Fall kicks off with a new movie season, and there are plenty of options to be enjoyed. Why not settle down in the local movie theater for one of the many film treats coming in the months ahead? 

September

IT: Chapter Two is the sequel to the 2017 film It, based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King. Set in 2016, 27 years after the events depicted in the first film, the film features Bill Skarsgård as the terrifying Pennywise the Clown, along with James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader. 

The Goldfinch is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning 2013 novel of the same name by Donna Tartt. It stars Ansel Elgort as a young man whose troubled childhood leads him to the world of art forgery. The film also stars the always-fascinating Nicole Kidman.

Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut who goes into space in search of his long-lost father, whose experiment threatens the solar system. The cast also includes Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland. 

Downton Abbey is a continuation of the television series, created by Julian Fellowes, that ran from 2010 to 2015. The beloved cast of the series, including the remarkable Maggie Smith, returns for this eagerly awaited feature film. 

Rambo: Last Blood serves as a sequel to Rambo(2008), is the fifth installment in the Rambofranchise (that began back in 1982) and stars Sylvester Stallone in the title role. 

Judy focuses on the life of American singer and actress Judy Garland in 1969, as she arrives in London for a run of sell-out concerts. Renée Zellweger stars as Garland. 

October

Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker, a failed stand-up comedian who is driven insane and turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City and, of course, becomes a fearsome nemesis to the city’s chief crime fighter – Batman.

Gemini Man – Directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee, the film stars Will Smith as an aging hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – From Walt Disney Pictures, this is a sequel to the 2014 film Maleficent, with Angelina Jolie returning to portray the title role. 

The Addams Family – Based on the campy 1960s television series, this 3D computer-animated treat stars the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Allison Janney. 

November

Terminator: Dark Fate is the sixth installment in the Terminatorfranchise and the first since Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) to have franchise creator James Cameron involved and is considered a direct sequel to the first two films. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong return in their roles of the T-800 Terminator, Sarah Connor and John Connor, respectively.   

Midway – Directed by Roland Emmerich, Midway features an all-star cast and follows the story of U.S. Navy sailors and aviators who persevered through the Battle of Midway in World War II.  

Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor andis based on the chilling 2013 novel of the same name by Stephen King, which is a sequel to King’s 1977 novel TheShining. Prepare to be terrified!

Charlie’s Angels – This third installment in the Charlie’s Angels film series, based on the 1970s television series, is directed by Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect) and stars Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. Who knew we needed another Charlie’s Angels installment? Yawn …

Ford v Ferrari stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale and focuses on the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans race in France.

Frozen 2 is the sequel to the blockbuster 2013 film Frozen. The film features the returning voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. Set three years after the original film, this chapter features Elsa together with her sister Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven embarking on a new journey beyond their homeland of Arendelle to discover the origin of Elsa’s magic powers to save their kingdom.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Directed by Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), the film stars Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper. Rhys plays a cynical journalist assigned to profile beloved television icon Fred Rogers (played by Hanks).

Knives Out – Described as a modern take on the whodunit murder mystery and written and directed by Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi), the film stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer.  

December

Jumanji: The Next Level is a sequel to the megahit 2017 film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and the fourth installment of the Jumanjifranchise. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black as they reprise their roles from the previous film, alongside newcomers Awkwafina, Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.  

Cats is based on the beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, is directed by Tom Hooper in his second musical film following 2012’s Les Misérables, and the legendary Steven Spielberg is the executive producer. The dazzling cast includes funny man James Corden, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift and Rebel Wilson. 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is produced, co-written and directed by the consistently impressive J. J. Abrams. It is the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017) and is the final episode of the nine-part Skywalker saga.  

Super Intelligence – Following last year’s Life of the Party, get ready as the hilarious Melissa McCarthy re-teams with her director husband Ben Falcone in this attack on your funny bone.

Little Women – Written and directed by critical darling Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), this is the eighth feature film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1868 novel. The stellar cast includes Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh and Laura Dern.  

Yes, the fall movie season has arrived! It’s time to swing by your local multiplex and fall into the thrilling escapism of these cinematic treats. 

Until next month …

Dr. Jeff Langham is State Assistant Superintendent for External and Governmental Affairs and a lifelong lover of film.