These Are the 11 Movies to See in October 2016
October is here, guys and ghouls! Step away from the Halloween candy and, instead, grab some popcorn because this is the perfect month to work in a little quality time at the movie theater.
We were surprised to find that the films filling out the month aren't quite as spooky as we would have thought: In place of blood and gore we're in for heavy social commentary, a touch of history by way of period pieces, and even a stand-up special that will have us laughing into the new year.
Read on for the 11 films we can't wait to see.
The Birth of a Nation
Nate Parker wrote, directed, and stars in this gripping historical drama about a literate slave named Nat Turner, who orchestrated a bloody uprising in the pre-war South. The film has been buzzed about ever since it sparked a studio bidding war after its bow at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and debuted to critical acclaim all across the festival circuit. Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, and Gabrielle Union also star.
The Girl on the Train
This one is sure to be among the most talked about book-to-screen adaptations of the year. If you loved the suspense of Gone Girl, then this psychological thriller will be right up your alley. Emily Blunt stars as Rachel, a woman who, in the wake of her own divorce, starts to fantasize about a seemingly perfect family whose home she studies on her daily train commute. When tragedy strikes the family, Rachel finds herself in the center of the drama. Haley Bennett and Justin Theroux also star.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
It's with fond memories of her portrayal of Lorelai Gilmore on The Gilmore Girls and Sarah Braverman on Parenthood that we welcome back Lauren Graham to play a totally different kind of mom. This time, she stars as Jules, the mother of Rafe Khatchadorian, a highly creative middle schooler with an aversion to the tyrannical rule of his school's principal. Bring the kiddos along and share a family-friendly laugh!
Being an accountant might sound pretty drab, but not for Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), a guy who crunches numbers for dangerous, underground organizations. Things get dicey when Christian comes under investigation by a U.S. Treasury agent (J.K. Simmons) who’ll stop at nothing to bring him down. Anna Kendrick also stars.
In the midst of the comedies and spooky Halloween films, this indie flick will supply the perfect dose of girl power. It follows the intersecting lives of three headstrong women (played by Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams and Laura Dern) in small-town America, each dealing with their own personal struggles to build the lives they always wanted.
Kevin Hart: What Now?
Funnyman Kevin Hart is back and better than ever in this theatrical stand-up special. Watch as he brings the LOLs in front of an audience of 50,000 people at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Knowing Hart, there will be no shortage of laughter in the theater, or for months to follow as hilarious memes from the new movie circulate around the interweb.
Oct. 21 (limited theaters), Oct 28 (wide release)
Here's another book-to-screen adaptation to get you thinking this month. It follows the story of Seymour "Swede" Levov (played by Ewan McGregor, who also directed the film) and his wife Dawn (played by Jennifer Connelly), who have to watch as their daughter Merry (played by Dakota Fanning) and her radical lifestyle threaten to destroy the quaint world they've built. This film wowed on the festival circuit this year, and from what we learned from the cast during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, shooting the movie was a transformative experience for each of them.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
If you're in need of some shoot 'em up action this month, then this is the film for you. Action vet Tom Cruise is back for the second installment of the Jack Reacher franchise and this time he's on a mission to unearth a major government conspiracy. Cobie Smulders stars as the badass babe at the core of Reacher's investigation and, don't worry, there will be lots of punching through glass and beating up bad guys with telephones!
Keeping Up with the Joneses
This action comedy stars Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis as a suburban couple who accidentally uncover their ostensibly perfect neighbors’ biggest secret: They’re government spies. Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot play the impossibly gorgeous couple Tim and Natalie Jones (you know, the ones we’re keeping up with).
Oct. 21 (in limited theaters)
Another buzzy festival flick, this heavy indie is a coming of age story unlike any you've seen before. It tells the unique story of a young man, across three pivotal chapters in his life, as he struggles to find and accept himself and come to grips with what it means to be black in America. It's an important and socially conscious film with big names attached. Expect to see Mahershala Ali (House of Cards), Naomie Harris (Spectre) and singer Janelle Monae.
Tom Hanks is the star of this mysterious thriller that sees him racing across Europe as Robert Langdon, a famous symbologist who embarks on a journey to decode a series of clues that are all part of a global plot. And if you're sensing major The Da Vinci Code vibes here, it's because this film is an adaptation of a novel from the same series by author Dan Brown. Felicity Jones and Ben Foster also star.