Movies to Watch This Fall: 'Wakanda Forever,' 'Black Adam' 'Don't Worry Darling,' and More

Complex created a movie guide for What to Watch this fall. Check our fall movie preview with the films we are looking forward to the most in this new season.

Fall Movie Preview: Wakanda Forever, Black Adam, and More

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Fall Movie Preview: Wakanda Forever, Black Adam, and More

September has been a slow month at the box office but don’t expect the same for the rest of the fall months. After a big summer filled with blockbusters, and as temperatures cool down, fans will travel back to Wakanda, catch The Rock join the DC Universe, and finally see why Ana De Armas’ upcoming film received an NC-17 rating. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Adam, and Blonde are all hitting theaters this fall, along with other projects that are geared to cater to any and every movie lover. The widely talked-about Don’t Worry Darling is also in theaters later this month, while Halloween Ends and Hocus Pocus 2 are arriving just in time for Halloween. 

The time to be outside is behind us, so we have created a movie guide for What to Watch this fall. We have selected the ones we are looking forward to the most, and the ones we think will be worth your while, or at the least the ones you should see because everyone will be talking about them. So which one of these will make our end-of-year Best Movies list? Only time will tell. Check our fall movie preview below and check back in on our new releases column weekly for the latest in movies and TV. 


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Release Date: Sept. 8

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Disney is continuing with the live-action adaptations of its animated classics. This time, they went back over 80 years to adapt Pinocchio, with Tom Hanks as Gepetto, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket, and a CGI Pinocchio, which is already available for streaming on Disney+.

Director Robert Zemeckis also directed Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which combined traditionally animated characters interacting alongside live actors. Back then, this sort of thing was revolutionary. But 35 years later, expect to see even more “How did they do that?” moments in this retelling of a Disney classic.

'Don’t Worry Darling'

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Release Date: Sept. 23

Director: Olivia Wilde

Cast: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, Chris Pine

Olivia Wilde made her directorial debut with 2019’s teen comedy Booksmart. The film received critical praise and people liked it at the time, so it was a solid start for an actress-turned-director. For her sophomore directorial project, Wilde went, well wild, making the ambitious Don’t Worry Darling

The psychological thriller film follows Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) and her husband Jack (Harry Styles), who are a young, happy couple living in a seemingly perfect 1950 utopia called Victory, California. Victory was manufactured by the mysterious company Jack works for. Something inside Alice snaps and she begins to uncover the secrets and the mystery of the town, which could potentially ruin her very lifestyle. 


The premise seems familiar and like it’s been done before, but people have been talking about Wilde and her film nonstop leading up to its release. It’s not because of the critical praise or the outstanding performances—although Pugh is fantastic as Alice—but because of all the behind-the-scenes drama that’s been going on. If you’re not up-to-date on the DWD saga, don’t worry, darling! We’ve got you covered with a full explainer, here.


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Release Date: Sept. 28

Director: Andrew Dominik

Cast: Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, and Julianne Nicholson 

Blonde is one of the titles I’m looking forward to the most this fall, mostly because of Ana de Armas. The psychological drama was adapted from the 2000 novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, which was a fictionalized take on Marilyn Monroe’s life. The story will follow the iconic actress’ traumatic childhood, and her rise in Hollywood in the 1950s as she transforms from Norma Jeane Mortenson into Marilyn Monroe. 

The film will also examine the issues and hardships from her private life that were the opposite of her onscreen persona. De Armas’ resemblance to Monroe is uncanny in the trailer and photos we’ve seen so far, and even if the Cuban actress has faced some opposition for taking on the role, it looks like she was born to play Norma Jean to me. Blonde will hit select theaters on Friday, Sept.16, before it hits Netflix on Sept. 28, and will be the first NC-17-rated film to be released via a streaming service. 


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Release Date: Sept. 16

Director: Ti West

Cast: Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland

If you haven’t watched A24’s X, please do so at your earliest convenience. The 2022 slasher film was written, directed, produced, and edited by Ti West and starred Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, and Kid Cudi. The horror film followed a cast and crew who gather to film a porn flick on an older couple’s rural Texas farm and find themselves being preyed on by an unlikely killer—the old woman who owns the house they are staying at. The film is beautifully shot, and equal parts exciting and terrifying. 

West shot a prequel film, Pearl, back-to-back with X, which will be released this fall. Goth will be starring in the horror film, but this time as the younger version of the villain in X. Pearl will be set in 1918 during the era of the Spanish flu pandemic and World War I and will tell the origin story of how the young woman was trapped in her family’s isolated farm, tending to her sick father with an overbearing mother. Like Goth’s character Maxine in X, Pearl also lusted for a glamorous life and wished to be like the Hollywood stars she saw in movies, and the film will show how those repressed ambitions and a thirst for revenge led her to become the terrifying person fans met in X

'Black Adam'

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Release Date: Oct. 21 

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Cast: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Pierce Brosnan

The 11th entry in the DCEU, Black Adam tells the origin story of Shazam’s archrival who escapes a 5,000-year-long imprisonment by the Council of Wizards after he misuses the powers of the ancient gods. The Justice Society of America (composed of Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher) will also get involved and are rumored to have a spinoff in the future.

