The Autopsy of Jane Doe (dir. André Øvredal)
André Øvredal's highly-anticipated English language debut and follow-up to Troll Hunter follows father-and-son coroners (Brian Cox, the original Hannibal Lecter, and Emile Hirsch) as they perform an autopsy on an unidentified woman's body found buried in the basement of a house where a family was recently murdered. While the corpse is curiously unscathed on the outside, the morticians soon find that her insides tell a very different—and sinister—story. The gothic film was praised at TIFF 2016 for its innovative horror twists and aesthetic. Release Date: December 1, via IFC Films
Citizen Kane (dir. Orson Welles)
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles' landmark cinematic achievement, AFI Fest restored Citizen Kane and screened it for Los Angeles audiences. The recut trailer features stunning footage; it's an enticing invitation to revisit one of the most iconic movies ever made. Of course, its lessons on the perils of capitalist greed are more important today than ever: "If I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man," says the film's titular protagonist, Charles Foster Kane.
I Am Not Your Negro (dir. Raoul Peck)
Samuel L. Jackson narrates this searing treatise on race in America, which spins off an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin, an American novelist and activist who was close friends with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. The film squarely addresses the history of racial inequality up to the present-day #BlackLivesMatter movement with grace, precision, and heart. Release Date: February 3, 2017, via Magnolia Pictures
Fences (dir. Denzel Washington)
Viola Davis has emerged as a Best Supporting Actress frontrunner in Denzel Washington's third directorial effort (preceded by Antoine Fisher and The Great Debaters). Both Washington and Davis reprise their roles from the Tony Award-winning August Wilson play of the same name, about a 1950s Negro League baseball player who retires and becomes a garbageman. Release Date: December 25, via Paramount Pictures
Brimstone (dir. Martin Koolhoven)
Guy Pearce and Dakota Fanning star in this 19th-century Western about a wrongly accused woman who is hunted by a crazed and vengeful preacher. It's a hellish horror story that deals in sadism and sexual perversion but is characterized by lyricism and beautiful imagery. Release Date: None yet
Beware the Slenderman (dir. Irene Taylor Brodsky)
This disturbing doc about two teenage girls who stabbed their friend 19 times in the woods in order to appease a fictional internet monster, the Slender Man, explores the internet's dark influential powers. It goes down the rabbit hole of the convicted girls' actions and contains rare interviews with their families. Beware the Slenderman originally premiered at SXSW 2016 to rave reviews. Release Date: January 17, 2017, via HBO
All release dates are US.