- Sundance Institute
Though there are more movies being released now than ever before in the business, less people are motivated to go to the theater to watch them.
With so many movies available on streaming, and TV technology making your living room rival your neighborhood multiplex, there’s more than enough reason to just sit back and enjoy at home.
But there’s still something special about going to the theater and experiencing a good movie on the big screen.
Here we highlight seven titles coming to theaters in November that we think are worth you spending your hard-earned cash on.
Note: Titles listed below as limited releases will likely expand to more cities throughout the month.
1. “Lady Bird” — November 3 (limited release)
Actress Greta Gerwig’s first solo directing effort is a semi-autobiographical, bittersweet look at her teenage years. Saoirse Ronan gives a perfect performance as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a high school senior who can’t wait to escape her hometown of Sacramento, and the confines of Catholic school, and go off to college in New York. Through the year we journey with her on the highs and lows of teen life and her relationship with her mother (an Oscar-worthy performance by Laurie Metcalf).
There have been many great movies that have looked at teen life, and Gerwig has elevated the genre a beautiful balance of sincerity and deadpan comedy.
2. “Thor: Ragnarok” — November 3
The latest movie from Marvel Studios is a little different than the rest. Enlisting the talents of indie director Taika Waititi, the third movie in the Thor franchise focuses more on fun and the relationships of the characters than an impending doom (though there’s that, too). Chris Hemsworth has done great work playing Thor, but in this one you can just tell he finally was challenged to show off some of his acting skills.
3. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — November 10 (limited release)
- 20th Century Fox
It’s hard to mess up a movie that features Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. But with the writing-directing of Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”), these talents are given material that even elevates their games.
McDormand plays a mother who is fed up with the lack of progress the local police force has made in solving her daughter’s murder, so she decides to motivate them a little by posting three huge billboards that call out the sheriff (Harrelson) specifically for failing her. With a extremely dark comedic tone, the movie explores loss and redemption.
Oh, and Rockwell’s performance is really, really special.
4. “Mudbound” — November 17 (limited release/Netflix)
- Steve Dietl/Sundance Insititute
Dee Rees’ (“Pariah”) latest movie has been swirling with a lot of hype since Netflix bought it out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it’s very well deserved. Her look at racism through the eyes of a white and black family who live miles apart in post-World War II Mississippi is an emotional triumph.
The cast is filled with top-notch performances from Carey Mulligan to Mary J. Blige, but the one that stands out most is Jason Mitchell (his breakout performance was playing Eazy-E in “Straight Outta Compton”). Playing a veteran who found more respect as a black man fighting for his country overseas than back home, he proves why he’s one of the best young actors working today.
5. “Coco” — November 22
The latest Pixar adventure journeys to the Land of the Dead. Miguel is an aspiring musician, (despite the objection of his family), who ends up in the mystical afterlife while his family is celebrating the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. There he meets the trickster Hector (Gael García Bernal) and the two set out to figure out why Miguel’s family has a ban on music.
This is the first movie from director Lee Unkrich since 2010’s “Toy Story 3,” and we have a feeling it will be worth the wait.
6. “Darkest Hour” — November 22 (limited release)
- Focus Features
Gary Oldman gives perhaps the performance of the year as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In a career where the actor has perfected playing real-life characters (from Sid Vicious to Lee Harvey Oswald), this is Oldman’s magnum opus.
Set during the time Churchill is appointed the new PM, and Western Europe is on the brink of fighting Hitler on its home soil, Oldman gives him a mix of veracity and vulnerability that in some moments will force you to remind yourself that it is Oldman on the screen and not the real Churchill.
Honestly, just hand him the Oscar now.
7. “Call Me by Your Name” — November 24 (limited release)
- Sony Pictures Classics
Luca Guadagnino’s gorgeous love story set in northern Italy is a stunning exploration of young forbidden love. James Ivory adapted the novel of the same name, with Armie Hammer playing a graduate student living with the family of a professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) for the summer, and Timothée Chalamet as the son of the professor. The student and son build a friendship which leads to a romance, but it’s the way that relationship evolves that is the movie.
Hammer and Chalamet are perfectly cast, with Guadagnino pushing the story into some powerfully emotional territory.