THE AERONAUTS Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne set out to fly higher than anyone else ever has. It’s the 19th century, and their mode of transportation is a hot-air balloon. Tom Harper directed this reteaming of the stars of “The Theory of Everything” (for which Redmayne won an Oscar, and Jones was nominated).
THE BANKER In a film inspired by a true story, Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson play real-estate developers in the 1960s who hire a white frontman (Nicholas Hoult) to serve as the face of their business. That enables them to make loans and rent apartments to African-Americans.
DANIEL ISN’T REAL Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold, plays Daniel, an imaginary friend reconjured by a too-old-for-games college freshman (Miles Robbins) after a traumatic incident.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER The director Beniamino Barrese creates a portrait of his mother, Benedetta Barzini, a former Italian supermodel who worked with Richard Avedon and studied with Lee Strasberg. “Barzini is Barrese’s subject (and apparent muse), but she’s also his mother, which creates some productive friction,” Manohla Dargis wrote after the film played at the Sundance Film Festival.
GRAND ISLE Nicolas Cage plays one-half of a couple who give a man shelter from a hurricane. The man is then accused of murder. Kelsey Grammer also stars.
IN FABRIC The British director Peter Strickland (“The Duke of Burgundy”) seems to be working almost single-handedly to revive the Italian giallo tradition. The movie follows the journey of a killer dress (and not just in terms of style). Marianne Jean-Baptiste plays the first unlucky buyer. Hayley Squires and Leo Bill have the garment later on.
KNIVES AND SKIN Jennifer Reeder directed what sounds like an extremely Lynchian coming-of-age film in which a teenage girl’s disappearance brings a town’s secrets to the surface.
LITTLE JOE Emily Beecham, who won the best actress prize for this movie at Cannes in May, plays one of a team of scientists who genetically engineer a flower that has a strange property: It makes people happy. The same, of course, was also true of the Pod People, and the aroma of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” wafts through this austerely chilling feature from Jessica Hausner.
MIDNIGHT FAMILY This nonfiction chronicle trails a family that operates a private ambulance service in Mexico City. “Fantastically shot by the director Luke Lorentzen, the documentary develops an urgency that suits the life-or-death stakes onscreen,” Manohla Dargis wrote when it played at New Directors/New Films.
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES James Frey’s dubious 2003 book — ostensibly a memoir though the author later admitted making up details — gets a big-screen adaptation with Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a 23-year-old drug addict. Sam Taylor-Johnson directed.
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE Céline Sciamma won wide acclaim (and a screenplay award) at the Cannes Film Festival for this understated, immaculately appointed 18th-century drama. Noémie Merlant plays an artist hired to paint a portrait of Adèle Haenel, who won’t sit for anyone. At first, Merlant’s character is forced to work from memory, but the two grow closer.
WHEN LAMBS BECOME LIONS Two cousins on opposite sides of the ivory trade in Kenya — a dealer and a ranger who is permitted to use violence to halt poaching — are followed over three years in this documentary.
THE WOLF HOUR Naomi Watts plays a shut-in author holed up in a Bronx apartment — the setting for almost the entire film — during the summer of 1977, when New York contended with a blackout and the Son of Sam. Alistair Banks Griffin directed.
BLACK CHRISTMAS Sophia Takal directed (and wrote, with the film critic April Wolfe) this second remake of Bob Clark’s 1974 Canadian slasher-film standard. A sorority is terrorized; Imogen Poots leads the cast.
BOMBSHELL It’s hard to overstate the degree to which Charlize Theron looks like Megyn Kelly in the trailer for this portrait of the culture of sexual harassment that pervaded Fox News during the reign of Roger Ailes (John Lithgow). Margot Robbie also stars. Jay Roach, who did similar dramatizations in the HBO movies “Game Change” and “Recount,” directed.
CUNNINGHAM Earlier this year, the documentary “If the Dancer Dances” suggested that video, by virtue of being in two dimensions, was limited in its ability to capture Merce Cunningham’s choreography. It’s fortunate, then, that his centennial year closes out with a documentary that’s in 3-D, and that — through a combination of archival footage and contemporary stagings for the screen — showcases the breadth of Cunningham’s career. Alla Kovgan directed.
THE DEATH & LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN The Québécois enfant terrible filmmaker Xavier Dolan caused a minor stir in the film world when he announced that he had cut Jessica Chastain from this movie, his first English-language feature. (Who does that?) The film revolves around an actor as he recalls his interactions with a deceased TV star. Kit Harrington and Natalie Portman are in it.
HELL ON THE BORDER David Gyasi plays the real-life African-American cowboy Bass Reeves — who has been called the first black marshal in the West and is believed by some to be the inspiration for the Lone Ranger — as he trails an outlaw (Frank Grillo).
