The Optimistic November Movie Preview: A Month of Superheroes, True Stories, Murder Mysteries, Animated Adventures, and More

November may be when it starts to get colder and lose some sunshine, but it is usually a hot month for new movie releases. There is often a fun combination of big Oscar seeking prestige pictures, big-budget event movies, sweeping family adventures, and intriguing genre flicks. It is a time that is worth getting excited about new movies.

I aim to keep the excitement by trying to provide a positive preview of most major release coming out (in the era of where 250 billions movies come out a month, there is a lot that fall under my radar that others may think are huge.) I have put the movie studio in the brackets for theatrical releases and the streaming service for those being released that way.

November 4:

Armageddon Time (Universal): I previewed this last month, but now it goes wide. Unless you don't live in a major city, so you'd be like me where you still can't see this intriguing semi-autobiographic picture helmed by James Gray.

The Estate (Signature Entertainment): A comedy starring two screen gems like Anna Faris and Toni Collette is very exciting. A raunchy comedy about two sisters battling other family members to win over their crusty aunt's favour to inherit her estate almost promises we get what we all really go to the movies to see in a senior citizen with a potty mouth. 

Causeway (A24): Jennifer Lawrence is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood who has been part of some major blockbusters like Hunger Games and X-Men, so it is thrilling that she still wants to challenge herself with complex character-driven dramas. She is performing alongside the equally amazing Bryan Tyree Henry in a picture about a soldier suffering from severe brain injury in Afghanistan who is forced to return to her hometown where she needs to deal with various daily challenges including her broken relationship with her mom. It may sound like typical Oscar fare but it has been given glowing reviews on the festival circuit, and Lawrence is considered a favourite for Oscar nominations.

Dear Zoe (Freestyle): It is another less than bright and happy drama with this coming-of-age tale about a teen girl dealing with the loss of sister during the equally downer day of the infamous September 11 attacks. It stars Sadie Sink who is a terrific rising star, and it will be intriguing to see her push herself in a vastly different role than what she does on the popular Stranger Things.

Enola Holmes 2 (Netflix): Speaking of Stranger Things, Millie Bobby Brown is such a clear movie superstar with incredible charisma and screen presence. She was absolutely delightful in the incredibly fun original Enola Holmes, and Henry Cavill proved how good he is in pictures that allow him to show his charm and energy. The original was one of the best original Netflix movies, so there is many reasons to be excited for a new case to be solved by Sherlock's younger sister,

Nocebo (Vertigo): Horror pictures deserve to come out even after Halloween. This is an under the radar indy about a fashion designer who is hit with a mysterious illness but then her caretaker discovers a terrible truth, and this it worth pointing out because it has a terrific cast led by Eva Green and Mark Strong. I'm all in for more horror starring the terrific Green.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (Roku): It seems perfect that the master of music parody's biopic is an over-the-top parody of the subgenre. Daniel Radcliffe continues to take on interesting roles and be one of the more fascinating actors post Harry Potter. The only bummer is this doesn't seem to be going to theatres and is on a streaming channel that nobody even knows exists. 

November 10:

Falling for Christmas (Netflix): Netflix continues its yearly tradition of making a 'Hallmark Christmas movie' with an heiress having a freak ski accident and needing to be looked after by a blue-collar lodge owner and his precocious daughter right before Christmas. Will she learn the true meaning of Christmas and find love after not getting along with the gruff but sure to have a heart of gold male lead? The answer is it is nice that Lindsay Lohan is getting work, because everyone deserves to have things to do.

November 11:

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney): A sequel to one of the most successful Marvel Studio movies ever, and the original still stands as one of the most distinct. Not only is this planned to be one of the big pictures to shape the future of the MCU, but it is a tribute to much missed Chadwick Boseman. Everyone should bring their tissues to this one, but also expect another thrilling and colourful adventure as well. It will also answer who will be the next Black Panther, and the direction for these major characters. The early reviews have been heaping praise on director Ryan Coogler, and some powerhouse performances from Letita Wright, Angela Bassett, and Winston Duke. I'm also always excited to see as much Lupita Nyong'o as possible in the movies.

