As storytellers ourselves, Steven James does a monthly series on nationwide movie releases in the US. November movie releases 2017 are here and so the movie industry has two more months to push toward a decent box-office year after a tough year. October came in strong with the Steven King adaptation “IT,” so we’ll see if the momentum can be maintained as we roll into the important holiday season.
The beginning of the month has a sequel to the $100 million-plus surprise hit “Bad Moms.” This time the three mothers played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn rebel against the holiday stress in “A Bad Moms Christmas.” Next up, the superhero genre continues to soar with the release of “Thor: Ragnarok.” Chris Hemsworth returns in the title role and they’re billing it as the best reviewed Marvel movie yet. The trailer shows Thor and Hulk battling it out in a gladiator pit. That looks like it may be worth the price of admission by itself! The third nationwide release this first week of November is a drama starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Alicia Silverstone called “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” It is an intense story of a boy who begins to exhibit sinister behavior, sending the life of the surgeon who has taken him under his stewardship spiraling out of control.
November 10th brings two coast-to-coast releases, a comedy and a murder mystery. In fact, the murder mystery is one of the most famous stories of that genre – “Murder on the Orient Express,” which of course is based on the famous novel by Agatha Christie. Thirteen strangers stranded on a train are all suspicious of one another because one of them is responsible for a murder that has occurred. This adaptation is directed by and stars the great Kenneth Branagh in the famous role of detective Hercule Poirot. An all-star cast including Michael Pena, Judi Dench, and Michelle Pfeiffer plays the other stranded suspects. On the lighter side of the pair of releases is “Daddy’s Home 2.” Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrell reprise their roles as the father and stepfather trying to do best for their kids at Christmastime. When their own fathers appear on the scene – one a macho man played by Mel Gibson and the other a highly sensitive gentleman portrayed by John Lithgow – holiday hijinks ensue.
Four more nationwide releases hit the screens on November 17th. “The Justice League” based on the beloved DC comic book sees the forces of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Aquaman join together to battle dark forces. Gal Gadot returns in her role as Wonder Woman which was one of the box-office bonanzas of the past year, so undoubtedly the producers are hoping to ride on that momentum. One of the other releases is called “Wonder” (not to be confused with “Wonder Woman”). It promises to be an inspirational film and probably a heart-wrencher about a young boy with a facial deformity who enters a mainstream school. The movie is adapted from R.J. Palacio’s bestselling novel. Another offering this week is “The Star.” It’s an animated feature telling the story of the first Christmas through the eyes of a small and courageous donkey named Star. Mariah Carey provides new original music for the soundtrack. And the final countrywide movie this week is “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” starring Denzel Washington in the title role of an indefatigable progressive lawyer thrust into a leadership role on a case that triggers a crisis of conscience for him.
Two films round-out the month with Thanksgiving Eve releases. “Coco” is an animated feature from the venerable Walt Disney Pictures. This adventure brings its lead character – a young musician named Miguel – to the amazing and colorful Land of the Dead in his quest to showcase his talent. And for those who just can’t get through Thanksgiving without a good scare, there’s a supernatural horror film called “Polaroid.” When a high school loner finds the vintage model camera, she eventually realizes the camera carries a dark power.
Those are the nationwide movies hitting the silver screen this month – but there are many more. Check out all the November movies here – from the art house pics to the limited releases that might contain a gem just to your liking. There’s a lot to choose from in this month! Find your favorite theater among the many in Rochester here! As the temp begins to dip, the holiday film season begins to heat up! See you at the movies!