April movie preview: COVID-19 edition


Nothing new is coming to theaters next month. Which is truly wild to comprehend. The coronavirus has upended life as we know it, and the entertainment industry – movies theaters, theme parks, concerts, Broadway – has been hit especially hard.

Staying at home and sheltering in place to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 has made me realize how many things we do as a collective. Churches, restaurants, bars, weddings, schools and more have been shut down or cancelled.

Most entertainment is designed to be enjoyed collectively. I’ll never forget the roar of cheers and applause that erupted from my theater when Captain America caught Thor’s hammer on opening night of Avengers: Endgame. Or the tangible excitement in the air in the quiet seconds before the blast of John Williams’s Star Wars fanfare began to open The Force Awakens.

That’s not to say that I couldn’t enjoy those moments sitting at home by myself, but there’s something so special about sharing that joy and excitement with others, sometimes even strangers, for the first time.

In response to these unprecedented times, and with movie theaters across the country shut down, studios have made some difficult decisions that may change the movie industry forever. As the weekend box office reached zero, a handful of new releases were released on demand. I spent $20 last week to watch the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and the controversial thriller The Hunt. I enjoyed them both and felt justified in spending that money to watch them.

Both of those movies are examples of what could happen once the world gets back to some kind of normal. Neither The Hunt or Emma were expected to be blockbuster releases raking in hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re the kind of mid-range features that film festivals love and can develop a solid fan base. It’s these kinds of movies that may be relegated to on demand releases and streaming more regularly in a post-coronavirus world.

But then there are the movies that have been postponed because of the outbreak, including potentially some of the biggest movies of the year – Marvel’s Black Widow, Disney’s Mulan remake, A Quiet Place Part II, James Bond’s No Time to Die and the latest Fast and Furious installment F9. These are all absolutely movies that deserve to be seen in theaters with an audience. The biggest question now for these movies is where do they go in the release schedule? And will their new placements push smaller movies out of the way and onto streaming platforms instead?

Last year was a big win for original movies, like Parasite and Knives Out. It would be a shame to lose that creativity and imagination at the theater. I still believe in movie theaters and the value they provide to our lives.

So I guess what I’m saying is, take the time to watch Onward and Emma at home now, but when the theaters open back up, they’ll need you to support them. Go see Black Widow and No Time to Die on the biggest screen possible and share the joy and excitement with those around you. We’ll all need some of that.

March Movie Preview

We’re finally getting some good movies this month! March will be Disney’s first big tests for 2020 with the release of Pixar’s Onward and their live-action Mulan remake. Winter horror movies continue to be released and some of the first indie darlings will launch as well. Here are five movies I’m most excited for or intrigued by coming out this month.  

Onward (Mar. 6)

Rating: PG
Starring: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer

Two teenage elf brothers receive a gift from their deceased father and must go on an epic quest to bring him back for one final day.   

Why I’m excited: It’s Pixar, what more do you need? The more I’ve learned about this story, the more excited I get. It should be a heartfelt journey of family and saying goodbye. And casting Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as brothers was a genius move on Pixar’s part, too.   

See this if you liked: Up, Inside Out, Toy Story

First Cow (Mar. 6)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: John Magaro, Orion Hall, René Auberjonois

A lone explorer and a Chinese immigrant start a successful business with a special cow in the Oregon Territory.  

Why I’m excited: A24 has given us some of the best movies of the past decade, and just the title First Cow is enough to interest me in this movie. Other than that, I don’t know anything about this movie. But A24’s stories are often portraits of humanity, connection and the human experience that are full of emotion and heart.     

See this if you liked: Room, Moonlight, Lady Bird

The Hunt (Mar. 13)

Rating: R
Starring: Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank

Twelve strangers wake up in a mysterious clearing to find out they’re being hunted by a small group of wealthy elites and must fight back to survive.    

Why I’m excited: The Hunt was originally scheduled to come out last year but was put on hold after recent mass shootings. The film is supposed to be incredibly political and specifically targets the current political climate. It’s expected to make everyone angry, so I can’t wait to see what it actually says.

See this if you liked: Joker, Get Out, The Purge

A Quiet Place Part II (Mar. 20)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou

After a tragedy strikes their home, a family must fight for survival in a world of silence.

Why I’m excited: The first A Quiet Place was a surprising hit, and I really loved its interesting premise and how the characters were able to survive. All the actors were incredible, so I’m excited to see what they do next. Hopefully Part II doesn’t ruin the uniqueness of the original and is able to naturally build on the story.   

