The weather’s getting a little cooler, pumpkin spice is in the lattes, and with fall movies upon us, there are plenty of places to see them with theaters open and new films still streaming at home.
This weekend is a busy one, highlighted by Oscar Isaac starring as a gambler seeking redemption in a Paul Schrader revenge drama and “The Conjuring” creator James Wan crafting an original (and very crazy) creep show. A Broadway musical about the events of 9/11 comes to Apple TV+, Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays a poisoned assassin in a Netflix action thriller, Kristen Bell is clipping coupons and laundering money in a crime comedy, and a couple of documentaries focus on Truman Capote’s social life and the friendship of icons Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.
Fall movie preview:The 10 most must-see films, from ‘Dune’ to ‘Halloween Kills’
Here’s a guide to new movies that’ll satisfy every cinematic taste:
“The Card Counter” (Sept. 10, theaters): Cirk (Tye Sheridan, left) is an angry young man who seeks out William Tell (Oscar Isaac), an ex-serviceman turned gambler, to exact revenge on a military colonel in writer/director Paul Schrader’s thriller.
If, like Jessica Chastain, you’re all about Oscar Isaac: ‘The Card Counter’
In a slow and measured movie that’s both brutal and bleak, Isaac shines as an ace gambler and former interrogator named William Tell, who spent nearly 10 years in military jail. He meets a young man named Cirk (Tye Sheridan) who offers him a chance at revenge on the sadistic private contractor (a gonzo Willem Dafoe) responsible for miseries in both their lives, though William tries to show the kid a better way on a casino tour with his new backer (Tiffany Haddish).
Where to watch: In theaters
Annabelle Wallis stars as a Seattle woman who sees visions of a mystery killer at work in James Wan’s horror film “Malignant.”
If you’re in the mood for a B-movie splatter-fest: ‘Malignant’
James Wan, the main man of “The Conjuring” franchise, returns to his gore-filled roots with this new gleefully cheesy yet still clever horror film. Annabelle Wallis stars as a Seattle woman who’s attacked by a dark figure with a penchant for controlling electricity. That’s shocking enough, but then she starts seeing strange visions of this killer hunting down victims that become all too real. It veers in an absolutely bonkers direction from there, perfect for those needing a good bloodbath that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Where to watch: In theaters and on HBO Max
The musical “Come From Away” tells the story of how a small town in Newfoundland welcomed 7,000 passengers into their community when flights were grounded on 9/11.
If you need a feel-good musical for a tragic day: ‘Come From Away’
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and filmed live before an audience of first responders, the funny, uplifting and heartfelt Broadway show is based on the true story of 7,000 passengers who end up in a small Newfoundland town when flights are grounded following the attacks and the residents who go out of their way to take care of them.
Winstead’s title character is poisoned on her last mission in Tokyo, and the dying woman heads off on a wild night of revenge that involves a lot of death and befriending the teenage daughter (Miku Martineau) of a former target. It’s all pretty familiar for assassin-movie junkies, though it’s fun to watch Winstead’s hard-luck, no-nonsense killer try to keep it together to a J-pop soundtrack.
Where to watch: Netflix
Adam (Mark Duplass) gets to know his Spanish teacher Cariño (Natalie Morales) over video chat in “Language Lessons.”
If you live for Zoom chats: ‘Language Lessons’
Natalie Morales stars in and directs the heartbreaking yet absolutely delightful dramedy about the importance of human connection, even over the internet. Adam (Mark Duplass) is gifted with online Spanish lessons and has an awkward first cybermeeting with new teacher Cariño (Morales), but after he suffers a tragic loss, the two bond in ways that neither knew they needed.
Where to watch: In theaters
“Queenpins” centers on a frustrated suburban homemaker (Kristen Bell, left) and her vlogging bestie (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), who turn their coupon-saving hobby into a multimillion-dollar counterfeit caper.
If you’re a Kristen Bell completist: ‘Queenpins’
The mediocre crime comedy stars Bell as a suburban housewife who hatches an illegal coupon scheme with her vlogging BFF (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) that nabs them riches but veers wildly out of control. The real highlights, though, are Bebe Rexha as their go-to hacker and the odd-couple bromance between Paul Walter Hauser’s dogged loss-prevention expert and Vince Vaughn’s by-the-book postal inspector.