37 movies you should see this fall — and when they're coming to Omaha

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After a relatively pummeling summer of blockbusters increasingly approaching the size of a cinematic supernova, it is time — thank God — for everything to cool down a bit. Time for the movies to get a little smaller. Smarter. Adult-er.

That’s not to say there won’t be a bunch of big dumb franchise movies this fall. Nor that those movies will be bad, necessarily. (We’ve still got Marvel movies and DC movies, Transformers movies and Predator movies, and some of them look good, maybe even great.)

But fall is the movie season that makes room for the other stuff — the character-driven dramas, the R-rated crime thrillers, the star-studded, prestige-infused films that used to be pretty common, at least until Robert Downey Jr. put on that damned Iron Man suit and broke Hollywood's brain.

What follows is a rundown of the most notable and/or intriguing films being released this fall, followed by a full release calendar.

One note on release dates: They are always subject to change. "Limited" indicates that the movie will come out in New York/LA and will typically hit Omaha a few weeks after.

Also, for the first time, I’m including Netflix movie premieres. Because this year Netflix won its first Oscar for a feature, and because this fall Netflix has new movies from the Coen brothers, Alfonso Cuaron and several other important filmmakers.

The movies to look out for

A personal note: If I'm being honest, the movies I'm most excited for this fall are "Widows," "The Predator," "Ballad of Buster Scruggs," "Bumblebee," "Roma," "The Old Man & the Gun," "Mid90s," "First Man," "Apostle," "Halloween" and "Backseat."


The one in which Nicolas Cage plays a man who seeks revenge against the band of cultists who murdered his girlfriend. This psychedelic horror movie is reportedly even crazier than it sounds. It is also, reportedly, amazing. Sept. 14

“The Predator”

The one in which Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) reinvigorates the action-horror franchise with a hard-R rating, caustic one-liners and a tremendous ensemble cast. The “Predator” reboot stars Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane and Alfie Allen. Sept. 14

“Fahrenheit 11/9”

The one that’s a new Michael Moore documentary, in which the incendiary filmmaker takes on President Trump, politicians in Flint, Michigan, and just the general state of the country. Sept. 21

“Assassination Nation”

The one that’s an ultraviolent and extremely dark satire about a small American town that loses its mind. Starring Joel McHale and Suki Waterhouse. Sept. 21 limited

“Life Itself”

The one in which the creator of the hit NBC drama “This Is Us” makes a movie that feels a lot like “This Is Us.” “Life Itself” is an ensemble drama covering multiple generations of people and starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening. Sept. 21

“The Old Man & the Gun”

The one that is reportedly Robert Redford’s final role. In this fact-based crime comedy, Redford plays a bank robber who ramps up his life of crime right as he's winding down the last years of his life. Directed by the consistently brilliant David Lowery (“A Ghost Story”) and co-starring Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Elisabeth Moss. Sept. 28 limited

“Hold the Dark”

The one from the director of “Green Room” in which Jeffrey Wright tries to track down a missing boy in the Alaskan wilderness. Costars Alexander Skarsgard, Riley Keough and James Badge Dale and looks appropriately nerve-racking. Sept. 28 on Netflix

“A Star Is Born”

The one that’s a country-music musical remake of “A Star is Born” starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Dave Chappelle and Andrew Dice Clay. I’m still having trouble believing that this movie with this cast exists, but if it really does, it was written and directed by Cooper and will hit theaters Oct. 5.


The one that’s the supposed first entry in Sony’s Marvel Cinematic Universe-affiliated superhero franchise. Tom Hardy stars as a journalist who comes into contact with an alien symbiote (I've been there, pal) that gives him superpowers but also makes him a little evil. Costars Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed. The trailer isn’t especially promising. Oct. 5


The one set in 1905 and starring Dan Stevens and made by the director of the “Raid” movies. Stevens plays a guy who tries to rescue his sister from a mysterious religious cult. “The Raid” movies are each a landmark in action filmmaking, and Stevens is a sneakily sturdy action hero. So yeah, I’m a little excited for this one. Oct. 12 on Netflix

“Bad Times at the El Royale”

The one from the director of “Cabin in the Woods” and writer of “The Martian” in which seven strangers meet under mysterious circumstances at a run-down hotel in 1960s California. Starring quite a cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Envo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman and Chris Hemsworth. Oct. 12

“First Man”

The one from the Oscar-winning director of “La La Land” and starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong as he embarks on the mission that would make him the first man to walk on the moon. It looks as good as it sounds. Oct. 12


The one that’s a 40-years-later sequel to “Halloween.” Ignoring the events of all the sequels that came after the original, “Halloween” (2018) follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) as she prepares for one last showdown with Michael Myers. David Gordon Green directs. John Carpenter himself serves as composer and creative consultant. Oct. 19

