#468 October 3, 2023

Matt writes: All of us at RogerEbert.com are pleased to welcome Robert Daniels as the new Associate Editor of our site. Robert is a Chicago-based film critic with freelance bylines at The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, IndieWire, The Playlist, and The Criterion Collection. He will be joining our editorial staff comprised of Managing Editor Brian Tallerico, Senior Editor Nick Allen, Editor-at-Large Matt Zoller Seitz, Contributing Editor Nell Minow and myself, the site’s Literary Editor. 

You can read the official announcement penned by our site’s publisher, Chaz Ebert, here.


Dream Scenario (2023). Written and directed by Kristoffer Borgli. Starring Nicolas Cage, Julianne Nicholson, Lily Bird. Synopsis: A hapless family man finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. When his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, Paul is forced to navigate his newfound stardom. Debuts in the US on November 22nd, 2023.

Leave the World Behind (2023). Written and directed by Sam Esmail (based on the novel by Rumaan Alam). Starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke. Synopsis: Family drama with an all-star cast. Debuts on Netflix on December 7h, 2023.

Fingernails (2023). Directed by Christos Nikou. Written by Christos Nikou, Stavros Raptis and Sam Steiner. Starring Jessie Buckley, Jeremy Allen White, Riz Ahmed. Synopsis: Anna and Ryan have found true love, and it’s proven by a controversial new technology. There’s just one problem, as Anna still isn’t sure. Then she takes a position at a love testing institute and meets Amir. Debuts on Apple TV+ on November 3rd, 2023.

All of Us Strangers (2023). Written and directed by Andrew Haigh (based on the novel by Taichi Yamada). Starring Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell. Synopsis: A screenwriter drawn back to his childhood home enters into a fledgling relationship with a mysterious neighbor as he then discovers his parents appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before. Debuts in the US on December 22nd, 2023.

May December (2023). Directed by Todd Haynes. Written by Samy Burch. Starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton. Synopsis: Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under the pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past. Debuts on Netflix on December 1st, 2023.

The Toxic Avenger (2023), red-band trailer. Written and directed by Macon Blair (based on the screenplay by Lloyd Kaufman and Joe Ritter). Starring Peter Dinklage, Jacob Tremblay, Elijah Wood. Synopsis: A horrible toxic accident transforms downtrodden janitor, Winston Gooze into a new evolution of hero: The Toxic Avenger. Debuts on Prime Video on October 13th, 2023.

The Mill (2023). Directed by Sean King O’Grady. Written by Jeffrey David Thomas. Starring Lil Rel Howery, Pat Healy, Karen Obilom. Synopsis: A businessman mysteriously wakes up in an open-air prison cell with only an old grist mill. Forced to work as a beast of burden, he must find a way to escape before the birth of his child. Debuts on Hulu on October 9th, 2023.

V/H/S/85 (2023). Directed by David Bruckner, Scott Derrickson, Natasha Kermani, Mike P. Nelson and Gigi Saul Guerrero. Written by C. Robert Cargill, Zoe Cooper, Scott Derrickson, Evan Dickson, Mike P. Nelson and Gigi Saul Guerrero. Starring Freddy Rodríguez, James Ransone, Jordan Belfi. Synopsis: Unveiled through a made-for-TV documentary, five tales of found footage horror emerge to take viewers on a terrifying journey into the grim underbelly of the 1980s. Debuts on Shudder on October 6th, 2023.

When Evil Lurks (2023). Written and directed by Demián Rugna. Starring Ezequiel Rodríguez, Demián Salomón, Luis Ziembrowski. Synopsis: In a remote village, two brothers find a demon-infected man just about to give birth to evil itself. They decide to get rid of the man but merely succeed in helping him to deliver the inferno. Debuts in the US on October 27th, 2023.

In the Fire (2023). Directed by Conor Allyn. Written by Conor Allyn, Pascal Borno and Silvio Muraglia. Starring Amber Heard, Eduardo Noriega, Lorenzo McGovern Zaini. Synopsis: A doctor travels to a remote plantation to care for a disturbed boy who has inexplicable abilities. She ignites a war of science versus religion with the local priest who believes the boy is possessed by the Devil. Debuts in the US on October 13th, 2023.

Argylle (2024). Directed by Matthew Vaughn. Written by Jason Fuchs (based on the novel by Elly Conway). Starring Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell. Synopsis: The world’s greatest spy, ‘Argylle,’ gets caught up in a globe-trotting adventure. Debuts in the US on February 2nd, 2024.

