November is when we are officially kick off the holiday movie season after October’s spooky scares and awards season opener. This November, two huge sequels are heading our way to open and close the month with Terminator: Dark Fate and Frozen 2. The Stephen King adaptation train is still going strong with Doctor Sleep, and a big old spectacle war epic is dropping mid-month with Midway. The awards season is also in full swing, so some buzzy limited releases are hitting theaters, as well, including Marriage Story, Honey Boy, and The Irishman.
There’s a lot to choose from, but have no fear. Here’s your handy breakdown of the biggest movies and best indies being released in November 2019.
‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ (November 1)
Cast: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Edward Furlong, Tom Hopper, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Cassandra Starr, Diego Boneta, Brett Azar
Director: Tim Miller
Once again, Hollywood is taking a crack at the Terminator franchise, hoping this time it will get it right. Terminator: Dark Fate is directed by Deadpool‘s Tim Miller, and it is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (even Eddie Furlong is returning), essentially wisely ignoring the events of the last three movies. Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger are both reprising their roles, as well. Meanwhile, Mackenzie Davis plays an advanced cyborg human – but NOT a Terminator – and all must team up to protect a young girl from a futuristic liquid Terminator, played by Gabriel Luna. For those of you who think the Terminator franchise has skidded off the rails in the last few installments, this one looks to get it back on track.
See It With: Terminator fans, anyone who loves sci-fi or action
‘Motherless Brooklyn’ (November 1)
Cast: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Mann, Alec Baldwin, Michael Kenneth Williams, Bobby Cannavale, Ethan Suplee, Fisher Stevens
Director: Edward Norton
Edward Norton pulls double-duty in this gritty, 1950s-set drama as director and lead. Lionel Essrog (Norton) is a lonely private detective living in NYC. His Tourette Syndrome and obsessive personality alienate him from many, but he’s good at what he does. When his mentor and only friend is murdered, Essrog goes on a personal mission to unravel the mystery. But, as with so many procedural dramas, he finds the corruption and conspiracy goes deeper than he ever imagined. Norton is a famously prickly person in Hollywood, but he usually does good work and it’s always interesting to see how a project turns out when the director is both behind and in front of the camera.
See It With: Anyone who likes gritty dramas, crime/cop procedurals, or who wants to see what Ed Norton has been up to lately.
‘Arctic Dogs’ (November 1)
Cast: Jeremy Renner, James Franco, Michael Madsen, Alec Baldwin, Anjelica Huston, Laurie Holden, John Cleese, Omar Sy, Heidi Klum, Nina Senicar
Director: Aaron Woodley
The first family-friendly film of the holiday season, Arctic Dogs is a sweet romp for families and youngsters. Swifty the Arctic Fox (voiced by Renner) is a dutiful mailguy at the Arctic Blast Delivery Service with dreams of one day earning the coveted spot of Top Dog. To show everyone he deserves to be more than stuck in the mailroom, he steals a mysterious package to a mysterious location and accidentally stumbles across Otto Von Walrus (Cleese) and his diabolical plans to take over the world. Swifty and his rag-tag group of friends must team up to save everyone.
See It With: Your family, your kids, any little ones you might know
‘Marriage Story’ (November 6 – Limited)
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Merritt Wever, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, Mark O’Brien, Wallace Shawn, Mary Hollis Inboden, Alan Aldal, Albert Jones
Director: Noah Baumbach
If you’re into emotionally devastating movies, this is the one for you! Johansson and Driver turn in career-best performances as Nicole and Charlie, a once-madly in love couple who are now going through the breakup of their marriage as they struggle to find common ground and keep some semblance of their family together for the sake of their son, Henry (Azhy Robertson). Marriage Story is a poignant look at how relationships slowly dissolve, not through any huge betrayal, but through the small acts of thoughtlessness and moments of drifting apart. It got rave reviews out of TIFF and Venice, so expect this one to be something special, with potential Oscar noms for both Driver and Johansson.
