The Movie Guru: “The Hate U Give” and more must-watch fall movies |

The Movie Guru: “The Hate U Give” and more must-watch fall movies

Jenniffer Wardell
The Movie Guru
Rami Malek stars as Freddie Murcury in "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Fall is a complicated time for movie lovers, when the first awards-season contenders have to share theater space with disposable nonsense too terrible to waste valuable summer release dates. Even if you’re careful, it can be all too easy to miss the gems amid the piles of cinematic garbage.

This year, though, there’s no need to worry about missing out on the best fall movie season has to offer. These four films are the cream of the crop between now and the holiday movie season, with Oscar-worthy performances and stories that suck you in right from the beginning.

“A Star Is Born” (currently in theaters)

You know a movie’s good when you hate the director a little for making you feel so much. Bradley Cooper takes an interesting story and transforms it into an emotional masterpiece, a Shakespearean tragedy set to a killer soundtrack. Cooper and Lady Gaga’s performances are the heart and soul of the story, two incredibly damaged people who create a strange, fragile bond between them in the face of impossible circumstances. That bond is what makes everything else work, and Cooper’s directing drops you right in the middle of it. If this movie doesn’t clean up during awards season, I’m going to have to report a robbery.

“The Hate U Give” (opening Friday, Oct. 19)

Even if you have never once liked a movie based on a young adult novel, you still need to see “The Hate U Give.” A powerful, timely movie about race, police violence, community and what it truly means to speak out, it will break your heart a dozen different times and linger in your memory long after the credits roll. Amandla Stenberg is hardly a Hollywood newcomer, but it’s here that she finally shows us everything she can do as an actress. Everyone, everywhere needs to see this film.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (opening Friday, Nov. 2)

The buzz for this Freddie Mercury biopic, a project that’s been in the making for at least a decade, is absolutely massive. Though some people are concerned that the movie won’t capture every aspect of Mercury’s complicated life, everyone agrees that the real draw is Rami Malek’s performance as Mercury. Even Queen guitarist Brian May agrees that Malek does a fantastic job at bringing him to life, and his performance is one you’re going to want to be able to talk about come Oscar season.

“Widows” (opening Fiday, Nov. 16)

If you’re a movie fan, you’ve probably been salivating over Steve McQueen’s “Widows” for a while. The creative team is killer—McQueen is best known for his Oscar-winning gut punch of a movie, “12 Years A Slave,” and screenwriter Gillian Flynn did a breathtaking job adapting her thriller “Gone Girl” to the big screen. If that’s not enough, we’ve got our queen Viola Davis leading a crack team of actresses including Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki. With ingredients this good, the results promise to be absolutely fantastic.

Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at

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