A HIDDEN LIFE At Cannes, Terrence Malick polarized critics with this portrait of Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), an Austrian conscientious objector who refused to swear allegiance to Hitler. His stance led to his execution by the Nazis in 1943 and later his beatification by the Catholic Church in 2007. The director’s signature style — nature shots, fragmentary voice-over — struck some as an odd fit. “Malick’s prettification of this world is as appalling as is his lack of interest in history,” Manohla Dargis wrote from the festival.
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black return as video game avatars, but the players who are their puppeteers aren’t all the same. The director Jake Kasdan, who had the controller for “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (2017), returns as well.
RICHARD JEWELL Still astonishingly prolific at 89, Clint Eastwood has directed a recent string of movies focusing on real-life acts of heroism (“Sully,” “The 15:17 to Paris”). The latest centers on Richard A. Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser), a security guard who was first hailed as a hero who saved lives in the bombing of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta — then vilified when several news media outlets prematurely reported he was a suspect. Jewell, who died in 2007, was ultimately cleared. Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates and Jon Hamm also star.
SEBERG Kristen Stewart received good reviews at the Venice Film Festival in the summer for her turn as the “Breathless” actress Jean Seberg (1938-79). This account covers the period when she was the object of an F.B.I. smear intended to undermine her support of the Black Panther Party. Anthony Mackie plays the writer and activist Hakim Jamal. Benedict Andrews directed.
6 UNDERGROUND Does any director love blowing stuff up as much as Michael Bay? More to the point, if even the architect of the “Transformers” franchise has now made a feature for Netflix, does the concept of “big-screen entertainment” mean anything anymore? Ryan Reynolds stars as the head of a team of operatives who wipe out all traces of their pasts to complete their work.
UNCUT GEMS Adam Sandler stars as a diamond dealer and inveterate gambler whose latest impulsive scheme — it involves lending a gem-studded rock to Kevin Garnett (who plays a version of himself during his N.B.A. career) — is just one more card in a house that is dangerously close to collapsing. The brothers Josh and Benny Safdie directed with their customary flair for grungy New York color and tense, escalating absurdity.
CATS The “Les Misérables” director Tom Hooper uses the latest in what a promotional video calls “digital fur technology” to transform Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Judi Dench and many others into Andrew Lloyd Webber’s singing kitties. The trailer has already been widely mocked, but to quote Rum Tum Tugger, there’s “no doing anything abowwowtit.” Swift and Lloyd Webber wrote an original song for the film.
INVISIBLE LIFE Called “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão” when it won a major prize at Cannes in May, this film from the Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz follows two sisters over several decades of life in Rio de Janeiro. Neither is aware that the other is living in the city.
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER How exactly is J.J. Abrams going to run with the baton that “The Last Jedi” left him? Will Rey really turn out to have come from nothing? Is that little kid with the broom a Jedi? Will die-hard fans cry heresy no matter where this movie goes? (The answer to that last question is probably yes.) Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver return to that galaxy far, far away.
JUST MERCY Michael B. Jordan plays the lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who in Alabama in the early 1990s defended Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a man sentenced to death even though, The New York Times wrote in 1993, the state built “a case on suspect testimony and withheld crucial evidence that called that testimony into question.” Brie Larson plays a colleague also fighting for McMillian’s exoneration. Destin Daniel Cretton (“Short Term 12”) directed.
LITTLE WOMEN Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen are Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters in the latest adaptation of “Little Women.” It’s given a new spark by Greta Gerwig, who (as with “Lady Bird”) wrote the screenplay and directed. Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Timothée Chalamet also star.
1917 Sam Mendes directs his version of an old-fashioned war epic with this story of a pair of British soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) during World War I. Their assignment: To deliver a message calling off an attack that would, if executed, lead to a battalion’s slaughter. There is a twist: Mendes and his cinematographer, Roger Deakins, have reportedly designed the movie to appear as if it unfolds in one continuous shot. With Benedict Cumberbatch.
THE SONG OF NAMES The fates of two children are intertwined when a Polish Jewish boy moves in with a British family at the start of World War II. As an adult, he disappears, and his surrogate brother (Tim Roth) searches for him. Clive Owen also stars. François Girard directed.
SPIES IN DISGUISE In this animated feature, Will Smith provides the voice of a secret agent who is transformed by his colleague (Tom Holland), a scientist, into a pigeon, because that’s an easy way for him to go undetected. With Rashida Jones.
WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL The legacy of the longtime New Yorker film critic is celebrated and debated in this documentary, which features interviews with acolytes and a handful of directors. Rob Garver directed.
CLEMENCY The director Chinonye Chukwu won the top prize at Sundance for this character study of a prison warden (Alfre Woodard) who has been hollowed out by her work. The movie follows her after a botched execution as she prepares to administer the death penalty to another inmate (Aldis Hodge).