What movies coming out this Oscar season are college students most excited for?

Oscar season is just around the corner, which means some of the most highly anticipated movies of the year are coming out.  Some of these movies have been hyped since the beginning of the year, and some have already been dubbed “Oscar bait.”   

History has proven that movies released in the latter quarter of the year receive the most recognition from the Academy, which results in the most Oscar awards.  Movie studios know this and capitalize on it.  This makes the next few months very exciting for movie goers.

So what movies are college students most excited for this Oscar season? Here are the picks of some Sheridan students:


Warner Bros. Pictures

Most movie fans are familiar with the Joker character.  He’s appeared in several movies in the last decade and is a fan favourite.  However, this is the first time we’ve seen a live-action Joker origin story. 

The story is set in 1981 and follows Arthur Fleck (Joker), who turns to a life of crime after a failed career as a stand-up comedian.

Despite mixed reviews from those who saw it at TIFF, many people are still excited to see this movie next month.

In an article written after TIFF, movie reviewer Peter Howell put Todd Phillips on his list of potential directors to win the “best director” award at the Oscars.

Director: Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy, Due Date, Borat)


  • Joaquin Phoenix (Her, Gladiator, Walk the Line)
  • Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull)

Release date – October 4

Zombieland: Double Tap

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Coming out ten years later – the sequel to Zombieland (2009) is finally arriving. 

This sequel was discussed right after the first movie came out but had many setbacks and scheduling conflicts. 

After waiting for years, fans rejoiced when it was announced in July of last year, and the filming took place earlier this year. 

Fans of this zombie comedy are excited to see the return of the original cast, and the original director.

Set in the post apocalyptic world, where zombies are everywhere, the movie follows a ragtag team of misfits trying to survive amidst hoards of the undead and even other survivors.

Director: Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Venom, 30 Minutes or Less)


  • Woody Harrelson (Venom, Natural Born Killers, Now You See Me)
  • Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Batman V. Superman, American Ultra)
  • Emma Stone (La La Land, Easy A, Superbad)

Release date – October 18

Doctor Sleep

Warner Bros. Pictures

Speaking of long-awaited sequels – Doctor Sleep is a sequel to the hugely successful Stanley Kubrick movie The Shining (1980). 

The movie follows character Danny Torrance several decades after the events of the first movie. He is a man with psychic powers, trying to reconcile with the trauma he went through as a child. 

In Doctor Sleep, Danny is found by teenager Abra who has the same abilities as him.  The movie follows these two characters as they evade others who are trying to hunt them down for their powers.

The announcement of this movie had fans of the original excited but also a little hesitant that it won’t live up to the 1980 classic. Sheridan student Nate Wood said, “I’m a film student, so I have to see it, even if it’s bad. I love the original, so I’m excited for this one.”

Director: Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Oculus, Hush)


  • Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, The Island, Moulin Rouge!)
  • Rebecca Ferguson (The Greatest Showman, Life, Men in Black: International)

Release date – October 30

Ford v Ferrari

20th Century Fox

Taking place in 1963, the movie follows a team of American engineers and designers who build a new Ford racing car to compete against the dominant Ferrarri cars.

Opening at TIFF the movie received mostly positive reviews.  In Todd McCarthy’s review for Hollywood Reporter he said the movie is “A full-bodied and exciting true-life story in which the men behind the wheels are just as dynamic as the machines they drive.”

Director: James Mangold (Logan, The Wolverine, Walk the Line)


  • Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, Vice, American Psycho)
  • Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Martian, Jason Bourne)

Release date – November 15

A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Based on the true story of journalist Tom Junod reluctantly taking on an assignment in 1998 to write a profile on the TV personality Fred Rogers, this movie follows the friendship between the two. 

Premiering at TIFF this year, many reviewers enjoyed the sentiment of the movie.

In a review for VOX, writer Alissa Wilkinson says, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood sneaks around the barriers we throw up in adulthood, finding the kid inside of us who just wants to know we are loved.”

Director: Marielle Stiles Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Can You Ever Forgive Me?)


  • Tom Hanks (Cast Away, Forrest Gump, The Green Mile)
  • Matthew Rhys (The Post, Burnt, The Scapegoat)

Release date – November 22


This over the top musical-film is based on the live musical of the same name.  The lineup of actors from this movie is a big reason why it’s been on everyone’s minds for the past couple months.  Another could be the odd animation style used by the CGI-artists that many critics of the movie can’t get past.

When asked why she is excited to see the movie, Sheridan student Madison Nicol said, “I just like cats.”

Director: Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl, Les Misérables, The King’s Speech)


  • Judi Dench (Skyfall, Shakespear in Love, Mrs Brown)
  • Idris Elba (Thor, The Mountain Between Us, The Dark Tower)
  • Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, X-Men, Macbeth)

Release date – December 20

The timing of the release of these movies is not just a coincidence or a tradition, the reason these movies come out around this time of year comes down to money and statistics. More buzz around a film’s release mean more tickets sold. Nothing creates buzz quite like a prestigious Academy Award. Movie studios know college aged viewers are the biggest majority, and they use that to their advantage.

In a study done in 2016, the Theatrical Market Statistics Report found that the most frequent moviegoers (going to a theatre at least once a month) are 25-39 year-olds, and the second most are 18-24 year olds.  These ages line up with the age distribution of college students in Canada

Stats by Theatrical Market Statistics Report
Stats by Statistics Canada

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