See this if you liked: A Quiet Place, Us, The Invisible Man  

Mulan (Mar. 27)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, Jet Li

Mulan takes her ailing father’s place in the Chinese army and must pose as a man to defy tradition and save her family and country.   

Why I’m excited: This Disney remake seems to be the first one that really has a point of existing. Other remakes have taken the original stories almost verbatim and changed as little as possible. Making Mulan a more epic and grounded war story should pay homage to the original Chinese legend as well as the Disney classic.

See this if you liked: Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), Cinderella (2015)

February Movie Preview

February is another slow month for movies. The Oscars will air and celebrate the best of 2019, but 2020 is off to a sluggish start. Surprisingly, February has become a window for new horror movies, and there are a few interesting ones being released this year. Plus, we’ll get the first big superhero blockbuster of the year. Here’s five of the most interesting movies coming out this month.  

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) [Feb. 7]

Rating: R
Starring: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, Ewan McGregor

After breaking up with the Joker, Harley Quin teams up with a group of formidable women to protect a young girl from a narcissistic crime lord.  

Why I’m excited: Margot Robbie really seems to love playing Harley Quinn. Coming off the lackluster Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey looks like it’s leaning much more into the comic book craziness. Birds of Prey is the first of several female-led comic book movies in 2020 and I can’t wait to see them all.  

See this if you liked: Suicide Squad, Justice League, Wonder Woman

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Feb. 14)

Rating: R
Starring: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel

A woman is commissioned to paint a wedding portrait for a wealthy bride-to-be, but their relationship develops into something much more than artist and subject.

Why I’m excited: This movie technically premiered in 2019, but it’s just now getting a wide release. A lot of professional critics I follow have listed this in their top 10 movies of the year. Last year I learned to appreciate foreign-language movies more, so I’m excited to see if this is just as good as everyone says.   

See this if you liked: Parasite, Call Me By Your Name

Sonic the Hedgehog (Feb. 14)

Rating: PG
Starring: James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey

Sonic the hedgehog teams up with an ex-police officer to evade capture by the evil Dr. Robotnik.   

Why I’m excited: Sonic infamously went through a complete character redesign last year after the visceral reaction to the first trailer. The new version looks much more like the original character. Jim Carrey looks like he’s returning to form with his Dr. Robotnik performance. I’ll see this just out of support for the visual effects team that completely redesigned the main character.   

See this if you liked: Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, Tomb Raider, Mortal Combat

Emma (Feb. 21)

Rating: PG
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy

Emma Woodhouse entangles herself in the romantic lives of her friends.

Why I’m excited: I hope this rides some of Little Women’s success. It similarly looks like it’s bringing a bit of modern comedic timing to the original story with shades of The Favourite as well.    

See this if you liked: Pride and Prejudice, The Favourite, Little Women

Wendy (Feb. 28)

Rating: PG
Starring: Devin France, Yashua Mack, Shay Walker

A young girl is taken to a mysterious island where children don’t age and befriends a young boy.  

Why I’m excited: This retelling of Peter Pan looks unique and visually interesting. The trailer gives off a younger Lord of the Flies vibe.

See this if you liked: Peter Pan, Beasts of the Southern Wild

January Movie Preview

2020 opens with a slow month for movies. Awards season kicks into full gear, so most movies released in January don’t get a lot of hype. One strong Oscar contender gets a wide release at the beginning of the month, but most of the other offerings aren’t expected to break any records. Here’s some of the most interesting releases this month.

1917 (Jan. 10)

Rating: R
Starring: George McKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Richard Madden, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch

In the midst of World War I, two soldiers must cross into enemy territory to deliver a message that could save thousands of troops.  

Why I’m excited: While technically a 2019 movie, it only gets a wide release this month so everyone can finally see it. Press for this movie has focused on how it was filmed to look like one long continuous take, which sounds fascinating. It’s already getting Oscar buzz, been named as one of the best movies of 2019 and has been nominated for a handful of Golden Globes.

See this if you liked: Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk, War Horse

Underwater (Jan. 10)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie

A team of researchers are trapped at the bottom of the ocean after an earthquake destroys their laboratory.  

Why I’m excited: This seems like a mildly interesting thriller/race-against-the-clock kind of movie. Setting the action at the bottom of the ocean is a fun choice – we still know so little of what’s actually down there. Kristen Stewart is riding a great wave right now, so we’ll see if people enjoy her in this as well.  

See this if you liked: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Abyss, Sphere

Like a Boss (Jan. 10)

Rating: R
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek

Two friends open a beauty company together, but their different business practices and their wealthy benefactor begin to complicate the relationship.  