“The Hate U Give”

The one based on Angie Thomas’ bestselling YA novel of the same name, “Hate U Give” stars Amandla Stenberg as a black teenageer who witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. The book on which the movie is based is this year’s Omaha Reads pick at Omaha Public Library. Oct. 19


The one written and directed by Jonah Hill that follows the coming-of-age of a 13-year-old boy living in 1990s LA. The movie comes from the ever-tremendous production company A24 and has one of the better trailers of the year. Oct. 19 limited

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

The one about Queen that stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. The film was, to put it mildly, a bit of a troubled production. The original director, Bryan Singer, eventually went AWOL, forcing Fox to replace him with Dexter Fletcher. So this might be a mess. But if it is, it'll likely be a fascinating mess. Nov. 2

“The Other Side of the Wind”

The one that’s a completed version of a 1970s Orson Welles film that satirizes classic Hollywood and stars John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich. Nov. 2 on Netflix


The one that’s a remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 giallo masterpiece. It comes from the director of “Call Me By Your Name” and stars Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton and Chloë Grace Moretz. Though stylistically quite different, the film appears to have a similar premise: a dancer goes to an isolated dance academy where very bad things happen. Nov. 2

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web”

The one that reboots the Lisbeth Salander series with “Crown” star Claire Foy. Based on a novel not written by Stieg Larsson, “Spider’s Web” follows Salander and Mikael Blomkvist as they get caught in a web of spies and cyber criminals. The movie’s got a promising pedigree: It comes from the director of “Don’t Breathe” and the writer of “Eastern Promises.” Nov. 9


The one that’s a WWII-set horror movie in which American paratroopers get caught behind enemy lines, where they have to fight not only Nazis but the gruesome creatures created in a Third Reich experiment gone wrong. Nov. 9

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

The one that’s a new Coen brothers movie. Partially shot near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, this anthology Western was previously thought to be a TV show, but the Coens have wrangled all their stories into a 132-minute package. Stars Zoe Kazan, Tim Blake Nelson and Liam Neeson. Nov. 16 on Netflix

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”

The one that’s a sequel to the prequel to the “Harry Potter” franchise. Like the first “Fantastic Beasts” and a few of the later “Potter” installments, it will be directed by David Yates. Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston return. Johnny Depp gets a more substantial role as the villain. And Jude Law joins the cast as a young Albus Dumbledore. Nov. 16


The one that’s probably the best movie of the fall. Written by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) and directed by Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), “Widows” looks like “Heat” but with an all-female crew of thieves. It stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo as the widows of a crew who died in the middle of heist. When their dead husbands’ debt to a dangerous criminal becomes their own, the widows are forced to finish the job. The supporting cast includes Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Carrie Coon and Robert Duvall. Nov. 16

Creed II”

The one that’s a sequel to one of the best franchise reboots of the last 20 years. Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone return as Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa. This time Creed’s facing the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed his father in the ring. Steven Caple Jr. takes over as director, as Ryan Coogler’s gone on to bigger, “Black Panther”-ier things. Bonus: Tessa Thompson is back. Nov. 21

“Ralph Breaks the Internet”

The one that’s a sequel to the 2012 Disney smash. In the follow-up, Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) get lost in the Internet after someone plugs a Wi-Fi router into the arcade. So expect a lot of memes. Nov. 21

“The Favourite”

The one from the director of “Dogtooth” and “The Lobster” and starring Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman (so immediately my favorite movie of 2018). “The Favourite” is a darkly comedic period piece that follows two cousins jockeying for power in the court of Queen Anne. Nov. 23 limited

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

The one, the marvelous-looking one, directed by Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) and adapted from a James Baldwin novel of the same name, about a woman in Harlem trying to prove her fiance is innocent of a crime. Stars Regina King, Stephan James and newcomer KiKi Layne. Nov. 30 limited

“Mary Queen of Scots”

The one that’s an epic, lavish historical drama starring Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, Queen of England, and Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart, the cousin attempting to overthrow her. Dec. 7 limited

“Under the Silver Lake”

The one from the director of “It Follows” that follows an aimless deadbeat (Andrew Garfield) who stumbles upon a missing-girl mystery and, possibly, a far-reaching conspiracy. The film, which costars Riley Keough and Topher Grace, was supposed to come out this summer but was delayed following a somewhat poor reception at the Cannes Film Festival. Dec. 7 limited


The one from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity,” “Children of Men”) that follows a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the 1970s. The trailer itself is some kind of masterpiece. It’s unfortunate that, locally at least, we probably won’t have any chance to see it in a movie theater. Dec. 14 on Netflix

