Monday, November 1, 2021

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In November (2021)

According to Cat

20 - Clerk (11/23)

Production/Distribution: 1091 Pictures
Director: Malcolm Ingram
Writer:  Malcolm Ingram
Actors: Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, Jason Mewes, Stan Lee, Justin Long, George Carlin, Penn Jillette
Genre: Documentary
Rated: Unrated
Length: 115 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A documentary on the career and life of filmmaker and raconteur Kevin Smith.
Pay no attention to the number of this listing. What I’m trying to say is that the placement on this countdown list shouldn’t fool you into believing that I might not think as highly of this particular film as I do others. Au contraire mon frère.
Kevin Smith (Cop Out, Holidays: Halloween, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot) is a genius-level creative soul wearing many proverbial hats – and he excels at damn near everything he does. I think he’s amazing, and he is in the top echelon of geek royalty.
He writes, directs, acts, podcasts, hosts…the list goes on. He’s even written for comics such as Green Arrow, Batman, Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Black Cat – not to mention his own titles featuring Jay and Silent Bob.
Needless to say, a documentary focusing on Smith’s life and career is right up my alley. With Kevin Smith as the focus, it by nature renders what could have likely been a dry and clinical sort of production into something extremely interesting and watchable.
While viewing the trailer, I actually got a bit misty-eyed because of footage from interviews with some well-known individuals who have passed away in the years following their filming.
That being said, this is still a documentary. As much as I love and appreciate Kevin Smith and his work, I couldn’t see this film as high on my list. This month has been a booger for putting a Top 20 list together, in general – just because there are so many interesting, fun, or relevant movies releasing this November.
I found a compromise, however, by listing Clerk as #20. Clerk might not have been my #1, but I wanted to make sure it was the first you read about.
19 - tick, tick...Boom! (11/12)

Production/Distribution: 5000 Broadway Productions, Imagine Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Writers: Jonathan Larson, Steven Levenson
Actors: Alex D. Jennings, Alexandra Shipp, Andrew Garfield, Beth Malone, Bradley Whitford, Joanna Adler, Joel Grey, Joshua Henry, Judith Light, Mason Versaw, Mj Rodriguez, Noah Robbins, Richard Kind, Robin de Jesus, Vanessa Hudgens
Genre: Biography, Drama, Musical
Rated: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes
IMDb Blurb: On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City.
Upfront, I want to be clear that tick, tick… Boom!’s placement as #19 in no way reflects how “good” I anticipate the production to be. The trailers alone give me hope that this movie will be pretty awesome.  The placement of this musical on my list is somewhat similar to that of #20 – I felt like I needed to talk about it ahead of the more mainstream titles releasing in November.
The music will be epic, the cast is amazing, and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, His Dark Materials, In the Heights) is directing. The man is seriously a musical genius – but his talent doesn’t stop with composition and performance. I’m excited to see this story through his eyes.
Back to the cast for a moment. Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, Silence, Breathe), Vanessa Hudgens (Beastly, Second Act, Polar), Bradley Whitford (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Transparent, The Last Full Measure), and Judith Light (Doubt, The Same Storm, American Crime Story) are all no stranger to the Broadway stage – and some have even won Tony awards for their work. Their collective experience will certainly be an asset to this film. Also on board is Tariq Trotter (We Got You, The Deuce, Waiting for Godot), known by his stage name Black Thought, who is a skilled musician and actor. He might be most recognizable from performing with The Roots.
Of course, this story is a bit of a biopic for Jonathan Larson (1960-1996), the playwright behind the famous Broadway hit Rent (1996) which translated to a movie in 2005, and then a live-action TV special in 2019. While Larsen is shown working on a stage production during the course of the movie, it doesn’t appear to be Rent – though, there do seem to be some Easter Eggs and other homage nods to it throughout the film.
It seems that tick, tick…Boom! will be releasing in theaters and also on Netflix so it will be easily accessible right away.
18 – Ida Red (11/5)