Old Dads (2023). Written and directed by Bill Burr. Starring Bill Burr, Bobby Cannavale, Katie Aselton. Synopsis: Three best friends become fathers later in life and find themselves battling preschool principals, millennial CEOs and anything created after 1987. Debuts on Netflix on October 20th, 2023.

Yellow Door: ’90s Lo-fi Film Club (2023). Directed by Lee Hyuk-rae. Synopsis: This intimate documentary explores a bygone era of cinematic passion and the emergence of young film enthusiasts in South Korea, including Bong Joon Ho. Debuts on Netflix on October 27th, 2023.

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (2023). Directed by William Friedkin. Written by Herman Wouk. Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Clarke, Jake Lacy. Synopsis: Follows a naval officer who stands trial for mutiny after taking command from a ship captain he feels is acting in an unstable way, putting in danger both the ship and its crew. Debuts on Paramount+ on October 6th, 2023.

Dancing in the Dust (2003). Directed by Asghar Farhadi. Written by Asghar Farhadi, Alireza Bazrafshan and Mohammad Reza Fazeli. Starring Baran Kosari, Yousef Khodaparast, Faramarz Gharibian. Synopsis: When forced to divorce his wife by family and social pressure because her mother is a prostitute, Nazar works double shifts to pay back the loan he took out for his impulsive wedding and to pay some ongoing restitution to his sweet jilted bride, Reyhaneh. US release date is TBA.

Night of the Hunted (2023). Directed by Franck Khalfoun. Written by Franck Khalfoun and Glen Freyer (based on the screenplay by Rubén Ávila Calvo and David R.L.). Starring Camille Rowe, Monaia Abdelrahim, Abbe Andersen. Synopsis: When an unsuspecting woman stops at a remote gas station in the dead of night, she’s made the plaything of a sociopath sniper with a secret vendetta. To survive she must not only dodge his bullets and fight for her life, but also figure out who wants her dead and why. Debuts on Shudder on October 5th, 2023.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023). Directed by Francis Lawrence. Written by Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt (based on the novel by Suzanne Collins). Starring Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman. Synopsis: Coriolanus Snow mentors and develops feelings for the female District 12 tribute during the 10th Hunger Games. Debuts in the US on November 17th, 2023.

Priscilla (2023). Written and directed by Sofia Coppola (based on the memoir by Priscilla Presley and Sandra Harmon). Starring Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Ari Cohen. Synopsis: When teenage Priscilla Beaulieu meets Elvis Presley, the man who is already a meteoric rock-and-roll superstar becomes someone entirely unexpected in private moments: a thrilling crush, an ally in loneliness, a vulnerable best friend. Debuts in the US on November 3rd, 2023.

R.I.P. Michael Gambon (1940-2023)

Matt writes: Michael Gambon, the revered actor of stage and screen beloved around the world for his portrayal of Albus Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” films died on September 28th at age 82. Be sure to read Dan Callahan’s tribute to the brilliant man here.

Chaz at TIFF 2023

Matt writes: After joining Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins in presenting the legendary filmmaker Spike Lee with the TIFF Ebert Director Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Chaz Ebert published a video dispatch on her time at the festival. You can view it in the video embedded above and find a transcript of her words here.

Free Movies

The Ape Man (1943). Directed by William Beaudine. Written by Barney A. Sarecky. Starring Bela Lugosi, Louise Currie, Wallace Ford. Synopsis: A crazed scientist accidentally turns himself into a half ape, half human creature, and scrambles to find a cure. 

Watch “The Ape Man”

5 Golden Hours (1961). Directed by Mario Zampi. Written by Hans Wilhelm. Starring Ernie Kovacs, Cyd Charisse, George Sanders. Synopsis: A petty crook gallantly consoles wealthy widows and is doing all right in his chosen profession until he meets and falls in love with a lovely baroness, who knows all about get-rich-quick schemes.

Watch “5 Golden Hours”

Drive In Massacre (1976). Directed by Stu Segall. Written by John F. Goff and George ‘Buck’ Flower. Starring John F. Goff, Steve Vincent, Douglas Gudbye. Synopsis: Two police detectives try to catch a serial killer who is stalking a rural California drive-in theater, randomly killing people with a sword.

Watch “Drive-In Massacre”