October is almost here, and it could be the busiest month for movie fans in quite some time. When I wrote last month’s list of movies to check out, there were precisely five releases that caught my eye. When I was looking up notable releases for October, however, I ended up jotting down twelve. A combination of massive blockbusters and spooky films for the Halloween season fills out most of the month, with some fun surprises in-between. This list will cover the five movies you definitely shouldn’t miss, as well as some honorable mentions near the end.
#1. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
In Theatres Everywhere: October 1st, 2021
In full transparency, I have not seen the first Venom. I remember reading mixed reviews at the time of its release, and the concept of watching a non-canonical Marvel movie felt like a waste of time. Since its release, though, I have heard that it’s entertaining if you don’t take it too seriously. And despite not seeing the original, I have watched the trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage at least a dozen times.
While Venom sounded like it suffered from an identity crisis, the sequel looks like it has finally found its footing and is leaning into its absurdity. Tom Hardy is reprising his role of Eddie Brock, a symbiote-infested journalist struggling to balance his life with the appetite of the monster within him. An interview with a serial killer named Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson, goes wrong, and Kasady becomes the host for Carnage.
The trailer showcases stunning visuals and action sequences, but the most surprising is how funny the film seems to be. Some great jokes make me chuckle every time I hear them, particularly from the titular character. Venom: Let There Be Carnage only has a runtime of 96 minutes, so it should be a non-stop thrill ride from beginning to end.
#2. No Time to Die
In Theatres Everywhere: October 8th, 2021
It’s hard to believe that audiences first saw Daniel Craig as James Bond fifteen years ago in Casino Royale. Since then, we have seen the actor play the iconic character across four movies, with the newest release finally closing out his saga. No Time to Die appears to be the culmination of an overarching narrative and should hopefully please fans of Craig’s portrayal of the suave spy. Cary Fukunaga of True Detective and Beasts of No Nation fame is directing and co-stars Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, and Léa Seydoux.
The trailer for No Time to Die offers everything one should expect from a new 007. From gadget-filled vehicles to conniving villains, many of the franchise’s iconic tropes makes an appearance. The most significant difference between this movie and other 007 entries is the finality of a multi-film narrative.
Rarely do we see villains and love interests re-appear throughout James Bond’s adventures, but this truly feels like the end of one man’s journey. Like how Marvel tells their stories across multiple releases, this series has taken that idea and expertly woven an exciting thread between the last five entries. No Time to Die could also be the last time we see Bond portrayed by a white man, as discussions about the character’s evolution and representation have been consistent over the previous few years.
In Theatres and HBO Max: October 22nd, 2021
The last time we saw Dune adapted into a film was back in 1984. David Lynch attempted to popularize the franchise, but pressure from producers limited his creative input on the project. Lynch’s Dune would go on to become one of the biggest bombs in the box office that year, grossing only $31 million from its $40 million budget. Since then, many studios and directors have avoided the IP like it was a sandworm, too afraid that history would repeat itself and that they would fail in making a decent adaptation of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece novel.
Now, almost forty years later, Dune is back. Supposedly the first film in a two-part saga, both fans of the source material and newcomers alike should be excited about seeing it as soon as it comes out. Denis Villeneuve is helming the project, and after his work on Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, there couldn’t be a better director for this sci-fi epic. Villeneuve is the master of creating tension and atmospheric beauty, and Dune could be his most remarkable work to date.
Not only is the talent behind the camera impressive, but the cast contains some of the greatest actors and actresses of the generation. Timothée Chalamet leads an impressive cast consisting of Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Jason Mamoa, Zendaya, and Dave Bautista. While you will have the option to watch Dune at home when it launches on HBO Max, this is one movie that deserves a trip to the theatre over any other on this list.
