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GROWN-UP FUN

FAMILY FUN

Tired of leaf-peeping? Done with campfires and apple orchards? Here are ten reasons to hit the cinema when it starts to get chilly outside.

‘Ad Astra’

Writer/director James Gray (“We Own the Night”) covers Brad Pitt’s moneymaking face with an astronaut’s helmet in “Ad Astra,” which appears to be aiming at the “Gravity” sweet spot of psychological drama and outer-space adventure. (Sept. 20)

‘Downton Abbey’

Honestly, I’d fork over my 15 bucks if it were just Mrs. Patmore cutting out scones while the Dowager Countess says mean things about everyone. Looks like there’s more to it, though, and almost the whole cast of PBS’ smash series is back. (Sept. 20)

‘Judy’

Let’s call a Garland a Garland: This biopic of the Grand Rapids native may be a train wreck. There’s no imitating Judy Garland’s singular vocal stylings, but Renée Zellweger captures her cigarette-y speech and wounded-bird vulnerability in the trailer. And, since this is set during a concert comeback, it’d be nice to see Judy get a happy ending for once. (Sept. 27)

‘Joker’

Two movie actors already have placed memorable stamps on the character (three, if you count Jared Leto, which I don’t). But if anyone can match Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger for comic book- and “Pagliacci”-inspired villainy, it’s Joaquin Phoenix. (Oct. 4)

‘Pain and Glory’

Spanish master Pedro Almodóvar has been collaborating with Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz since almost the beginning of his four-decade career. They’re back in an autobiographical drama that won Banderas best actor at the Cannes Film Festival. (Oct. 18)

‘Parasite’

Among the wave of South Korean directors to emerge in the past 15 years or so, none is more accessible than Bong Joon-ho, whose “Memories of Murder” is a riveting tease of a thriller, “Snowpiercer” a gleeful takedown of class structures and “The Host” a goofball monster classic. This one is his most acclaimed yet, a screwball tragedy about family that won the top prize at last spring’s Cannes Film Festival. (Oct. 25)

‘Harriet’

Director Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) returns to the South for a Harriet Tubman biopic starring Cynthia Erivo. Lemmons seems like the right choice to make sure the film portrays the humanity, as well as the heroism, of the woman who should be on our $20 bill. (Nov. 1)

‘The Report’

Details about Golden Valley native Scott Z. Burns’ post-9/ 11 thriller are almost as mysterious as the movie itself. The word from the Sundance Film Festival, where this film about the CIA premiered, was that it’s in the vein of ’70s movies such as “The Conversation” and “The Parallax View.” That’s a very good vein, and the cast is exceptional: Adam Driver (who’s also in this fall’s “Marriage Story”), Corey Stoll, Jon Hamm and Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein. (Nov. 15)

‘The Good Liar’

Nicholas Searle’s twisty novel was fun, but the main allure of this Ian McKellen/Helen Mirren thriller is a reunion of director Bill Condon and Twin Cities-based writer Jeffrey Hatcher, who collaborated dazzlingly on the underrated “Mr. Holmes.” (Nov. 15)

‘Knives Out’

Between sojourns into the “Star Wars” universe, writer/director Rian Johnson returns to the weirder thrillers he’s known for (“Looper,” “Brick”). This one stars Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Daniel Craig and LaKeith Stanfield in an Agatha Christie spoof. (Nov. 27)

 

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