Between September and December, Hollywood studios release their prestige pictures in the hopes of garnering accolades as the New Year’s awards season approaches and theaters are flooded with favorites from the Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and Venice film festivals.
And moviegoers can rest assured there will be plenty of horror movies from which they can choose in late October as well as a multitude big budget blockbusters and family films during the weeks between Thanksgiving and December’s holidays.
So, take a look at Patch’s Fall Movie Preview and get the scoop on 50 films that will be released by the end of the year.
It’s Oscar season, so most of the studios will release several films in which they are confident will receive golden statuettes.
“Moneyball” (Sept. 23) tells the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), who used computer generated analysis to draft players. The film, which also stars Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman, was directed by Bennett Miller (“Capote”).
George Clooney directs and stars in “The Ides of March” (Oct. 7), a thriller in which he plays a presidential candidate whose quest for power leaves a young political strategist (Ryan Gosling) troubled.
Clint Eastwood explores the life of a controversial crime fighter with “J. Edgar,” (Nov. 9) which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular G-man. Meryl Streep plays another larger-than-life figure with her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” (Dec. 16), while Steven Spielberg adapts Michael Morpurgo’s novel “War Horse” (Dec. 28), which is also currently a Broadway play, into a feature.
Another highly anticipated adaptation is “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Dec. 21), which is based on Stieg Larsson’s bestseller. The film will be director David Fincher’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated “The Social Network.”
Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) returns after a seven-year hiatus with “The Descendants” (Nov. 23), which stars George Clooney as a land baron who must hold his family together after finding out that his wife, who is in a coma, was having an affair.
Provocateur David Cronenberg (“A History of Violence”) explores the turbulent friendship between Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) in “A Dangerous Method” (Nov. 23).
And director Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) returns with “Young Adult” (Dec. 9), which stars Charlize Theron about a novelist who attempts to get back into her high school boyfriend’s life.
Ryan Gosling plays a Hollywood stunt man who gets tangled up with criminals in Nicholas Winding Refn’s “Drive” (Sept. 16). The film won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.
Controversial filmmaker Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” (Nov. 11) also won raves at Cannes and Kirsten Dunst took the Best Actress prize for her portrayal of a depressed young woman who is getting married, but finds out that the world is about to end.
“Restless” (Sept. 16) is the latest from Gus Van Sant (“Milk”). The picture is a romance involving a young death-obsessed man and a terminally ill girl.
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” (Oct. 14) is a disturbing thriller about a surgeon (Antonio Banderas) who conducts a skin experiment on a woman he is holding captive. The film debuted at Cannes.
Two Sundance Film Festival favorites are “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” (Oct. 21), which follows a young woman who has fled from a religious cult, and “Take Shelter” (Sept. 30), in which Michael Shannon plays a man who begins having apocalyptic premonitions.
“The Artist” (Nov. 23) won critical acclaim and a Best Actor award for Jean Dujardin at Cannes. The black and white silent film tells the story of a 1920s movie star. Actor Paddy Considine makes his directorial debut with “Tyrannosaur” (Nov. 18), a story about an abusive relationship.
Martin Scorsese makes his 3D debut with “Hugo” (Nov. 23), which tells the story of a boy who lives in a Paris train station during the 1930s.
Teenagers will swoon over “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1” (Nov. 18), which is the second-to-last film in the popular vampire romance series.
Twi-hards will have more than one reason to celebrate. John Singleton’s thriller “Abduction” (Sept. 23) stars Taylor Lautner as a young man who attempts to uncover the truth after finding his picture on a missing persons website.
The holiday season will see the release of several sequels, including “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (Dec. 16) and "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” (Dec. 21), which finds Tom Cruise joined by Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner.
Steven Soderbergh’s latest is “Contagion” (Sept. 9), a thriller about a rapidly spreading disease that boasts a big name cast, including Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne and Gwyneth Paltrow.
“Immortals” (Nov. 11) is a bloody 3D action film in which Theseus (Henry Cavill) aims to rescue Olympus from Hyperion (Mickey Rourke).
Adaptations and Remakes
Roman Polanski takes on Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play “Carnage” (Dec. 16), during which two couples (played by Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly) attempt, but fail, to be civil after their sons get into a playground fight.
Jonathan Safran Foer’s 9/11-themed novel “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (Dec. 25) is adapted by Stephen Daldry (“The Reader”) and stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.
Gary Oldman stars as George Smiley, the hero of John LeCarre’s classic novel “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (Nov. 18), in Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson’s (“Let the Right One In”) new version.
Tilda Swinton won raves at Cannes for her performance as a mother grieving after her son is involved in a school shooting in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (Dec. 9), which is based on Lionel Shriver’s novel.
Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut with William Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” (Dec. 2). Two upcoming remakes include “Footloose” (Oct. 14) and an update of Sam Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs” (Sept. 16).
Movies for Kids
Steven Spielberg directs “The Adventures of Tintin” (Dec. 23) a 3D adventure based on the popular books, while Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo return for “The Muppets” (Nov. 23).
“Puss In Boots” (Nov. 4) features the voice of Antonio Banderas as the kitty made popular by the “Shrek” films and “Happy Feet Two” (Nov. 18) will feature the further adventures of tap dancing penguins.
That’s a Laugh
Cameron Crowe’s first directorial effort in six years is “We Bought a Zoo,” a dramedy starring Matt Damon as a London newspaper columnist who – that’s right – moves his family into a zoo. The film is based on a true story.
Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead a motley crew of employees at an expensive residential tower who attempt to steal $20 million in “Tower Heist” (Nov. 4), while Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson get wrapped up in the world of bird watching in “The Big Year” (Oct. 14).
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a young man who discovers he has cancer and Seth Rogen is his boisterous buddy in “50/50” (Sept. 30). Jonah Hill is paid to watch over three siblings in “The Sitter” (Dec. 9) and Johnny Depp stars in Bruce Robinson’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s “The Rum Diary” (Oct. 28).
The Horror, The Horror
In 1972, a group of astronauts make a horrific discovery on the moon in “Apollo 18” (Sept. 2), a found footage horror movie, while a group of teens are terrorized – via 3D – by fearsome fish in both “Shark Night” (Sept. 2) and “Piranha 3DD” (Nov. 23).
Things go bump in the night once more in “Paranormal Activity 3” (Oct. 21), while “The Thing” (Oct. 14) gets a prequel.
Daniel Craig moves his family into a New England house with a creepy past in “Dream House,” which was directed by Jim Sheridan (“My Left Foot”). And Kevin Smith is releasing “Red State” (Sept. 23), in which a religious cult decides to make some sacrifices of the literal kind for the Lord.
Check back every Monday morning for This Week at the Movies. We will feature reviews of many of these films as they are released throughout the fall season.