Wave goodbye to summer blockbusters and say hello to the autumn festival season, which kicks off this month with TIFF and continues into October with the BFI London Film Festival. There’s still plenty to enjoy away from the festival screenings, with not one but two book adaptations hitting the big screen over the next few weeks. From inspiring animation and dystopian drama to a modern western and the return of Bridget Jones, these are our must-see movies for September.
Kubo and the Two Strings
Release Date: 9th September
Starring: Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes
What’s It About: A stop-motion fantasy adventure film about a young boy called Kubo, whose life is turned upside down by a vengeful spirit with an ancient vendetta. Kubo has to locate his late father’s magical suit of armour in order to defeat Raiden the Moon King and his evil army.
Why You Should Watch It: Early reviews for Travis Knight’s directorial debut have been positive across the board, with critics praising the stunning 3D stop-motion animation and the film’s dark yet inspiring tone. Having previously delivered the equally impressive ParaNorman and Coraline, Laika have proved that they can create visually dazzling and charming movies, and Kubo looks like it will continue the studio’s feature film success. Game of Thrones’ Art Parkinson voices the story’s brave protagonist, whilst Theron and McConaughey star as Kubo’s companions Monkey and Beetle. There’s also strong support from Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara and George Takei, making Kubo and the Two Strings September’s must-watch family friendly movie.
Bridget Jones’s Baby
Release Date: 16th September
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Sarah Solemani
What’s It About: If the title didn’t give it away, Bridget Jones is back for a third movie and she’s got a bun in the oven. Baby continues the complicated life adventures of everyone’s favourite big pant wearing publishing exec as she approaches her fabulous forties.
Why You Should Watch It: It’s been over 10 years since Helen Fielding’s hapless thirty-something singleton first graced our screens and fans are more than ready for another dose of Bridget being, well, Bridget. A winning combination of slapstick comedy and a typically British script, Bridget Jones’s Baby reunites Zellweger with her Mr Darcy (Firth) and adds the dashing Patrick Dempsey into the equation, just to make things super complicated. It might lean a little too heavily on people’s nostalgia for the first two movies but it’s the perfect comedy film to keep the Autumn blues at bay.
The Magnificent Seven
Release Date: 23rd September
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio
What’s It About: A modern remake of the 1960 western which starred Clint Eastwood, The Magnificent Seven follows a septet of gunmen who come together to help the residents of a small town against savage thieves.
Why You Should Watch It: Antoine Fuqua’s remake of a remake (the original was a 1954 Japanese-language film called Seven Samurai) has one hell of a cast and that’s easily the film’s biggest draw. And even if you’re tired of all the remakes being churned out of late, there’s something irresistible about a team of bounty hunters, gamblers, hired guns and assassins joining forces to protect desperate townspeople. So forget the been-there-done-that story and go along for the gun toting, arrow shooting, knife wielding Old West ride.
The Girl With All The Gifts
Release Date: 23rd September
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine
What’s It About: TGWATG is based on M. R. Carey’s post-apocalyptic novel of the same name and is set in a dystopian future where most of humanity has been wiped out by a lethal infection. It centres on a special girl called Melanie, who’s subjected to cruel experiments by Glenn Close’s scientist and embarks on a journey of survival with the help of her teacher, Helen (Gemma Arterton).
Why You Should Watch It: If you’ve watched the trailer for Colm McCarthy’s big screen adaptation, you’ll already know that this isn’t a standard zombie tale. Disturbing and thrilling with an emotional core, The Girl With All The Gifts is bolstered by powerful performances from Brit favourite Gemma Arterton and newcomer Sennia Nanua. While Carey’s 2014 novel was an original take on the post-apocalypse theme, the film veers away from some elements of the book by sticking with one character, Melanie, rather than moving between different points of view. If you like horror with heart, TGWATG is not to be missed.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Release Date: 30th September
Starring: Eva Green, Kim Dickens, Asa Butterfield, Judi Dench
What’s It About: Another book-to-screen adaptation, Tim Burton’s dark fantasy film follows 16-year-old Jake Portman who, after the mysterious death of his grandfather, discovers a home for ‘peculiar’ children run by the enigmatic Miss Peregrine. Jake is tasked with protecting the children against evil forces known as the Hollows and Wights, led by Samuel L. Jackson’s Mr. Barron.
Why You Should Watch It: Peculiar by name, peculiar by nature, this X-Men-esque story involving children with curious abilities has all the right ingredients for a fun and freaky adventure. It has Burton’s trademark approach – dark and delightfully creepy – and an exciting and varied cast ranging from Eva Green to Asa Butterfield to Chris O’Dowd. It’s quite unlike any other film released this year.
Release Date: 30th September
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O’Brien, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell
What’s It About: The story of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in 2010, which caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion killed 11 workers and is considered to be the worst environmental disaster in US history.
Why You Should Watch It: Using a New York Times article as source material, Peter Berg’s biographical action-drama movie portrays a harrowing real-life disaster utilising one of the largest set pieces ever built. The film reunites Berg with Mark Wahlberg – they previously worked together on 2013’s Lone Survivor – and promises to be both a visual spectacle and a faithful representation of the events that took place on 20 April 2010. Summer blockbuster season might be over, but the big explosions continue.