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The biggest movies, TV, music, and books coming out between now and the end of the year

Star Wars! A new Pixar movie! Taylor Swift! Your pop culture winter preview has arrived.

Halloween is over, holiday music has started to infiltrate the radio, and your email inbox is probably full of brands offering perky advice on how to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But capitalism’s seasonal crush doesn’t stop there: November and December are also home a ton of new and notable movie, TV, music, and book releases.

The last two months of 2017 will unleash a wave of pop culture upon the world, from a new Star Wars movie to Taylor Swift’s first album in three years to lots of lesser-known but perhaps even more exciting options. Take a deep breath: Below, we’ve compiled a guide the 43 biggest releases to keep an eye on, arranged in chronological order. Check them out with your family and friends, or check them out as a way to avoid your family and friends — just know that they’re all solid additions to your pop culture queue.

A Bad Moms Christmas (in theaters November 1)

Looking to capitalize on the 2016 runaway hit Bad Moms, the holiday-themed sequel A Bad Moms Christmas gets the gang back together, gathering original bad moms Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn and then adding their characters' mothers, played by Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon. The movie is a pale imitation of its predecessor, but it will nonetheless offer a pleasant distraction for lots of moviegoers during the holidays. —Alissa Wilkinson

Thor: Ragnarok (in theaters November 3)

Marvel’s third film about the titular demigod is the franchise’s best and funniest entry to date, in no small part because of Cate Blanchett’s performance as Hela — the goddess of death who dons a demented deer-antler headdress and leads an all-out siege on Asgard. And while the film’s hero, Thor, has never had quite the same clout as A-list solo Avengers like Iron Man or Captain America, Ragnarok is on the brink of changing that. —Alex Abad-Santos

Alias Grace (debuts November 3 on Netflix)

Our year of Margaret Atwood continues with Netflix’s adaptation of her eerie, spine-tingling classic. Servant girl Grace is serving out a prison sentence for murdering her former employer, and a new doctor is determined to prove that she’s a hysteric, not a true criminal. With Take This Waltz’s Sarah Polley at the helm, there’s a lot that can go right here. —Constance Grady

Lady Bird (in limited theaters November 3; opens wide November 10)

Writer-actress Greta Gerwig makes her feature debut as a director and solo screenwriter in this sparkling coming-of-age comedy-drama set in Sacramento circa 2002. Saoirse Ronan stars as a precocious, combative teen straining against the confines of her hometown (which she derides as “the Midwest of California”), and butting heads with the family, friends, and teachers who populate it. Ronan brings life and depth to the prickly title character, and Laurie Metcalfe’s portrayal of Lady Bird’s sharp-tongued but wounded mother is one of the year’s best supporting performances. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll gain a new appreciation for The Dave Matthews Band’s “Crash Into Me.” —Genevieve Koski

The Girlfriend Experience season two (debuts November 5 on Starz)

The first season of Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience was a beautiful, menacing gem that offered a compelling glimpse into the luxurious and malevolent world of upscale prostitution. Now it’s back for season two, which will explore different and seemingly dangerous aspects of that captivating realm. —AA

SMILF (debuts on November 5 on Showtime)

Ignore SMILF’s awful — though admittedly catchy — title. (FYI: The “S” stands for “Single.” We decline to explain the MILF to you.) Showtime’s latest is an often-charming little comedy about a woman who becomes a mother in her 20s, then tries to turn her life around for her toddler son. The show is written and directed by its star, Frankie Shaw, who’s been a highlight of the many other series where she’s appeared as a supporting player. Here, her voice is on full display, and it’s snarky and winning. —Todd VanDerWerff

Heather the Totality, by Matthew Weiner (out November 7)

Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner Little, Brown

Mad Men fans sometimes like to say that Mad Men is the true great American novel, even though it’s a TV show. With Heather the Totality, Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner gets to show us whether or not he can pull off the same trick in a new medium. —CG

Brolliology, by Marion Rankine (out November 7)