Production/Distribution: Roxwell Films, BondIt Media Capital, Altitude Film Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Saban Films, Universal Pictures International
Director: John Swab
Writer: John Swab
Actors: Beau Knapp, Deborah Ann Woll, Frank Grillo, Josh Hartnett, Mark Boone Junior, Melissa Leo, Nicholas Cirillo, Slaine, Sofia Hublitz, William Forsythe
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 111 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Ida "Red" Walker may not survive her terminal illness while incarcerated for armed robbery. She turns to her son, Wyatt, for one last job and a chance to regain her freedom.
Ida Red has all the earmarks of an action-packed crime thriller full of family drama and flying bullets. I can’t say that it’s the most original plot ever, however, the cast for this movie is outstanding and that raises the bar for me a bit.
The heist hijinks are carried out by Josh Hartnett (6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain, Inherit the Viper, Wrath of Man), Frank Grillo (The Purge: Election Year, Boss Level, Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard), Mark Boone Junior (Patriot, By the Rivers of Babylon, Paradise City). Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood, Daredevil, Escape Room) plays Hartnet’s character’s wife who supports her husband even though you can see in the trailer she wants him to stop. Melissa Leo (The Fighter, The Big Short, The Equalizer 2) plays the mom pulling the strings from behind bars, and William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire, Cold Pursuit, The Man in the High Castle) is likely the law-man that’s going to catch them – or try to.
I can see the trajectory of this plot already, but I still want to watch it all go down on the screen. It should be entertaining.
17 - Home Sweet Home Alone (11/12)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, Hutch Parker Entertainment, Disney+
Director: Dan Mazer
Writers: Mikey Day, John Hughes, Streeter Seidell
Actors: Aisling Bea, Ally Maki, Archie Yates, Ellie Kemper, Katie Beth Hall, Kenan Thompson, Max Ivutin, Pete Holmes, Rob Delaney, Timothy Simons, Devin Ratray, Catherine Cohen, Jayne Eastwood, Cara Ricketts, Tristan D. Lalla, Jordan Carlos, William S. Taylor, Jimmy Caspeur, Nick Allan, Eddie G.
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG
Length: Unknown
IMDb Blurb: A married couple tries to steal back a valuable heirloom from a troublesome kid.
We all know the Home Alone (1990) story, and that this plot device has been used over and over again since that runaway hit had us all clapping our cheeks and fake-screaming. Home Sweet Home Alone is technically the 6th installment in the official franchise.
There’s another Home Alone based movie releasing this month featuring dogs. It looked funny but there was only room for 1 of them on this list. My bets are on Home Sweet Home Alone.  I digress…
Archie Yates (James and the Giant Peach with Taika and Friends, Wolfboy and the Everything Factory, Amphibia) plays the boy left at home while his family jets off to Japan. I absolutely adored him in the absolutely bonkers Jojo Rabbit (2019). I think he is a great pick for this role. He’s defending his home from a married pair of burglars played by Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Secret Life of Pets 2, The Stand In) and Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2, Tom and Jerry, Wrath of Man). This combo is sure to generate some really fun moments as well.
How is this a continuation of the original story and not just a reboot or remake? Well, you see Buzz – the older brother from Home Alone, the OG movie and sequel – has grown up and is now a police officer. Devin Ratray (Rough Night, The Tick, Hustlers) is returning to reprise his character.  My guess is that he’ll get stuck with this particular case at some point and will have a face-palm moment when he recognizes the same situation his mischievous little brother was in, twice, as he was growing up.
There is a new twist to this installment, though. The burglar couple aren’t professionals and seem to be wanting to reclaim something valuable. How they lost it to this family is unclear, but every blurb I’ve read mentions they want to ‘get it back.’ One of them is said to even be reluctant to conduct the heist. That’s a far cry from the gung-ho professional (but dumb) thieves from the original movies.
Home Sweet Home Alone will be released directly to Disney+ and just in time for the Holiday Season. This would be a great flick to catch at home with the family for some downtime between all the hustle and bustle of this time of year. 
(And remember, kids, these trap stunts could be lethal or cause serious injuries if people did them without movie magic that works on cartoon logic and physics – so don’t try these at home!)
16 - King Richard (11/19)

Production/Distribution: Overbrook Entertainment, Star Thrower Entertainment, Warner Bros., Westbrook Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Singapore, HBO Max
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Writer: Zach Baylin
Actors: Will Smith, Andy Bean, Andy Hoff, Aunjanue Ellis, Chet Grissom, Craig Tate, Demi Singleton, Dylan McDermott, Erin Cummings, George Ketsios, Hannah Barefoot, Jimmy Walker Jr., Jon Bernthal, Judith Chapman, Katrina Begin, Layla Crawford, Liev Schreiber, Mathew Trent Hunnicutt, Noah Bean, Saniyya Sidney, Sean Berube, Susie Abromeit, Tony Goldwyn, Vaughn W. Hebron
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sports
Rated: PG-13
Length: 138 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after the coaching from their father Richard Williams.
I am always down to watch a Will Smith (Concussion, Spies in Disguise, Bad Boys for Life) movie. He is exceptional in the biographies he has chosen to work with in the past. This should be no different. Smith seems to also gravitate to sports figures, as well. So far that’s worked out great for him.
I’ll be honest, and I may have mentioned it before – I’m not a huge sports movie fan. I’ll watch them and end up liking them, they’re just not my preferred genre to seek out. The placement of King Richard on my list this month reflects that alone. I’ve heard Oscar buzz surrounding King Richard already, and I don’t doubt that it has the potential for awards.
Venus and Serena Williams are legendary tennis sensations that have crossed into the entertainment world portraying themselves through cameos and in other non-fiction productions. While Serena has done some other acting (ER, Drop Dead Diva, The Legend of Korra), Venus has generally stuck to sports and related productions outside of the occasional game-show appearance.
Both sisters are on board as Executive Producers for King Richard, so it’s a good bet that the movie will deliver a good representation of their father and his passion for guiding them through their sports journey. This also means that they signed off on the young ladies portraying them on-screen as well. Saniyya Sidney (Hidden Figures, Fences, Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History) and Demi Singleton (Goldie, Showbiz Kids, Godfather of Harlem) have some proverbial big tennis shoes to fill; but if the trailer is a good indication, they should be up for the task.
Other notable cast members are Jon Bernthal (The Punisher, Ford v Ferrari, The Many Saints of Newark) as a tennis coach and Aunjanue Ellis (The Birth of a Nation, If Beale Street Could Talk, Designated Survivor) as the girls’ mom and wife of the titular King Richard. I absolutely adore Ellis and loved her work in Lovecraft Country (2020-). IMDb has Dylan McDermott (Nobody Walks, The Clovehitch Killer, American Horror Story) listed for the movie but his role is missing. According to Hollywood Reporter, he’ll be portraying a sports agent.
King Richard will be releasing simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.
15 - Father Christmas Is Back (11/7)

