It’s honestly hard to believe that September is nearly over already. It’s still pretty hot and humid in southern New England, but the leaves are slowly starting to change… Pumpkin spice lattes are available at Starbucks and Trader Joe’s has their pumpkin cookies for sale once more. Plus, all the best seasonal hard ciders are out. It’s autumn. No matter what climate change has to say about it, it’s arrived, and that means it’s time for fall-themed movies and TV shows!

If you’re anything like me, you probably dive right into the Halloween flicks and horror films as soon as the first leave goes yellow on that tree outside your window. But if you’re not yet ready for decorative gourd season to completely take over, you can still watch some fall-themed movies that aren’t directly associated with the best holiday of the year.

Remember the Titans (2000)

Remember the Titans is probably the best sports movie of all time. I’ll absolutely defend that stance even in my grave. This film is based on the true story of Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), who was hired at a racially integrated but still polarized Alexandria, Virginia high school in 1971. The cast of Remember the Titans is amazing, and the story progression is incredibly well-done. I’m not usually one for football movies but this one? This one can stay.

Rushmore (1998)

Rushmore is the go-to film for discussion about student-teacher relationships. This Wes Anderson classic stars Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Williams and Bill Murray, and it’s simultaneously a super dramatic, bizarre flick and a hilarious, prank-war comedy. If you haven’t seen Rushmore, I highly recommend it — if only so you can talk to Jason Schwartzman about it if you run into him in a Starbucks while getting your pumpkin spice latte.

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Dead Poets Society will make you cry. Just… fair warning. This film stars Robin Williams as an inspirational, unorthodox English teacher who inspires students at a rigid, traditional, all-boys academy to break out of their shells and pursue their dreams. It explores topics like sex, suicide, and depression, as well as parental pressure and the relationship of teachers and students. You’ll need tissues for this one, and maybe a really soft blanket. 

Election (1999)

Election stars Reese Witherspoon as a Type-A perfectionist with political aspirations. She wants to be student body president, but one of her teachers (Matthew Broderick) thinks she’s too overzealous. So he recruits a popular student to oppose her in the election, and all hell breaks loose. This movie dives deep into unethical behavior from educators and also has some incredible one-liners from Witherspoon. Get ready for a wild ride.

Garden State (2004)

I don’t think Garden State actually takes place in autumn, but for whatever reason, it has always been fall-themed in my head. Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) goes home for the funeral of his clinically depressed mother and confronts childhood friends, his therapist father, and his own mental illness. He also meets and falls in love with Sam (Natalie Portman), and it changes how he views his hometown forever. This movie is peak Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but it’s also gorgeous and funny and heartbreaking. Lots of people hate this movie, and I get that, but whatever. Curl up with it on a cool, rainy day and have a cup of tea. I promise you won’t regret it.

What movies do you like to watch this time of year? Let us know what fall-themed movies you love in the comments and we might feature your suggestion on our social media! ?

Samantha Puc
Samantha Puc is a freelance writer, editor, and social media manager residing in southern New England with her partner and three cats. She likes Shakespeare, space babes, bikes, and dismantling the patriarchy. She also loves vegan food. Her work has appeared on Rogues Portal, SheKnows, Femsplain, The Tempest, and elsewhere. For more, follow her on Twitter!

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