Why I’m excited: Tiffany Haddish is one of the funniest actors working right now, and the trailers give her some great moments already. Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek are also incredibly talented, and I think the three of them will be fascinating to watch together.   

See this if you liked: Girls Trip, Bridesmaids, Neighbors

Dolittle (Jan. 17)

Rating: PG
Starring: Robert Downey Jr.

Dr. Dolittle, who has the ability to speak to animals, must set off on a quest for a cure to save the Queen of England.

Why I’m excited: What an interesting choice for RDJ to make following the biggest movie of all time (Avengers: Endgame). I remember the Eddie Murphy Dr. Dolittle movies from the 90s, but this seems much more fantastical than those. There’s an incredible cast lending their voices to Dolittle’s animals, from Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek and more. The trailers look truly bizarre, but it should be a fun movie for younger audiences.  

See this if you liked: Dr. Dolittle

The Gentlemen (Jan. 24)

Rating: R
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant

An American drug lord faces plots, schemes, bribes and blackmail from forces out to steal his empire.

Why I’m excited: Kingsman, is that you? The look of this movie – especially the poster designs – screams Kingsman. The trailers definitely give off that vibe as well, but The Gentlemen looks like it will go a bit darker than the Kingsman series. Director Guy Ritchie is coming off the billion-dollar high of Aladdin, and this movie has an interesting cast, so it should be a good time.

See this if you liked: Kingsman, Pain & Gain, Gold

December Movie Preview

December is one of the biggest months for movies outside of the summer blockbuster season. Awards hopefuls continue to get wide releases and Disney releases its final two blockbusters. There’s plenty to see for everyone, so here’s what I’m most excited about this month.

Jumanji: The Next Level (Dec. 13)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas

Four friends and two unlucky grandfathers get sucked back into the Jumanji video game where they must complete a new quest to escape once again.

Why I’m excited: The 2017 sequel to the original Jumanji was a surprise hit and turned out to be a pretty entertaining movie. The main cast was a lot of fun as the avatars for four teenagers. Hopefully they can strike twice with this new sequel.

See this if you liked: Jumanji, Zathura, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Bombshell (Dec. 13)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie

Three women who work at Fox News set out to expose the network’s CEO for sexual harassment allegations.

Why I’m excited: In what I’m sure will not be a controversial movie at all, Bombshell will certainly be interesting. I won’t be shocked if this is the beginning of a series of #MeToo movies that are made over the next few years. But with a leading cast of Theron, Kidman and Robbie, this looks ready to come out swinging. And Charlize Theron’s transformation into Megyn Kelly is frighteningly accurate.

See this if you liked: All the President’s Men, The Post, Spotlight

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Dec. 20)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels

The Resistance and the First Order, as well as the Jedi and the Sith, face off in climactic battles.

Why I’m excited: I’ve loved Star Wars since I was seven years old. The Rise of Skywalker has the not-at-all daunting task of wrapping up a 42-year-long story. The sequel trilogy has been one of the hottest topics in Hollywood over the past five years, so it will be fascinating to see how J.J. Abrams decides to bring the saga to a close.  

See this if you liked: Any Star Wars movie

Cats (Dec. 20)

Rating: PG
Starring: Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson

On one special night, the Jellicle cats must decide who will ascend to the Heaviside Layer.

Why I’m excited: Cats has repeatedly been called one of the weirdest musicals of all time, but it’s also one of the most successful. The character names are weird, the plot is weird, and nothing seems to make sense. The movie is already making waves for the absolutely insane effects of merging human beings with cats and it just all looks so bizarre that I’m here for it.  

See this if you liked: Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago

Little Women (Dec. 25)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothee Chalamet, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep

Based on the book by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women explores the lives of the four March sisters in post-Civil War New England.

Why I’m excited: Director Greta Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet were all part of 2017’s incredible Lady Bird, so bringing this team back together and adding Emma Watson, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep is a dream.

See this if you liked: Lady Bird, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility

November Movie Preview

November this year is stacked with highly anticipated movies coming out, and there’s a great mix so there’s something for everyone. I had a hard time just picking five movies to highlight. A ton of potential awards contenders are being released (The Irishman, Ford v Ferarri, Waves, Honey Boy, Knives Out) as well as some fun action and family adventures (Terminator: Dark Fate, Charlie’s Angels, Frozen II).  Here are the five movies coming out this month that I’m most excited about.

Harriet (Nov. 1)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae, Joe Alwyn

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman escapes slavery and returns to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.  