Production/Distribution: MSR Media, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Netflix
Directors: Mick Davis, Philippe Martinez
Writers: David Conolly, Dylanne Corcoran, Hannah Davis
Actors: Ania Marson, April Bowlby, Caroline Quentin, Elizabeth Hurley, John Cleese, Kelsey Grammer, Kris Marshall, Nathalie Cox, Ray Fearon, Talulah RileyGenre
Rated: PG-13
Length: 105 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Father Christmas Is Back centers around four sisters who have re-united for the Christmas Holiday in a Yorkshire mansion. Misunderstandings uncover the long-buried secret that tore their family apart, so many years ago.

My primary interest in Father Christmas is Back is, frankly, John Cleese (Absolutely Anything, Trolls, Arctic Dogs). His involvement immediately captured my attention – and then the rest of the trailer won me over to the story.
I honestly can’t wait to see Cleese and Kelsey Grammer (The Space Between, Dr. Death, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans) banter on screen. Aside from the outstanding Elizabeth Hurley (An Elephant's Journey, Runaways, Then Came You), I’m not that familiar with the rest of the cast – but I don’t have to be.
No one’s family is perfect. We all have squabbles now and again. Sometimes getting everyone under the same roof can be quite the catalyst for chaos – both good and bad. I love movies that shine a light on the dysfunction rather than hiding it. We can all relate to it on some level and it elevates the comedy when that happens. Now when you take a pair of comedy legends butting heads, this should be absolutely hilarious. I don’t want to downplay the plot point of the four sisters – because that’s what all the blurbs are talking about – but the exchange between Cleese and Grammer in the trailer is, honestly, what sold this for me.
The impression I got is something along the lines of a mash-up of Almost Christmas (2016) with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) set at a grand manor in the English countryside. Sign me up to be a fly on that wall!
Father Christmas is Back is a Netflix original so it’ll be super easy to watch at any point during this upcoming Holiday Season.
14 – Belfast (11/12)

Production/Distribution: TKBC, Focus Features, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures Argentina, Universal Pictures International
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Kenneth Branagh
Actors: Caitriona Balfe, Ciarán Hinds, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Judi Dench, Olive Tennant, Lewis McAskie, Josie Walker, Freya Yates, Nessa Eriksson, Charlie Barnard, Frankie Hastings, Máiréad Tyers, Caolan McCarthy, Ian Dunnett Jnr, Michael Maloney, Lara McDonnell, Chris McCurry, Rachel Feeney, Elly Condron, Drew Dillon, Olivia Flanagan, Samuel Menhinick, Leonard Buckley, Estelle Cousins, Scott Gutteridge, Bill Branagh, Turlough Convery, Gerard Horan, Colin Morgan, Vanessa Ifediora, Kit Rakusen, Oliver Savell, Orla McDonagh, Serrana Su-Ling Bliss, Scarlett Nunes, Sid Sagar, Ross O'Donnellan, Matthew Blaney, John Sessions, Mark Hadfield, Joyce Branagh
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 98 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A young boy and his working class family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.
Belfast covers a topic near and dear to my heart – Ireland. Renowned Irish-born director Kenneth Branagh (The Magic Flute, Jack Ryan : Shadow Recruit, Cinderella) has written and directed a captured moment in time from his own childhood. Keep that in mind as you watch this family’s tale unfold on the screen – it’s based on a true story. Branagh even included his 2 siblings in the film.
The setting takes place in Belfast in the 1960s at the beginning of The Troubles, as it’s called. It effectively was a period of about 30 years of civil unrest – or civil war – between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to the South. This time period and its events were the inspiration for U2’s song “Bloody Sunday”- named after an actual day of tragedy during the conflict. Over 3500 people died during this time period, and more than half of those were civilians. Northern Ireland belonged (and still does) to the United Kingdom, while to the South, the Republic of Ireland, was independent. There were large factions that wanted to unite the whole of Ireland together and oust British rule. The North was seen as primarily Protestant and the South, primarily Catholic – but it was never about religion. Some just chose to lump everything into those labels. The Troubles came to an end with The Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and thus was in the center of the conflict. Can you imagine growing up while chaos was breaking out around you? Too many places around the world today can relate to something similar, and it’s horrifying.
What I love about Belfast so far is that the trailer gave me hope. It focused on the family and their connections to one another. Belfast shines a light on how they react to the events unfolding around them but it keeps centered on the family and their bonds. It’s clear there’s plenty of laughter to go with the tension, so it should balance well.
Branagh found an amazing cast to tell his story. Most of the primary cast members are also actually Irish, such as Caitriona Balfe (Money Monster, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Ford v Ferrari), Jamie Dornan (A Private War, Synchronic, Wild Mountain Thyme), and Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones, The Terror, Zack Snyder's Justice League). This is also the full-length feature debut for Jude Hill, who was 10 years old while filming Belfast. He was also born in Northern Ireland. Of course, Dame Judi Dench (Tulip Fever, All is True, Blithe Spirit) isn’t Irish, but we won’t hold that against her. She’s amazing all the same.
I also love that this movie is in black and white. There may be pops of color here and there, hinted at by the trailer – but the majority of the film will be monochromatic. I think it fits the period well.
Belfast appears to be releasing only in theaters at first, so you can bet I’ll be counting down till I can either go to watch it or for it to land on one of the streaming services I subscribe to.
13 - The Harder They Fall (11/3)

