Fall’'s Can’'t-Miss Flicks

We asked Westchester’s top film critic which autumnal indie hits and big-ticket show-stoppers are worth your moviegoing time.

With a tidal wave of feature films and indie gems hitting local theaters this fall, it can be difficult to decide exactly what to see. Well, have no fear: We went to The Picture House in Pelham, where critic-in-residence and film expert Marshall Fine shared his top picks for both lesser-known films and big-ticket blockbusters.

Indie Hits

The Birth of a Nation

“Writer-director Nate Parker’s [2016] film about Nat Turner’s bloody slave rebellion of 1831 was a Sundance sensation last January and has been at the top of most critics’ can’t-miss lists since then. Recent headlines will only make it timelier.”

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American Pastoral

“Actor Ewan McGregor makes his directing debut in this 2016 film adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel about political upheaval in the 1960s. He plays the central role, as well, ‘Swede’ Levov, a onetime high-school sports hero whose daughter gets caught up with a radical antiwar group.” 

 

Loving

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“Based on a true story, this 2016 film by Jeff Nichols (Mud, Midnight Special) looks at the case of Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga), the interracial couple who won a case in the US Supreme Court against a Virginia law that prohibited blacks and whites from marrying.”

 

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

“Double Oscar winner (and Larchmont resident) Ang Lee adapts Ben Fountain’s 2012 bestseller about a decorated squadron from the Iraq War being celebrated at halftime at a Dallas Cowboys game, with a cast that focuses on newcomers but includes Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, and Vin Diesel.”

 

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Big-Ticket Blockbusters

Sully

“Tom Hanks teams up with director Clint Eastwood to play airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who became a national hero when he landed a disabled airliner on the Hudson River in 2009. People who are afraid to fly may not be the best audience for this one.”

 

The Accountant

“Oscar winners Ben Affleck and J.K. Simmons star in a thriller about, yes, an accountant. But this is a numbers-cruncher with a difference: He works for a major drug cartel, ‘uncooking’ the books when someone tries to rip off the bosses, then serving as a hitman who eliminates the violators.”

 

The Girl on the Train

“A high-powered cast, led by Emily Blunt, stars in this adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ 2015 bestselling thriller. Blunt plays a divorced woman whose daily train ride to work takes her past her old house and leads to, well… let’s just say that no one is quite who they seem to be in this film.”

 

Rules Don’t Apply

“It’s been almost 20 years since Warren Beatty directed a film and almost that long since he starred in one. This is a long-simmering project, in which Beatty plays billionaire recluse Howard Hughes, which focuses on Hughes’ unusual relationship with a Hollywood ingénue (Lily Collins) and the driver Hughes hires (Alden Ehrenreich) to chauffeur her around.”


 

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