See It With: Anyone who needs a cathartic cry, the partner you secretly want to break up with, anyone who loves great performances
‘Doctor Sleep’ (November 8)
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Jacob Tremblay, Emily Alyn Lind, Cliff Curtis, Zahn McClarnon, Carel Struycken, Chelsea Talmadge, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue
Director: Mike Flanagan
This year has been good to us in terms of Stephen King adaptations on screens both big and small, and Doctor Sleep is possibly the most exciting prospect. Set decades after the events of The Shining, Danny Torrance is all grown up and has – more or less – learned how to deal with his “shining” powers. When he meets a young girl who is even more powerful than he is, he must protect her from an insane cult known as the True Knot, which preys on young children with the shine in order to remain immortal. Mike Flanagan is well-known to horror lovers, having directed a number of horror movies (including a previous Stephen King adaptation) before his biggest breakthrough with Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House series. Stephen King fans, consider this the best year ever.
See It With: Horror fans, Stephen King fans, anyone who likes a good scare
‘Last Christmas’ (November 8)
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Peter Serafinowicz, Patti LuPone, Rob Delaney, Ingrid Oliver, Sue Perkins, Nasir Jama
Director: Paul Feig
Rom-coms have been experiencing a long-overdue comeback in the last few years, thanks to the success of a few Netflix movies and the monster hit that was Crazy Rich Asians. Now, Henry Golding is back as the leading man in Last Christmas, this time with Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke in a movie about polar opposites. Clarke plays Kate, a habitual screw-up and walking disaster. Against her better judgment, she agrees to take a job as Santa’s elf at a department store for the holidays. But there she meets Tom (Golding), who seems too good to be true. Shenanigans ensue, but we all know it will have a happy ending – we hope.
See It With: People who love happy endings, rom-com lovers, your mom or your girl gang
‘Midway’ (November 8)
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Dennis Quaid, Ed Skrein, Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore, Alexander Ludwig, Darren Criss, Keean Johnson, Aaron Eckhart
Director: Roland Emmerich
The first of two epic World War movies with all-star casts coming our way this holiday season, Emmerich’s Midway, set in WWII, is not to be confused with Sam Mendes’ 1917, set in WWI. This one is a recreation and retelling of the pivotal Battle of Midway, a decisive four-day battle in the Pacific that dealt irreparable damage to the Japanese fleet and helped turn the tide of the entire war in favor of the Allies. Meant to be a trap for the U.S. Navy, American cryptographers were able to crack the code and determine the day and location of the attack, turning the tables on the Japanese Imperial Navy. The cast is a stellar one and Roland Emmerich always knows how to craft big action and big spectacle, so it will be interesting to see what he does with a large-scale war epic.
See It With: Fans of action, history buffs, war nuts, anyone who likes a visually engaging film
‘Playing With Fire’ (November 8)
Cast: John Cena, Keegan Michael-Key, Brianna Hildebrand, Judy Greer, John Leguizamo, Tyler Mane, Christian Convery, Jasmine Vega, Kurt Long, Finley Rose Slater
Director: Andy Fickman
Another family-friendly outing to kick off the holidays. John Cena plays fire superintendent Jake Carson, who, along with his team of elite firefighters, battles wildfire blazes. When he and his men save three kids from the path of an oncoming wildfire – and can’t find their parents – they suddenly go from firefighters to babysitters. Their normal routine is upended as they learn that kids and teenagers are even harder to control and more unpredictable than the wildfires they fight.
