Autumnal movies for every occasion

Pruett Norris, Multimedia Editor

There’s a nip in the air, sweaters are popping up around campus, and ordering pumpkin spice is allowed again at coffee shops. It’s fall, y’all. Grab some blankets, pull up those cozy socks and flick on the television, because there’s a whole host of autumn movies out there to bring in the leaf-changing season.

Anderson, W. (2009). Fantastic Mr. Fox [Film]. 20th Century Fox.

For brewing cider and fun for the whole family, try “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Wes Anderson’s 2009 stop-motion movie “Fantastic Mr. Fox” evokes fall in many ways, from its red, orange and yellow steeped color palette to its apple cider manufacturing villain. Nearly every frame takes its hue from autumn leaves, and Anderson’s detailed sets are homey, warm and comforting. The film stars a volley of voice talent, with George Clooney playing Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep portraying his wife Felicity, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Owen Wilson are featured among the remainder of the cast. The movie follows the exploits of Mr. Fox and his accomplices as they stage heists on the farms of three local farmers. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a comedy, and in some ways, a children’s movie, but it includes enough moral ambiguity, beautiful animation and melancholic giftedness to appeal to those of any age, said New York Times critic A. O. Scott. At only 87 minutes, it’s a breezy blast of fall wind mixed with the smell of apples.


Craven, W. (1996) Scream [Film]. Dimension Films.

For getting scared and staying scared, try “Halloween” and “Scream”

Halloween is right around the corner, so what better movie to recommend than the original slasher? John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic “Halloween,” as Parade’s Samuel Murrian writes, is suspenseful, simple and highly influential. Murrian notes that the character Michael Myers created legions of copycats in the years to come, but few have managed to rise to the iconic and still-scary status of “Halloween.” However, there is one notable exception in Wes Craven’s 1996 horror satire “Scream.” The film makes constant references and callbacks to the horror flicks of previous decades, especially “Halloween,” and in its characters’ discussion of the “rules of horror,” creates a unique and funny meta-commentary about the genre’s tropes. However, that self-awareness doesn’t save them from Ghostface, or the audience from “Scream” scares. Both films carry on a cinematic legacy to this day, with each receiving new installments this year. “Halloween Ends” is next, slashing into theaters Oct. 14.


Reiner, R. (1989) When Harry Met Sally… [Film]. Columbia Pictures.

For wearing sweaters and cuddling season, try “When Harry Met Sally…”

“When Harry Met Sally…” has been hailed as the first modern rom-com, a reputation that has only grown in the three decades since its release, said the Washington Post’s Jen Chaney. The 1989 movie features two winning performances by Meg Ryan and Bill Crystal, whose relationship is based on a bet: men and women can never be friends because attraction always gets in the way. Over the course of their young adult lives in New York, meeting and re-meeting, Harry and Sally show that men and women can be friends, and that sometimes friends fall in love. “When Harry Met Sally…” is a comfort movie for many, and deservedly so, according to Decider’s Maddy Casale. Watch for the wit of its two leads, which falls out of their mouths like leaves from Central Park trees. 

Johnson, R. (2019) Knives Out [Film]. Lionsgate.

For using your brain to “study” for midterms, try “Knives Out”

Rian Johnson’s 2019 mystery film “Knives Out” has twists and turns that make the script sing and will delight the most jaded audiences, said CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell. The movie follows a family gathering to hear the will reading of their recently-deceased patriarch, a mystery novelist played by the late Christopher Plummer, and solve the mystery of his murder. The cast includes Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis and Daniel Craig as the master sleuth Benoit Blanc. Come for the twists, humor and Johnson’s clever direction, said New York Times critic Manohla Dargis. Stay for Evans and his fisherman sweater. The film has autumn leaves, knife-sharp comedy and a chilly atmosphere to spare. “Knives Out” will receive a sequel this winter, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” out on Netflix Dec. 23.