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November’s movie calendar is packed. Here are 14 must-sees.

This month has everything: Eternals, murder, tennis, and Princess Di.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

It’s no exaggeration to say that this November is the biggest month for movies not just this year, but in several years, thanks to the pandemic. The reason is mostly logistics: Some movies slated to come out a year ago are finally hitting theaters, and with the Oscar eligibility window closing at the end of December, film distributors are rushing to put their most impressive films and performers in the spotlight. And of course, the holidays — a prime moviegoing season — are coming too.

So the bounty is impressive, from new MCU installments to the buzziest films from the fall festivals to big, wild-looking period pieces. November will be a great month at the movies, so here are the 14 movies to see.


Release date: November 5

The latest big-screen addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe zooms out — way out. Eternals tells the story of a group of immortal interstellar beings who are sent to earth to protect the planet and its inhabitants from the Deviants, who are their equivalents, but evil. Directed by Chloé Zhao (whose film Nomadland won Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars earlier this year), Eternals jumps around in time and space, a hugely ambitious epic that never really gels narratively but is worth seeing nonetheless. It’s also got a great cast: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan, Lauren Ridloff, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie play the Eternals.

How to watch it: Eternals will premiere in theaters.


Release date: November 5

Kristen Stewart is Princess Diana in Spencer — or at least, she’s a version of the icon who left a legend in the wake of her tragic 1997 death. Following his imagination-fueled fantasia on Jackie Kennedy in 2016’s Jackie, director Pablo Larrain returns with a similarly speculative dive into the psyche of the famous princess, right as she’s reaching a breaking point. The film follows Diana through the Christmas holidays with the royal family, often filming Stewart in claustrophobic, panicky frames that give Spencer, at times, the feeling of a horror film. It’s a bit less sly about what it’s up to than Jackie was, and suffers from some ploddingly obvious symbolism. But the spell it casts is murky and laced with dread, and it’s hard to shake after the movie ends.

How to watch it: Spencer will premiere in theaters.


Release date: November 10

Rebecca Hall wrote and directed this adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, which is about two childhood friends who encounter one another again in adulthood. Irene (Tessa Thompson), who goes by Reeny, lives with her doctor husband (André Holland) and their children in a stately Harlem house. Clare (Ruth Negga) is married to a racist businessman (Alexander Skarsgård), who has no idea that his wife is not white. The film feels almost dreamlike, evoking a world in which the lines that separate friendship from desire, love from hate, and white from Black are more permeable than you might expect — a world a lot like today’s.

How to watch it: Passing, which is playing in limited theaters, begins streaming on Netflix on November 10.


Release date: November 12

Belfast, Kenneth Branagh’s unabashedly sentimental dip into his youthful memories of strife during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, is really a family drama told from a small boy’s perspective. The boy’s parents (Jamie Dornan and Caitríona Balfe) are Protestant Belfast natives who watch their Catholic neighbors become the target of violence, struggling to keep their family together as they weigh whether their future lies in Belfast with his grandparents (Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds) or elsewhere. The boy himself, Branagh’s avatar Buddy (Jude Hill), catches glimpses of the big world outside the family’s corner of Belfast at the movies and on stage. Belfast is in black and white, but Branagh often renders what they’re watching, from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to a staged production of A Christmas Carol, in color. The stories we watch, Branagh reminds us, are a vibrant window onto life, even during dark times.

How to watch it: Belfast will open in theaters on November 12.


Release date: November 12

Indelible, gutting, and hopeful, Procession is a documentary unlike anything you’ve seen before. The filmmakers, led by director Robert Greene, reached out to six men in the Kansas City, Missouri, area who were abused as boys by Catholic priests and clergy. Rather than proceeding as an exposé, Procession is a collaborative project in healing, as each of the six men creates and films traumatic memories in a drama therapy-informed quest to ... well, what, exactly? That’s what they’re exploring: the meaning of healing, the ways we perform to cope and to crack ourselves open, and the possibilities, such as they are, for redemption. It’s a must-see.

How to watch it: Procession will open in limited theaters on November 12 and begin streaming on Netflix on November 19.

Tick, Tick... Boom!

Release date: November 12

Lin-Manuel Miranda steps behind the camera for Tick, Tick... Boom!, a film adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Rent composer Jonathan Larson. Andrew Garfield plays Larson, who is closing in on his 30th birthday and increasingly terrified that he’s running out of time to actually break into the musical theater world. The real Larson wrote Tick, Tick... Boom! a few years before Rent made him famous, and thus only a few years before he died unexpectedly of an undiagnosed heart condition. That backstory makes Tick, Tick... Boom! all the more poignant — and the film adaptation will likely draw in a new generation of fans.

How to watch it: Tick, Tick... Boom! will open in limited theaters on November 12 and begin streaming on Netflix on November 19.

The Power of the Dog

Release date: November 17

Jane Campion’s first film since 2009’s Bright Star is The Power of the Dog, and it is set, despite its New Zealand shooting location, in the American West. For most of its runtime, The Power of the Dog is confined to the big ranch that Phil and George (Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons) own and operate. George marries Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and brings her there, along with her waifish teenage son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Phil despises both of the ranch’s new residents. But people’s exteriors rarely match what they’re capable of inside. The Power of the Dog will keep you guessing as it morphs from a Western to a romance to something deliciously dark, a melodrama with an eerie bite and sweeping, craggy vistas.