If it seems like we’ve been talking about this film for years, it’s because we have. COVID-19 delayed filming. Then the film was delayed further in post-production so the visual effects team would have more time to fine-tune the details. Based on the trailer, their patience may have been worth it and no one is more excited for fans to see this hit theaters than The Rock himself. 

'Hocus Pocus 2'

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Release Date: Sept. 20

Director: Anne Fletcher

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Doug Jones

There’s nothing Disney does better than re-create the magic that we all grew up loving. Aside from Pinocchio, the House of Mouse is gearing up to release a sequel to the 1993 fan-favorite film Hocus Pocus this fall. Hocus Pocus 2 will see the return of the three iconic witches Winifred, Mary, and Sarah. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will all reprise their roles as the Sanderson sisters, while Doug Jones is also back with his role as Billy Butcherson. 

The premise of the sequel, which will debut exclusively on Disney+, will take place 29 years after the events of Hocus Pocus and will follow as three high school students team up to stop the Sanderson sisters who have returned to once again wreak havoc on present-day Salem. Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham, as well as Tony Hale and Sam Richardson, will join the sequel’s cast.


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Date: Oct. 7

Director: David O. Russell

Cast: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Chris Rock, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Robert De Niro

David O. Russell has been the Academy’s golden boy for 15 years. He creates heartfelt, distinctly American dramas, like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle. After a slight misfire with the biographical film Joy, Russell’s latest movie, Amsterdam, looks to resume Russell’s winning streak.

Set in the 1930s, Amsterdam is a period mystery film about a trio of friends who are falsely accused of murder. As with nearly all his major films, Russell both wrote and directed this one as well. And like in most of his films, Russell has rounded up some of the biggest names in Hollywood for this one. Amsterdam will feature a long list of performances from Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Rami Malek, Robert De Niro and more. 

'Decision to Leave'

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Release Date: Oct. 14

Director: Park Chan-wook

Cast: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il

The brilliant director behind the South Korean thriller film Oldboy (Watch it, it contains one of the worst—best?—twists in cinematic history), Park Chan-wook is back with another thriller, this time about a man who is murdered, the widow he leaves behind, and the investigating detective who falls in love with her.

The movie is already out in South Korea, where it’s received near-universal critical acclaim, and arrives in the States on Oct. 14. Decision to Leave also faced the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, where Park won Best Director.

'Halloween Ends'

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Release Date: Oct. 14

Director: David Gordon Green

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis

The final film in the recent Halloween trilogy will conclude the tale of Laurie Strode, whom Jamie Lee Curtis has been playing for over 40 years. The prior movie, Halloween Kills, killed off Laurie’s daughter Karen; now it’s just Laurie and her granddaughter Allyson, who must finish off Michael Myers once and for all—as if that’s possible.

The prior movies in the trilogy made multiple references to the 1978 original—especially Halloween Kills, which took great pains to recast surviving cast members. This movie will probably be no different and will be just as much a path forward for the franchise as a retrospective tribute to it.

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

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Release Date: Nov. 11

Director: Ryan Coogler

Cast: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Tenoch Huerta

After a long wait, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the 30th MCU film, is coming this November and focuses on the aftermath of King T’Challah’s death. Other kingdoms, such as the Aztec Kingdom of Talocan, sense a rare moment of weakness in Wakanda and push to take advantage.

After Chadwick Boseman died in 2020, Marvel announced they would not recast the role. It begged the question: Who would be next in line for the throne? The obvious choice is Princess Shuri, and most signs point in that direction. But we’re still holding some anticipation for a swerve. Wakanda Forever will also introduce Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) aka Ironheart, who will star in her own spinoff show on Disney+ in fall 2023.

'Avatar: The Way of Water'

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Release Date: Dec. 16 

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver

James Cameron, director of prior blockbusters like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, and Titanic, does not lack ambition. He’s the type of high-concept filmmaker who spends hundreds of millions to make billions, and Avatar, his 2009 environmental parable, is the highest-grossing film in history, earning close to $3 billion as of 2021. The film is getting a remastered rerelease on Sept. 23, ahead of the sequel’s release.

Avatar: The Way of Water is the first of four planned sequels, and it continues the story of Jake Sully, Neytiri, and the Na’vi, who must flee their forest base in Pandora for the coast, where they meet a water-based tribe known as the Mektayina.

The brilliant 3D visuals from the first film return, as does the first film’s antagonist, Colonel Miles Rick Quaritch. He’s resurrected in a Na’vi avatar body, and he’s ready to finish the destruction and exploitation that he started.

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