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Upcoming Movies: what to watch out for this winter

Bond, Black Widow and Hercule Poirot are coming to blow your mind

By Phil de Semlyen
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The leaves are falling, the nights are drawing in and – hallelujah! – movies are back. If you fancy a trip to the cinema, saddle up for some absolute belters. On the slate? The return of 007, the latest Pixar and at least one enormous moustache.

Autumn movies

On the Rocks
On the Rocks
Photograph: Apple TV+

On the Rocks

It’s Sofia Coppola’s latest – and you know what that means. Bill Murray. Bill frickin’ Murray. The Murricane. In this one, he plays the sleuthing dad to Rashida Jones’s suspicious wife. Is her husband (Marlon Wayans) putting in extra hours in the office to get ahead at work or to spend more time with his attractive new colleague? Daughter and dad head on a sleuthing mission across the Big Apple to find out. 

In cinemas on Oct 2 and Apple TV+ on Oct 23.

Eternal Beauty
Eternal Beauty
Photograph: Bulldog Film Distribution

Eternal Beauty

A schizophrenia romance might sound like a tough sell but writer-director Craig Roberts has assembled the kind of female-led British cast that makes it sounds like the best idea ever. Sally Hawkins stars as a woman trying to navigate life without her meds, with Billie Piper, Penelope Wilton and Morfydd Clark lending support. 

In cinemas Oct 2.

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Kajillionaire
Kajillionaire
Photograph: Matt Kennedy, Focus Features

Kajillionaire

American indie doyenne Miranda July is back with her first movie since 2011’s ‘The Future’, an offbeat crime caper that plays a little like ‘The Grifters’ on Xanax. Amid all the scamming and low-fi hucksterism is a tender tale of family dysfunction played to perfection by Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger and Richard Jenkins. The American dream may not escape unscathed from this sideways look at life on the fringes.

In cinemas Oct 9.

Saint Maud
Saint Maud
Photograph: Studiocanal

Saint Maud

Writer-director Rose Glass delivers a killer first film with this clammy seaside psyche-out. Rising star Morfydd Clark plays a nurse whose spiritual devotion and dedication to her dying patient (Jennifer Ehle) tips into something darker. Fun fact: the script was partly written in the Wellcome Collection.

In cinemas Oct 9.

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Herself
Herself
Photograph: Picturehouse

Herself

Director Phyllida Lloyd goes from ‘The Iron Lady’ to ‘The Corrugated Iron Lady’ in this hard-hitting but hopeful drama about a Dublin woman who escapes an abusive relationship and sets about building a house for herself and her two young daughters. Newcomer Clare Dunne makes a big impression in the lead role and Harriet Walter is her usual majestic self.

In cinemas Oct 16.

Pixie
Pixie
Photograph: Aidan Monaghan, Paramount Pictures

Pixie

An Irish road trip crime caper with stacks of attitude, skeletons in the closet and at least one body in the trunk, Barnaby Thompson (‘St Trinian’s’) comedy is a handy reminder never to make off with the big bag of drugs – even when it’s very, very tempting. Gun-toting priests, a Nigella Lawson-stanning crime lords and one or two snarky dealers are just a few of the issues facing the on-the-lam Pixie (‘Ready Player One’s Olivia Cooke) and her two co-runaways.

In cinemas Oct 23.



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The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
Photograph: Sky Cinmea

The Secret Garden

Can’t make it to Kew Gardens? Check into this horticultural haven instead. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s childhood novel is adapted again with Dixie Egerickx starring as an orphaned tyke who is sent away to gothic Yorkshire ruin Misselthwaite Manor and finds balm in its magical fauna and flora. Colin Firth, Julie Walters and a ton of flowers round out the cast.

In cinemas
Oct 23.

Mogul Mowgli
Mogul Mowgli
Photograph: © Rob Youngson_Pulse Films_BBC

Mogul Mowgli

Another no-holds-barred project for a Londoner in a hurry. This one has Riz Ahmed on dual duties as co-writer and actor, where he’ll be channelling his real-life musical side-hustle as an MC into the story of a British-Pakistani rapper who gets struck down with autoimmune disease. Expect plenty of mic-drop moments from Riz MC.

In cinemas Oct 30.

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Shirley
Shirley
Photograph: Thatcher Keats, Neon

Shirley

The ever-stupendous Elisabeth Moss plays American horror writer Shirley Jackson. Along with her husband (Michael Stuhlbarg), she sets about ruining the lives of her young lodgers. Directed by Josephine Decker, it boasts literary credentials (it’s based on a novel by Susan Scarf Merrell) and bohemian horrors of its own. 

In cinemas Oct 30.

