30 Must-Watch Movies This Month

As the autumn leaves start to fall, it’s the perfect time to cozy up and enjoy some great films. The fall season brings a wave of new releases to both theaters and streaming services, providing a wealth of cinematic options for movie enthusiasts. We’ve compiled a list of 30 movies that you should consider watching from September 1 to December 31. Some are already in theaters, while others are highly anticipated upcoming releases. Whether you’re a fan of documentaries, dramas, comedies, or horror, this list has something for everyone. And if you’re more into TV series, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with a separate list.

New Films Worth Watching

1. “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (Now streaming on Max)

“Donyale Luna: Supermodel” delves into the captivating life story of Donyale Luna, one of the first Black models to grace the covers of both Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in Europe during the 1960s. This documentary showcases Luna’s journey, illustrating how her groundbreaking achievements left an indelible mark on the fashion industry.

2. “My Love Affair with Marriage” (In select theaters in LA and NYC)

Animated movies are often underestimated, but “My Love Affair with Marriage” challenges this stereotype. The film explores a young girl’s quest to break free from tradition and discover her own identity, making it a poignant coming-of-age story that resonates with audiences of all ages.

3. “Cassandro” (In theaters and streaming on Prime Video)

Gael García Bernal brings the inspiring and lesser-known story of Saúl Armendáriz to life. Armendáriz, a gay Mexican American wrestler, achieved remarkable success in the ’80s and ’90s. “Cassandro” not only highlights his journey but also delves into the complexities of his life, delivering a heartfelt narrative.

4. “When Evil Lurks” (In theaters, streaming on Shudder)

“When Evil Lurks” is a chilling horror film set in Argentina. The plot follows two brothers navigating a world overrun by demons as they strive to protect their families and loved ones. It’s a gripping tale of survival and the lengths one would go to shield their loved ones from malevolent forces.

5. “Strange Way of Life” (In theaters)

Pedro Almodóvar’s new short film, “Strange Way of Life,” features compelling characters and a nuanced exploration of their complex relationships. Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke deliver exceptional performances as former lovers whose coincidental reunion unearths old tensions and new challenges.

6. “The Matthew Shepard Story: An American Hate Crime” (Streaming on Discovery+)

This documentary revisits the tragic 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, a hate crime that sparked discussions about prejudice and discrimination in the United States. Through interviews with queer celebrities, those who knew Shepard, and investigators, the film provides a thoughtful analysis of this pivotal moment in American history.

7. “Anatomy of a Fall” (In theaters)

Writer-director Justine Triet’s powerful drama dissects the fragile dynamics of a marital relationship following the death of a spouse. “Anatomy of a Fall” is a thought-provoking exploration of love, grief, and the intricacies of human emotions.

8. “The Persian Version” (In theaters)

Maryam Keshavarz’s dramedy, “The Persian Version,” uncovers the unlikely connections between a traditional Iranian mother and her fiercely independent American daughter. As they navigate their intersecting identities, the film offers a heartwarming examination of self-discovery, transcending cultural boundaries and generations.

9. “Milli Vanilli” (Streaming on Paramount+)

“Milli Vanilli” is a documentary that breaks free from the nostalgia trap, diving deep into the meteoric rise and dramatic fall of the R&B duo. The film unearths the controversy surrounding their lip-syncing scandal and provides a comprehensive look at their musical journey.

10. “Killers of the Flower Moon” (In theaters)

Martin Scorsese’s epic “Killers of the Flower Moon” meticulously portrays the Osage murders in 1920s Oklahoma. This historically significant film, with the involvement of Osage Nation consultants, sheds light on the orchestrated cultural massacre and features an outstanding performance by Lily Gladstone, a talented actor of Blackfeet and Nimíipuu heritage.

11. “Rustin” (In theaters, on Netflix Nov. 17)

Bayard Rustin, a civil rights activist who stood alongside Martin Luther King Jr., finally gets his due in “Rustin.” The film stars Colman Domingo, an underrated talent, and offers a glimpse into the complex and influential figure Rustin was, as well as the pivotal role he played in the civil rights movement.

12. “Priscilla” (In theaters)

Sofia Coppola’s latest film explores the life of a young Priscilla Presley and her tumultuous relationship with Elvis. Based on Priscilla’s memoir, the film provides an unvarnished look at their marriage, including Elvis’s controlling and abusive behavior. It’s a biopic that challenges conventional narratives and promises a fresh perspective.

13. “It’s a Wonderful Knife” (In theaters Nov. 10)

Horror-comedy gets a unique twist with a slasher take on the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This fresh interpretation replaces the heartwarming holiday tale with a suspenseful plot, as a young woman discovers that the town she believed was safe is still haunted by a killer she thought was defeated two years ago.

14. “May December” (In select theaters Nov. 17, on Netflix Dec. 1)

Meg Ryan’s return to romantic comedies is an exciting prospect. In “May December,” she not only stars but also directs and co-writes the film. Paired with David Duchovny, the two find themselves stuck at an airport, promising a charming and humorous love story.

