It's sad, but let's face it — the days are already getting shorter, and we're heading into the season of cozy sweaters, chilly weather, PSLs, and early holiday shopping. But the months of September through November are also an amazing time to go to the movies. Fortunately for those of us who are interested in women-centric stories, there are a lot of
female-led films hitting theaters this fall.
Fall is also the time when awards season really kicks off in earnest, and prestige movies include acting roles that are sure to earn nominations for Golden Globes, SAGs, and Academy Awards. Natalie Portman, Renée Zellweger, and Cynthia Erivo seem poised to get some nods for their upcoming roles. Others big stars look like they're simply out to have some fun. Angelina Jolie will be donning Maleficent's robes again, and Jennifer Lopez will be leading a group of exotic dancers out to get theirs. Meanwhile, there are three feisty animated heroines conjuring magic, while the action world sees the return of Sarah Connor and Charlie's Angels.
Whatever your movie pleasure, be they dramas, comedies, biopics, thrillers, animation, or documentaries, the upcoming season is not lacking for female leads. Here are films with women protagonists premiering this fall.
1 'Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice' (Sept. 6)
"The rock 'n roll culture seems to be dominated by hostility against women," Linda Ronstadt says in the trailer for this documentary. The musician burst onto the folk rock music scene in the '60s, launching a decades-long career as a solo artist — touring the world, selling out stadiums and eventually becoming the highest paid female artist in rock.
With appearances from Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and other contemporaries, this doc addresses what it was like to be a woman coming up in this golden age of rock.
2 2.' Hustlers' (Sept. 13)
Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, and Cardi B star in the film adaptation of a
New York Magazine feature about a very real group of New York City dancers who decided to take financial advantage of their callous clients. 3 'Abominable' (Sept. 27) Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennett leads the voice cast of this Dreamworks film about a violin-playing teenage girl named Yi and her Yeti named Everest.
The film was written and co-directed by Jill Culton, the writer behind
Monsters Inc. and comes from the same studio behind the How To Train Your Dragon series . 4 'Judy' (Sept. 27)
Renée Zellweger has her next Oscar nomination in the bag with this Judy Garland biopic. The story seems to focus on Garland's later years, after the effects of fame, substance abuse, and her mental health issues really begin to take their toll. The tears should begin flowing right around the time the first notes of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" play.
5 'Lucy In The Sky' (Oct. 4)
Natalie Portman stars in this mind-bender about an astronaut who isn't quite the same after she returns home. Directed by
Fargo and Legion showrunner Noah Hawley, Lucy also stars Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, and Dan Stevens. 6 'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' (Oct. 18)
Angelina Jolie returns as the Mistress of All Evil in this sequel to 2014's
Maleficent. This time she has an equally delicious nemesis in Michelle Pfeiffer, whose Queen Ingrith looks to take over the role of mother figure to Aurora, an also returning Elle Fanning.
These live-action adaptations of animated Disney classics can be hit or miss, but these two women going head-to-head on the big screen is bound to be fun to watch.
7 'Black And Blue' (Oct. 25) Moonlight's Naomie Harris stars in this action-heavy crime thriller about a police officer who discovers an underground ring of dirty cops. In a world where she can't trust her co-worker cops or the criminals that surround her, she turns to someone outside of that life, played by Tyrese. 8 'Terminator: Dark Fate' (Nov. 1)
In my book, Sarah Connor is the hero of the Terminator franchise. Linda Hamilton returns to the post-apocalyptic, robots vs. humans series in a movie that's meant to take place right after 1991's
Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes round out the movie's trio of female leads. 9 'Harriet' (Nov. 1)
Harriet Tubman may not be
making it onto the $20 bill any time soon, but her story is finally hitting the big screen. Cynthia Erivo stars as the escaped slave-turned-abolitionist in this film by Eve's Bayou director Kasi Lemmons. Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., and Jennifer Nettles costar. 10 'Charlie's Angels' (Nov. 15)
A new set of Charlie's Angels are heading our way, thanks to writer and director Elizabeth Banks. Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska star as the crime-fighting agents, while Banks herself plays one of three Bosleys (Djimon Hounsou and Patrick Stewart being the other two).
11 'Frozen 2' (Nov. 22)
Sisterly love is what saved the day back in 2013's Frozen. So when Elsa and Anna (Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell) face a new, unseen foe, they have to work together, right? Thankfully Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven are along for the ride as well, and some cool new imagery hints that they're all heading far away from Arendelle.
12 'The Rhythm Section' (Nov. 22)
Blake Lively stars in this spy thriller from Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the producers of several Bond movies, and director Reed Morano. Lively plays a young woman who learns that the plane crash that killed her family was intentionally planned and becomes an assassin in order to get even.
Production on the film was shut down last year after
Lively was injured on set, per The Hollywood Reporter. When they resumed filming, This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown joined the cast.
Women are ruling onscreen over the next few months, so there are plenty of opportunities to show your support.