In theaters: 'Eternals'
Chloé Zhao, fresh off a slew of Nomadland Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture, takes a crack at the MCU in Eternals, the 26th feature offering from Marvel. Featuring Academy members Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek as a band of immortal beings who, on behalf of humanity, battle for the soul of planet Earth, the movie also battles with many of the expectations that have grown up around the Marvel movie franchise, and the result is a refreshing and incredibly diverse take on the genre. Not to mention there's some absolutely stunning cinematography from DP Ben Davis; Zhao's movies have always looked good, and this one is certainly no exception. Plus, there's that now-famous superhero physique of Mr. Nanjiani's to finally get a good long look at.
Oscar-winning Chilean filmmaker and Academy member Pablo Larraín (A Fantastic Woman) directs this account of Princess Diana's (née Spencer) fateful decision—formulated over a few psychologically excruciating days in late 1991—to leave husband Prince Charles and the British royal family. Academy member Kristen Stewart turns in a transformational, fine-tuned performance as the princess that was all the talk of the film's Venice premiere, and the supporting cast, including Timothy Spall, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris and Sally Hawkins, is uniformly excellent. For his part, Larraín has shown he has the knack for taking an unreachable real-life figure and rendering her remarkably real and vitally accessible—he did it a few years back with Jackie Kennedy Onassis in Jackie—and he's done it again here. Written by British screenwriter Steven Knight.
In theaters or stream it on Apple+:
Following a cataclysmic event that wipes out humankind—no word yet on whether it's the same issue that Angelina and the Eternals were worried about—it's down to one man: Oscar winner Tom Hanks, known in this incarnation as Finch, plus his loyal dog, Greyhound. The two of them, along with a robot that Finch builds to take care of the pooch in case he doesn't make it, attempt a hazardous journey across a barren American West. Directed by Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones), with a script by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell.
Catch it on Showtime: 'Attica'
Venerated documentarian and Academy member Stanley Nelson's harrowing look at the 1971 Attica prison revolt takes a deep, unflinching look at a tragic event, with a critical eye on how little has changed institutionally in the decades since. Despite the magnitude of the revolt, which ended in one of the bloodiest encounters on U.S. soil since the Civil War, the details of the story are not well known. Nelson spends a lot of time getting former prisoners—who were attempting to negotiate for improved prison conditions—their share of screen time to tell their version of the events. As a result, Attica is a vital and necessary documentary film—watch it on Showtime, Nov. 6.