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The 25 Most Anticipated Films of Fall 2018

Beloved auteurs and familiar screen pairings dominate this year's awards-season releases

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Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween
Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween

    It’s been a loud, expensive summer. Box office records were demolished alongside entire cities, would-be hopefuls failed to take flight, and a Singapore family full of drama and a giant shark took over the final weeks of the year’s laziest days. 2018 saw Hollywood embrace old styles anew, from the unabashed romantic comedy to the winkingly in-on-it B-movie, and we wound up having a hell of a lot more moviegoing fun than we have in recent summers.

    This isn’t to say that the upcoming slate of year-end releases won’t yield some fun along the way, but let’s be honest. It’s about to be Oscar time, and Oscar time means that some of the best filmmakers working today are on the way with new and challenging material that we’ll surely be having Twitter scrapes over for the next six months. Long-gestating projects butt up against new voices, recent contenders look to return strong with promising follow-ups, and at least one of those James Cameron movies that we all just sort of assumed had disappeared is actually coming out, even if it’s no longer by James Cameron anymore.

    The air will soon turn crisp and the leaves crunchy, so let’s settle in and have a look at some of the movies you’ll likely want to see when your heater inevitably goes out at some point.

    –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
    Film Editor

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    The Predator

    Shane Black not only starred in the original Predator, but was also an uncredited script doctor. Now, he’s returning to the franchise as both writer and director, bringing some of his freewheelin’ magic that made Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and The Nice Guys such re-watchable roller coasters. Joining him for the ride is an unlikely cast that includes everyone from Olivia Munn and Keegan-Michael Key to Jacob Tremblay and Thomas Jane. It’s also taking place in the suburbs, so expect plenty of scorched lawns and broken windows. –Michael Roffman

    Release Date: September 14th
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    Mandy

    A couple times a decade, Nicolas Cage digs deep and reminds us of the breathlessly wild performances that once made him a star and later a cult hero. Sure, Cage has been living in a purgatory of straight-to-Redbox actioners for some time now, but if the early word around Panos Cosmatos’ psychedelic horror feature Mandy is any indication, a heaping helping of Peak Cage may be on the way. As a man living in the woods with his lover (Andrea Riseborough) in the early ’80s when they’re attacked by a Satanic cult, Cage is forced to survive the only way he knows how: bug-eyed, screaming, and wielding some kind of otherworldly sword. There’s a strong chance this is going to fucking rule–Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

    Release Date: September 14th
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    The Old Man and the Gun

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    Robert Redford has chosen a hell of a film to ride out on with The Old Man and the Gun. The Sundance veteran has re-teamed up with Pete’s Dragon filmmaker David Lowery for this true-life dramedy about real-life bank robber Forrest Tucker, who enchanted the general public by escaping San Quentin at the age of 70 and embarking on a string of unprecedented heists. In other words, a fitting bookend for the former Sundance kid. He’s hardly alone, either, gallivanting around with Sissy Spacek as the two evade the likes of Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, and Tika Sumpter. Everything about this screams excellent and promises nothing short of a beautiful swan song for the Hollywood legend. –Michael Roffman

    Release Date: September 28th
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    Hold the Dark

    It’s been two years since Jeremy Saulnier beat the shit out of audiences with Green Room. Now he’s back with an equally brutal film: an adaptation of William Giraldi’s 2014 thriller novel, Hold the Dark. The story follows a wolf expert (Jeffrey Wright) who’s been summoned to an Alaskan village to seek out the beast who killed three children. Calling it now: It ain’t the wolf. Already, Saulnier has promised this to be his goriest film to date, which says a lot given his past works. Suspense and thrills aside, it’ll also be intriguing to see how he puts his A-list cast to work in Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, and Riley Keough. Ahem, sounds like a Netflix and thrill kind of night. –Michael Roffman

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    Release Date: September 28th
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    A Star is Born

    There’s quiet a mantle for an actor to inherit when they take on A Star Is Born. After all, this will be the fourth iteration of the musical story about a young singer’s rise and the love affair that follows, and the previous ones starred Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, and Barbara Streisand. Now, after Beyonce and Clint Eastwood briefly came close to giving it what would’ve been an extremely weird try, Bradley Cooper will make his directorial debut and star as a veteran country singer who happens upon Lady Gaga’s talented unknown and takes her on as a protege. Love, fame, and tragedy will surely follow. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

    Release Date: October 5th
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    Venom

    How the hell is this going to work? Sony doesn’t get to use Spider-Man/Peter Parker anymore, so how are they supposed to make a movie about his archenemy, a character whose very origin is inextricably connected to the hero? Getting Tom Hardy to star as Eddie Brock/Venom and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) to direct is a good start, but this is all going to come down to execution. Sony also hopes to use this to launch their own mini-MCU focused on Spidey’s supporting characters, which may or may not cross over with the MCU Prime (prediction: it won’t). Talent aside, all the questions surrounding Venom certainly make it a production to keep an eye on. –Ben Kaye

    Release Date: October 5th
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    Bad Times at the El Royale

    Few of this year’s remaining releases are shrouded in more secrecy than Bad Times at the El Royale, writer-director Drew Goddard’s first outing behind the camera since 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods. The enigmatic first trailer promises a wealth of style, a handful of character actors and A-listers and Broadway veterans getting weird together, and the ominous threat of something going very, very wrong at the titular Lake Tahoe destination. Goddard’s star has risen substantially ever since his Oscar nomination for his work on The Martian, so don’t be surprised if this is the kind of unknown entity that gets people talking and talking loudly. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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    Release Date: October 12th
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    First Man

    Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to La La Land finds the young Academy Award-winning filmmaker back in the stars. However, we’re talking about literal stars, people, as he’s prepared to tell us the story we’ve all been waiting for: Neil Armstrong. Okay, so maybe we haven’t been waiting on pins and needles for this one — spoiler: THEY MAKE IT TO THE GODDAMN MOON — but color us impressed at the cast alone. You’ve got Ryan Gosling, Kyle Chandler, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Corel Stoll, Christopher Abbott … well, I’ll be damned, he is back in those stars, too. –Michael Roffman

    Release Date: October 12th
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    Halloween

    We don’t really need to go back to Haddonfield, Illinois. Seeing how Dimension Films rebooted the Halloween series two decades ago with the poorly titled Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, the idea of a second reboot, which comes only 11 years after Rob Zombie’s remake, is both gluttonous and confusing. Having said that, when you have an indie filmmaker like David Gordon Green behind the lens, superfan Danny McBride at the typewriter, John Carpenter doing the score, and Jamie Lee Curtis back (again) as Laurie Strode, well, um, trick or treat. –Michael Roffman

    Release Date: October 19th
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    mid90s

    Sure, we’re only just at the beginning of an oncoming wave of ’90s nostalgia, wistful glances back at the last era before the internet connected us to all the people we wanted and a bunch of the ones we don’t. However, it won’t be all skateboarding and cartridge-based video games in Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, which is rumored to draw as much from Larry Clark’s classic Kids as anything. Starring newcomer Sunny Suljic as a 13-year-old growing up in the L.A. skate scene of the era and Lucas Hedges as his abusive older brother, this is the kind of thing that has “future cult fave” written all over it. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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    Release Date: October 19th
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