Production/Distribution: Overbrook Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Jeymes Samuel
Writers: Jeymes Samuel, Boaz Yakin
Actors: Delroy Lindo, Edi Gathegi, Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King, RJ Cyler, Steve Corona, Tait Fletcher, Zazie Beetz
Genre: Drama, Western
Rated: R
Length: 130 minutes
IMDb Blurb: When an outlaw discovers his enemy is being released from prison, he reunites his gang to seek revenge in this Western.
I have watched a good number of westerns in my time. They were my paternal grandfather’s go-to. Between that and reading books like the Little House on the Prairie collection, while growing up, the genre has a special nostalgic place in my heart.
The Harder They Fall is most certainly not a western like my grandfather was used to. I love that this movie just flips things sideways to give a new perspective on a well-known setting and atmosphere.
Sure, there will be plenty of the usual – horses, trains, saloons, and gunplay. I’m hoping there’s more of a twist to it, though, aside from the ethnicity of the majority of the cast or at least its main characters. That’s definitely an amazing thing all to itself, though. The genre has been missing a different perspective in this way.
Regardless of whether or not the production follows the regular western recipes, the cast here is absolutely outstanding – and I’d likely watch even if they were sitting down the whole time and just reading to each other. Idris Elba (The Mountain Between Us, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, Concrete Cowboy) and Jonathan Majors (Much Ado About Nothing, Captive State, Loki) appear to be the primary two characters. They’re backed up by a supporting cast that includes Zazie Beetz (High Flying Bird, Seberg, Still Here), Regina King (American Crime, Watchmen, Flag Day), Delroy Lindo (Blood & Oil, Da 5 Bloods, The Good Fight), LaKeith Stanfield (Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, The Photograph), and Damon Wayans Jr. (How to be Single, New Girl, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar).  Jay-Z is even one of the producers under his real name, Shawn Carter (The Great Gatsby, Jay Z: Family Feud ft. Beyoncé, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story).
IMDb’s trivia section for this film seems to indicate this might be at least partially based on a story or stories from the autobiography of a real cowboy named Nat Love, which was published back in 1907. It would be cool if it was. I can’t confirm that, however.
The Harder They Fall will be released on Netflix, and I’m excited to stream it right away.
12 - Riverdance: The Animated Adventure (11/7)

Production/Distribution: Aniventure, Cinesite, River Production, Constantin Film, Notorious Pictures, SND Films, Vértice Cine, Sky Cinema
Directors: Eamonn Butler, Dave Rosenbaum
Writers: Dave Rosenbaum, Tyler Werrin
Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Brendan Gleeson, Lilly Singh, Jermaine Fowler, John Kavanagh, Pauline McLynn, Stephen Delahunty, Conor Drum, Sam Hardy, Hannah Herman, Rory Kardos-Ivess, Thomas Lappin, Danny McColgan, Brian Tynan
Genre: Animation, Fantasy
Rated: Unrated
Length: 86 minutes
IMDb Blurb: An Irish boy named Keegan and a Spanish girl named Moya journey into the mythical world of the Megaloceros Giganteus who teach them to appreciate Riverdance as a celebration of life.
What’s not to love about an animated tale about a quest for magic forest creatures set in Ireland? The animation looks stunning, the music will be gorgeous, and the story seems fun and full of promise.
Please do not get this confused with the live-action stage production craze that started with Riverdance in 1995. The Irish elk (Megaloceros Giganteus) in this animated tale may very well be performing Irish stepdance, but it’s most certainly not the same thing. From what I’ve read, this narrative is only inspired by the stage productions and won’t be re-creating them.
However, the movie does share the musical composer with the original stage show. Grammy winner, Bill Whelan has returned to provide the gorgeous music here as well.
While it’s unclear whether or not this is getting a theater release, Riverdance: The Animated Adventure should be streamable On Demand in the US starting November 7th. It was previously released on SkyCinema’s streaming platform in the UK back in May 2021.
11 - Dangerous (11/5)

