Fall 2022 Preview: 60+ Must-See Films To Watch

Nature seems to be healing—relatively speaking—and the movies are celebrating in a big way by giving dozens and dozens of exciting new ones over the next four months. In what we can hope continues to be the safest and most productive year of moviegoing since 2019, festivals have returned to in-person gatherings (including in Toronto, Venice, and New York, where we’ll see many below titles premiere), blockbusters are taking up real estate at the multiplex again, and upcoming award ceremonies are preparing to go without the Zoom red carpets.

READ MORE: Venice Film Festival Preview: 16 Must-See Films To Watch

This fall and winter season also means that we’ll get to see work from many of our most celebrated minds, in no particular order: Robert Zemeckis, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, Noah Baumbach, Henry Selick, Kevin Smith, Claire Denis, Sam Mendes, James Cameron, Rian Johnson, David O. Russell, Todd Field, Andrew Dominik, James Gray, Ryan Coogler, Steven Spielberg, Damien Chazelle, and more. And if that’s not enough, we’re also getting a biopic about “Weird” Al Yankovic, so there’s truly something for everyone.

READ MORE: Fall 2022 TV Preview: Over 45 Series To Watch

Below is an extensive look at many of the films we’re excited to see, whether at an upcoming festival or during their planned theatrical or streaming releases. All of these release dates are subject to change, of course, like when “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” suddenly moved from this December to 2023. And keep an eye out below for many Netflix releases that were just officially announced, some of which are still waiting on concrete theatrical and/or streaming dates. 

Director Robert Zemeckis reteams with Tom Hanks for this live-action remake of the Disney classic, in which Hanks plays woodcarver Gepetto. Here’s hoping that this one has more spirit than the likes of “Aladdin” or “The Lion King,” especially as this duo well knows how to enchant viewers. But at least if this Pinocchio story leaves us could, Guillermo del Toro has his own take on the story coming out a couple of months from then (more on that below). Joseph Gordon-Levitt voices Jiminy Cricket in this version, in a supporting cast that includes Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Sheila Atim, Cynthia Erivo, Lorraine Bracco, and Keegan-Michael Key.
Release Date: September 8 via Disney+.

Taking a different move than his comedy group with the Whitest Kids U Know, Zach Cregger writes and directs this horror movie about a doomed Airbnb rental. Starring Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgard, Justin Long, and Richard Brake, “Barbarian” earned a good start with Comic-Con audiences when it was shown there in July. Here’s hoping that Cregger’s film has some different ideas than Dave Franco’sThe Rental,” also about an Airbnb nightmare. 
Release Date: September 9 via 20th Century Studios.

Clerks III” 
Kevin Smith’s latest venture goes back to the Quick Stop convenience store, for a second sequel in which his first band of nerdy babblers decides to make a movie about their lives. Smith has told this meta-story before, but it’s the characters and nostalgia that will probably have the most sway. Smith returns as Silent Bob opposite stoner bud Jay (Jason Mewes) and joins a cast that brings in View Askew favorites like Ben Affleck, Rosario Dawson, and Justin Long. Of course, Jeff Anderson returns as Randal, joined by Brian O’Halloran, who still isn’t even supposed to be here today. Smith will be touring the movie around the country around its release date, in case you wanted to see the film with the writer/director in attendance. 
Release Date: September 13 via Lionsgate

Writer/director Andrew Dominik hasn’t made a narrative feature since 2012’s “Killing Them Softly,” but that changes soon with his ambitious-looking Marilyn Monroe biopic, “Blonde.” Of course, all eyes will be on Ana De Armas’ portrayal of the Hollywood icon, a performance that has already received vocal support from the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Brad Pitt. In a possible detail of how this story will not soften the edges of such a complicated life story, “Blonde” is also set to be Netflix’s first original NC-17 film. The film, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, also stars Lucy DeVito, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Sara Paxton, Scoot McNairy, Rebecca Wisocky, Xavier Samuel, Toby Huss, and Catherine Dent
Release Date: Limited theaters on September 16 via Netflix and available for streaming on September 28.

“God’s Country” 
Thandiwe Newton plays a woman who gets into an escalating conflict with hunters on her property in this drama from co-writer/director Julian Higgins. A Neo-Western that’s earned comparison to “Frozen River” and “Winter’s Bone,” “God’s Country” also boasts a magnificent performance from Newton, according to our review from its Sundance premiere. Joris Jarsky, Jefferson White, and Jeremy Bobb also star. 
Release Date: September 16 via IFC

Moonage Daydream” 
For all of the reverence that pop culture has shared for the inimitable life and work of David Bowie, a full cinematic experience dedicated to his musical odysseys has eluded us. That will change soon with Brett Morgen’s “Moonage Daydream,” a documentary that boasts the rare blessing from the Bowie estate, and in turn, lots of rarities and never-before-seen footage. The film made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where our critic called it an “elating musical extravaganza.” Sounds like the kind of stuff that IMAX screens were made for, and thankfully this doc will be getting such a release. 
Release Date: September 16 via NEON

The brutal Texas horror story “X” was a hit these past months for A24 and writer/director Ti West, and shortly after that movie premiered at SXSW, a prequel, now known as “Pearl,” was announced. It turns out that it had already been shot, and coming out this year. We’re about to see what’s the deal with the enigmatic Pearl (the old woman played by Mia Goth in her dual roles in “X”) from this script co-written by West and Goth. David Corenswet, Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland, and Emma Jenkins-Purro also star. 
Release Date: September 16 via A24

See How They Run” 
Sam Rockwell fulfills a role here he was bound to play one day: an investigator at the center of an ensemble whodunit. And as it turns out from the movie’s trailer, Saoirse Ronan looks like she was meant to play a kooky sleuth too. In this 1950s West End-set movie directed by Tom George and Mark Chappell, Rockwell’s Inspector Stoppard and Ronan’s Constable Stalker investigate the backstage murder (of a character played by Adrien Brody). The ensemble of suspicious characters includes Harris Dickinson, Ruth Wilson, Shirley Henderson, David Oyelowo, Sian Clifford, Reece Shearsmith, and Pippa Bennett-Warner
Release Date: September 16 via Searchlight.  

The Woman King” 
We’ll get a look at Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King” at the Toronto International Film Festival, but there’s plenty that’s already encouraging about this period action movie: Prince-Bythewood makes her return to blockbuster filmmaking after making a new Netflix action franchise with “The Old Guard.” She directs Viola Davis in this story about an all-female group of warriors in the 1800s who protected the African kingdom of Dahomey. Davis is joined by the likes of Hero Fiennes Tiffin, John Boyega, Lashana Lynch, Jordan Bolger, Sheila Atim, Shaina West, and Thuso Mbedu
Release Date: September 16 via TriStar Pictures

Catherine Called Birdy” 
Lena Dunham hadn’t made a feature until 2010’s “Tiny Furniture” until this year, which has her releasing two directorial efforts. “Sharp Stick” premiered at Sundance with its offbeat portrayal of a woman’s sexual awakening, and now this fall, Dunham has “Catherine Called Birdy,” a 1290 period piece about a clever daughter who evades the suitors that her parents try to link her up with. Bella Ramsey stars in the titular role, opposite Lesley Sharp, Sophie Okonedo, Joe Alwyn, Isis Hainsworth, Dean-Charles Chapman, Paul Kaye, Billie Piper, and Andrew Scott
Release Date: September 23 via Prime Video