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MUST-SEE: Autumn film premieres

Barbie and Oppenheimer have clearly gotten the most attention this year, yet 2023 shows no signs of slowing down this fall. In the coming months, we’ll see new films from directors like Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Ridley Scott and Todd Haynes, new Marvel episodes, another Hunger Games, another Disney animated film, and terrifying new instalments from The Nun, Saw, and The Exorcist.


On 8 September, The Nun 2, the ninth film in the hit Conjuring universe, will be released. The Nun 2, from The Curse of La Llorona and The Exorcist: The Devil Made Me Do It, directed by Michael Chaves, takes place four years after The Nun and sees Taissa Farmiga as Irene’s sister. Taissa Farmiga is once again confronting the dreaded nun. Despite its mixed reviews, The Conjuring has been a huge commercial success, grossing $2.1 billion on a total budget of $178 million to date, making it the highest-grossing horror franchise to date.

Gael García Bernal gives one of the best performances of his career as Saúl Armendáriz, the gay referee in Cassandro. Directed by first-time feature filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, Cassandro is a biopic based on a true story about a wrestler from El Paso, Texas, who regularly travels to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in the early 1980s to attend lucha libre wrestling matches. He wrestles under the name El Topo until he meets his new coach, Sabrina, who helps him build a successful career as the exotic Cassandro. The film will be available on Prime Video from 22 September.

The original Saw debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and was released in theatres by Lionsgate later that year. After a highly successful opening weekend, it was immediately greenlit for a sequel. Over the years, five directors have worked on the series: James Wan, Darren Lynn Bousman, David Hackl, Kevin Greutert and the Spierig Brothers. Between 2004 and 2010, all the films were released on the Friday before Halloween, but this year, the new movie will be released on 29 September. Saw X takes place between the events of Saw and Saw II, and we return to Tobin Bell’s John Kramer.


If you enjoyed Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of an Ending Things, you probably won’t be disappointed with the second adaptation of author Iain Reid’s work. Foe, which opens in cinemas on 6 October, is equally strange, telling the story of a married couple who are told by an alien (Aaron Pierre) that husband Junior (Paul Mescal) is being sent to a space station, while wife Henrietta (Saoirse Ronan) is staying with another man in his absence. Foe promises to be one of the craziest and most interesting scripts of the fall.


Martin Scorsese’s new film, Killers of the Flower Moon, is probably the most anticipated film for film fans this autumn. The film is his tenth collaboration with Robert De Niro and his sixth with new favourite Leonardo DiCaprio. The adaptation of David Grann’s book follows a series of murders in 1920s Oklahoma in the Osage Nation. With De Niro and DiCaprio joined by Lily Gladstone in a memorable performance, according to early previews, the film looks to be one of the main contenders for this year’s Oscars. The film will be released on 20 October.

After the Oscar-nominated Mank, David Fincher is breaking into new territory with a neo-noir psychological action thriller based on a French comic book series! The great Michael Fassbender stars as a hitman who becomes embroiled in an international manhunt after an assassination gone wrong. The Killer sees Fincher teaming up again with Mank’s Oscar-winning cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, as well as frequent film composers Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor. The Killer premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on 3 September, with a limited theatrical release on 27 October and a Netflix release on 10 November 2023.


Released in 2010, The Hunger Games introduced us to a rich, haunting world with intriguing characters and a dark past. Director Francis Lawrence – who directed three of the four Hunger Games films – returns to Panem in this prequel that takes us back to the early days of the horrific child-killing games. Set 64 years before the events of the first film, The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes focuses on the young Coriolanus Snow and the events that eventually lead him on the path to becoming the tyrannical leader of Panem. The film will be released on 17 November.

It’s perhaps not an exaggeration to say that director Todd Haynes and actress Julianne Moore’s 1995 film, Safe, and 2002’s Far From Heaven, are now modern classics. Their most recent collaboration, May December, features Natalie Portman as a strong supporting actress, so it’s no surprise that it was one of the most buzzed-about films at this year’s Cannes.

Ridley Scott reunites with Gladiator star Joaquin Phoenix, now one of the best of his generation, in what promises to be a huge movie following Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power. Fortunately, at 85, Scott is not slowing down, as we love his ambitious historical epics, and it is exciting to see him continuing to innovate and try out new ideas. Napoleon will be released on 22 November by Sony Pictures Releasing and will be available to stream on Apple TV+.