A supernatural clown that takes victims once every generation. A gang of New York strippers intent on fleecing the Wall Street suits who just fleeced the whole country.
An aristocratic English family faces a crisis when the King and Queen come for a visit. And a family of American aristocrats faces a deadlier crisis when the paterfamilias is murdered.
And — prepare for ‘80s flashbacks — Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone starring in their own big-budget action movies.
You can’t say fall 2019 doesn’t offer up a diversity of lures to entice you into the cineplex. On the slate:
It Chapter 2 wraps up the Stephen King adaptation, with the kid heroes of the first film returning as adults (including Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader) to the haunted town of Derry to do battle with the homicidal clown-thing Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård).
An adaptation of a novel by Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch centres on a young man (Ansel Elgort) who faces the consequences of having inadvertently stolen a work of art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a boy in the aftermath of a terrorist attack that claimed his mother.
Based on a true story, Hustlers stars Jennifer Lopez as a stripper who teams with some of her fellow dancers (including former stripper Cardi B) on a scheme to lighten the wallets of some of their wealthiest Wall Street clients.
Ad Astra is a serious science-fiction film in which an astronaut (Brad Pitt) goes on a mission to discover the fate of his long-gone father (Tommy Lee Jones), only to uncover disturbing revelations about a top secret military project.
A long-awaited movie chapter of the beloved TV series, Downton Abbey returns to the estate of the Crawley family, where a royal visit require them to bring master butler Carson (Jim Carter) out of retirement.
Over the years, Sylvester Stallone transformed Vietnam vet John Rambo from a PTSD-suffering loose cannon to a jingoistic superhero.
Rambo: Last Blood, which claims to be the last chapter of the franchise, sees the deadly soldier back in the United States, where he is obliged to do battle with a Mexican drug cartel to save the kidnapped daughter of a friend.
Abominable is an animated feature that sees a group of Shanghai teens on a mission to return a magical Yeti to his home atop Everest.
The sole comic-book-based movie of the season, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a relentlessly bullied amateur comedian destined to transmogrify into the unhinged Clown Prince of Crime.
Lucy in the Sky features Natalie Portman as an astronaut who returns from a mission and finds herself less and less able to cope with the realities of earthly existence.
The Woman in the Window is an old-school thriller (with notes of Rear Window) starring Amy Adams as an agoraphobic child psychologist who witnesses a shocking crime across the street, but can’t convince the police what she saw was real.
Both spooky and altogether ooky, The Addams Family is a new animated adaptation of the sinister nuclear family created by cartoonist Charles Addams, featuring the voices of Charlize Theron as Morticia and Oscar Isaac as Gomez.
Gemini Man feels a bit like a reboot of the 2012 movie Looper, given the premise of an old soldier being stalked by his younger self (both roles are played by Will Smith thanks to digital de-aging). Ang Lee directs.
Jexi, on the other hand, feels like a raunchy comic variant of Her, as an entertainment writer (Adam Devine) grows dependent on the titular phone app (voiced by Rose Byrne) until the artificial intelligence takes on the very human trait of jealousy.
A very dramatic premise gets a very comic treatment in Jojo Rabbit, the story of a young German boy who discovers his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in the attic. Did we mention the lad’s imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler (played by writer-director Taika Waititi)?
Angelina Jolie returns to the role of the wickedly malevolent Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, teaming with the woke sleeping beauty Aurora (Elle Fanning) to protect the magical creatures of the moors.
In Torrance, Ben Affleck hangs up the bat-cowl to take on the role of a former basketball star, sidelined by addictions and the death of his wife, to coach an underdog basketball team at his old school.
Zombieland: Double Tap is the long-awaited sequel to the zombie buddy comedy, with returning stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin facing new challenges in the post-apocalypse.
Black and Blue stars Naomie Harris as a rookie cop obliged to take on both gangs and her fellow officers after she witnesses cops cold-bloodedly killing a drug dealer.
Edward Norton directs Motherless Brooklyn, a noir mystery set in the 1950s (based on the Jonathan Lethem novel); he also stars as a private detective with Tourette syndrome, out to solve the murder of his PI partner (Bruce Willis).
Terminator: Dark Fate sees Linda Hamilton return to the Terminator universe as Sarah Connor, facing an all-new threat of killer robots out to ensure the future domination of machines over humans. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also in there, living up to the "I’ll be back" promise.
Emilia Clarke leaves behind the whole Mother of Dragons thing to play a troubled young woman confronting her self-destructive issues — and the prospect of love — in Last Christmas, inspired by the Wham! tune of the same name.
Patrick Wilson stars as a military intelligence officer who, after the cataclysmic failure of Pearl Harbor, attempts to convince his superiors of an impending attack in Midway, directed by large-scale mayhem specialist Roland Emmerich (Independence Day).
Playing With Fire is a comedy about three macho firefighters (John Cena, John Leguizamo and Keegan-Michael Key) who meet their match caring for three orphans over the Christmas weekend.
Charlie’s Angels is a reboot movie, based on the rebooted TV series, starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinksi as a trio of can-do operatives out to foil a threat involving a weaponized power source. Elizabeth Banks directs and also plays one of many rotating Bosleys.
Ford v Ferrari sees Ford Motor company honchos in the 1960s enlist a visionary engineer (Matt Damon) and a renegade British driver (Christian Bale) to break the Ferrari winning streak at Le Mans.
Ian McKellen plays an aged conman out to fleece a wealthy widow (Helen Mirren), only to find his mark is more than he bargained for in The Good Liar.
In 21 Bridges, a cop (Chadwick Boseman) orders all of Manhattan to be closed off after eight cops are killed in a robbery involving the theft of 300 kilograms of cocaine. But it soon becomes evident all is not what it seems as the dragnet vice closes in on the hapless robbers.
Esquire reporter Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys) assigned to do a story on kids TV icon Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks) gets an unforgettable lesson in empathy in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) goes on a mission with her sister (Kristen Bell) to learn the secret of her powers in Frozen II.
The Agatha Christie-style murder mystery is turned on its head in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig as a southern sleuth who insists the wealthy, star-studded family of a murdered patriarch stay on the premises until the murderer is revealed. Also starring Lakeith Stanfield, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette and Don Johnson.
In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.