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The best new movies to see this month

November kicks Oscar season into high gear with prestige releases including The Irishman, Dark Waters and Marriage Story

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Marriage Story
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix Marriage Story

Looking for the best new movies to see this month? We’re way ahead of you: Here are the biggest and most essential big-screen releases coming to a theater near you over the next four weeks.

Best new movies this month

1
Photo: Niko Tavernise/Netflix
Movies, Drama

The Irishman

No November list would be complete without Martin Scorsese’s absorbing return to his signature criminal universe. At three-and-a-half hours, it definitely qualifies as an epic, but the surprise here is how deep it gets into guilt and end-of-life remorse. When you’ve got Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino (plus their digitally de-aged selves), you have to account for a lot of intense brooding. Opens Nov 1

2
Photo: Glen Wilson/Warner Bros.
Movies, Drama

Motherless Brooklyn

Edward Norton’s take on the beloved Jonathan Lethem novel isn’t quite the book you remember—the story has been transposed to the 1950s and given a gloss that’s not right for the earthy mystery story. But it’s still thrilling to watch the actor-writer-director grab for something this ambitious and Chinatown-like. Opens Nov 1

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3
Marriage Story
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Movies, Drama

Marriage Story

Starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a brittle couple in the process of divorcing, Noah Baumbach’s bruising tour de force is the drama of the year—a showcase for sustained, generous acting and no small amount of wisdom. It’ll be on Netflix in December but see it in a Brooklyn theater with all the hard-core Baumbachites. Opens Nov 6

4
Movies, Drama

Honey Boy

Shia LaBeouf comes out of his performative shell of paper bags and stunts with this impressive confessional drama—an honest reconciliation with his troubled past as an abused child and toxic adult. (He also plays his father.) It’s a cinematic public apology from someone seeking a fresh start. Give him a chance. Opens Nov 8

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5
Photo: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox
Movies, Action and adventure

Ford v Ferrari

Christian Bale plays irascible racing legend Ken Miles who, in the mid 1960s, teamed up with car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) to take on the Italians at France’s Le Mans. Logan writer-director James Mangold is one of the few filmmakers on the planet who can turn an action movie into something profound; even if he doesn’t quite get there this time, it’s still plenty of fun. Opens Nov 15

6
Photo: Courtesy of A24
Movies, Drama

Waves

Writer-director Trey Edward Shults (It Comes at Night) evolves in a big way with this sophisticated heartbreaker constructed in halves: The first is about a high-school athlete (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) spiraling under the pressure of some bad decisions; the second concerns his family’s healing after a catastrophe. Opens Nov 15

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7
Photo: Sony Pictures
Movies, Drama

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It’s not quite a biopic so much as a dysfunctional-dad drama, in which a journalist in need of a hug (The Americans’ Matthew Rhys) finds himself learning life lessons from his latest profile subject, the serene Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks, born to this). One scene in a Chinese restaurant is worth the price of admission. Opens Nov 22

8
Photo: Mary Cybulski/Focus Features
Movies, Drama

Dark Waters

Nothing will keep us away from a new Todd Haynes joint, and even if the auteur of Safe and Carol seems to be slumming a bit with this based-on-a-real-disaster environmental thriller starring Mark Ruffalo in aggrieved mode, we’re down for its Erin Brockovich–like vibe. Never mind that you irrationally hate her: Anne Hathaway was born to play the long-suffering wife in a Haynes film. Opens Nov 22

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9
Frozen 2
Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Movies, Animation

Frozen II

If you’ve got kids, you don’t need reminding that a Frozen sequel is skating your way. The release date is probably written on your walls in felt tip. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Co. are back for another wintry adventure in Arendelle. Expect songs; expect spectacle; expect to be watching it 400 times. Opens Nov 22

10
Photo: Claire Folger/Lionsgate
Movies, Thriller

Knives Out

The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson uses some of that Star Wars clout to assemble a killer cast of deep-dish crazy for his verbally dazzling whodunit: Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson and Jamie Lee Curtis are all part of a clan whose patriarch (Christopher Plummer) has been murdered in the middle of the night. Daniel Craig—doing a Southern drawl that someone calls “CSI KFC”—investigates. Opens Nov 27

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