Superheroes, Dreams of Nic Cage, and the Australian Outback: The best films releasing in November 2023

By Lex Luddy

November marks the start of long and cold nights and the slow release of films vying for Oscar nominations. This November has everything: if you are looking for a night out at the movies from a queer teen comedy, to a festive horror slasher, to high drama – there is plenty to choose from!

Bottoms – 3 November

This is a teen comedy comedy for the modern age. Bottoms stars Rachel Senott and Ayo Edebiri as two lesbian best friends who enact a hair-brained scheme to become popular in the hopes of their respective crushes falling for them. That plan? Start a fight club.

The movie is directed by Emma Seligman and got rave reviews during its time on the film festival circuit and American release. 

The Royal Hotel – 3 November

This is an Australian psychological thriller directed by Kitty Green. It stars Jessica Henwick (recently seen in Glass Onion – A Knives Out Story) and Julia Garner (of Ozark fame) as two young Americans spending a summer in the outback. The pair take a job in the bar of a small hotel in the middle of nowhere, only to quickly realise that the town is not as inviting as it might have appeared. 

The movie is distributed by indie film house Neon and currently sits on a 92% positive review rating on review aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes.

The Marvels – 10 November

This is the third movie set within the MCU to be released this year and might be the only one for the foreseeable future, as the next movie (Deadpool 3) is currently on a filming hiatus due to the Actors Guild of America strike. It stars Brie Larson (Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers), Iman Vellani (Ms Marvel/Kamala Khan) and Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau) as a trio of superheroes forced to work together when their powers become entangled and every time they use them they swap places.

The movie is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Nia DaCosta (Candyman 2021). However, rumours of her being pushed out of production in the editing process and the film having the shortest runtime of any Marvel movie have fans worried that the MCU’s downward spiral will continue.

Dream Scenario – 10 November  

Dream Scenario is a surreal comedy starring Nicholas Cage, as a perfectly average college lecturer, until one day millions of people start seeing him in their dreams. The film is the feature debut of Kristoffer Borgli who has mainly worked on shorts and music videos up to now.

Dream Scenario was picked up for distribution by A24, the indie film studio that has overseen the release of movies like Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, Lady Bird, Moonlight, and The Lighthouse.

Saltburn – 17 November

Barry Keoghan stars in this simmering thriller as Oliver Quick, a student struggling to find his place at Oxford University until he is invited to spend the summer with an enigmatic classmate at his family’s sprawling estate, Saltburn.

The movie also stars Rosamund Pike and Richard E. Grant and is sitting at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – 17 November

This long-awaited follow-up to The Hunger Games films is a prequel also adapted from Suzanne Collins’ work. The film stars Rachel Zegler, Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, and Jason Schwartzman, as major players in the tenth Hunger Games.

The film is directed by Francis Lawerance, who has been with the series since taking over directorial duties on the second film. Lionsgate has expressed interest in continuing this series but with ticket pre-sales reportedly being lower than expected, that remains to be seen.

Thanksgiving – 17 November

From notorious filmmaker Eli Roth comes a rare Thanksgiving-themed horror movie. There isn’t too much to set up here, a sleepy town falls prey to a slasher villain obsessed with the American holiday.

What is notable is Roth’s film pedigree, directing the first two Hostel movies in the early 2000s, films known for their boundary-pushing violence and cruelty towards their characters (along with a none-too-flattering depiction of Eastern Europe). Whether he has brought any more tact to a holiday horror based around the celebration of the colonisation of America remains to be seen.

Napoleon – 22 November

November’s big Oscar-bait movie comes at the end of the month in the form of Napoleon. From Ridley Scott (the director of Alien, Gladiator, and Blade Runner), this biopic seeks to show the rise of the infamous French ruler (played by Joaquin Phoenix) and his complicated relationship with Empress Josephine (played by Vanessa Kirby).

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