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The 8 Movies to Watch This November

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Ah, November. The leaves are turning red, brown, yellow and any shade but green. And then falling. The air is getting cold and crisp. Thanksgiving is upon us. Christmas shopping. And good movies. Blockbusters and Oscar contenders, there are movies for everyone this month.

Interestingly, five of the eight movies to watch this November are released in theaters this weekend…

8. Fair Game – November 5, 2010 (Limited)

Based on a true story that happened not too long ago and was rumored to involve people as high up as then-Vice President Dick Cheney, Fair Game stars Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame, a covert CIA officer who finds her world turned upside down when her identity is leaked to the public, jeopardizing everything.

Our take: Despite its November limited release, cast (Sean Penn also stars) and politically charged story, Fair Game doesn’t feel like an end-of-year contender. The previews haven’t been overwhelmingly compelling, buzz nonexistent. But the cast alone should warrant some attention.

7. MegaMind – November 5, 2010

Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the most brilliant supervillain the world has ever known – and the least successful. His evil plots have always been foiled by Metro City’s Metro Man (Brad Pitt), but after the caped hero is “accidentally” defeated, Megamind realizes it’s up to him to save the city from a new threat.

Our take: It’s no joke that animated movies tend to run in pairs; MegaMind is the second movie of the year to focus on success-challenged supervillains. The promotions for MegaMind have been much less interesting than those for Despicable Me, but DreamWorks Animation has proven it can consistently make quality films. Ferrell doesn’t evoke much excitement, but Brad Pitt – usually someone who chooses his projects very wisely – does.

6. Skyline

The human species faces extinction in the new sci-fi action-thriller Skyline when an alien species descends from the sky. Their technology literally sucks people into the air like moths to a flame. It’s up to a small resistance to save mankind and defeat the invaders.

Our take: Skyline wants to be this year’s low budget sci fi film, a la District 9, but it looks more like a cheap version of Independence Day. Early trailers weren’t very impressive, showing off questionable visual effects, but recent previews have suggested that it could be an adequately entertaining movie that contrasts the award contenders that are starting to crop up.

5. Morning Glory

A hard-working but struggling young producer (Rachel McAdams) lands a job at the last-place national morning news show “Daybreak” and attempts to revitalize the show by hiring legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford). There’s only one problem: Pomeroy refuses to cover fluffy topics such as celebrity gossip, weather, fashion and crafts – all staples in morning news programs.

Our take: Harrison Ford is still looking for that comeback vehicle, and Morning Glory could be just the thing. The movie is a blend of old (Ford and Diane Keaton) and new (Rachel McAdams) and could play well to all audiences. Morning Glory is directed by Roger Michell, who also did Venus and Notting Hill, which also adds some credibility. All in all, Morning Glory looks to serve an underserved but financially viable market.

4. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer – November 5, 2010 (Limited)

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was nicknamed “The Sheriff of Wall Street” for his diligence in dealing with America’s largest financial institutions. That is until he was linked to a very expensive call girl and his political career came tumbling down in a magnificent blaze of glory. This documentary examines, yes, the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer.

Our take: Political documentaries can be brutally fun and informative, especially ones directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side and Casino Jack and the United States of Money, another documentary released this year). His resume speaks for itself.

3. Due Date – November 5, 2010

A modern day Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis as an odd couple forced to travel cross country together. Galifianakis plays a cuddly idiot not unlike what he did in The Hangover (Due Date is also directed by Todd Phillips) and Downey Jr. plays a form of Downey Jr. Comedic hijinks ensue.

Our take: Galifianakis is on a roll right now and so is Downey Jr. The movie is directed by the guy who made The Hangover, and it looks like it has the same brand of humor. The previews are some of the funniest of the year. If Due Date isn’t hilarious, that will be disappointing.

Editor’s note: Due Date is actually not very funny. We definitely were wrong about this title.

2. 127 Hours – November 5, 2010 (Limited)

Aaron Ralston was an adventurous young man who went hiking/mountain climbing in the Utah desert only to find himself – his right arm, to be exact – pinned between a rock and a hard place (a canyon wall). With no human beings around for miles and no one knowing where he was, he spent over five days trapped in the same place until he made a very painful decision. 127 Hours is based on a true story.

Our take: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). James Franco. Need I say more. (fine, read our 127 Hours movie review)

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I – November 19, 2010

It’s the beginning of the end as Harry, Ron and Hermione decide to drop out of school and continue Dumbledore’s quest to discover the remaining Horcruxes – the objects that give Voldemort his immortality. Destroying the Horcruxes will enable them to kill Voldemort, but He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is growing more powerful by the day.

Our take: The sixth movie was excellent and the seventh should be no different. Unlike the fourth Twilight novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – a superbly entertaining and action-packed book – deserves to be split into two films. The movie is easily the must-see event film of November, if not the rest of the year.

View a list of all November movies, their release dates and other movie information.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists
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