How to watch it: The Power of the Dog will premiere in theaters on November 17 and begin streaming on Netflix on December 1.

C’mon C’mon

Release date: November 19

Joaquin Phoenix stars in C’mon C’mon, the sensitive and huge-hearted new movie from Mike Mills (whose last film was 20th Century Women). Phoenix is Johnny, an artist interviewing young people around the US about the future: what they hope for, what they dream of, what they fear. But when his semi-estranged sister (Gaby Hoffmann) suddenly has to attend to an emergency, he ends up caring for his precocious and eccentric 9-year-old nephew Jesse (Woody Norman), and both of them learn a lot from one another. The premise of C’mon C’mon could easily swing into way-too-precious territory, but Mills’s steady hand and feeling for story rhythms, along with Phoenix’s performance, keep the ship on course. The result is a warm and winsome meditation on the ties that bind us.

How to watch it: C’mon C’mon will premiere in theaters.

King Richard

Release date: November 19

Will Smith stars in King Richard as Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus Williams (Demi Singleton) and Serena Williams (Saniyya Sidney). Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, it’s a biopic centering on Richard’s “unconventional” methods in helping two of his daughters reach the top of their game. It’s just the kind of crowd-pleasing, family-friendly sports movie that tends to do well during the holiday season. While the Williams family was involved with the production, it’s still not totally clear why Richard is at the center (rather than, for instance, both parents, who were equally involved in their daughters’ early careers). But with a cast that also includes Aunjanue Ellis as the girls’ mother Oracene Price and Tony Goldwyn and Jon Bernthal as their coaches, it seems destined for the awards-season stage.

How to watch it: King Richard will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max.

Drive My Car

Release date: November 24

Ryusuke Hamaguchi directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Drive My Car, which is based on a Haruki Murakami short story. The film centers on Yūsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a theater director who returns home one day to find that his wife Oto (Reika Kirishima), a TV executive, has died. Then time jumps forward, and Kafuku is directing a production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, with each actor performing in their own language. He decides to cast his wife’s lover, Takatsuki (Masaki Okada), in the main role. Through rehearsals and the relationships that develop during the project — including with Misaki (Toko Miura), the quiet young woman hired to drive him to and from the theater — Kafuku starts to understand something that’s nearly ineffable about his past and his future. Drive My Car is a melancholy, meaningful film, occupied with friendships, old wounds, and the task of continuing to live.

How to watch it: Drive My Car will premiere in theaters.


Release date: November 24

Encanto is the animated musical tale of the Madrigals, a Colombian family who all have magical powers and live in an enchanted mountain town. Every member of the family has a singular talent except Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz), who is pretty frustrated about this state of affairs. Then, one day, she discovers that her family’s magic may be under threat, and she must go on a journey to save both the magic and her family’s home. With additional voice work from John Leguizamo, María Cecilia Botero, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Wilmer Valderrama, Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, and Maluma, and songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Encanto seems like the perfect family film for the holiday season.

How to watch it: Encanto will premiere in theaters.

House of Gucci

Release date: November 24

Ridley Scott’s second movie this year (the other was The Last Duel) is House of Gucci, starring Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci, head of the legendary Gucci fashion house, and Lady Gaga as his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani. The film follows the murder of Gucci in 1995 and the events that took place afterward, and features — among other things — absolutely fabulous costume design. With Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, and Salma Hayek (who, incidentally, is married to the current head of Gucci) among the cast and a juicy true-crime story at its core, House of Gucci is certain to be, at minimum, a lot of fun at the movies.

How to watch it: House of Gucci will premiere in theaters.

The Humans

Release date: November 24

Stephen Karam’s play The Humans won a Tony and was a finalist for the Pulitzer, and it turns out it makes a great movie, too. Karam adapted and directed the film, which stars a terrific cast — Richard Jenkins, Jayne Houdyshell (who reprises her Broadway role), Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun, and June Squibb — as a family who’ve gathered in one daughter’s rickety new Chinatown apartment for Thanksgiving. Over the course of the evening, conversations start to hint at what’s right about this family and what’s gone very wrong. The film is funny and raw, full of the kinds of things families say to one another at holidays, and Karam’s use of space keeps the adaptation from feeling too much like just a filmed play. It’s haunting, a little hopeful, and very, very honest.

How to watch it: The Humans will premiere in theaters.

Licorice Pizza

Release date: November 26

Paul Thomas Anderson follows up 2017’s Phantom Thread with Licorice Pizza, a romantic coming-of-age story set in 1973 about two young people, played by singer Alana Haim, of the band Haim, and Cooper Hoffman, son of frequent Anderson collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman. Anderson is famously tight-lipped about the details of his plots before his films premiere, but the trailer for Licorice Pizza set the internet ablaze, in part because of its cast: Tom Waits, Sean Penn, Benny Safdie, Maya Rudolph, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Ben Stiller, John C. Reilly, Christine Ebersole, and Bradley Cooper in bombastic mode as a film producer named Jon Peters, who may or may not be based on the real guy. And who doesn’t love a drama about the glories and disappointments of first love?

How to watch it: Licorice Pizza will open in limited theaters on November 26 and widely on December 22.