Brolliology by Marion Rankine Mellville House

If you don’t see the point in a cultural history of umbrellas, then friend, you are not thinking big enough. Brolliology has it all: umbrellas and the ancient Egyptians! Umbrellas as magical totems (think Mary Poppins)! Umbrellas as objects of philosophical inquiry! Are umbrellas sexy? Are they radical? Author Marion Rankine has the answer. —CG

Damnation (debuts November 7 on USA Network)

The Great Depression has been overdue for a prestige drama to call its very own. (We love HBO’s Carnivále, but that two-season show ended ages ago.) USA takes its best shot with this Iowa-set tale centered on two brothers, times of extreme economic desperation, and the ceaseless battle between labor and capital. Who knows if the series will successfully capture the era — the Depression was so, well, depressing that it’ll be tempting for any network to brighten it up — but it certainly looks handsome. —TV

Taylor Swift: reputation (out November 10)

reputation by Taylor Swift Big Machine Records

God only knows if Taylor Swift’s new album will be good; of the four singles released thus far, “Gorgeous” is bog standard TSwift, “…Ready for It” is a banger, and we do not to speak of “Call It What You Want” or “Look What You Made Me Do.” What we can tell you is that the think pieces will be inescapable. Get ready to have an opinion now. —CG

Lady Dynamite season two (debuts November 10 on Netflix)

There’s no TV show quite like Lady Dynamite because there’s no comedian quite like its star, Maria Bamford. In its first season, the Netflix comedy was a loose retelling of Bamford’s real experiences as an actor and standup comedian — one that heartbreakingly and even hilariously revealed how much her mental health issues have informed her entire life. Season two promises more of the same, plus visits from appealing guest stars like Andy Samberg, Jenny Slate, and Bamford’s actual parents. —Caroline Framke

Murder on the Orient Express (in theaters November 10)

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is one of the world’s most famous detective novels, and the most famous featuring the legendary investigator Hercule Poirot. As such, the devilish murder-mystery has been adapted numerous times over the years. But if the all-star cast of this latest iteration — which boasts Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, and more — isn’t enough to convince you it’s time for another go-round, let the trailer’s sleek production values and irresistibly campy combination of Christie’s legendary tale and Imagine Dragons pull you in all the way. —Aja Romano

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (in theaters November 10)

Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September (and thus already a frontrunner for the upcoming Oscar season), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri features a trio of excellent performances from Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and especially Frances McDormand in a story about anger, revenge, and injustice. It’s also very funny, in a hard-bitten way. —AW

Artemis, by Andy Weir (out November 14)

Crown Publishing

The Martian author Andy Weir returns with his brand of thinky, process-heavy science fiction. Artemis takes place on the titular lunar colony, where small-time smuggler Jazz is about to take the leap to greatness by committing the perfect crime — only to find herself enmeshed in a shadowy conspiracy that will determine the fate of the colony itself. —CG

Justice League (in theaters November 17)

Will Warner Bros.’s next chapter of superhero films be wondrous? That’s the question the studio faces after releasing the first critical and box office hit of its extended DC cinematic universe, Wonder Woman, in June. Gal Gadot will reprise her role as Diana Prince, the exiled Amazon princess of Themyscira, as she and Batman (Ben Affleck) round up a team of powerful metahumans to combat Earth’s next, and probably way more powerful, great threat. —AA

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: Soul of a Woman (out November 17)

Fiery soul and funk vocalist Sharon Jones died last November at age 60, but not before recording one last studio album with her longtime backing band, The Dap-Kings. Jones was in the midst of battling pancreatic cancer while working on Soul of a Woman, reportedly only coming into the studio when “she was strongest,” according to the album’s producer; if the album’s first single, “Matter of Time,” is any indication, Jones made those moments of strength count. —GK

Sia: Everyday Is Christmas (out November 17)

Snowflakes, Santa Claus, and Sia: These are the ingredients that make for a delicious holiday musical confection. We say this based on the lead single, “Santa’s Coming For Us,” which bounces along like a reindeer sleigh and nicely inverts the old “here comes Santa Claus” shtick by making Santa some kind of unstoppable force coming to take you over like, well, a pop song by Sia. Featuring 10 tracks with titles like "Puppies are Forever,” it’s clear the singer knows exactly what her fans want this year. —AR