Production/Distribution: Minds Eye Entertainment, Benaroya Pictures, Falconer Pictures, Miscellaneous Entertainment, Defiant Screen Entertainment, Eagle Films, Lionsgate, Minds Eye International, Youplanet Pictures
Director: David Hackl
Writer: Christopher Borrelli
Actors: Brendan Fletcher, Brock Morgan, Chad Rook, Emmanuel Addo, Famke Janssen, Jayce Barreiro, Kevin Durand, Mel Gibson, Ryan Robbins, Scott Eastwood, Tyrese Gibson
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 99 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A reformed sociopath journeys to a remote island to investigate the mystery behind his brother's demise, but soon ends up facing off with more than he bargained for.
I’m going to admit that Dangerous looks a bit bonkers, from what was shown in the trailer – but in a good way. There’s a mysterious family past, the family black sheep that’s trying to work on his issues, the therapist that’s helping him, the law officers that are trying to hold him accountable, and then the psychopath and crew that show up to wreak havoc on the day of his brother’s funeral.
Somewhere along in there is a system that drops metal shutters over windows and swings shut reinforced doors… oh, and we can’t forget the secret submarine marina somewhere on the island with the 50-cal turret gun.
When you put Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Wrath of Man), Mel Gibson (Blood Father, Boss Level, Fatman), Famke Janssen (Once Upon a Time in Venice, The Poison Rose, Endless), and Tyrese Gibson (Black and Blue, The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two, Rogue Hostage) together with Kevin Durand (Tragedy Girls, Primal, Locke & Key) as the ‘bad guy,’ I don’t care what it is – I’m watching it. There should be plenty of action, thrills, and even some comedy woven into this story.
Dangerous will have a limited theater release, but will also be available On Demand for streaming starting November 5th.

10 - Black Friday (11/19)

Production/Distribution: MFW Productions, The Warner Davis Company, Highland Film Group, Screen Media Films
Director: Casey Tebo
Writer: Andy Greskoviak            
Actors: Devon Sawa, Bruce Campbell, Ivana Baquero, Ryan Lee, Michael Jai White, Leah Procito, Kayla Caulfield, Mark Steger, Andria Blackman, Lonnie Farmer, Marilyn Busch, Adrian M. Mompoint, Louie Kurtzman, Stephen Peck
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 84 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A group of toy store employees must protect each other from a horde of parasite infected shoppers.
Just in time for the Holiday shopping season, Black Friday is releasing exactly 1 week ahead of its namesake.
I was sold on Black Friday the moment I saw Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead, Tangled: The Series, The Last Kids on Earth) was going to be involved with fighting off crazed zombie-like shoppers. This is right in his wheelhouse – and just the sort of comedy horror that I adore.
Of course, he’s not in this alone. The other cast members that stand out to me are Michael Jai White (Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Take Back, Rogue Hostage) and Devon Sawa (Escape Plan: The Extractors, Disturbing the Peace. Hunter Hunter). I’m afraid I’m not that familiar with the rest. I loved what I saw in the trailer, however.
How long would you survive if you were trapped in a toy store full of zombies? Actually, it’s invading alien parasites!
There really isn’t a need to say more. If you love campy horror-comedy, Black Friday is going to be a must-see.
9 - House of Gucci (11/24)