Why I’m excited: It’s insane that there hasn’t been a movie about Harriet Tubman until now. Stories like hers need to be broadcast more widely, so I’m excited to learn more about her. Cynthia Erivo is phenomenally talented and it’s evident that she has taken this role seriously and wants to do Harriet justice.

See this if you liked: 12 Years a Slave, Glory, Amistad

Last Christmas (Nov. 8)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Emma Thompson

An unlucky young woman takes department store during the holidays where she meets a charming mystery man who changes her life.  

Why I’m excited: Emilia Clarke spent the last 10 years as Daenerys Targaryan on Game of Thrones, so to make the jump from high fantasy drama to holiday rom com will be quite something. Henry Golding is still riding the high from his breakout performance in last year’s Crazy Rich Asians, so he and Clarke together will be some great fun.

See this if you liked: The Holiday, Four Christmases, Love Actually

Frozen II (Nov. 22)

Rating: PG
Starring: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown

After the events of the first movie, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf must journey to discover the origin of Elsa’s magic.

Why I’m excited: The original Frozen took the world by storm when it came out (you’re still probably singing “Let It Go”). It was a unique story with fun characters, and the sequel looks like it’s focused on expanding the world and answering questions leftover from the first movie. I just hope Jonathan Groff gets to sing a full song this time.

See this if you liked: Frozen, Moana, Brave, Tangled

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Nov. 22)

Starring: Tom Hanks

A cynical journalist takes an assignment to profile beloved television host Fred Rogers. As the reporter spends time with Rogers, his perspective and reflections on his own life begin to change.

Why I’m excited: Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. That’s it. What else do you need?

See this if you liked: Sully, Forrest Gump, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Knives Out (Nov. 27)

Rating: PG-13
Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer

A wealthy crime novelist celebrates his 85th birthday with his dysfunctional family. But the day after the party, the patriarch is found dead. Detectives are called to investigate, and everyone is a suspect.

Why I’m excited: This is by far my most anticipated movie for the rest of the year. Pairing Rian Johnson with this ridiculous cast and a murder mystery is a formula for success. It’s an original story that’s making a lot of waves, which is becoming rare nowadays. The reviews so far are already great, which makes me even more excited. Plus, Chris Evans.

See this if you liked: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Murder on the Orient Express, Clue, Death on the Nile

October Movie Preview

Movies hoping to be in the run for Oscars and other major awards wait to be released until the end of the year so they’re still fresh on the minds of the public and industry voters when awards season begins. Some major awards hopefuls are coming out this month, aiming to rule the box office until Disney comes back with the one-two punch of Frozen 2 and Star Wars in November and December. Here are my five most anticipated movies for October 2019.

Joker (Oct. 4)
Rating: R
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy

A dark, psychological thriller with a new origin story about Batman’s greatest villain. Joker follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian, and his descent into a life of crime.

Why I’m excited: Oh boy, this movie is already causing controversy and getting tons of Oscar buzz. It will certainly be a unique take on the character, and it could be a major turning point for comic book and superhero movies. I’m interested to see the response from comic book fans, the general audience, and the industry.

See this if you liked: The Dark Knight trilogy, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy

The Addams Family (Oct. 11)
Rating: PG
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Bette Midler, Allison Janney

An updated tale of the creepy and kooky Addams family. After moving to New Jersey, the Addams family must face new neighbors that don’t see eye to eye with their way of life.

Why I’m excited: The 90s Addams Family movies are pretty iconic, but doing a new version as an animated movie should allow for some new and interesting ideas. Plus the voice cast is so impressive. As it’s the only family-friendly movie coming out in October, I assume it will do well at the box office, regardless of reviews.

See this if you liked: The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values, Sherlock Gnomes

Zombieland: Double Tap (Oct. 18)
Rating: R
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson

In the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a makeshift family travels across the country fighting zombies and coming into contact with other survivors.

Why I’m excited: The original Zombieland is an incredibly fun movie. Ten years after the first one was released, Double Tap looks just as wild and unruly. The first trailer hilariously reminds you that these four actors are incredibly talented and have all been nominated for or won Oscars, and the fact that they all came back for this is a testament to the first movie. Definitely one of my most anticipated movies of the rest of the year.

See this if you liked: Zombieland

Jojo Rabbit (Oct. 18)
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell

During World War II, a young Hitler Youth recruit comes to terms with the Nazi regime surrounding him. With an imaginary Adolf Hitler as his main companion, he learns his mother is secretly hiding Jews and his whole world turns upside down.