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

The one that’s an animated “Spider-Man” movie. In the film, Miles Morales discovers the “Spider-Verse,” where there can be more than one Spider-Man. Dec. 14

“Mary Poppins Returns”

The one that looks like a gigantic holiday hit. This 54-years-later sequel stars Emily Blunt as Poppins and Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer as the grown-up Banks children. An impressive supporting cast includes Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Angela Lansbury. Dec. 19


The one about Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the fishiest member of the Justice League. As DC movies go, this one looks better than “Suicide Squad” but worse than “Wonder Woman.” It does, at least, have a decent director in James Wan (the “Conjuring” movies). And it does, at least, costar Dolph Lundgren. Dec. 21


The one in which Christian Bale plays Dick Cheney. Directed by Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), “Backseat” chronicles the life and times of the former vice president. The cast is extraordinary: Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney; Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld; Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush; Tyler Perry as Colin Powell; and Wayne, Nebraska-native Kirk Bovill as Henry Kissinger. If nothing else, this certainly feels like a future Oscar winner for best makeup. Dec. 21


The one that’s a “Transformers” movie that actually (weirdly) looks really good. It’s also, not coincidentally, the first “Transformers” movie not directed by Michael Bay. It takes place in 1987, 20 years before the events of the first movie, and follows the ever-lovable Bumblebee as he befriends a teenage girl (Hailee Steinfeld). The good news is that “Bumblebee” comes from director Travis McKnight (“Kubo and the Two Strings”) and was co-written by Kelly Fremon Craig (“The Edge of Seventeen”). The film’s excellent, Amblin-y trailer indicates that it’s foregoing some of the eye-gouging spectacle in favor of a good story and strong characters. Dec. 21

“Holmes and Watson”

The one in which Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in a comedic take on the detectives of 221B Baker Street. Dec. 21


The one where Nicole Kidman plays an LAPD detective who goes undercover in a California desert gang. Directed by Karyn Kusama (“The Invitation”) and costarring Tatiana Maslany and Sebastian Stan. Dec. 25

* * *

Full calendar

Aug. 29

“Operation Finale”

Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley star in this thriller about a team of secret agents who track down a Nazi officer.

Aug. 31


A teen goes on the run after he finds a weapon with mysterious origins. Costars Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid and James Franco.

“The Little Stranger” (limited)

A doctor visits a crumbling manor in this period-piece horror show from the director of “Room.”

“Madeline’s Madeline”

An acclaimed, inventive drama about a teenage girl who gets a little too invested in the latest production of a prestigious New York theater troupe.


A documentary about the life and career of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.


John Cho plays a man looking for his 16-year-old daughter in this acclaimed thriller that takes place entirely on computer screens.

“Ya Veremos”

A boy makes a wishlist of all the things he wants to do before he loses his eyesight.

Sept. 7

“God Bless the Broken Road”

A woman copes with her soldier husband’s death in Afghanistan. “The film combines elements of faith, country music and stock car racing while paying tribute to those who serve in the United States military.”

“Next Gen” (Netflix)

Animated film (featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis and Constance Wu) about a lonely girl who befriends a top-secret robot.

“The Nun”

Prequel/spin-off to the “Conjuring” movies that explores the origins of that scary nun. Stars Demian Bichir and Taissa Farmiga.


Jennifer Garner goes full “Death Wish” on the people who killed her family in this action thriller from the director of “Taken.”

Sept. 14

The Angel” (Netflix)

A spy thriller based on a true story.

“The Land of Steady Habits” (Netflix)

Ben Mendelsohn plays a guy who quits his high-paying finance job to go off and find himself, leading to a few unfortunate events. This dramedy comes from Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said”).

“Lizzie” (limited)

A psychosexual thriller based around the 1892 Lizzie Borden ax murders. Stars Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart.


“The Predator”

“A Simple Favor”

A twisty mystery thriller starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick.

“Unbroken: Path to Redemption”

A “spiritual sequel” to “Unbroken,” chronicling Louis Zamperini’s life following his return from WWII.

“White Boy Rick”

Based-on-a-true-story story of a teen who becomes a drug trafficker and FBI informant. Stars Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Sept. 21

“Assassination Nation” (limited)

“Fahrenheit 11/9”

“The House With a Clock in Its Walls”

An orphan discovers a clock with the power to end the world in this family-friendly fantasy film directed by, of all people, Eli Roth (“Hostel”). Stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett and Kyle MacLachlan.

“Life Itself”

“Nappily Ever After” (Netflix)

Sanaa Lathan stars in this romantic comedy based on the book by Trisha R. Thomas.

“Quincy” (Netflix)

Documentary about Quincy Jones, co-directed by his daughter, Rashida Jones.