Production/Distribution: BRON Studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Scott Free Productions, Forum Hungary, Toho-Towa, United Artists Releasing, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures Argentina, Universal Pictures International
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna, Becky Johnston, Sara Gay Forden
Actors: Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Camille Cottin, Jack Huston, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Lady Gaga, Madalina Diana Ghenea, Reeve Carney, Salma Hayek
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: Unknown
IMDb Blurb: Spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder, we see what a name means, what it's worth, and how far a family will go for control.
When I watched the trailer for House of Gucci, my first thoughts were – fashion mafia? That is the vibe that this production is giving off. Lots of Italian-accented intrigue seems to transpire with the backdrop of one of the most well-known fashion industry names in the world.
My favorite line from the trailer is from Lady Gaga’s (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, American Horror Story, A Star is Born) character. “I don't consider myself to be a particularly ethical person, but I am fair.” I think that likely sets the tone for the whole movie.
House of Gucci is packed with a phenomenal cast, too. Aside from Gaga, you’ve got Adam Driver (Logan Lucky, The Dead Don't Die, Annette), Salma Hayek (Everly, Like a Boss, Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard), Al Pacino (Manglehorn, The Irishman, Hunters), and Jeremy Irons (Assassin's Creed, Watchmen, Zack Snyder's Justice League). Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, Blade Runner 2049, The Little Things) is also in what seems to be a prominent role in the film but looks nothing like his usual self. The combination of all this talent and then some should be something spectacular.
Of course, this is something to be expected from Ridley Scott (Body of Lies, The Martian, The Last Duel). He is one of my absolute favorite directors. If anyone can take family drama and spin it into a blockbuster, it’s him.
House of Gucci is set to have a theatrical release and a window of exclusive pay television on EPIX before landing on Paramount+ streaming service.
8 - A Boy Called Christmas (11/24)

Production/Distribution: Blueprint Pictures, Canal+, Ciné+, Netflix, StudioCanal, StudioCanal Germany, StudioCanal International, StudioCanal UK
Director: Gil Kenan
Writers: Ol Parker, Gil Kenan, Matt Haig
Actors: Abiola Ogunbiyi, Henry Lawful, Indica Watson, Isabella O'Sullivan, James Beaumont, Jim Broadbent, Joel Fry, Kendrick Ong, Kristen Wiig, Maggie Smith, Michiel Huisman, Perveen Hussain, Philip Lenkowsky, Rishi Kuppa, Rune Temte, Sally Hawkins, Sinead Phelps, Stephen Merchant, Toby Jones, Trish Osmond,  Zoe Margaret Colletti
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 106 minutes
IMDb Blurb: In this origin story of Father Christmas, an ordinary boy (with a loyal pet mouse and a reindeer at his side) sets out on an extraordinary adventure to find his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of Elfhelm.
A Boy Called Christmas is a fanciful imagining of the origins of Christmas. We’re not talking about the biblical sense; but the whole Santa, reindeer, and presents story.
I love the mix of live-action and animation here. The trailer showed scenes were the two were merged so smoothly that it seemed immersive and effortless.
The cast here is also amazing – there’s a lot of that going around this month and I’m here for it!
I’m excited that Dame Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey, The Lady in the Van, Sherlock Gnomes) narrates the story for us. While I don’t believe they would share scenes together, A Boy Called Christmas reunites her with her Potterverse co-star Jim Broadbent (Paddington 2, Dolittle, Six Minutes to Midnight). Other stand-outs are Michiel Huisman (The Age of Adeline, The Ottoman Lieutenant, The Haunting of Hill House), Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live, Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar, Bless the Harts), Sally Hawkins (Paddington, The Shape of Water, Godzilla: King of the Monsters), and Toby Jones (Christopher Robin, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Infinite). I could go on, but that would be silly.
I love a good adventure story, and all the snow shown in this film makes me doubly wish to curl up with some cocoa or hot tea and good company to watch. The good news is that will be easy to do since A Boy Called Christmas is releasing on Netflix.
7 - Finch (11/5)

Production/Distribution: Amblin Partners, Dutch Angle, ImageMovers, Misher Films, Walden Media, Apple TV+
Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Writers: Craig Luck, Ivor Powell
Actors: Alexander Alayon, Alexis Raben, Andrea Good, Caleb Landry Jones, Carma Harvey, Christopher Farrar, Donat Balaj, Jon Donahue, Kennedi Butler, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Madeleine Dennis, Marie Wagenman, Oscar Avila, Rylan Healey, Samira Wiley, Skeet Ulrich, Tom Hanks
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes
IMDb Blurb: On a post-apocalyptic earth, a robot, built to protect the life of his creator's beloved dog, learns about life, love, friendship and what it means to be human.
Everybody loves Tom Hanks (A Hologram for the King, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, News of the World), right? Regardless, he is certainly no stranger to carrying a film solo – and making it a blockbuster hit while he’s at it. (Can we say Cast Away (2000)?)
Of course, in Finch, he’s not entirely alone. He also has Jeff, the A.I. robot his character creates, and his dog. Jeff is voiced by Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, The Dead Don't Die, The Outpost), but Hanks is the only human that appears on screen for the better part of the movie.
The trailer and such show that there are other people in this post-apocalyptic world Finch is set in, but they are avoided at all costs. We will likely see some flashbacks to the life ‘before’ the disaster, though.
I love sci-fi and dystopian post-apocalyptic movies, so this one is right up my alley. I think fans of the genres, and also Tom Hanks fans will have plenty to love here. I have laughed out loud every time I’ve watched this trailer.
Finch will be available for streaming exclusively from AppleTV+.
6 - Clifford the Big Red Dog (11/10)