15. “Dream Scenario” (In theaters Nov. 22)

In a culture where conformity often reigns, director Kristoffer Borgli’s “Dream Scenario” challenges the status quo. This satirical take on cancel culture delves into the complexities of scapegoating and its impact on society, offering a thought-provoking commentary on modern social dynamics.

16. “Maestro” (In select theaters Nov. 22, on Netflix Dec. 20)

“Maestro” has generated significant buzz well before its release, primarily due to Bradley Cooper’s multifaceted role as director, writer, and star. The film explores the life of composer Leonard Bernstein, artfully balancing the exploration of both queer and heteronormative spaces. Cooper’s approach is poised to make a profound impact on the cinematic landscape.

17. “All of Us Strangers” (In theaters Dec. 22)

All of Us Strangers” is a heart-wrenching blend of romance and the supernatural. Directed by Andrew Haigh, it follows Adam, a screenwriter who encounters his deceased parents, still alive and well, when he visits his childhood home. Andrew Scott’s portrayal of Adam, alongside Paul Mescal, promises a poignant exploration of love, loss, and the uncanny.

18. “La Chimera” (In theaters TBD)

“La Chimera” is a period drama directed by Alice Rohrwacher, featuring Josh O’Connor speaking Italian. The film revolves around a group of archaeology enthusiasts who unearth ancient artifacts from graves. It combines a whimsical adventure story with a profound exploration of art theft and profiteering.

Intriguing Upcoming Releases

19. “The Elderly” (In theaters)

“The Elderly” promises a fresh take on horror, a genre that often overlooks senior citizens. This film potentially combines real-world issues, such as dementia, with terrifying elements, offering an intriguing premise that challenges the conventional horror narrative.

20. “What Happens Later” (In theaters)

Meg Ryan’s return to romantic comedies in “What Happens Later” is sure to pique the interest of fans. Directed and co-written by Ryan, the film stars her opposite David Duchovny as they find themselves stuck at an airport, setting the stage for a promising romantic escapade.

21. “Fingernails” (In select theaters and streaming on Apple TV+)

“Fingernails” is a twisty sci-fi romance featuring an ensemble cast that includes Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, and Jeremy Allen White. The film’s intriguing premise and talented cast make it a must-watch for those who enjoy mind-bending stories.

22. “The Killer” (In select theaters in November, on Netflix Nov. 10)

Director David Fincher is known for delving deep into human psychology, and “The Killer” appears to be no exception. Starring Michael Fassbender as an assassin, the film promises a gripping exploration of human obsession and the dark facets of the human psyche.

23. “Thanksgiving” (In theaters Nov. 17)

A horror story centered around Thanksgiving and Black Friday is long overdue. “Thanksgiving” is poised to explore the uncharted territory of this holiday, offering a unique perspective on the celebrations and the darker side of consumerism.

24. “Napoleon” (In theaters Nov. 22)

While a film about the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte may not initially captivate everyone, the talent involved is what makes “Napoleon” intriguing. Joaquin Phoenix’s acting prowess and Ridley Scott’s directorial skills elevate the film’s potential, promising an interesting exploration of this historical figure.

25. “Good Burger 2” (Streaming on Paramount+ on Nov. 22)

“Good Burger 2” brings back the iconic duo of Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell in a sequel that promises the same comedic genius as the original. Fans of the classic Nickelodeon sketch “Good Burger” will undoubtedly enjoy this fun and nonsensical comedy.

26. “Leave the World Behind” (In theaters Nov. 22, on Netflix Dec. 8)

“Leave the World Behind” is a film adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s thought-provoking 2020 novel. The story revolves around irrational fears of the unknown, encompassing technology, people, and the future. With a star-studded cast that includes Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke, the film has the potential to deliver a gripping and suspenseful narrative.

27. “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” (In theaters Dec. 1)

The mention of Beyoncé immediately piques interest. “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” is a highly anticipated project that promises to showcase the iconic artist in her full glory. The film is set to be a remarkable addition to her already illustrious career.

28. “Candy Cane Lane” (Streams on Prime Video Dec. 1)

Eddie Murphy’s return to the holiday film genre in “Candy Cane Lane” is a noteworthy event. The film follows Murphy’s character, Chris, as he strives to win his neighborhood’s Christmas decorating competition. With a talented cast and Murphy’s comedic expertise, it’s a film to look forward to this holiday season.

29. “Poor Things” (In theaters Dec. 8)

Director Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his unconventional and thought-provoking films. “Poor Things” centers on Emma Stone’s character, who is resurrected from the dead and embarks on a journey of liberation. With Lanthimos at the helm and Stone in the lead role, the film promises to be a unique and engaging experience.

30. “The Color Purple” (In theaters Dec. 25)

The anticipation for another adaptation of “The Color Purple” is palpable. With a star-studded cast, including Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Corey Hawkins, Taraji P. Henson, and more, this iteration promises to bring Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to life in a fresh and powerful way. It’s a film that will likely captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact.

The fall season is packed with an array of films that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Whether you’re seeking gripping dramas, thought-provoking documentaries, or thrilling horror, these movies offer a wide selection of captivating stories. As the leaves change colors and the air becomes cooler, make some time to enjoy these films and immerse yourself in the world of cinema.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer

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