Marvel’s The Punisher (debuts November 17 on Netflix)

Played by Jon Bernthal, Frank Castle a.k.a. the Punisher is the latest Marvel character to make the jump from the company’s comic books to Netflix. But unlike Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, Castle is much more violent and exponentially more ruthless when it comes to stamping out evil from his home turf in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. He’s not afraid to kill, nor is he afraid to execute justice in the bloodiest way possible. He’s an antihero in the most jagged sense of the word, and will make you question whether the hero part even applies. —AA

I Love You, Daddy (in theaters November 17)

You’ll definitely be hearing about Louis C.K.’s newest work. Not only is I Love You, Daddy a black and white film in the style of Woody Allen, it’s about a young actress (Chloe Grace Moretz) who falls for a much, much older famed director (John Malkovich). The movie is built to elicit a reaction; time will tell if that reaction is a good one or not so much. —CF

Mudbound (in theaters and on Netflix November 17)

One of this year’s most talked-about films on the festival circuit has won accolades for its cast — which features Garrett Hedlund, Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, and Jason Mitchell — and for its poignant story, about two men who return from World War II to rural Mississippi and struggle to adjust to both civilian life and the racism that surrounds them. It’s certain to get plenty of buzz during the upcoming awards season, too. —AW

Search Party season two (debuts November 19 on TBS)

The first season of Search Party was one of the better TV surprises of 2016. As wallflower Dory (Alia Shawkat) tried to unravel the mystery of an acquaintance from college who mysteriously disappeared, the show — half comedy, half noir — became a surprisingly sharp take on modern malaise and creeping narcissism. And after that season ended with a horrific accident, season two opens with Dory and her friends stuck in some much, much hotter water. —CF

Marvel’s Runaways (debuts November 21 on Hulu)

Marvel’s Runaways is one of the most beloved comic books in recent memory. It’s a teenage dream of first loves, growing up, hopes, and fears that a lot of people — especially those of us who loathed high school — can relate to. But there’s also a velociraptor, a clandestine evil organization, and aliens thrown in for good measure. Now the comic, which itself was recently revived by YA author Rainbow Rowell, is making the leap into live-action television, where it will hopefully recapture the magic that made the original story so well-loved. —AA

Godless (debuts November 22 on Netflix)

Netflix has made the day before Thanksgiving the day when it drops its big miniseries event of the year. In 2016, the honor went to the company’s much-anticipated Gilmore Girls revival, and in 2017, it belongs to a very different tale of women living in a small town. Godless tells the story of a town run by women on the Western frontier, which finds itself inextricably drawn into a more traditional Western involving men. Gender-flipping the perspective of the classical Western is a smart idea, and with Scott Frank (the screenwriter behind Out of Sight and Minority Report, among many, many others) behind it, this could be tremendous. —TV

Coco (in theaters November 22)

Pixar’s recent catalog has been dominated by distinctly uninspiring sequels; the last nonsequel it released was 2015’s The Good Dinosaur, which looked great but otherwise failed to impress. So the animation studio could use a win. Theoretically, Coco — centered on a young boy, his dog, and the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead — could be that win. Though a lot of questions hover around the film, not least of which is whether a story so culturally specific can survive being chewed up and spat out by the Disney marketing machine, the presence of Lee Unkrich (whose last movie was the terrific Toy Story 3) as a co-director makes us hopeful. —TV

Call Me By Your Name (in theaters November 22)

Comparisons to Moonlight, the 2017 Oscar winner for Best Picture, will be inevitable for Call Me By Your Name. It’s a film that, like Moonlight, is about first loves, sexual awakenings, and what those experiences mean for young gay men. The film has garnered a lot of positive buzz after screening at film festivals, and justifiably so: It’s as beautiful as it is moving, and breakout star Timothee Chalamet is spectacular. No matter how invested you are in all that Oscar talk, tissues are a no-brainer for this one. —AA

