The fall movie season is usually dominated by awards season contenders, and 2022 looks to be no different. This season will see the release of some probable masterpieces and a few titles that may ultimately fall on their face. Until we see them, though, we won’t know which titles are which.
Scattered among the prestige movies, though, are also a few standout blockbusters worth looking forward to. So, whether you’re interested in a Black Panther sequel or She Said, the story of the reporters who caught Harvey Weinstein, this fall movie season should have something for you.
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What’s it about: A mega-church pastor and his wife attempt to reopen their church and rebuild their congregation in the wake of a scandal.
Who will love it: Atheists, comedy fans, anyone who eagerly awaits every new Regina Hall movie.
Preview: Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall are really all you need to know about Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. The film is a mockumentary following the couple behind a mega-church, and it made quite a splash at Sundance when it debuted there earlier this year.
What’s it about: A young woman arrives at a rental home and discovers a strange man is already staying there. Things go haywire from there.
Who will love it: Horror fans, Pennywise freaks, anyone who has missed Justin Long.
Preview: The fall is often a great season for horror movies, and Barbarian‘s stripped-down premise has some natural appeal. Add in a supporting cast that includes Justin Long and Bill Skarsgård, and there’s plenty of reason to be intrigued by writer/director Zach Creggor’s debut.
What’s it about: A player picks up a woman at a bar and discovers he may get more than he bargained for when the evening takes a sinister turn.
Who will love it: Those who miss the erotic thriller, anyone who has really missed Justin Long.
Preview: Long stars in another thriller here, this time with Kate Bosworth as his castmate. This movie is likely to be a little less scary and a little sexier, but writer and director Neil Labute has shown potential on a smaller scale, and this could be the kind of erotic thriller we see less and less these days.
What’s it about: The second sequel to 1994’s Clerks, this film will follow Randal Graves as he decides to make a movie about his life as a Quick Stop convenience store clerk.
Who will love it: Longtime Kevin Smith fans, anyone who wants to support talky indie movies.
Preview: Clerks was a genuine phenomenon when it originally debuted in theaters, and while every Smith movie isn’t a slam dunk, Clerks has always been a comfortable universe for the director. Smith is still as sharp as he’s always been, and those who are devoted to him will likely turn out no matter what anyone says.
What’s it about: This surprise prequel to Ti West’s X tells the story of Pearl, the villain in that first movie.
Who will love it: Gruesome horror fans, anyone who saw X and thought “what’s this old lady all about?”
Preview: X was a surprise indie hit when it debuted earlier this year, and Pearl could follow in that movie’s footsteps. We come to understand what brought her to the brink of insanity, and given how wonderfully vulgar and violent X was, we can expect Pearl to be just as surprising and violent as its predecessor.
What’s it about: A historical epic about an all-female warrior unit that protected an African kingdom in the 1800s.
Who will love it: Anyone who enjoys watching Viola Davis destroy men, fans of The Old Guard.
Preview: Gina Prince Bythewood’s follow-up to The Old Guard is this period piece set in Africa. The film, which stars Viola Davis alongside Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega, could be the perfect high-brow action film as we pivot into the heat of awards season.
What’s it about: A seemingly utopian marriage in the 1950s slowly unravels as the wife begins looking into the idyllic town she’s living in.
Who will love it: Florence Pugh fans, anyone curious about Harry Styles’ burgeoning acting career, fans of a tense psychological thriller.
Preview: Olivia Wilde’s follow-up to Booksmart has had a bit of a wild press tour, but the movie itself is mighty intriguing. Featuring a cast that includes Pugh, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and Styles, Don’t Worry Darling remains mysterious, but that only makes it more exciting.
What’s it about: A single gay man in his late 30s starts to fall for a man who defies his expectations.
Who will love it: Fans of Billy Eichner, rom-com lovers, anyone who is very sick of boring straight people.
Preview: Eichner co-wrote this script, which was directed by Nicholas Stoller of Neighbors. In addition to being a step forward for queer representation on screen, Bros also seems like it might be a wonderful addition to the rom-com canon, in part because it’s leaning into many of the standard tropes of the genre.
What’s it about: Two childhood friends drift apart in high school as one of them realizes that the other has been infected by a demon.
Who will love it: Teenage horror fans, anyone who loved Eighth Grade.
Preview: Adapted from a book of the same name, My Best Friend’s Exorcism promises to be a solid entry in the teen horror subgenre. The premise is slightly deranged, but if we’re being honest, that only makes the final product more intriguing.
What’s it about: A man decides to do his part during the Vietnam War by bringing beer to the front lines.
Who will love it: Green Book fans, everyone rooting for Zac Efron, Bill Murray completists.
Preview: Peter Farrelly’s follow-up to Green Book falls more firmly into the action-comedy genre, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some award-season aspirations. It’s based on true events, and the premise could prove to be just the right combination of heartwarming and outrageous.
What’s it about: Three friends become primary suspects in a murder in the 1930s.
Who will love it: Everyone who missed David O. Russell, those who want to see the usually serious Christian Bale and John David Washington perform comedy.
Preview: Russell returns to awards season prestige with Amsterdam, which features a stellar central trio composed of Robbie, Washington and former Batman and current Marvel villain Bale. The movie also includes a supporting cast that includes Chris Rock and Taylor Swift, so it’s sure to be a strange and enchanting time at the movies.
What’s it about: A young boy who struggles following a move discovers a singing crocodile living in his attic.
Who will love it: Kids, Shawn Mendes fans, Shawn Mendes fans who are kids.
