November film highlights 2012

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The top five films you need to see this month

The awards season is miles off – we’ve got Christmas to get through first. But traditionally autumn is when film companies begin to unleash their triple-A contenders for the big prizes at next year’s Academy Awards and Baftas. What that means for us is a bumper month at the flicks. Here’s our pick of the best five films out in November, including a Michael Haneke masterpiece and a first-class thriller from Ben Affleck.


  • 1

    Argo

    Rating: 4/5

    In a sentence
    Ben Affleck channels beardy, ’70s Hollywood conspiracy thrillers and comes up trumps with this gripping political potboiler.

    Why we’re excited
    It’s the promise of a first-rate thriller. Affleck is back in the director’s chair and also stars as a CIA agent tasked with getting six Americans out of Iran after the fall of the shah in 1979. His cunning plan: pretending to be a Canadian director making a sci-fi movie. Our own Tom Huddleston had issues with the last 20 minutes, but calls it ‘oh-so-nearly brilliant’.

    Who’ll love it?
    Fans of intelligent, taut and suspenseful thrillers.

    When’s it out?
    November 7

    Read the Time Out review of 'Argo'
  • 2

    Amour

    Rating: 5/5

    In a sentence
    Austrian auteur Michael Haneke’s devastating, intimate portrayal of an elderly married couple in Paris nearing the end of their lives.

    Why we’re excited
    We’re used to being shocked by Michael Haneke, with films exploring the dark, brutal possibilities of human behaviour (see ‘Funny Games’, ‘The Time of the Wolf’). ‘Amour’ is shocking in a completely new way. It’s a truthful and tender film about what we can expect from old age – illness, incontinence and, if you’re lucky, someone to love. It bagged the Austrian his second Palme d’Or at Cannes earlier in 2012, and he can now rightly claim to be one of the greatest directors alive.

    Who’ll love it?
    Serious moviegoers and anyone interested in an intelligent, profound story about love and death.

    When’s it out?
    November 16

    Read the Time Out review of 'Amour'
  • 3

    The Silver Linings Playbook

    Rating: 4/5

    In a sentence
    Two of Hollywood’s new favourite actors – Jennifer Lawrence (she who kicked ass in ‘The Hunger Games’) and Bradley Cooper (the alpha male in ‘The Hangover’) – join forces.

    Why we’re excited
    This comedy has been wildly popular with audiences at film festivals. It’s the latest film from David O Russell (his last was ‘The Fighter’), who’s a director with a knack for coaxing knockout performances from his actors. Bradley Cooper plays a man with bipolar disorder who’s lost everything after a nasty episode involving his ex and her lover. Lawrence is a young widow with her own issues.

    Who’ll love it?
    Judging from the audience awards it’s accumulating, pretty much everyone.

    When’s it out?
    November 21

    Read the Time Out review of 'The Silver Linings Playbook'
  • 4

    The Master

    Rating: 5/5

    In a sentence
    This is the film that isn’t ‘about’ Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, so director Paul Thomas Anderson told us earlier this month in an interview.

    Why we’re excited
    Any film from Paul Thomas Anderson (‘There Will Be Blood’ and ‘Boogie Nights’) is guaranteed to get us salivating. And ‘The Master’ comes with a string of five-star reviews, including from Time Out film editor Dave Calhoun. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as the founder of a new religion in the early ’50s, and Joaquin Phoenix is one of his early followers.

    Who’ll love it?
    Anyone who wants to see two of the finest actors alive at the top of their game.

    When’s it out?
    It’s screening exclusively at the Odeon West End, Leicester Square, in London until November 16. After that, it opens nationwide.

    Read the Time Out review of 'The Master'
  • 5

    Sightseers

    Rating: 3/5

    In a sentence
    The director of ‘Kill List' and ‘Down Terrace’, Ben Wheatley is back with a black comedy about a pair of caravanning serial killers.

    Why we’re excited
    Ben Wheatley is one of British film’s brightest, most original talents. ‘Sightseers’ is his third film and follows a courting couple (he’s a loner; she lives with her mum) on a trip around the sights of northern England. Things take a murderous turn at a tram museum. The tone here is Mike Leigh meets ‘The Wicker Man’, and this has ‘cult film’ written all over it. Some critics haven’t been as sold on it as they were on Wheatley’s last film ‘Kill List’, Time Out’s Tom Huddleston included.

    Who’ll love it?
    Anyone who likes their romcoms spiced up with a dash of grisly horror and a sick sense of humour.

    When’s it out?
    November 30

    Read the Time Out review of 'Sightseers'

See all November film releases

  • Aside from these highlights there's plenty to see at the cinema this November, including Chris O'Dowd in 'The Sapphires' and Jake Gylenhaal in 'End of Watch'. Take a look at our upcoming movies calendar for a comprehensive guide to all November film releases.

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