Must-see movies this fall and holiday season

It’s a good thing that there’s some cooler weather and days off of school on the horizon, because there are lots of great movies coming out. Grab good seats and pass the popcorn!

The Eagle Huntress

October 28

Rated G

This documentary follows a 13-year-old Mongolian girl named Aisholpan as she trains to become the first female in her family in twelve generations to become an eagle hunter. She is not only the first girl to enter the community’s Golden Eagle competition, she’s also the youngest ever competitor. In addition to a message of empowerment, there’s stunning cinematography of the dramatic landscapes of western Mongolia and an introduction to how the people there live. The movie is narrated by Daisy Ridley.


November 4

Rated PG

You probably already know “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” the theme song from “Trolls” by Justin Timberlake, and now you can finally see the movie in theaters. Timberlake and Anna Kendrick lead an all-star voice cast of this animated film that follows their odd couple characters on a journey through a colorful world to rescue friends. There are lots of catchy tunes, as well as some glitter farts. Common Sense Media recommends “Trolls” for kids ages 6 and older.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

November 18


J.K. Rowling wrote this spinoff of the original Harry Potter movies herself, and she’s moved the action to New York City in the 1920’s. There you find Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) before he wrote the book that Harry Potter reads at Hogwarts, searching for his misplaced magical creatures. The PG-13 rating is for some fantasy action violence.


November 23


Moana is an adventurous 16-year-old girl who sails out on a daring mission to save her people, accompanied by her pig, Pua. They meet the mighty demigod Maui, a larger-than-life character who was inspired by multitudes of varied tales and legends about him throughout the Oceania region. The film includes original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

December 16


In this standalone Star Wars film, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. “Although the Star Wars franchise is popular with fans of all ages, this installment may be more appropriate for older kids,” cautions Common Sense Media, noting that the film “focuses on the realities of war, including violence, peril and heroes with murky morals.”


December 21


A koala named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) needs to keep his theater open and gets help from his sheep friend Eddie (John C. Reilly) to hold an American Idol-esque singing contest to raise money. The whole town auditions for a part in the show, and lots of musical awesomeness and some hijinks ensue. Variety says, “The studio responsible for ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ outdoes itself with this catchy jukebox musical.”

Hidden Figures

January 6


I was so pleased when my daughter saw the trailer for “Hidden Figures,” a movie that tells the true story of three brilliant African-American women working at NASA, because I’m anxious to see it, too. Bring on the STEM role models who tackled racism and sexism head on, all in an effort to land an American on the moon.

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