Production/Distribution: Paramount Pictures, Entertainment One, Kerner Entertainment Company, Scholastic Entertainment, New Republic Pictures, Walden Media, Paramount+, Eagle Pictures, Paramount Pictures International, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International, Entertainment One
Director: Walt Becker
Writers: Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Blaise Hemingway, Justin Malen, Ellen Rapoport, Norman Bridwell
Actors: Darby Camp, David Alan Grier, Horatio Sanz, Izaac Wang, Jack Whitehall, Jessica Keenan Wynn, John Cleese, Karen Lynn Gorney, Kenan Thompson, Paul Rodriguez, Rosie Perez, Russell Peters, Russell Wong, Sienna Guillory, Tony Hale, Yasha Jackson
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 97 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A young girl's love for a tiny puppy named Clifford makes the dog grow to an enormous size.
Multiple generations have grown up loving Clifford the Big Red Dog, mine included. I always enjoyed seeing what meaningful adventures Emily Elizabeth would have with her gargantuan pup.
My best friend has a huge dog. He’s a Great Dane and Mastiff mix. I understand a little about what it takes to dog-proof a room... or a house… to keep a heavy tail from slapping fragile things off of surfaces regular-sized dogs wouldn’t usually come in contact with. I can only imagine the havoc that would happen with a dog the size of a literal house. There were so many moments in the trailer that had me laughing for this very reason.
Then there’s the scene at the vet’s. Kenan Thompson (Going in Style, The Grinch, Wonder Park) is wonderful, and hilariously delivered the bewilderment appropriate for the situation.
This cast is pretty spectacular and stacked with comedy greats like Paul Rodriguez (Pray for Rain, Sandy Wexler, Cholo Zombies) and David Alan Grier (Native Son, Crank Yankers, The Resident). Darby Camp (The Christmas Chronicles, NOS4A2, Big Little Lies) looks perfect for the role of Emily Elizabeth, and the trailer showed Jack Whitehall (The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Good Omens, Jungle Cruise) was doing well as her out-of-his-depth uncle.
Have I mentioned yet that John Cleese is in this movie, too? I, honestly, decided to watch the minute I saw him on screen. I wouldn’t care if he only had 30 seconds of screen time, either. He plays the important role of the man that provides Clifford to his new, loving, forever home with Emily Elizabeth and assures her he’ll grow in proportion to her love for the pup.
Some might have issues with the animation here, but I couldn’t see anything wrong with it. Clifford seems well rendered to me, and moves and interacts like a behemoth of a dog would.
I can’t wait until Clifford the Big Red Dog is available to stream on Paramount+.
5 - Red Notice (11/12)

Production/Distribution: Bad Version, Flynn Picture Company, Legendary Entertainment, Netflix, Seven Bucks Productions
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Actors: Bobby Blish, Bradford Norris, Brandon Parker, Brenna Marie Narayan, Chris Diamantopoulos, Christopher Cocke, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Ivan Mbakop, Jay Romero, Jeramie Julian, Kazi Maubert, Melissa Kennemore, MWW Michael Wilkerson, Noah Bain Garret, Pascal Petardi, Ritu Arya, Robert Tinsley, Ryan Reynolds, Sebastien Large, Seth Michaels, Shane Berengue, Tom Choi, Victoria Paige Watkins, Vincenzo Amato, Yasmine Habib, Yosef Podolski, Zach Catanzareti
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Rated: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes
IMDb Blurb: An Interpol agent tracks the world's most wanted art thief.
What’s better than an action movie where Dwayne Johnson (Skyscraper, Moana, Jungle Cruise), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, The Croods: A New Age, Free Guy), and Gal Gadot (Triple 9, Wonder Woman, Ralph Breaks the Internet) share screen time together? Not much, really.
Everything about Red Notice simply makes me giddy with anticipation – from the cast, to the premise, the genre blend, and the witty banter. I expect lots of thrills, some comedy gold, and an all-around entertaining experience.
I am also over the moon that this is a Netflix movie, as I’ll be able to stream it immediately upon its release.
4 - Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (11/24)