Wolfwalkers
Wolfwalkers
Photograph: Cartoon Saloon

Wolfwalkers

The latest from Cartoon Saloon, Ireland’s answer to Studio Ghibli, is a historical yarn with a fantastical bent. Its hero is young hunter Robyn Goodfellowe (Honor Kneafsey), whose dad is a soldier in the service of Oliver Cromwell, the hissable occupier of Ireland in 1650. When the girl steps out of her city walls she encounters a mystical world of shapeshifting wolves and free spirits. Sean Bean and Simon McBurney also lend their tones to the velvety voice cast.

In cinemas Oct 30.

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Train to Busan Peninsula
Train to Busan Peninsula
Photograph: Studiocanal

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

A zombie-infested South Korea awaits in Yeon Sang-ho’s follow-up to his excellent 2016 undead-athon. It’s a sidequel rather than a sequel, so you don’t need to have seen ‘Train to Busan’ to understand what’s going on. What’s Korean for ‘BRAAAAAINS!’?

In cinemas Nov 6.

County Lines
County Lines
Photograph: BFI

County Lines

This stark social drama from youth-worker-turned-filmmaker Henry Blake charts the pressures that draw British teens into the UK drugs trade. Look out for impressive newcomer Conrad Khan as a brooding 14-year-old who falls under the spell of a charismatic dealer (Harris Dickinson) and into a world of anxiety-laden train journeys, hurried deals and squalid trap houses.

In cinemas Nov 20.

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Another Round
Another Round
Photograph: Henrik Ohsten

Another Round

This dark comic brew from Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg has him teaming up with his ‘The Hunt’ star Mads Mikkelsen for an alcoholic odyssey. The premise – a group of male friends fend off middle-aged ennui by micro-dosing with booze – sounds like an arthouse ‘The Hangover’. Expect the filmmaker and his star to elevate it into the ‘must-see’ bracket.

In cinemas Nov 27.

SOUL
SOUL
Photograph: Disney Pixax

Soul

Pixar’s latest daring animation is set in the great hereafter. Jamie Foxx voices a music teacher who falls down a manhole and into the afterlife, where his body and soul part company. Sound heavy? Fear not, it’s the work of playwright Kemp Powers and co-director Pete Docter, who even managed to make sadness fun in ‘Inside Out’. 

In cinemas Nov 27.

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Free Guy
Free Guy
Photograph: Twentieth Century Studios

Free Guy

Ryan Reynolds can do no wrong at the moment so you wouldn’t bet against him pulling off the mad-sounding ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ meets ’The Truman Show’ premise behind this action-comedy. He plays Guy, a non-player character in a Grand Theft Auto-like videogame who becomes sentient with the help of Jodie Comer’s programmer and faces a race against time to save the day as corporate types try to shut it all down.

In cinemas Dec 11.

Peter Rabbit 2
Peter Rabbit 2
Photograph: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Peter Rabbit 2

In the first ‘Peter Rabbit’ film, the bunny attempted to murder Mr McGregor using blackberries. Anaphylaxis is probably off the table as a plot device this time – what with all the complaints to the BBFC and condemnation from multiple allergy charities –  but expect Peter’s (James Corden) hostilities with his human foe to continue, especially if Mrs Tiggy-Winkle can fix him up with some Novichok.

In cinemas Dec 11.

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DEATH ON THE NILE
DEATH ON THE NILE
Photograph: Rob Youngson, 20th Century Studios

Death on the Nile

Up for a starry, old-school murder mystery? Extravagantly moustached detective Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is back for another Agatha Christie potboiler. Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright, Rose Leslie and Russell Brand are among the suspects this time. Can the brains from Brussels find the culprit before it’s too late? Spoiler: almost certainly.

In cinemas Dec 18.

Dune
Dune
Photograph: Chia Bella James, Warner Bros.

Dune

Overseen by a filmmaker with real pedigree in the field of thinky science-fiction – Denis Villeneuve of ‘Arrival’ fame – this new ‘Dune’ is an early Christmas present for sci-fi lovers, Frank Herbert fans and anyone with a passing interest in giant sandworms. The cast boasts Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem and Zendaya. Prepare to spice up your life.

In cinemas Dec 18.

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Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman 1984
Photograph: Clay Enos, Warner Bros.

Wonder Woman 1984

DC’s best superhero (don’t @ us, Batman) returns with an ’80s-set blockbuster that will hopefully involve shoulder pads, crimping and at least one enormous mobile phone. Gal Gadot is back as Diana Prince, with Chris Pine reprising his role as beefy sidekick Steve Trevor, and Kristen Wiig as a seriously intriguing villain who will hopefully be calling him ‘Stove’ throughout à la ‘Bridesmaids’.

In cinemas Dec 25.

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