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“The Irishman,” “Knives Out,” “Marriage Story,” And “Waves”: Films To See In November

Time sure flies! Just yesterday, it seemed like Halloween, right? Sorry, couldn’t resist a bad joke. Anyoway, on to the matter at hand. One and all, I’d like to welcome you back to a little thing I like to call the month of November. Yes, if you can believe it, we’ve officially entered the eleventh cycle once again, ladies and gentlemen! As such, we’re well into the fourth quarter of the year now, which is still crazy to think about. It also signals the point where it becomes a veritable embarrassment of riches at your local cinema. Yes, not only do I have ten really interesting new releases to show you for this month, as is usually the case around this time of year, almost all of my Honorable Mentions would be worthy of inclusion in almost any other month. In fact, almost a half dozen of them really bugged me to leave out. You’ll understand momentarily what I mean, but just know that this is easily the most stacked month so far. You really can’t go wrong here, even if you tried. It’s just that good a calendar slate, plain and simple…

Here now are the very best cinematic bets for November:

10. Dark Waters – Screenings have just begun for this late breaking potential awards contender. I see this one next week, and while I’m skeptical it can make a dent in the Academy Award race, I’m still pretty pumped. Toddy Haynes and Mark Ruffalo in a legal type thriller? Count me in. The early buzz is solid, so stay tuned for my thoughts…

9. Ford v Ferrari – A supremely entertaining bit of popcorn entertainment, this racing drama is pretty thrilling. Christian Bale, Matt Damon, and Tracy Letts are very solid in this tale of Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby teaming up to help Ford build a car capable of winning the 24 hour Le Mans race, taking down the Ferrari juggernaut in the process. More soon, but trust me, it’s pretty good stuff.

8. The Report – The “other” Adam Driver performance this year is damn good in its own right. A granular political procedural, it gets into the weeds about torture, taking our leaders to task. Oscar may forget about this Sundance Film Festival alumni, but they shouldn’t. Sit tight for a full review in a few short weeks!

7. Honey Boy – I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by Honey Boy. Shia LaBeouf is hit or miss for me, but between this (which he penned, based on his life, as well as co-stars in) and The Peanut Butter Falcon earlier this year, 2019 is a banner one for the performer. Next week I’ll have a full review, and trust me, it’s going to be more than a bit of a rave.

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers? Sign me up. As one of the few feel good movies contending for awards love this year, it fills a very unique little niche in the race. Whether that works in its favor or not remains to be seen, but as a lover of Hanks and Rogers (including the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?), this is decidedly up my alley!

5. Frozen II – A sequel to the animated smash, Disney is going to print a mint for this music filled adventure. The original voice cast returns, and expect the flick to once again be a huge contender in not just Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, but Best Original Song as well. Who isn’t excited for this one?

4. Knives Out – I see this mystery in a few days and can’t wait. The film just seems ridiculously cool. Ryan Johnson helms this tale, with an A-list ensemble cast, to boot. Those who have seen it on the festival circuit are all about it, so anticipation is high. Could it be too hip for voters? Maybe so, but then again, maybe not? Well, either way, that remains to be seen…

3. Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach’s best movie to date is an emotional heavy hitter, with the aforementioned Driver potentially in line to win the Oscar for Best Actor. The New York Film Festival was where I saw it, and it definitely wrecked me. Driver, along with Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson, and Ray Liotta, do phenomenal work. Among acting showcases in 2019, few can stack up to this one, that’s for sure.

2. Waves – An unexpected powerhouse, this portrait of a modern American family is utterly brilliant. Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Lucas Hedges (also seen this month in Honey Boy), and Taylor Russell are just tremendous as part of the clan at the center of this flick. The plot is best left to be discovered as it unfolds in front of you, but know that this is one of the year’s absolute best!

1. The Irishman – Easily one of the very best films of the year (currently in my top five), I raved about Martin Scorsese’s latest earlier in the week. Check back there for my full thoughts, but if you live near a theater playing this one, see it on the big screen ASAP. This was my social media post after the NYFF debut in September: “The Irishman is a modern American crime epic and one of Martin Scorsese’s most sprawling works. Seeing Robert De Niro and Al Pacino back at the tops of their games, together no less, is a gift, while Joe Pesci is just tremendous as well. The running time flew by. It’s terrific, with a ton of gallows humor and surprising emotional heft at the end. ‪Also, since I know folks are curious, the CGI is impeccable. You’re fully immersed‬.” It’s a masterpiece.

Honorable Mentions: 21 Bridges, Adopt a Highway, The Aeronauts, Badland, Charlie’s Angels, Citizen K, Cold Brook, Danger Close, Doctor Sleep, The Good Liar, Harriet, Last Christmas, Love is Blind, Mickey and the Bear, Midway, Motherless Brooklyn, Queen & Slim, The Shed, and Terminator: Dark Fate

Be sure to check out these various films all throughout the month of November!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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