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2016 Fall Movie Preview: 17 Blockbusters and Popcorn Offerings To Check Out This Season

Looking for a fall movie with some blockbuster flair and popcorn appeal? We've got you covered.

“The Girl on the Train,” October 7

The Girl on the Train

“The Girl on the Train”

Universal Pictures

Tate Taylor may not be David Fincher — and that’s putting it nicely — but the director of “The Help” has gotten a big, juicy Fincher-feeling thriller to bolster his career. Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins (know someone in a book club? odds are, they read it this year), the film moves its action from London to the New York City suburbs, and hopefully won’t lose it punch and twists in the process. Emily Blunt stars as the tremendously screwed up Rachel Watson, who compensates for a life filled with major disappointments and huge mistakes by fixating on an attractive couple she spies every morning on the train to work (and even that relatively basic plotline has some big ol’ twists to reveal). When the female half of Rachel’s perfect couple goes missing, the always-obsessive Rachel makes it her mission to figure out what happened. It made sound cliche to say that she gets more than she bargained for, but boy does she ever, and expect those same shocks to deliver jaw-dropping moment after jaw-dropping moment to its movie-going audience. -KE

“The Accountant,” October 14

"The Accountant"

“The Accountant”

Warner Bros.

Gavin O’Connor’s “The Accountant” has already delivered a pair of impressive trailers and, should the final film capitalize on the promise of Ben Affleck playing a murderous and obsessive accountant, audiences everywhere are in for a big treat. Affleck stars in the film as a seemingly mild-mannered — if peculiar — forensic accountant who has spent his entire life amongst the comfort of numbers, thanks to a tough childhood marked by constant bullying. But not everything that Affleck’s whipsmart Chris does is entirely above-board, and soon his life of ordered numbers, cooked books and maybe an assassination or two starts to blend together into a creative thriller. And who’s to blame? Nosy Anna Kendrick it seems, who should come away from the film with a juicy, dramatic bite. -KE

“A Monster Calls,” October 21

"A Monster Calls"

“A Monster Calls”

Focus Features

J.A. Bayona has made a career finding terror in the natural (“The Impossible”) and the supernatural (“The Orphanage”). For his next trick, the director looks to be veering closer to the latter, with an escapist fantasy tale. Bolstered by his discovery of the title creature (voiced by Liam Neeson), young Connor (newcomer Lewis MacDougall) looks to overcome the anxieties of a grief-stricken home life and a batch of school bullies. Time will tell if this will help lead YA novel adaptations away from the realm of franchises based on murderous teenagers, but having the additional talents of Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell set against Bayona’s adventurous backdrop should be worth the ride. -SG

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” October 21

"Jack Reacher: Never Look Back"

“Jack Reacher: Never Look Back”

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” continues the adventures of Tom Cruise’s titular badass, and while 2012’s origin story never reached the heights of Cruise’s mostly-brilliant “Mission: Impossible” series, there was a admirable dedication to action and stunts without CGI bloat. This follow-up ditches the first’s secret weapon — Werner Herzog (!) as a gang leader — but Cobie Smulders looks to be a strong feminist foil for our heroic stone-faced ex-army bro. Embrace the joy of spending a blustery fall afternoon watching Cruise run around at top speed in a leather jacket…while you sit on your butt eating popcorn. -WE

“Keeping Up With the Joneses,” October 21

Keeping Up With The Joneses

“Keeping Up With The Joneses”

Most spy films are fun. But not every spy film is a comedy with Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot as an undercover spy couple living in suburbia. If, for some reason, that isn’t enough to sell you, “Superbad” and “Adventureland” director Greg Mottola oversees the hilarity, as the title couple moves into an ordinary neighborhood alongside unwitting married neighbors (Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher). The bumbling normals vs. precise experts dynamic isn’t novel, but this quartet seems it might be the right kind of mismatched to pull it off. At the very least, it should be fun to see Gadot and Hamm momentarily veer away from high drama and into feature-length hijinks. -SG

“Inferno,” October 28



If there was ever a film where the audience knows what they are getting beforehand, it’s “Inferno,” which will be the third time Ron Howard directs Tom Hanks in a film adaption of a Dan Brown book (“The Da Vinci Code”). In the third installment in the bestselling series, Robert Langdon (Hanks) wakes up in a hospital having no clue how he got to Italy, but before he can piece it all together his doctor (Felicity Jones) must save him from an assassination attempt, which thrusts the two in another thriller/mystery for Langdon to solve. This time the piecing of the puzzle pieces reveals a plague that threatens humanity and poses a near impossible dilemma for Langdon. This is Brown, so expect scenes of narrow escape, exploration of ancient text (this time “Dante’s Inferno”) and his unique brand of popcorn paranoia. -CO

Check out November’s best blockbuster offerings on the next page. 

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