Summer is just getting started, but maybe the tentpole offerings of warm weather months aren’t quite to your liking. If that’s the case — or if you just like to plan ahead — we’d like to point out a robust crop of more serious fall movies that will make 2019 a year to remember.
These dramas adapt true stories and notable novels and bring beloved television characters to the big screen.
Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel comes to the big screen in THE GOLDFINCH, directed by BROOKLYN filmmaker John Crowley. Ansel Elgort (BABY DRIVER) stars as Theo Decker, who experiences tragedy in his early life and consequently becomes embroiled in the world of art forgery. Nicole Kidman co-stars as the woman who takes Theo in as a child, and the cast also features Finn Wolfhard, Aneurin Barnard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Ashleigh Cummings and Oakes Fegley as Young Theo. (September 13)
The Crawley family’s saga becomes bigger than ever as the popular British television series gets a loving coda. The story picks up about 18 months after the final TV episode of “Downton Abbey,” which aired in 2015, and finds the Crawley household scrambling to prepare after King George V and Queen Mary announce a visit to Downton Abbey. Familiar locations at Highclere Castle will be seen again, and the entire TV cast is back, too, under the direction of Michael Engler. The script is by Julian Fellowes, the creator, writer and producer of the original series, so you know the home is in good hands. (September 20)
Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, who shared the screen in 2014’s THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, reunite to play pilot Amelia Wren and scientist James Glaisher in this adventure that floats high above the surface of the Earth. In 1862, Wren and Glaisher seek to break the record for high-altitude hot-air balloon flight, but their odds aren’t good — the odds of survival, never mind setting a new record. Some of the movie was actually shot in a balloon thousands of feet above the ground, which gave the actors the most realistic possible scenario in which to perform. The film will premiere exclusively on IMAX® screens before going wide on November 1. (October 25)
Actor/director Edward Norton (above, in COLLATERAL BEAUTY) has long wanted to bring Jonathan Lethem’s novel to the screen, and his day has finally come. Norton wrote, directed and stars as Lionel Essrog, a small-time private investigator and almost-mobster who discovers a web of intrigue when his boss (Bruce Willis) is stabbed and left for dead. Lionel suffers from Tourette syndrome, which means he will spontaneously burst into profane exclamations to let off the pressure in his head. That makes his job difficult, but it also makes MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN a bold and unpredictable spin on the detective genre. (November 1)
Ford v. Ferrari
LOGAN filmmaker James Mangold looks back at the days when Henry Ford Jr. was desperate to win at Le Mans — and when he built a high-powered car just to make it happen. Matt Damon and Christian Bale (above, in THE BIG SHORT) star as the two men who burned rubber for Ford: engineer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles. The film’s racing action is like nothing we’ve seen in years, and Bale and Damon dig deep for big performances in a story that seems too crazy to be true. (November 15)
Rian Johnson (THE LAST JEDI) wrote and directed this twisty and probably rather violent riff on Agatha Christie novels. Daniel Craig (above, in SPECTRE) and Lakeith Stanfield star as detectives called to a large mansion where a family patriarch has died — and where the remaining family members are far less than friendly. The detectives announce that no one gets to leave until the death is understood, and thus begins a weekend of backstabbing and murder. KNIVES OUT is all about watching the cast spar with one another, and since it features Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer and Ana de Armas, we have no idea who is going to actually survive the weekend. (November 27)