See It With: Your kids, your family, anyone who wants a wholesome movie
‘Honey Boy’ (November 8 – Limited)
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, Byron Bowers, Laura San Giacomo, FKA Twigs, Natasha Lyonne, Maika Monroe, Clifton Collins Jr., Mario Ponce
Director: Alma Har’el
One of the most emotionally gripping and devastating movies of the year, Shia LaBeouf gives a career-best performance playing a character based on his own father. The script, based on his own life, was penned while LaBeouf was in rehab for substance abuse. It’s a stark look back at his years as a child actor and breadwinner and his tumultuous, love-hate relationship with his abusive, former convict father. It’s hard to tell your own story well, let alone tell the story of a loved one. But LaBeouf plays his father’s character with nuance and grace, showing all of his flaws and destructive tendencies while also viewing his actions through the sympathetic lens of time. As the 12-year-old stand-in for LaBeouf, Noah Jupe also turns in one of the best performances by a child actor in years.
See It With: Anyone who wants to see what the buzz is about, people interested in early Oscar contenders, fans of incredible performances
‘Charlie’s Angels’ (November 15)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Noah Centineo, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Tucker, Ella Balinska, Djimon Hounsou, Nat Faxon
Director: Elizabeth Banks
A new remake for a new generation, this time Elizabeth Banks tackles telling the story of the ass-kicking trio of women. So a reboot of the 2000 movie which was an adaptation of the 1970s TV series. Not only does Banks direct, but she’s also playing a version of Bosley, handler and friend to the Angels. This time it’s Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and new(ish)comer Ella Balinksa playing the Angels, and it’s sure to be an action-packed and quippy good time.
See It With: Your girl gang, on a date, with anyone who loves action or spy movies
‘Ford v Ferrari’ (November 15)
Cast: Caitriona Balfe, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Matt Damon, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Ray McKinnon, JJ Feild, Jenelle McKee, Tracy Letts
Director: James Mangold
One of the former Fox movies now under Disney’s domain, this one may or may not get some awards buzz. This biopic tells the story of the famous 1966 Le Mans race that pitted Ford Motors against Ferrari. No one thought there was any way a company known for building American muscle cars could possibly compete with the sleek Italian racecars of Ferrari. Enter car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) who, working alongside Ford racecar driver Ken Miles (Bale) fought corporate pushback and the laws of physics themselves to build and drive a car that would change racing forever. James Mangold has proven himself a filmmaker to watch after Logan, so this one should be quality.
See It With: Racing enthusiasts, fans of biopics, anyone who likes Bale, Damon, or Mangold’s work
‘The Good Liar’ (November 15)
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Nell Williams, Jim Carter, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Lily Dodsworth-Evans, Mark Lewis Jones, Laurie Davidson, Celine Buckens
Director: Bill Condon
A rare movie with older leads, The Good Liar just goes to show that ageism needs to be a thing of the past. Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren play a cat-and-mouse game that caters to an audience not normally serviced by Hollywood. McKellen plays Roy Courtnay, a career con artist who finds his next mark in Mirren’s wealthy widow, Betty McLeish. But as they grow closer, Roy finds that he’s actually starting to care for Betty, making the dangerous game he’s playing even more razor-sharp.
See It With: Your parents and anyone else who loves a tight thriller
‘The Report’ (November 15 – Limited)
Cast: Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Evander Duck Jr., Jon Hamm, Linda Powell, Annette Bening, Sandra Landers, John Rothman, Victor Slezak, Guy Boyd
Director: Scott Z. Burns
Another movie based on true events, The Report tells the story of how the coverup to hide the CIA’s torture methods after 9/11 was blown wide-open. Adam Driver plays staffer Daniel J. Jones, who is charged by his boss, Senator Dianne Feinstein (Bening) to lead an investigation into the practices of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. Jones soon uncovers a web of lies and his dogged determination to get to the truth led to explosive findings that changed how the nation viewed its top and most secretive intelligence agency.
