New movies in November include the wizarding world’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,” Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” and Disney’s family film “Moana.” Here’s a sneak peek at all the new movies in November. Note that release dates are subject to change.
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence | In Theaters 11/4 (2D, 3D, IMAX) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Disney, Marvel | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe. Directed by Scott Derrickson, this movie also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Rated PG for some mild rude humor | In Theaters 11/4 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D)| Ok for Kids 6+ | 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks Animation | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
From the creators of “Shrek” comes this smart, funny, and irreverent comedy about the search for happiness, and just how far some will go to get it. This cute movie transports audiences to a colorful world populated by the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant dance in their step and a song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomachs. After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch (Justin Timberlake) set off on a journey to rescue her friends. Together, this mismatched duo embark on a rescue mission full of adventure and mishaps – trying to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done. The soundtrack is produced by Justin Timberlake and features five original songs, including songs by Timberlake and Gwen Stefani, in addition to a number of classic hits from the 1960’s through the 1980’s.
Rated R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images | In Theaters 11/4 | Summit, Lionsgate | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
This extraordinary true story stars Andrew Garfield as conscientious collaborator Desmond Doss, who in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He believed the war was just, but killing was nevertheless wrong. Thus, he was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. As an army medic, Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers, and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. He was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor. Directed by Mel Gibson, this movie also stars Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn.
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | Ok for Kids 13+ | In Theaters 11/11 | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, “Loving” celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry. Their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since. Also stars Michael Shannon.
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK
Rated R for language throughout, some war violence, sexual content, and brief drug use | In Theaters 11/11 | TriStar, Sony | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
Three-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee brings his extraordinary vision to this movie based on Ben Fountain’s bestselling novel. The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions. The film also stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin. Lee used new technology, shooting at an ultra-high frame rate for the first time in film history, to create an immersive digital experience helping him dramatize war in a way never seen before.
Rated PG-13 for suggestive material, drug content and language | In Theaters 11/11 | Ok for kids 13+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels
A new comedy from writer/director David E. Talbert (“Baggage Claim”) and producer Will Packer (“Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man”), this movie tells the festive story of a beloved patriarch who asks his family for one gift this holiday season: to get along. If they can honor that wish and spend five days under the same roof without killing each other, it will be a Christmas miracle. This movie stars Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover and Gabrielle Union.
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | In Theaters 11/11 | Paramount | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and her team race against time for answers. To find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this action sci-fi also stars Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Rated PG-13 for terror and some violence/bloody images, nudity, thematic elements and brief strong language | In Theaters 11/11 | Ok for Kids 14+ | EuropaCorp | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
This heart-pounding thriller stars Naomi Watts as a widowed child psychologist who lives an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever. Directed by Farren Blackburn, this spooky movie also stars Jacob Tremblay, Oliver Platt, and Charlie Heaton.
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Rated PG-13 for some fantasy action violence | In Theaters 11/18 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels
This all-new adventure from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe is directed by David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters. The movie opens in 1926, as magizoologist Newt Scamander (Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds. Rowling wrote the screenplay for this Harry Potter prequel, which also stars Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman and Samantha Morton.
THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN
Rated R for sexual content, language and some drinking – all involving teens | In Theaters 11/18 | STX Entertainment | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
In the vein of “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club,” this new coming-of-age movie offers an honest, candid, often hilarious look at what it’s like to grow up as a young woman in today’s modern world. Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all. Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, this movie also stars Kyra Sedgwick as Nadine’s well-meaning but completely ineffective mother, and Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s History teacher, mentor and reluctant sounding board.
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Rated R for language throughout and some sexual content | In Theaters 11/18 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Roadside Attractions, Amazon| Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels
After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 15-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him. In his first film since 2011’s acclaimed “Margaret,” Lonergan once again proves himself a powerful and visionary storyteller as he seamlessly weaves past and present together, crafting a tension-filled tale that deftly eschews sentimentality in favor of penetrating emotional insight and deeply affecting human relationships. “Manchester by the Sea” is a deeply poignant, unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope.
Rated R for violence, menace, graphic nudity and language | In Theaters 11/23 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in “Nocturnal Animals.”
BAD SANTA 2
Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some graphic nudity | In Theaters 11/23 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Broad Green Pictures, Miramax | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is “the kid” – chubby and cheery Thurman Merman, a 250- pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity. Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke, who raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior. Willie is further burdened by lusting after the curvaceous and prim Diane, the charity director with a heart of gold and libido of steel. Directed by Mark Waters, this movie also stars Kathy Bates and Christina Hendricks.
RULES DON’T APPLY
Rated PG-13 for sexual material including brief strong language, thematic elements, and drug references | In Theaters 11/23 | Ok for Kids 17+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
It’s Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich), a deeply religious Methodist who’s engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes’ #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes’ behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they’re drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed. Directed by Warren Beatty, this movie also stars Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Taissa Farmiga, Ed Harris and a host of other A-Listers.
Rated PG for peril, some scary images and brief thematic elements | In Theaters 11/23 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific Ocean, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, this cute family movie also features the voice talent of Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk.
Not yet rated; likely R | In Theaters 11/23 | Paramount | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
“Allied” tells the story of intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt), who in 1942 North Africa encounters French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Reunited in London, their relationship is threatened by the extreme pressures of the war. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this drama also stars Lizzy Caplan and Matthew Goode.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.