Why I’m excited: This is quite possibly one of the most bizarre ideas for a movie I’ve ever heard. But with Taika Waititi directing and playing an imaginary Hitler? That’s something I need to see. The movie won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and is already creating some controversy, so it should definitely generate some interesting conversations.

See this if you liked: Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows

The Current War (Oct. 25)
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult

Edison. Westinghouse. Tesla. Today we know them as icons of the electric age, but The Current War tells the story of their war to power the modern world. They put their competing systems to the test as they fight to power the Chicago World’s Fair.

Why I’m excited: I’m not expecting spectacular things from this movie, but the cast is fantastic. It’s based on real events, but time will tell if it’s enough to stay engaging. It looks like it wants to be Oscar bait, but I would doubt it gets the recognition it wants.

See this if you liked: The Prestige, Argo

September Movie Preview

September is usually a quiet month for movies, sitting in between the bombast of the summer blockbuster season and the release of awards contenders in the winter. But from horror to drama to animated family fun, there’s something for everyone. Check out the list below for some of the biggest and most interesting films to see this month.

It Chapter Two (Sept. 6)
Rating: R
Starring: Bill Skarsgard, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa

Set 27 years after the events of 2017’s It, Chapter Two follows the Loser’s Club as they return to Derry to face the fears of their past. Bill Skarsgard returns as Pennywise the clown along with the young cast, including Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam) and Sophia Lillis (Sharp Objects). James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and Isaiah Mustafa portray the adult versions of the Loser’s Club.

My take: The first It received overwhelmingly positive reviews and is currently the highest-grossing horror film of all time. As someone who does not like horror movies, the first movie was surprisingly entertaining. I’m not familiar with the original story, so I’m interested to see how it all ends.

See this if you liked: It, Pet Sematary, Carrie, The Shining

The Goldfinch (Sept. 13)
Rating: R
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Nicole Kidman

Theo Decker suffered a terrible tragedy when he was 13, changing the course of his life forever. This coming-of-age story takes Theo through grief, guilt, love and redemption. Along his journey through the world of art crime, a small painting of a goldfinch is Theo’s only source of hope. Ansel Elgort stars as Theo and leads an all-star cast including Sarah Paulson, Jeffrey Wright and Nicole Kidman.

My take: This is a stellar cast and looks like an interesting premise. The trailer looks beautiful as well. Wouldn’t be surprised if this is a contender come awards season.

See this if you liked: Brooklyn, The Fault in Our Stars, Gone Girl

Hustlers (Sept. 13)
Rating: R
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Cardi B

A group of strippers, led by Jennifer Lopez, take matters into their own hands as the sex industry declines during the late 2000s financial crisis. They end up hustling dozens of wealthy men before it all goes wrong.  

My take: What a cast! The fact that this is based on a true story makes it all the more compelling. I’m hopeful the cast can balance out a truly bizarre story.

See this if you liked: Bad Moms, Bridesmaids

Downton Abbey (Sept. 20)
Rating: PG
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Elizabeth McGovern, Imelda Staunton, Maggie Smith

A continuation of the British television phenomenon, Downton Abbey follows the Crawley family and their household as they prepare for a royal visit by King George V and Queen Mary. Most of the original cast from the original award-winning series returns, including multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winner Maggie Smith.

My take: I absolutely loved the original series, so this is one of my most anticipated movies of this year. I’ll be interested to see how they introduce the massive cast for a movie-going audience who may not all be familiar with the premise. Maggie Smith is the GOAT.

See this if you liked: Downton Abbey (the series), Shakespeare in Love, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Favourite

Ad Astra (Sept. 20)
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland

Brad Pitt stars as astronaut Roy McBride, who travels into deep space in search of his father and solve a mystery that threatens the survival of mankind.

My take: I’m a sucker for space movies, and this one looks visually stunning. This is definitely going to be an Oscar contender, and as one of the last holdovers from the pre-Disney Fox era, all eyes will be on the critical reception as well as the box office.

See this if you liked: First Man, Apollo 13, Gravity, Interstellar

Abominable (Sept. 27)
Rating: PG
Starring: Chloe Bennet, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Michelle Wong

Three young friends encounter a young Yeti in Shanghai and embark on an adventure to reunite him with his family before he is captured by a wealthy collector and zoologist.

My take: This is the only family-friendly release this month, so I’m sure that will help its numbers. DreamWorks is hit-or-miss for me, but I hope it’s more How to Train Your Dragon than it is Shark Tale.

See this if you liked: How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Trolls