#4. The French Dispatch
In Theatres Everywhere: October 22nd, 2021
Whenever a new Wes Anderson project is close, it always feels like a special event. Anderson has consistently been one of the most creative and unique directors in the industry for more than two decades. Many of his films are notorious for their visual style, humor, and excellent casting, and The French Dispatch appears to be doing more of the same, but its story is what intrigues me the most. Set in a fictional city in France, the movie will focus on three separate stories from the final issue of a newspaper entitled The French Dispatch. Each tale will have a unique cast and narrative to tell, but the common thread connecting them is the power of journalism and what it means to be a reporter.
Similar to Dune, one of The French Dispatch‘s most appealing features is its cast. October 22nd should be an excellent day for Timothée Chalamet, as both of his major releases drop on the same day this year. Alongside Chalamet, audiences can expect fantastic performances from Bill Murry, Owen Wilson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and many more. The French Dispatch looks like it will offer excellent escapism, with its dream-like cinematography and crazy characters and scenarios. While many other movies on this list emphasize action and world-building, the latest Wes Anderson will be an amusing break from those high adrenaline adventures.
#5. Last Night in Soho
In Theatres Everywhere: October 29th, 2021
After a long month of anti-hero shenanigans, diabolical antagonists, sandstorms, and fictional journalism, why not wind down the month with some psychological horror? The newest film from Edgar Wright, tackling the genre for the first time since his excellent fake trailer for “Don’t,” promises to haunt audiences while they watch it, and possibly even after they leave the theatre. While many decent-looking horror titles are releasing around Halloween, Last Night in Soho looks like the most engaging, hypnotizing, and generally horrific of the bunch.
The story follows Eloise, a young woman who has just moved to London to attend school for fashion design. One night, Eloise is swept back into 1966 and sees the world through the eyes of a famous nightclub singer named Sandy. What begins as a fantastical journey between decades quickly melts into a hallucinogenic nightmare. Eloise slowly begins to lose her mind and becomes tormented by the events she is witnessing in the past. Wright has always had an eye for style, and the way he moves the camera and uses visual effects in the trailer gives me chills every time I watch it.
From the haunting soundtrack to the performances and directing, every piece of this film seems to work in harmony to create a truly horrific and mind-blowing movie that will stick with you like the light of a neon sign.
Release Date: October 1st, 2021
Titane first premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival and won first prize, otherwise known as the Palme d’Or. The movie follows Alexia, a woman with a troubled past and a history of violence. Alexia works as a showgirl at motor shows, and that’s where things begin to get weird. Alexia was injured in a car accident as a child and has had an odd attraction to vehicles since then.
One night after everyone leaves the motor show she works at, Alexia finds herself pregnant after a solo sexual act inside one of the vehicles. The movie sounds incredibly bonkers, and even after watching the trailer a couple of times, I have no idea what is going on. If you are a fan of body horror and yelling “WTF” at your screen, make sure you don’t miss Titane.
The Velvet Underground
Available on Apple+: October 15th, 2021
The Velvet Underground’s influence on modern music and art is undeniable. The now-legendary band were pioneers of a new sound and blazed trails for both musicians and visual artists back in the early 1960s with their rebellious attitude and beatnik style of living. The band’s story has been documented through biographies, podcasts, and interviews over the last few years. Still, this new documentary from director Todd Haynes may be the definitive way of learning about The Velvet Underground’s incredible history.
Army of Thieves
Available on Netflix: October 29th, 2021
It’s hard to believe that Zack Snyder dropped his latest movie, Army of the Dead, earlier this year. While he is not directing the prequel, Army of Thieves appears to have the same fun energy and heart that we saw in the first film. Starring the stand-out safecracker Ludwig Dieter, Army of Thieves takes place six years before the events of the original, during the beginning stages of the zombie apocalypse.
As the world begins to fall apart, Dieter is recruited to join an Ocean’s Eleven-esque group of criminals to pull off a heist that will give each of them enough money to do whatever they want. Dieter was one of my favorite characters in Army of the Dead, and I’m genuinely excited to see a movie showcase this unique character in a crazy, zombie-infested world.
Those are my picks for the essential movies you should see in October. Which one of these films are you the most excited about? Is there a movie that should be on this list that I missed? Let me know in the comments below.