Production/Distribution: Constantin Film, Davis Film, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tea Shop Productions,The Fyzz Facility, Elevation Pictures, Metropolitan, Sony Pictures Releasing Argentina, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International
Director: Johannes Roberts
Writer: Johannes Roberts
Actors: Avan Jogia, Chad Rook, Donal Logue, Hannah John-Kamen, Kaya Scodelario, Kearstin Plemel, Lily Gao, Marina Mazepa, Nathan Dales, Neal McDonough, Robbie Amell, Stephannie Hawkins, Tom Hopper
Genre: Action, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Rated: R
Length: 107 minutes
IMDb Blurb: Set in 1998, this origin story explores the secrets of the mysterious Spencer Mansion and the ill-fated Raccoon City.
The next few movies, this one included, could easily have been my #2 spot, so consider this a  three-way tie. I am seriously splitting hairs with my desire to watch each of these, determining their order. That being said, let’s get on to the movie.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City takes us back to 1998 and the beginning of the zombie outbreak at the hands of the Umbrella Corp. We’re going to forget for a bit that the other movies have ever taken place. This story rewinds time with a new spin that follows more closely with the video games that started it all.
I love the cast here. I’ve said that a lot in this list, but it’s a big reason why I’m drawn to some movies over others. Aside from the story, I am a huge fan of some of these actors.
Robbie Amell (The Babysitter, Code 8, Upload) and Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner, Crawl, Spinning Out) are well-matched as the Redfield siblings. Avan Jogia (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shaft, Zombieland: Double Tap) fits the vibe of Leon really well, also. Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Killjoys) is a good fit for sci-fi action, and I’m excited to see her in the role of Jill Valentine. Tom Hopper (Black Sails, Terminator: Dark Fate, The Umbrella Academy) rounds out the team of ‘good guys’ and is a good addition, at that.
I think I’ve said it before, but Neal McDonough (Yellowstone, The Warrant, Monsters of Man) plays an excellent villain. I expect nothing less here. He fits the role of the maniacal doctor that starts it all.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will be released in theaters only, with On Demand and streaming to come only at a later date.
3 - Encanto (11/24)

Production/Distribution: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Disney+, Forum Hungary, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directors: Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith
Writers: Jared Bush, Charise Castro Smith, Lin-Manuel Miranda             
Actors: Adassa, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitan, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow, John Leguizamo, María Cecilia Botero, Mauro Castillo, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Rhenzy Feliz, Stephanie Beatriz, Wilmer Valderrama
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 99 minutes
IMDb Blurb: A young Colombian girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.
The House of Mouse has done it again!  I’m sure that Encanto will soar right on up there with the other classics. The animation for this movie looks absolutely spectacular, the cast is on point, and the characters feel relatable.
I love that Encanto will feature the first Disney princess that wears glasses.
Bonus points to Disney that they cast Alan Tudyk (Moana, Marvel's M.O.D.O.K, American Dad!) to voice another quirky creature role with Pico the Toucan.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana, Hamilton, In the Heights) also composed the original songs contained in Encanto.
Encanto will release in theaters in November and arrives on Disney+ on Christmas Eve.
2 - Eternals (11/5)

Production/Distribution: Marvel Studios, TSG Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Forum Hungary,
Kinomania, NOS Audiovisuais, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Finland, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Mexico, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Norway, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Chloé Zhao
Writers: Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, Kaz Firpo, Jack Kirby
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Barry Keoghan, Brian Tyree Henry, Dong-seok Ma, Gemma Chan, Gil Birmingham, Haaz Sleiman, Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Lia McHugh, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 157 minutes
IMDb Blurb: The saga of the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.
Eternals is a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie with an epic cast – need I say more?
Eternals is releasing in theaters only, initially.
1 - Ghostbusters: Afterlife (11/17)

Production/Distribution: Columbia Pictures, BRON Studios, Ghostcorps, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Montecito Picture Company, Sony Pictures España, Sony Pictures Releasing Argentina, Sony Pictures Releasing Canada, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures International
Director: Jason Reitman
Writers: Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Actors: Annie Potts, Bill Murray, Bokeem Woodbine, Caillou Pettis, Carrie Coon, Celeste O'Connor, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Finn Wolfhard, Logan Kim, Marlon Kazadi, Mckenna Grace, Oliver Cooper, Paul Rudd, Sigourney Weaver
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 124 minutes
IMDb Blurb: When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
I love Ghostbusters (1984). It was one of the first several movies I saw in the theater and had a profound impact on my life. I quote it on a regular basis. The sequel was alright, but was nowhere as good as the original.
We’re going to look over the more recent reboot that happened. I’m considering that in some sort of an alternate reality – the makers of Ghostbusters: Afterlife apparently do, too. According to what’s known of the movie so far, ghosts haven’t been seen in the world in decades and the main characters are from Egon’s family.
This movie is going to be so much fun. I love the cast. I love the trailer. The minute its release date was announced, it was a no-brainer for me that this would be my #1 spot.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is slated to release in theaters and on HBO Max on November 17th. You can bet I’ll be watching it on that day, the minute it is released. If you have a theater available to you, I’d recommend seeing this one on the big screen if you can.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Selina
Riverdance: The Animated Adventure .20
Finch .19
House of Gucci .18
Night Raiders .17
Zeros and Ones .16
Passing  .15
The Summit of the Gods .14
Dangerous .13
Belfast  .12
 A Boy Called Christmas .11
The Harder they Fall .10
Clerk. .9
 King Richard .8
Red Notice .7
Black Friday .6
Tick, tick… Boom .5
Encanto .4
Ghostbusters: Afterlife .3
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City .2
Eternals .1

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