10 must-see movies coming out in fall 2021

Toronto is in the fourth wave but we're cautiously optimistic this fall’s big-ticket titles will actually open in IRL cinemas


The Many Saints Of Newark
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Hey, remember last fall when half the movies announced as opening had to be rescheduled when theatres shut down again? The ground seems slightly more firm for movies in fall 2021, with distributors calculating that proof of vaccination will boost consumer confidence and get people back to the megaplex. If No Time To Die finally opens and makes back its cost, the pandemic’s officially over, right?

The Many Saints Of Newark

David Chase’s long-awaited Sopranos prequel arrives almost a decade and a half after the HBO series ended its storied run. It stars James Gandolfini’s son Michael as a young Tony Soprano, and Vera Farmiga as Tony’s mother Livia, with Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta in supporting roles. Will it be a genuine expansion of the show’s world, or just the latest attempt to revive a dormant IP with a proven fan base? We’ll find out in a matter of days. In theatres October 1

Night Raiders “Waseese” (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart) and “Niska” (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) in 'Night Raiders', directed by Danis Goulet
Courtesy of Elevation Pictures

Night Raiders

One of the best films we saw at TIFF 2021, Danis Goulet’s dystopian thriller takes place in a near-future Canada placed under martial law by “the southern nation” after a devastating invasion; Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is a Cree woman trying to rescue her young daughter from a re-education school. It’s grown only more relevant since its Berlin premiere earlier this spring; now it almost plays like a documentary. In theatres October 8

No Time To Die
United Artists Releasing

No Time To Die

Is it possible? After a year and a half of creeping stealthily down the release schedule, can Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond finally be opening? We certainly hope so, if only to see whether we can detect Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s voice in the screenplay… and to see whether any Bond film can justify the reported running time of two hours and 43 minutes, which honestly sounds like plenty of time to die. In theatres October 8

The Velvet Underground
Courtesy of Apple TV+

The Velvet Underground

Yes, the Cowboy Junkies’ cover of Sweet Jane is beautiful. But the original rocks like nothing else on Earth. The first documentary from Todd Haynes – director of Safe, Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven – looks at the rise of Andy Warhol’s favourite band and their seismic impact on musical culture over the decades. Surviving members John Cale and Mo Tucker sat for interviews and everything. Apple TV+, October 15

The French Dispatch
Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

The French Dispatch

Structured as a series of stories published by an American journalist working in a tiny France village, Wes Anderson’s latest film seems like a return to the elaborate perspectives of his 2014 masterwork The Grand Budapest Hotel, bringing back that film’s Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton. Willem Dafoe and Bill Murray. Benicio del Toro and Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet and Frances McDormand are around too. In theatres October 22

The Harder They Fall
Courtesy of Netflix

The Harder They Fall

Co-produced by Jay-Z and Pulp Fiction’s Lawrence Bender among others, this revisionist Western from English filmmaker Jeymes Samuel (who makes music as the Bullitts) casts Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield and Delroy Lindo as actual historical figures Nat Love, Rufus Buck, Stagecoach Mary, Trudy Smith, Cherokee Bill and Bass Reeves – and gives them a narrative of their own. Netflix, November 3

Eternals
Courtesy of Disney

Eternals

Now that Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings has demonstrated audiences’ willingness to see Marvel movies in theatres, Disney is doubling down on the exclusive megaplex run for this one, which finds director Chloé Zhao tackling Jack Kirby’s complex cosmic mythology about immortal beings forced out of hiding to defend Earth from their evil counterparts. It was delayed for a full year by the pandemic, which gave Zhao time to pick up a couple of Oscars for producing and directing Nomadland – meaning expectations couldn’t be higher to see what she does with a Marvel-sized budget. In theatres November 5

Kristen Stewart in Spencer

Spencer

Kristen Stewart stars as Diana, Princess of Wales, in Pablo Larraín’s study of a few days in the cloistered life of one of the most famous women in history – a companion piece to his Jackie Kennedy movie Jackie. NOW’s Glenn Sumi called it “masterful” at TIFF; those of us who missed it, and who think Stewart is one of the most empathetic performers working today – are looking forward to catching up. November 5, in theatres

Clare (Ruth Negga) and Irene (Tessa Thompson) on the Stoop in Passing
Courtesy of Netflix

Passing

Actor Rebecca Hall (Godzilla Vs. Kong, The Night House) steps behind the camera for a change, writing and directing this adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel about the lives of two biracial women – played here by Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga – in the early decades of the 20th century. Netflix snapped up the rights after a heady Sundance premiere earlier this year, and has been positioning it for an awards run ever since. In theatres October 27; on Net­flix November 10

Tick Tick Boom
Courtesy of Netflix

tick, tick… BOOM!

This movie adaptation of Rent creator Jonathan Larson’s semi-autobiographical stage musical is written by Steven Levenson and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda – who knows a little about life-changing success, thanks to their respective work on Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton. It stars Andrew Garfield as the young man wondering whether he’ll ever create a Broadway sensation. Of course, we know he will… and we know he won’t live to see it. In theatres November 12; on Netflix November 19

@normwilner

Brand Voices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NOW Magazine