Twenty Fine Fall Films Both Big and Small | Fall Guide | Indy Week
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Twenty Fine Fall Films Both Big and Small 

American Honey (Sept. 30) British director Andrea Arnold's hotly anticipated road movie stars Shia LaBeouf as the leader of a ragtag crew of teenagers crossing North America to sell magazine subscriptions. Arnold's finely honed visual sensibility gorgeously captures the grit and heart of youth. —Laura Jaramillo

The Birth of a Nation (Oct. 7) Appropriating the title of D.W. Griffith's racially compromised classic, this highly anticipated period drama, based on the life of Nat Turner, swept audience and jury awards at Sundance. —Neil Morris

The Girl on the Train (Oct. 7) Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson costar in this Hitchcockian thriller from director Tate Taylor, an adaptation of Paula Hawkins's novel by former Duke professor Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary). —Neil Morris

Under the Shadow (Oct. 7) First-time writer/director Babak Anvari channels his memories of the Iran-Iraq war into the nightmarish tale of a mother and daughter trapped in their apartment by falling bombs, and further terrorized by a demonic spirit that symbolizes the fate of women under the new fundamentalist regime. —Ryan Vu

Tower (Oct. 12) This acclaimed documentary uses archival footage and rotoscope animations to chronicle the 1966 University of Texas sniper murders, America's first school shooting massacre. —Glenn McDonald

The Accountant (Oct. 14) Gavin O'Connor, director of the underrated Warrior, directs Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, and Jeffrey Tambor in a thriller about a number cruncher for criminal organizations who learns too much. —Neil Morris

Aquarius (Oct. 14) This Brazilian drama about a retiree (Sonia Braga, in a star turn) who resolves to stay in the apartment where she grew up, only to be harassed by a real estate developer, has met with critical acclaim the world over. —Laura Jaramillo

Certain Women (Oct. 14) Kelly Reichardt brings together an all-star cast of generation-defining actresses—Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams—in interlocking stories about love, class, and work, rendered with the moral complexity that makes Reichardt one of the best American filmmakers today. —Laura Jaramillo

American Pastoral (Oct. 21) Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut adapting Philip Roth's Pulitzer-winning novel of rage, regret, and sixties cultural spasms. —Glenn McDonald

The Handmaiden (Oct. 21) Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) shifts Sarah Waters's neo-Gothic novel, Fingersmith, from Victorian London to Korea under Japanese occupation, and then amps up the lesbian eroticism and melodramatic double-crossings to delirious excess. —Ryan Vu

HIDDEN GEM: King Cobra (Oct. 21) However you feel about alterna-bro James Franco, Gus Van Sant protégé Justin Kelly's second feature is exciting. This lurid true-crime noir details the underage Sean Lockhart's entry into the gay porn scene, where his contract becomes the site of a war between producer Bryan Kocis (Christian Slater) and rivals Joseph Kerekes (Franco) and Harlow Cuadra. Last year, Kelly and Franco's take on gay-turned-Christian activist Michael Glatze in I Am Michael was critically applauded but underseen; their equally well researched foray into a troubling episode in queer history shouldn't be missed. But will we? Bombard your arthouse with emails now. —Ryan Vu

Moonlight (Oct. 21) Homosexuality and masculinity in a poor black community are writer-director Barry Jenkins's themes in this haunting character study of an African American man over three periods of his life. —Neil Morris

Gimme Danger (Oct. 28) Jim Jarmusch's take on The Stooges boasts archival footage showcasing Iggy Pop's theatrical genius but also makes room for a personal, behind-the-scenes vision of the band that's "more an essay than a document." —Ryan Vu

Silence (November) Martin Scorsese's return to 35 mm film promises epic drama in the picturesque Japanese countryside, as two Jesuit priests travel to Japan during the purge of Western influences that occurred under the Tokugawa shogunate. —Laura Jaramillo

Doctor Strange (Nov. 4) Every Marvel Studios release has become an anticipated movie event, particularly with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, with costars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Tilda Swinton (!). —Neil Morris

Hacksaw Ridge (Nov. 4) This World War II biopic of U.S. Army medic and conscientious objector Desmond Doss is Mel Gibson's first directorial effort in a decade—it received a ten-minute standing ovation at last week's Venice Film Festival. —Neil Morris

Loving (Nov. 4) UNC School of the Arts alum Jeff Nichols directs the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose marriage led to the Supreme Court ruling that overturned U.S. anti-miscegenation laws. The film is based in part on the documentary The Loving Story by Full Frame founder Nancy Buirski. —Glenn McDonald

Arrival (Nov. 11) Lots of positive buzz surrounds this alien-encounter film from director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners). —Neil Morris

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Nov. 11) This Iraq War drama has piqued the interest of critics because director Ang Lee touts it as the first feature film shot at 120 frames per second, setting the stage for a visually arresting experience. —Neil Morris

Elle (Nov. 11) This artsploitation rape-revenge thriller is a return to form for arch provocateur Paul Verhoeven and features another multilayered performance by Isabelle Huppert. —Ryan Vu

  • We pick the highlights, from major releases to arthouse creepers, of this cinema season.

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