Harriet (November 1)
Sprawling, inspiring, and downright enthralling, this biopic of Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who courageously kept returning to the South to usher fellow slaves to freedom, is a historical drama with the kind of expansive scope we seldom see anymore. Cynthia Erivo plays Tubman as a diminutive dynamo who answers to no one but God. Director Kasi Lemmons (Black Nativity, Eve’s Bayou) shows herself to be a visionary filmmaker with an unerring eye for both spectacle and intimacy.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (November 22)
Here’s a movie that delivers everything it promises — a nostalgic look at a beloved children’s TV icon, a reminder that the lessons of childhood still have currency long after we’ve grown up — and much, much more. Tom Hanks’ portrayal of Fred Rogers reminds us of the power to forgive where others can’t — and the power to inspire others to forgive themselves. You may well start tearing up from the first frames of A Beautiful Day, and as you leave the theater, you might well imagine the hand of a certain red-sweatered fellow on your sleeve, gently whispering into your ear, “It’s okay to feel this way.”
Knives Out (November 27)
The cinematic equivalent of comfort food, Knives Out is a classic murder-in-a-locked-room whodunit, complete with an eccentric detective (Daniel Craig), who calls a drawing room assembly of all-star suspects — including Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, and Don Johnson. Craig drawls his way through the role of Benoit Blanc, a detective whose name conjures up Hercule Poirot but who sounds more like Sheriff Andy of Mayberry. The resolution isn’t quite the surprise you might have hoped for, but writer/director Rian Johnson keeps us sufficiently off balance to make things interesting.
Featured image: Glen Wilson / Focus Features
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