“The Sisters Brothers” (limited)

Comedic western based on the novel by Patrick deWitt, starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal. Directed by Jacques Audiard (“A Prophet”).

Sept. 28


Ethan Hawke directs this biopic of musician Blaze Foley.

“Hell Fest”

A serial killer turns an amusement park into an arena for his cutesy killing spree.

“Hold the Dark” (Netflix)

“Little Women”

Modern retelling of “Little Women.”

“Night School”

Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish star in this comedy about a group of night school students hoping to pass the GED and finally finish high school.

“The Old Man & the Gun” (limited)


A Yeti believes that humans really do exist in this family-friendly animated comedy featuring the voices of Channing Tatum, Zendaya and Gina Rodriguez.

Oct. 5

“Private Life” (Netflix)

Tamara Jenkins (“The Savages”) directed this drama about a family trying to get pregnant. Stars Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti and Emily Robinson.

“A Star Is Born”


Oct. 12

“Apostle” (Netflix)

“Bad Times at the El Royale”

“Beautiful Boy” (limited)

Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet star as a father and his drug-addicted son in this drama based on the bestselling memoir of the same name.

“First Man”

“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween”

They made another “Goosebumps” movie.

“The Kindergarten Teacher” (Netflix)

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a teacher who becomes obsessed with her prodigy student.

Oct. 19

“22 July” (Netflix)

Paul Greengrass wrote and directed this drama about the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway in which 77 people were murdered.

“Can You Forgive Me?” (limited)

Melissa McCarthy plays celebrity biographer and fraudster Lee Israel in this comedically flavored biopic.


“The Hate U Give”

“Mid90s” (limited)


Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway star in this seaside mystery.

“What They Had” (limited)

Family drama starring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon and Blythe Danner.

Oct. 26

“Burning” (limited)

South Korean thriller that scored raves at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Hunter Killer”

Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman star in this action thriller about an American submarine captain and a team of U.S. Navy Seals who attempt to rescue the Russian president from a general gone rogue. In fairness, that's exactly what the plot should be for a movie called "Hunter Killer."


An American army chaplain faces a crisis of faith.

“Johnny English Strikes Again”

I didn’t know they were still making “Johnny English” movies, either.

Nov. 2

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“Boy Erased”

Joel Edgerton directed and stars in this intense drama about the son of a Baptist preacher who is forced to enter a gay-conversion program. Stars Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman.

“Nobody’s Fool”

Tiffany Haddish stars in this Tyler Perry comedy about a woman recently released from prison who learns that her sister is being catfished online.

“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”

Another "Nutcracker" movie. Christmas, CG effects, blah blah blah.

“The Other Side of the Wind” (Netflix)


“They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” (Netflix)

A Morgan Neville-directed doc about Orson Welles that accompanies “The Other Side of the Wind.”

Nov. 7

“The Front Runner” (limited)

Jason Reitman-directed drama about Sen. Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential campaign. Stars Hugh Jackman and Vera Farmiga.

Nov. 9

“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”

Another animated version of “The Grinch.”

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web”

“Outlaw King” (Netflix)

Epic period piece starring Chris Pine and from the director of “Hell or High Water.”


Nov. 16

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”

“Instant Family”

Comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as a couple who adopt three children and quickly get in over their heads.


Nov. 21

“Creed 2”

“Green Book”

A 1960s-set road drama starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet”

“Robin Hood”

An “edgy” version of the Robin Hood story, starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx and Jamie Dornan.

“Second Act”

Romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez as a big box store worker who reinvents her life.

Nov. 23

“The Favourite” (limited)

Nov. 30

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (limited)

Dec. 7

“Ben Is Back” (limited)

Tense family drama starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges.

“Mary Queen of Scots” (limited)

“The Silence”

Post-apocalyptic horror movie that sounds a bit like “A Quiet Place.”

“Under the Silver Lake” (limited)

Dec. 14

“Mortal Engines”

Epic fantasy adventure based on a popular children’s book.

“Roma” (Netflix)

“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”

Dec. 19

“Mary Poppins Returns”

Dec. 21

“Alita: Battle Angel”

Motion-captured sci-fi movie from Robert Rodriguez.



“Bird Box” (Netflix)

Sandra Bullock stars in this sci-fi thriller about a woman trying to get a few kids safely across a dystopian wasteland.


“Holmes & Watson”

“Welcome to Marwen”

Robert Zemeckis’ misguided-looking attempt to tell the true story of a man who builds WWII miniatures as a means of recovering from a brutal attack. Stars Steve Carell.

Dec. 26

“Destroyer” (limited)

“On the Basis of Sex”

Felicity Jones stars as a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this biopic of the Supreme Court justice. Costars Armie Hammer and Justin Theroux.

This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready

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