– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Welcome to The Top 5, where every week, we list five things for a given topic. These topics can range from “5 Things We Liked About The Power Rangers Teaser Trailer” to “5 Things We Want (Or Don’t Want) In Ben Affleck’s The Batman.”

Of course, because everyone has an opinion, there is sure to be some disagreements, which is why, despite the title “The Top 5,” very rarely are these actual “best of” articles. Instead, they’re meant to provide entertaining insight, and to stir a discussion, and give everyone a chance to speak their mind. 

If you have a suggestion for a Top 5 piece, send them my way via #TheTop5LRM on Twitter. If I choose your topic, I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout!

Now, on with today’s topic!


I know, it’s been a rough couple months since the end of summer. A good movie has peeked in here and there, but on the whole, the past couple months in terms of movies have been replete with hot, wet garbage. And the films that weren’t garbage? Most of them weren’t really the type worth seeing in theaters to begin with. An iTunes rental or impulse Netflix watch, maybe. But the last month of summer and the first month of fall are largely home to a lot of forgettable fare. It’s that awkward time between blockbuster season and Oscar season.

A creative wasteland.

Luckily for us, that time is passing, and the remainder of the fall season — which ends on December 20, 2016 — is set to have a lot of goodies hit the big screen. Be it blockbusters or more award-worthy flicks, here are five films to look forward to this fall.

HACKSAW RIDGE – November 4th

If you’re mostly into big budget movies, this one may have fallen under your radar, but it’s definitely worth noting. The flick stars Andrew Garfield in the true story of Desmond T. Doss, a conscientious objector during World War II. Despite refusing to fire a single weapon, he managed to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

If you’ve seen the trailer for the film yet, you’ll already know why it’s on the list. It’s a different form of war movie — one that praises the bravery it takes not to fire a weapon. The big selling point for film fans, however, lies in director Mel Gibson. Sure, Gibson has said plenty of foolish things in his private life in recent years, but there’s no doubt the man can tell a story. As a result of his mistakes, the world has been deprived of his talents for a good decade. Let’s hope that Hacksaw Ridge will see a return to form for one of today’s greatest modern directors. 


I wasn’t sure whether or not to put this on the list. It’s another war film based on a true story. I was a bit hesitant to have two of them on here, especially since both are ultimately anti-war movies, but what’re you gonna do? In addition, early reviews from the film have been less than stellar. out of 17 reviews, only 8 of them have been positive, currently leaving it at 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Regardless, by simple virtue of the fact that it’s from two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, it’s worth checking out. This is a director who not only proved with films like Brokeback Mountain that he is a master of capturing nuanced emotion, but he proved with Life of Pi to be a visually-gifted storyteller, who’s interested in pushing the boundaries of the technology. As such, you’ll be able to see the film in a variety of formats. It was shot at 120 frames per second (fps), and we will be available to watch in 120 fps in 2D, 60 fps in 3D, and in standard 24 fps 3D/2D. 

That unique format presentation alone has definitely piqued my interest.


I’m a Harry Potter fan. Surprise, surprise. I’m a millennial who loves Harry Potter. Not only is the narrative itself a joy to wade through, but the world is the stuff of literal dreams. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will give my generation (among others, of course) a chance to revisit that world with a brand new story from the mind of J.K. Rowling.

This isn’t the only draw of course. Initially, it was believed that this series would be a trilogy of films, but recent news has revealed that it would, in fact, be five films long. Even more recent news implies that the larger narrative of the series will revolve around Dumbledore and Grindelwald — two wizards who are legends in this world. I’m usually one not to want past events of mythology to be over-explained, but in the capable hands of J.K. Rowling herself, I can see this working tremendously well.

ARRIVAL – November 11th

We currently live in a pretty amazing age of science fiction films. Be it in the form of superhero films or general blockbusters, they permeate the moviegoing experience. But it’s important to note that not all science fiction movies are the same. Some are more “science fantasy,” meant to give off a spirit of high adventure, and others are more traditional science fiction that use a futuristic or altered present day to comment on a modern issue or question. Arrival is one of the latter types of sci-fi.

The premise alone is intriguing — an alien invasion story that revolves around the idea of communication? Sign me up for that. But this film gets extra props in being helmed by Denis Villeneuve, one of the promising new talents to come out of this current decade. With films like Prisoners and Sicario under his belt, he’s proven he can handle moral grays, but to add a science fiction skin over it, and we have a match made in heaven. Additionally, I — like many others — are considering this sort of a mental audition for Blade Runner 2049. If he sticks the landing on Arrival, it’ll be fair to say the studio picked the right guy to carry on Ridley Scott’s legacy.


Duh. It’s Star Wars. It would’ve been a surprise if this wasn’t on the list, right?

Okay, it’s much more than that. This isn’t just your average ordinary Star Wars movie. This is the first of what Disney hopes will be many standalone anthology films. As great as the traditional saga films are, the fact is that they limit the scope of the films by virtue of their narrative. Those movies can only venture so far outside the tone they’ve established, and you can’t really spread the story too far across the galaxy without losing something in the process.

The Star Wars universe is ripe for story-picking, and these films offer Disney the opportunity to begin harvesting. It also gives them a chance to hire directors with unique visions. Without the constraints of the saga films, they can change up the visual style, story structure, and overall tone. From what we’ve seen in the trailers so far, Rogue One definitely takes advantage of that. 

What movies are you looking forward to this fall? Did we leave something out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.