tense.

Poor Things (Dec. 8)

Director Yorgos Lanthimos puts a feminist twist on Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” in this satire that stars Emma Stone as a Victorian-era woman who escapes an abusive situation by death only to be brought back to life. Well sort of. With the brain of her unborn baby now in her skull instead of her own, she’s not altogether herself. It’s an absolutely creepy updating of the classic yarn that has become all too familiar after so many retellings. The twists in this film, which co-stars Mark Ruffalo, Jerrod Carmichael, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley and Hanna Schygulla, might make it worth it.

Wonka (Dec. 15)

Timothy Chalamet stars in this prequel to the Willy Wonka films. Paul King, who who made the delightful Paddington movies, directs this musical comedy that gives us the origin of world’s most famous chocolatier.

Jim Carter, Rakhee Thakrar, and Timothée Chalamet in Wonka (Heyday Films)

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec. 20)

The DCEU comes to an end with this sequel that has been five-years in the making and included three sets of reshoots. Rumors are that it tested poorly with advance audiences after three different cuts. A sad way to say goodbye to the first iteration of big-screen Aquaman. But the brand new DCU is already being plotted by James Gunn and his co-studio head Peter Safran. Jason Mamoa is rumored to have a role to play in the revamped universe whether this film does swimmingly or not as the interstellar hitman Lobo, perhaps debuting in Gunn’s reboot “Superman: Legacy,” scheduled for 2025.

The Iron Claw (Dec. 22)

Named after the famous finishing hold of wrestling patriarch Fritz Von Erich, this film details the tragic story of the Von Erich brothers, Kevin (Zac Effron), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White), and David (Harris Dickinson) as they struggled with the fame, popularity, and demands of being a part of the preeminent family of Texas professional wrestling in the 1970s and ‘80s. Maura Tierney, Lily James, and Holt McCallany co-star in the bio-pic.

The Color Purple (Dec. 25)

This is the big-screen take on the Broadway musical adaptation of the Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Alice Walker’s classic book. Whew, that’s a lot of adapting. But this film featuring Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Coleman Domingo, Halle Bailey, H.E.R., Danielle Brooks, Ciara, Jon Batiste, David Alan Grier, Louis Gossett Jr., and Deon Cole is a star-studded talent showcase, directed by Blitz Bazawule, that is sure to garner a ton of Oscar attention.

Ferrari (Dec. 25)

This all-star affair features Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari, the race driver and company head behind the famous line of automobiles and race cars, during a tumultuous three-day period when his company’s financial health is on the line just before the Mille Miglia race. If his team doesn’t win, his business will be insolvent. Penelope Cruz plays his wife Laura, while Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey, Jack O’Connell, and Sarah Golden co-star in the film directed by Michael Mann, his first movie in eight years.

Fantasia Barrino in The Color Purple (Ambling Entertainment)

New in Local Theaters – Sept. 8, 2023

  • The Nun II (R) 1 hr. 50 min. (trailer)
    (AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle, Malco Towne, Skylight)
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (PG-13) 1 hr. 32 min. (trailer)
    (AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle, Malco Towne, Skylight)
  • Aristotle and Dante (PG) 1 hr. 36 min. (trailer)
    (Malco Razorback, Malco Pinnacle)