She’s Gotta Have It (debuts November 23 on Netflix)

Spike Lee is expanding his first film, made in 1986, to a 10-episode Netflix comedy, while keeping the same plot, about a black woman in contemporary America juggling three very different suitors. The movie marked Lee as an exciting young filmmaker to watch, so it will be fascinating to see how he approaches the same material as an established filmmaker with some legendary films to his name, while adapting it for television. —TV

Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie (debuts November 24 on Nickelodeon)

It’s been 13 years since the classic Nickelodeon series Hey Arnold! left the air, but now, fans will finally get the conclusion to an enduring mystery — whatever happened to Arnold’s adventurer parents? — in the show’s long-awaited TV movie. More importantly, we’ll get new monologues from the one and only Helga Pataki, the furious unibrowed queen of my heart. —CF

Björk: Utopia (out November 24)

With her ninth album, Björk further ascends toward what we can only assume will her final form as a sentient all-knowing space crystal with. The album’s first single, “The Gate,” mixes ethereal harmonies with a nod to some kind of vaporwave-by-way-of-Tolkien aesthetic. It’s as Björky as they come, and we can’t wait to hear the rest. —AR

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (debuts November 29 on Amazon)

Amy Sherman Palladino — a.k.a. the woman behind Gilmore Girls and Bunheads — is back at it with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a new comedy about a fast-talking gal (which sounds familiar) who ditches her dreams of achieving housewife perfection in 1950s New York City to pursue standup comedy (which sounds less so). —CF

The Disaster Artist (in theaters December 1)

You’ve made it to the end of the year and you deserve something as fittingly bizarre, meta, and you-had-to-live-through-it-to-understand levels of indescribable as 2017 itself. You deserve The Disaster Artist, and James Franco’s spot-on imitation of Tommy Wiseau, director of the 2003 cult hit The Room. What frequently gets lost amid the absurd tale of The Room’s unlikely success is how layered the book about the film’s creation — which gives The Disaster Artist its title — actually is. Written by Wiseau’s unwitting best friend Greg Sestero, it’s one of the most unexpectedly profound encapsulations of Hollywood aspirations and the American dream in recent memory. Expect the film adaptation to be about a lot more than just the hilarity of watching Franco-as-Wiseau say, “O hai Mark!” over and over. —AR

I, Tonya (in theaters December 8)

There’s never been a better moment to revisit the divisive and darkly revealing narrative of American figure-skater Tonya Harding and the web of competition, crime, and classism that surrounded her infamous fall from grace at the 1994 Olympics. If you’ve ever longed for justice for that landmark powerhouse triple-axel, your moment has come. —AR

The Shape of Water (in theaters December 8)

The Shape of Water, set in Cold War-era Baltimore, is a romance full of characters who are different and lonely and struggling to connect with one another. The movie has all of director Guillermo del Toro’s signature flourishes (odd creatures, colorful images, sudden hints of horror mixed in with the fantasy) and tells a story of love that crosses borders and barriers, challenging what’s “normal” and what’s “strange.” Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon are stellar, but as Eliza — a mute woman who falls in love with a fish-man — Sally Hawkins is especially superb. —AW

The Crown season two (debuts December 8 on Netflix)

Nothing will make you feel more glamorous or luxurious as The Crown, Netflix’s $130 million drama about the life of England’s longest-ruling monarch. Each episode is exquisitely shot, and the actors — Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Matt Smith as Philip Duke of Edinburgh, and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill — are all at the top of their games. In season one, the series’ overarching goal was to depict the personal sacrifices that Elizabeth made to ensure that her monarchy survived. And in season two, those sacrifices stand to become even more painful. —AA

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (in theaters December 15)

The second installment of the latest Star Wars trilogy promises to be a special one, as Rey (Daisy Ridley) convinces Luke (Mark Hamill) — a.k.a. “the last Jedi” — to teach her in the ways of the Force. It’s also the first Star Wars film to be directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), and the last to feature a performance by the late, great Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa that the franchise will ever see. —CF