Preview: Mendes won’t be on screen in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, but just his voice may be enough to lure his fans to the movie. Co-starring Constance Wu and Javier Bardem, this live-action adaptation may be a great option for parents looking for something kid-friendly this fall.
What’s it about: The latest Halloween trilogy ends with a climactic confrontation between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode.
Who will love it: Michael Myers lovers, anyone furious that Jamie Lee Curtis was never nominated for playing Laurie.
Preview: The new trilogy of Halloween movies reaches its conclusion with Halloween Ends, which picks up with Laurie attempting to move away from the terror that has defined her life up until this point. When a babysitter is accused of murdering the child he looks after, though, Laurie will be pulled right back into the horror of Michael Myers, hopefully for the last time.
What’s it about: George Clooney and Julia Roberts play a divorced couple who reunite to stop their daughter from getting married.
Who will love it: Anyone who complains about the lack of movie star rom-coms, anyone who is rooting for Kaitlyn Dever.
Preview: Clooney and Roberts are going to get their charisma all over everything in Ticket to Paradise, which doesn’t even have to be particularly good in order for it to be great. Add in the incredible talents of Dever in the role of their daughter, and this romantic comedy starts to look like a can’t-miss event.
What’s it about: Dwayne Johnson finally gets to have superpowers as he plays Black Adam, an antihero who draws the attention of the Justice Society of America.
Who will love it: DC fans, everyone who’s wanted to see the Rock be steely.
Preview: It’s almost shocking that Johnson has not yet played a character with superpowers, but in Black Adam, he’s playing an antihero with a brutal sense of justice. The morally gray nature of Black Adam could make the movie worth checking out, and director Jaume-Collet Serra will hopefully prove to be a steady hand behind the camera.
What’s it about: The leaders of Wakanda unite to fight off invading forces following the death of King T’Challa.
Who will love it: Marvel fans, fans of good movies, anyone who is looking for a good chance to cry in public.
Preview: Likely the most anticipated film of the fall, Wakanda Forever will deal with the fallout of Chadwick Boseman’s death. The first trailer seemed to suggest that this movie will be just as beautiful as its predecessor. Ryan Coogler and team have set a high bar for themselves. Here’s hoping they clear it.
What’s it about: The story of the journalists who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault allegations.
Who will love it: Carey Mulligan fans, anyone who loves a serious, gritty journalism movie.
Preview: All the President’s Men is the high watermark of movies about journalism, but She Said might have the right combination of elements to create a new version of that movie for the 21st century. Coming out years after the Me Too movement created a watershed moment, it will also be an ideal opportunity to reflect on the fallout of that movement across culture.
What’s it about: The story of two fighter pilots who became the most celebrated flyers during the Korean War.
Who will love it: Anyone thirsty for a Kang fix, lovers of the inspirational war movie.
Preview: Top Gun: Maverick‘s Glen Powell and Loki‘s Jonathan Majors will star in what looks to be a pretty straightforward inspirational war movie. Directed by J.D. Dillard, who has a pretty sparse list of credits to his name, Devotion could be any number of things, but here’s hoping it’s a showcase for its two intensely charismatic stars.
What’s it about: A young boy discovers a family secret in post-World War II Arizona and uses the magic of the movies to process it.
Who will love it: Fans of Roma, everyone who has been waiting for Michelle Williams to get her Oscar, lovers of the cinematic arts.
Preview: Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical movie could be overly self-indulgent, but it’s Steven Spielberg, so it’s probably going to be great. The movie is likely to be a heavy favorite at the Oscars this year, and it will likely earn all of the plaudits and awards that it’ll receive either way.
What’s it about: A family of legendary explorers must push into even stranger terrain in order to find a special creature.
Who will love it: Disney completists, anyone struggling to come to a consensus on what movie you should see over Thanksgiving.
Preview: Strange World is Disney’s animated offering for the fall, and in spite of a trailer release, remarkably little is known about what the movie will focus on. Jake Gyllenhaal will anchor the voice cast, but what’s most exciting is that this movie is a totally original idea, and will hopefully manage to cover some less familiar ground for Disney.
What’s it about: Set a decade after the events of the first film, The Way of Water continues the story of the Sully family.
Who will love it: Everyone who knows never to bet against James Cameron, those who like a wet movie, Avatar fans (duh).
Preview: JCameron’s long-awaited Avatar sequel seems like it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype around it, but Cameron thrives under that kind of pressure. The first Avatar was the kind of shocking phenomenon that we rarely see anymore, and this sequel has the potential to at least match it’s predecessor’s awe-inspiring visuals. Let’s hope it improves on the story though.
What’s it about: Puss in Boots learns he has used eight of his nine lives and seeks out a wish to restore them.
Who will love it: Shrek completists, anyone who has been waiting for Olivia Colman to do more voice work.
Preview: Puss in Boots was a standout when he was introduced in Shrek 2, and he has managed to outlive the franchise that spawned him. This entry is likely to feature plenty of wacky hijinks, and thanks to a pretty stellar voice cast, it’ll probably be funny too.
What’s it about: Set during the transition from silent films to talkies in Hollywood, Babylon looks to be a sprawling ensemble film.
Who will love it: Prestige movie fans, anyone who still defends First Man, people who have missed Tobey Maguire.
Preview: Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to First Man sees him returning to the city of stars, but this time almost 100 years ago. The movie features a sprawling cast of actors playing real Hollywood figures from the time, including Margot Robbie as Clara Bow and Tobey Maguire as Charlie Chaplin.