Is That Black Enough for You? (Netflix): I'm always a sucker for movies about cinema history. This one is specifically chronicling Black films from the 1970s, which was a major time with blacksploitation and other pictures looking into the Black experience. It has already gained lots of praise, and looks to be one of the best documentaries of the year.

Sam & Kate (Vertical): One could argue it is a bit of a gimmick to cast the real-life parents with their children, but if it means we get another movie starring Sissy Spacek then I'm down with it. It is a small-town drama that has Spacek with her real-life daughter Schuyler Fisk and Dustin Hoffman alongside his son Jake Hoffman.

The Son (Sony Classics): I am going confess that November is really overstuffed with star-studded prestige dramas seeking Oscar buzz, so I am bound to miss some that are on the radar of other critics and movie fans. This is director Florian Zeller's follow-up to The Father that nabbed Anthony Hopkins an Oscar. It is another family focused drama about a father trying to be a better parent than his own dad that looks like a picture willing to dig deep into emotions, regret, and family bonds. Along with an acclaimed director, it has a stellar cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, and Hopkins.

November 14:

Stutz (Netflix): This is a very personal documentary directed by movie star Jonah Hill who looks at his own mental health challenges and experiences in therapy while delving into the career and life of friend and therapist Phil Stutz. I am always drawn to when creators are willing to be vulnerable and honest.

November 16:

In Her Hands (Netflix): This is a big month for intriguing Netflix documentaries. Despite all my past criticisms of Netflix originals, this is a medium and genre that they often are rock stars and royalty. This looks to be especially important as it looks at one of Afghanistan's first female mayors in 26-year-old Zarifa Ghafari who must not only care for her citizens but fight for her own survival during her country's massive upheaval and unrest. Another reminder movies are empathy machines, and this will be an important way to delve into an experience many of us with never go through.

Poker Face (Screen Media): This is Russell Crowe's directorial follow-up to 2015's The Water Diviner that I must reveal that I've never seen. This is a picture about a tech billionaire that gathers friends and family to a game of poker, but it appears, it is all ruse for him to exact some revenge. And maybe an excuse to play the very catchy Lady Gaga song of the same name.

The Wonder (Netflix): It stars the ridiculously talented Florence Pugh, and do you need any other reason to watch it? Well, it is based on a novel by Emma Donoghue who wrote the novel and screen adaptation for the critically acclaimed Room. This one is based off the true story of a nurse who cares for a teenage girl who claims she hasn't eaten for months. It should be an incredibly performed period piece that also explores faith, dogmatism, love, and tradition.

A Christmas Story Christmas (HBO Max): Ralphie is back! Peter Billingsley reprises the role of his iconic character from the 1983 original. I love the original. This reminds me to rewatch that one. We should all rewatch it this Christmas. Maybe after you can check this one out too!

November 18:

Bones and All (MGM): Probably destined to be the best cannibal love story this year. It is great that director Luca Guadagnino challenges himself to make very different movies each time with his previous pictures being Call Me by Your Name, A Bigger Splash and the Suspiria remake. This looks like it won't shy away from being gory and creepy, but also trying to get viewers to connect with its dark leads played by Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russell. Mark Rylance looks to be playing an especially dark and scary figure, which makes this even more of a must watch this month.

She Said (Universal): November means even the big studios release adult-geared dramas. This is definitely reaching for several Oscars, and it has a good shot at nabbing them. This is based off the reporters who broke the story that triggered the #MeToo movement. Not only is this a very crucial moment in recent history, but it contains messages about abuse and industry silences that need to be told. This reminds of reporter chasing a major story movies like All the President Men and Spotlight, which are fantastic pictures. You also have two incredible stars in Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan. This could be one of the best movies of the year if it reaches its potential.

The Menu (Searchlight Pictures): This appears to be a big year for horror comedies about questionable and deadly dining habits. This time a world-renowned chef invites wealthy diners to an exclusive evening, but things may not turn out so great for the guests. The trailers makes this look like a really fun and unique horror picture. There is a stellar cast with the always great Ralph Fiennes, the extremely talented Nicholas Hoult, and the star so great she seems to be in everything right now in Anya Taylor-Joy.

The People We Hate at the Wedding (Amazon): Weddings are hilarious! Or at least they might be when you have guests like Allison Janney, Kristen Bell, Ben Platt, and Karan Soni. 