See It With: Fans of movies based on true stories, history or politics junkies, Adam Driver fans
‘Frozen 2’ (November 22)
Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K. Brown, Santino Fontana
Director: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
One of the most anticipated sequels in years is finally upon us. Elsa, Anna, Kristof and Olaf are back in a new, darker adventure. Elsa has settled into being Queen of Arendelle but can’t shake the feeling that she’s stifling the part of her that is meant to be free. She soon discovers an ancient danger is threatening to destroy her kingdom, and she and her found family must travel to new places like the Enchanted Forest and Dark Sea in order to find the source of what ails the land. Elsa’s powers once seemed to great; now they seem too small. Will she be strong enough to save her family and the kingdom she loves?
See It With: Your entire family
’21 Bridges’ (November 22)
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, JK Simmons, Taylor Kitsch, Keith David, Victoria Cartagena, Jamie Neumann, Gary Carr, Stephan James, Toby Hemingway
Director: Brian Kirk
The Russo brothers’ production company, Agbo, has been making quiet waves since its launch, picking up projects left and right with MCU actors, like Cherry with Tom Holland and 21 Bridges with Chadwick Boseman. Boseman plays Andre Davis, a disgraced detective in the NYPD who is given a shot at redemption when he’s put on the case to find two cop-killers in the city. But he soon finds not all is as it seems, and the web of corruption and murder runs deep – and right through the very NYPD he serves. This is director Brian Kirk’s first theatrical feature film, but he has plenty of experience directing gripping TV like Game of Thrones, Luther and Penny Dreadful. It will be interesting to see what he does here.
See It With: Anyone who likes thrillers or a good procedural
‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ (November 22)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Enrico Colantoni, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Wendy Makkena, Maddie Corman, Tammy Blanchard, Susan Kelechi Watson, Sakina Jaffrey, Maryann Plunkett
Director: Marielle Heller
If you’re looking for a feel-good tearjerker, this is the movie for you. Tom Hanks steps into the lace-up sneakers and cozy cardigan of the inimitable, inspirational Fred Rogers in a story based on his friendship with journalist Tom Junod. When Cynical journalist Lloyd Vogel (Rhys) is assigned to do a profile piece on Rogers, he grudgingly meets with the legendarily kind-hearted children’s TV host. But as he spends more time with Rogers, the two strike up an unlikely friendship and Vogel finds his entire worldview shifting. Such was the quiet and supportive power of Fred Rogers.
See It With: Everyone and anyone
‘Knives Out’ (November 27 – Thanksgiving)
Cast: Ana de Armas, Jaeden Martell, Chris Evans, Katherine Langford, Toni Collette, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Edi Patterson, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, LaKeith Stanfield, Don Johnson, Noah Segan
Director: Rian Johnson
Oh, man, Knives Out is a fun one. This is one of the twistiest and most entertaining movies of the year as Rian Johnson makes a whodunit that upends every rule of a whodunit. When famed author and publishing mogul Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) is found dead, foul play is suspected. The local police detective (Stanfield) brings in eccentric private eye, Benoit Blanc (Craig), to get to the bottom of it all. The bickering, filthy rich Thrombey clan is forced to stay in the house while the investigation is ongoing, creating opportunities for backstabbing, betrayal, and complete chaos. If you like a murder-mystery with some genuine belly laughs, definitely check this one out.
See It With: Any of your friends who like a good time, fans of mysteries and whodunits
‘Queen & Slim’ (November 27 – Thanksgiving)
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Chloë Sevigny, Indya Moore, Bokeem Woodbine, Benito Martinez, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Sturgill Simpson, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Colby Boothman
Director: Melina Matsoukas
A version of Bonnie & Clyde for a new generation, Queen & Slim is a story of blackness in America, the media, and deep and abiding love in the darkest of circumstances. When their first date goes disastrously wrong and a cop ends up killed, Slim (Kaluuya) and Queen (Turner-Smith) are forced to go on the run. With the country on a manhunt for them and facing the most desperate time of their lives, they nonetheless find an honest and powerful love that shapes both them and everyone they come into contact with. This one’s flying a little under the radar but it shouldn’t be. Expect it to be an awards contender for sure.
See It With: Your date or your gang of friends