After being shut out of the best director category at the Oscars for her brilliant work on 2014’s Selma, filmmaker Ava DuVernay finds herself back in the awards season conversation, this time smack in the center of the best documentary race with 13th, a timely, necessary, overwhelmingly powerful chronicle of the American prison-industrial complex.
DuVernay’s film, which examines the justice system’s evolution since the era of slavery as it highlights the alarming percentage of black and latino men currently in jail, was the first documentary to ever open the New York Film Festival. The film received near unanimous praise from movie critics after its debut this month, with EW’s Joe McGovern calling it “a titanic statement by a major American voice” in his review.
13th hits Netflix on Oct. 7.
The Girl on the Train
Emily Blunt is on track for a big weekend at the box office with The Girl on the Train, Universal’s thriller based on Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel of the same name. The film revolves around a recently-divorced alcoholic, Rachel (Blunt), who witnesses a shocking act as she peers into the home of an unsuspecting couple while commuting to and from work on a New York City MTA train.
EW’s Leah Greenblatt writes that director Tate Taylor (The Help) “draws remarkably vivid performances from his cast,” singling out the film’s female leads for their portrayal of women who are “wounded and furious and chillingly real.” With an ensemble cast that includes Allison Janney, Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson, and Lisa Kudrow, The Girl on the Train is a one-way ticket to a star-studded mystery fans won’t want to miss.
The Girl on the Train opens nationwide on Oct. 7.
A Seat at the Table by Solange
It’s difficult to carve a name for yourself in the music industry when your older sister is almost single-handedly running the game, but Solange has more than earned her right to be heard on the same stage.
Solange’s new, soulful 21-track collection of highly personal material, A Seat at the Table, sees the singer-songwriter musing on her life, relationships, and what it means to be black in America. Standout tracks include powerful cuts like “Cranes in the Sky” and the Sampha-assisted “Don’t Touch My Hair.”
Comparisons to Beyoncé have plagued Solange since she launched her debut album, Solo Star, in 2003 (she even released a song, “God Given Name,” which seemed to reference her famous sibling), though her new material is fresh, fierce, and required listening for anyone who appreciates great music.
A Seat at the Table is available now on iTunes and Spotify.
David Lynch’s body of work isn’t exactly packed with the most lighthearted fare, given his penchant for disturbing visuals, unsettling tones, and often mystifying narrative structure. Actor John Malkovich, however, finds lighthearted mirth as he reenacts various scenes from Lynch’s works in his Playing Lynch vignette series. Whether it’s in full costume as John Merrick from The Elephant Man or as Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks, the Oscar-nominee tackles Lynch’s filmography with a performative bravado unlike anything we’ve yet to see from him.
Star Wars Rebels
If you’ve been wondering what Freddie Prinze, Jr. has been doing since disappearing from the teen movie scene in the early 2000s, tune in to Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels series, which has featured the actor’s voice as one of the lead characters since its debut in 2014.
The animated program takes place over a decade after the events of George Lucas’ 2005 blockbuster, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, in a world where the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order have fallen to the Galactic Empire. The series follows a crew of rebels who unite to combat the Imperial militia on the planet Lothal.
Star Wars Rebels’ third season, which premiered on Sept. 24, currently airs on Disney XD.