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse (Disney +): Most fans of pop culture history or Disney know a lot about the back story on the iconic figure, Mickey Mouse. Since it is in-house created documentary, it probably won't be a sordid tell-all tale. He is one of the biggest fictional characters in history, and there is a wealth of stories to be told about a creation that has been around for close to a century. This proves that Netflix isn't the only one with the must-see documentaries in November.

Slumberland (Netflix): On several occasions, I convinced my parents to rent the 1989 musical fantasy adventure Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland because awesomeness like that needs to be enjoyed more than once. Even though the movie was a box office flop, it was an immensely popular comic strip in the early 1900s, and has seen various types of the adaptations over the decades. This one looks to be given the big-budget tentpole treatment from Netflix with big name director Francis Lawrence (who gave us pictures like I Am Legend and three of the Hunger Games) creating an imaginative and visually magical world for the whole family. Plus, we've got 'My Man!' Jason Momoa in what looks to be a fun and zany role as Flip.

Spirited (Apple TV+): There is just never enough adaptations of A Christmas Carol, especially when it is modernized and dripping with attitude. Right? But the twist this time is that it is from the ghost's perspective and he is confronted with his own past, present, and future. Plus, Scrooge is played by Ryan Reynolds and the ghost is Will Ferrell, and that sounds like a delightful team that will at least make you chuckle twice.

November 23:

Devotion (Sony): Have you already seen Top Gun: Maverick 30 times? Then fear not, we have another tale about Navy fighter pilots! Except this time it is actually based on an important true story about Jesse L. Brown who was a pioneering Black naval aviator who flew during the Korean War. It will likely have a lot more drama and exploring major social issues along with its big screen spectacle. This could be a sleeper hit of the fall.

The Fabelmans (Universal): There is a story that Stephen Spielberg wanted to make two different movies in the early 1980s. One was about a friendly alien that became trapped on Earth, and another was about a boy dealing with his parent's divorce that some said would be semi-autobiographical. He ended up making E.T., which was a blending of his two ideas. I wonder if this movie has bits of what he wanted to explore way back in the early 1980s. This is also a fictional version of his own childhood, and looks at how a teenager deals with issues at home through filmmaking. It also looks at the divide between two parents with one being an artistic free-spirit and the other being scientific pragmatist. This looks to be a deeply personal picture from Spielberg, and I am always drawn to creations that are passions projects. This got rave reviews on the festival circuit, and some respected critics are betting on this being the Best Picture winner. On top of that, you have a stellar cast that includes greats in Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch. This was one of my most anticipated movies of the year.

Strange World (Disney): The trailers have been great for this movie by being throwbacks to the sci-fi adventures from over 50 years ago. They reveals a family swept on to a new planet without giving way major plot details. I don't know much about the actual story which is exactly how I want to go into this gorgeous looking Disney family sci-fi animated adventure. It has some weird planets and crazy creatures along with a reluctant hero, and I don't feel we need to know much more than that. It also has a great voice cast with Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead with support from Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu. I know that I've already declared it a few times in this piece, but this is another of my most anticipated of the year.

The Swimmers (Netflix): A based on true story about two sisters who were refugees from war-torn Suria that then make the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is the time of year for these kind of movies, and it has gotten some solid responses coming out of the festival circuit. Probably should have tissues handy for this one too as it will mix feel-good moment with heartbreaking tragedy.

November 24:

Disenchanted (Disney +): With successes like Top Gun: Maverick and Hocus Pocus 2, this seems to be the year for long overdue sequels to original hits. Disney has also proven that they are willing to make cinematic movies for their service, so this has the potential for all the charm, energy, and majesty of the original musical comedy. Plus, the world always needs more Amy Adams, and it is nice to see her in a more cheery and uplifting lead role again.

If a streaming movie was getting a limited theatrical release this month, then I decided to pass on the preview, and wait until the streaming release. Because it is most likely those movies won't be coming anywhere near the majority of readers, and it is more a case of the obligatory Oscar qualification screening than a legitimate release. If a streaming service actually gives a full theatrical run, then I will put that as its initial release date in the future.

What movie are you the most looking forward to seeing? Are their any big movies that I missed?