Is it just us or are you also ready for some meatier material now that Transformers and barbarians and superheroes have been trampling through the movie theatres for the past three months? We’ve rounded up some of the most noteworthy films coming out in the next few months – and even put aside a selection of light-hearted films that’ll let you pretend you’re still going to the movies just to be in the air conditioning.
Ripped From The Headlines
Does being “the movie of our time” always translate into big box office bucks? The studios are hoping so with these thrillers that are all closely related, sometimes unnervingly so, to current events.
September 9th – Contagion (Warner Bros.) This ensemble thriller takes the panicked outbreak of the avian flu in 2009 and twists it into the realization of our worst nightmares. Steven Soderbergh directs.
September 23rd – Moneyball (Columbia) Baseball movie based on the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s groundbreaking methods for drafting team members. Take comfort, ladies. Brad Pitt stars as Beane alongside previously plump Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
October 21st – Margin Call (Lionsgate) This thriller will likely capture the desperate atmosphere of the 2009 financial crisis in a way that Oliver Stone tried and failed at with Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. More directly based on the crash, director J.C. Chandor’s first film stars Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey.
October 7th - The Ides of March (Columbia) Based on the play Farragut North, this political thriller depicts the manipulations behind the scenes of a presidential campaign loosely based on that of Howard Dean. The hot factor is turned way up with Ryan Gosling and George Clooney starring.
Ripped From The History Books
These aren’t your average costume dramas. The period pieces most popular with today’s audiences take place within the last 60 years, and these three will no doubt get some awards nods down the line.
October 28th – The Rum Diary (FilmDistrict) Johnny Depp continues his lifelong homage to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson in this movie based on the author’s book by the same name.
November 9th – J. Edgar (Warner Bros.) Break out your Oscar ballots now. With Clint Eastwood directing and Leonardo DiCaprio taking a little time off from his best bud Martin Scorsese, this biopic is an easy front-runner on every must-see list.
November 18th – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Focus Features) Set in Cold War-era Britain in the 1970s, Gary Oldman stars as an intelligence expert on the deadly search for a Russian mole within MI6.
Ripped Off From Another Movie
Borrowing from an old movie or remaking it entirely isn’t always a bad thing. As a matter of fact, these formulas keep getting repeated because we keep paying good money to see them. Here are some plots that may seem vaguely familiar.
September 16th – Straw Dogs (Screen Gems) This remake of the original 1971 film moves the setting to the Deep South, where a newly relocated husband and wife (James Marsden and Kate Bosworth) are confronted by hostile locals.
September 23rd – Killer Elite (Open Road Films) – When is Jason Statham ever NOT a skilled killer on a mission to knock off some dudes? This time, he’s out to avenge his mentor, played by Robert De Niro.
September 30th – Dream House (Universal) A family moves to a house that’s haunted. See Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Insidious and hundreds before them. But this film boasts real-life lovebird stars, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz.
October 7th – The Thing (Universal) – The origin story for the Alien films depicts the initial crash of a spacecraft onto Antartica.
October 21 – Paranormal Activity 3 (Paramount) – Why are horror films always the easiest to make dozens of sequels for?
October 21 – The Three Musketeers (Summit) This differentiates itself with improved special effects and Christoph Waltz.
November 4th – Tower Heist (Universal) Billing itself as “an urban Ocean’s 11” this heist film starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Matthew Broderick could be ridiculous fun or a full-on disaster. But we’re pulling for the former.
November 23rd – The Muppets (Disney) There’s nothing wrong with reviving the ever-charming muppets, this time with a script written by co-star Jason Segel.
Keep The Summer Vibe Going With This Mindless Fun
Just because fall is over doesn’t mean you have to wean yourself off the mindless fluff. A steady supply will keep coming.
September 9th – Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (Columbia) Nick Swardson played a Mid-Western hick who travels to Hollywood to become a porn star.
September 16th – I Don’t Know How She Does It (Weinstein Company) – Sarah Jessica Parker moves beyond Carrie Bradshaw to play a mom trying to keep her job, family and sanity intact.
September 30th – What’s Your Number? (20th Century Fox) Anna Faris considers the frightening number of men she’s bedded and tracks down each ex in order find her true love.
October 7th - Real Steel (Disney) Only two words need to be said here: boxing robots.
October 28th – In Time (20th Century Fox) Built on the concept of a world where people stop aging at 25, this film stars two of the prettiest 20-somethings around – Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.
October 28th - Safe (Lionsgate) Elite Agent played by (shocker!) Jason Statham faces off with the Russian Mafia. We’re beginning to think that man has a prop gun surgically attached to his hand.
November 4th - A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (Warner Bros.) We can’t wait to see what this stoner franchise is going to do with 3D effects. Hallucination sequences are mandatory.
November 11th – Jack and Jill (Columbia) – Adam Sandler cross dresses to play his own twin sister.
November 18th - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Summit) Nothing needs to be said here. Edward and Bella forever!
We selected a few films that we think will be this season’s cream of the crop.
September 16th – Drive (FilmDistrict) The director of Bronson takes on this moody, noir-ish tale of a Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who does getaway car driving for criminals by night. This is a must-see for film lovers.
October 14th – The Skin I Live In (Sony) One of the most highly anticipated releases of the fall will be Pedro Almodovar’s thriller about a demented plastic surgeon who experiments on a human subject.
October 21 – Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight) This tale got a thumbs up from the festival circuit. We expect to be delightfully creeped out by the sad story of a woman experiencing post-traumatic stress after leaving a cult.
October 28th – Like Crazy (Paramount) This tender tearjerker stars Felicity Jones and Fright Night cutie Anton Yelchin as star-crossed lovers trying to make a long-distance relationship work.
November 11– Melancholia (Magnolia) Director Lars Von Trier has been quoted as saying his latest work is his most hopeless film yet. The last one he did was called “Antichrist” so, you figure it out.
November 23rd – The Descendants (Fox Searchlight) The film industry serves up for you on a silver platter the movie you will go see with your parents when home for Thanksgiving. George Clooney plays the husband to a comatose wife, gliding by until he is suddenly faced with the duty of raising his two daughters.