That nip in the air is leading us down the road to a different movie season, one where the occasional inescapable blockbuster shares headlines with high-profile "serious" movies courting awards consideration. Here's a look at a handful of the most potentially interesting titles for kids, kids-at-heart, grown-ups and serious cinephiles. (Local release dates are subject to change.)
The Florida Project (Oct. 20): Sean Baker (the critically-acclaimed 2015 indie Tangerine) follows the lives of children living in the amusement park tourist mecca of Orlando. Willem Dafoe stars, and has already been accumulating Oscar buzz at film festivals.
LBJ (Nov. 3): First up in the "showcase roles for actors as world leaders sweepstakes" (see Darkest Hour below) is this cradle-to-the-White House biopic of President Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson), directed by Rob Reiner.
Thor: Ragnarok (Nov. 3): The God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) gets his hammer hammered, and winds up battling Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), or maybe fighting with him against the goddess of death (Cate Blanchett). Sounds like a party.
Wonderstruck (Nov. 10): Director Todd Haynes (Carol) adapts Brian Selznick's illustrated novel about the connection between the lives of two children living 50 years apart. Oakes Fegley (Pete's Dragon) and Haynes' Safe star Julianne Moore take the leads. Justice League (Nov. 17): DC swings for the fences with its own team of iconic super-heroes, including Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and more. After getting back in fans' good graces with this summer's hit Wonder Woman, here's hoping it's more along those lines than Zack Snyder's Batman v. Superman.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Nov. 22): The talented writer/director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) casts Frances McDormand as a woman who goes to war with local police over their failure to make progress investigating the murder of her daughter.
Lady Bird (Nov. 22): Actor Greta Gerwig makes her writing and directing debut with this story of a precocious Northern California high school senior (Saoirse Ronan) trying to figure out how to make her life extraordinary.
Coco (Nov. 22): Disney/Pixar's latest animated feature finds a young Mexican-American boy taking an unexpected trip to the Land of the Dead.
Darkest Hour (Dec. undated): Gary Oldman is already the Oscar favorite playing Winston Churchill in a narrative that follows him through his years as Prime Minister. Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) directs.
The Disaster Artist (Dec. undated): James Franco stars in the fact-based story of Tommy Wiseau, the director behind the movie generally reviled/revered as the worst movie ever made, The Room.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (Dec. 15): It's time to find out what the connection is between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). And who is "the last Jedi," anyway? Also, prepare to get misty-eyed as we bid farewell to Princess/General Leia (the late Carrie Fisher).
The Shape of Water (Dec. 22): Director Guillermo Del Toro directs the fanciful story of a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) who forms a relationship with the strange creature kept in the lab where she works.
Call Me By Your Name (Jan. 19): Already a festival favorite from Sundance through Toronto, this romantic drama adapts Andre Aciman's novel about a teenager (Timothée Chalamet) falling for the graduate student (Armie Hammer) staying for the summer with his family on the Italian Riviera. And we have to wait for it until Sundance 2018.