Wormwood (debuts December 15 on Netflix)

Academy Award winner Errol Morris, one of the most influential documentarians in film history, brings his knack for “true-crime stories, told brilliantly” to Netflix with this six-episode series. Part documentary and part staged re-enactment featuring big names (like Peter Sarsgaard), Wormwood traces one man’s attempts, over several decades, to solve the mysterious death of his father. It starts simple, then delves into the dark heart of America, which is where Morris shines. —TV

A Christmas Story Live! (airs live December 17 on Fox)

The story of one family’s particularly memorable Christmas — from the arrival of a major award to young Ralphie Parker’s dogged pursuit of a Red Ryder BB gun to an unforgettable Christmas dinner — is getting the live TV musical treatment, with Fox putting on the Broadway version of the classic 1983 movie. It’s even enlisting the likes of Matthew Broderick and Maya Rudolph to bring the spirit of the film — and quite possibly a chorus line of dancing leg lamps — to life. —CF

Gunpowder (debuts December 18 on HBO)

Since Guy Fawkes Day, a.k.a. Bonfire Day in Britain, is technically November 5, HBO will be a bit late in airing this three-part miniseries (which is making its US debut on the premium cable network a month after its BBC One release). But behind the “gunpowder, treason, and plot” now commemorated annually by loads of English people drunkenly setting stuff on fire is a fascinating true story of feckless terrorists attempting to blow up Parliament — the kind of real-life melodrama that truly deserves to be remembered, remembered. That Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington leads an all-star cast in the retelling is a bonus we can get behind. —AR

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (in theaters December 20)

Have you recently been saying to yourself, “Boy, I love the 1995 film Jumanji, and I wish someone would reboot it with The Rock”? Well, Sony Pictures sure hopes so, because the studio is releasing exactly such a project this December. —TV

The Post (in theaters December 22)

The Post
Look, it’s the cable TV all-stars!
20th Century Fox

For a movie that’s less than two months away from it release, much less a movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, The Post sure seems to be flying under the radar. (It doesn’t even have a trailer yet!) But if it’s any good, this story of the Washington Post’s battle to publish the Pentagon Papers — already being positioned as Spielberg’s defense of the free press in a time when the free press needs defending — becomes a de facto Oscar frontrunner. And even if it’s not so good, hey, watching actors like Streep, Hanks, and literally every actor who’s appeared on television in the last 10 years will still be worth it. —TV

Pitch Perfect 3 (in theaters December 22)

It’s true, we’ve been here before, and our fave a cappella group may be struggling to prove they still have a few surprises under their hair. But Pitch Perfect 3 will attempt to keep things interesting with a trip to Europe and a George Michael tribute, and really, what more reason do you need to kick back and let Anna Kendrick and the gang sing you into submission? —AR

Bright (in theaters and on Netflix December 22)

If you’ve been dreaming of closing out the year by watching Will Smith resurrect his Men in Black shtick, but in an updated, urban fantasy with an Attack the Block–style vibe, not to mention fairies instead of aliens and Joel Edgerton as a snarky orc in place of Tommy Lee Jones, congratulations: Netflix is here to make your days merry and, well, you know. —AR

Molly’s Game (in limited theaters December 25; opens wide January 5)

“Aaron Sorkin does a poker movie” is a flat-out terrific idea, and so obvious a fit for his skillset that it’s hard to believe it took him so long to try. But Molly’s Game actually marks new territory for Sorkin on two fronts: Not only did he write the film, but he notched another first by directing it, too, with Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba turning in fun, dynamic performances. The result makes it pretty clear that gambling on directing his own screenplay is a bet Sorkin ought to take again. —AW

Phantom Thread (in theaters December 25)

A new movie from Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) is always a major event for movie lovers. This one has been shrouded in mystery, but the recent release of a trailer ratcheted up anticipation to a feverish level. Anderson teamed up with Daniel Day-Lewis (who claims this is his final film) to tell the story of a fashion designer in 1950s London whose life is disrupted by a young woman. —AW


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