As spooky season passes, the temperatures start to dip, the leaves turn color and subsequently fall to the ground, you may find yourself in the mood to stay inside more often. Fall is kicking into full swing, people, so that means it’s time to sit down, pop some popcorn, gather your loved ones and embark on some cinematic journeys. Whether you’re looking for a long haul or a quick trilogy, here are some great places to start, provided you have the requisite streaming services:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (HBO Max)
This one goes out to all the Tolkien fans. I know you’ve been looking for an excuse to rewatch this classic trilogy, or maybe you’re looking for an excuse to experience these films for the first time. Either way, regardless of if you choose the theatrical or extended cuts, now is the perfect time of year to journey to Middle Earth. For those unaware, The Lord of the Rings follows Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and an ensemble of humans, elves, dwarves and hobbits as they pursue their quest to destroy the one ring and defeat the dark lord, Sauron.
The Pixar Collection (Disney+)
If you’re not down for a nine-plus-hour binge through Middle Earth, then maybe an even longer binge through the ever-expanding Pixar universe is for you. They aren’t all fall movies, but they’re like comfort food, feeling warm and homey by themselves. Whether you want to watch the entire 24 film run (please not in one sitting), just a few of their films or a franchise they made, those are all good choices. The most fall-feeling films in their back catalog are Brave, The Incredibles, Up, Wall-E, Coco and Soul.
The Harry Potter series (HBO Max)
Another magically long binge is that of the Harry Potter franchise, which spans eight films, possibly more if you count the Fantastic Beasts films (not on HBO Max at the time of writing). Now is a great time to watch Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) grow up and fight Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). The films are consistently very warm, orange and just flat-out fall-feeling. There’s not much to say about these films that hasn’t already been said, might as well just start your rewatch now.
The Indiana Jones series (Paramount+)
Yes, these may be summer blockbusters, but they just have a fall feeling to them, at least to me. The Indiana Jones franchise has a homey, warm feeling to me, as I was raised watching them. The Last Crusade, in particular, is the most fall-feeling, as it features Indy, famously portrayed by Harrison Ford, and his father (Sean Connery) awkwardly reuniting, like family Thanksgiving dinner all over again. You can ignore Kingdom of the Crystal Skull if you like, no one’s going to judge.
The Dark Knight trilogy (HBO Max)
A rewatch of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is a fantastic way to spend a weekend, or a day, if you’re really committed. These are perfect fall fare: dark, fun, well-made films that’ll make you wish more comic book movies were made like them. You can watch from the start, with Batman Begins, or you could start with Heath Ledger’s phenomenal performance in The Dark Knight, no one will blame you either way.
The Back to the Future trilogy (Peacock) (Free with ads)
Formerly streaming on Netflix, the Back to the Future series now requires you to venture into the depths of NBCUniversal’s Peacock, a voyage many do not survive. Thankfully, it’s available for free (with ads) if you already have an account, so you can watch, or rewatch, the various time-traveling misadventures of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from the Old West to the then far-future of 2015. Yes, it may have some weird plot points in hindsight, but it’s still a journey worth taking for the first or the hundredth time.
The Matrix series (HBO Max)
While these aren’t necessarily fall movies, there’s a new entry in the long-dormant franchise coming soon. So, why not prepare for the upcoming The Matrix: Resurrections with a rewatch of the trilogy that started it all. Watch Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) as they fight to escape the titular Matrix. Nothing says fun more than a ‘90s Keanu Reeves kicking ass in a trench coat. It also helps to support the films during the month of November, as it’s Transgender Awareness Month and the series was written and directed by trans women, Lana and Lilly Wachowski.
Note: These films are bound to change where they’re streaming as time goes on, but their locations are accurate at the time of writing.