In the summer, Hollywood studios release the films that pay the bills and, in the fall, they offer up the movies they believe will bring home the gold statuettes.
This fall’s selections include Oscar bait, film festival favorites, horror movies for Halloween, blockbusters and family films for the holidays, action movies and thrillers and comedies.
So, take a look at Patch’s fall movie preview and get the scoop on 50 films that will be released during the next four months.
The awards season gets an early start with “The Master” (Sept. 14), Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated and critically acclaimed picture about a wayward World War II veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in with the charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of a group known as The Cause, which resembles Scientology.
Ben Affleck has already won some raves for “Argo” (Oct. 12), a thriller set during the 1979’s Iranian hostage crisis.
“The Sessions” (Oct. 26) follows the true story of a 38-year-old man confined to an iron lung (John Hawkes) who makes plans to lose his virginity with the help of a therapist (Helen Hunt).
Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”) directs his first live action feature in more than a decade with “Flight” (Nov. 2), which tells the story of a pilot (Denzel Washington) who prevents a crash only to have his history of drinking on the job brought into question.
Daniel Day Lewis plays the 16th president in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” (Nov. 9), while Keira Knightley takes on the titular role in a lush new version of “Anna Karenina” (Nov. 16).
Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”) tackles Yann Martel’s Booker Prize winner “Life of Pi” (Nov. 23), while David O. Russell (“The Fighter”) adapts Matthew Quick’s “The Silver Linings Playbook” (Nov. 23).
Bill Murray plays Franklin Delano Roosevelt in “Hyde Park on Hudson” (Dec. 7), while Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in a new version of “Les Miserables” (Dec. 14) directed by Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”).
Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) returns to the Middle East with “Zero Dark Thirty” (Dec. 19), which chronicles the mission that brought down Osama bin Laden.
Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts play two survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in true story “The Impossible” (Dec. 21).
David Chase, creator of “The Sopranos,” directs “Not Fade Away” (Dec. 21), which is a rock ‘n’ roll story set in the mid 1960s.
Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” (Dec. 25) is sure to be one of the most talked about films of the fall season. The western tells the tale of an escaped slave (Jaime Foxx) who seeks revenge on plantation owners, including Leonardo DiCaprio, in the South during the 1860s.
Gus Van Sant (“Milk”) directs “Promised Land” (Dec. 28), which tells the story of a corporate salesman (Matt Damon) who attempts to convince the denizens of a small rural town to give his company the drilling rights to their properties.
And Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with “Quartet” (Dec. 28), a comedy about a home for retired opera singers. The film stars Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith.
The Best of Cannes
Seven of this fall’s selections made their debuts at the Cannes Film Festival.
“The Paperboy” (Oct. 5), which is Lee Daniels’s follow-up to “Precious,” is a courtroom drama that stars Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack.
Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors!” (Oct. 17) was one of the most highly touted films of this year’s festival. The picture appears to defy description, but involves a mysterious man who travels the streets of Paris in his limo. Kylie Minogue pops up in a few musical cameos.
Brad Pitt plays a mob enforcer who is called in to investigate a heist pulled off at a New Orleans card game in “Killing Them Softly” (Oct. 19). The film, which is said to be an allegory for the 2008 financial crisis, also stars James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta and was directed by Andrew Dominik (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”).
Sean Penn plays an aging rock star in “This Must Be the Place” (Nov. 2), while Marion Cotillard portrays a disfigured whale trainer in “Rust and Bone” (Nov. 16).
Palm d’Or winner “Amour” (Dec. 19) tells the story of an aging couple whose relationship is tested when one of them begins to suffer from failing health.
Walter Salles directs Kristen Stewart in an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” (Dec. 21).
The much-hyped “Looper” (Sept. 28) tells a time travelling story involving a mob assassin (Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis) who finds his life is in danger.
Liam Neeson once again takes on an international cabal of criminals in “Taken 2” (Oct. 5) and the Wachowski Brothers (“The Matrix”) tackle David Mitchell’s complex science fiction novel “Cloud Atlas” (Oct. 26).
James Bond (Daniel Craig) returns in “Skyfall” (Nov. 9) as do Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) in “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part II” (Nov. 16).
And Peter Jackson knows a shire thing when he sees it, so he returns this fall with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Dec. 14).
A group of high schoolers enter an a capella contest in “Pitch Perfect” (Oct. 5).
Paul Rudd stars in Judd Apatow’s “This is 40” (Dec. 21), a sequel, of sorts, to 2007’s “Knocked Up.”
Seth Rogen hits the road with his mother (Barbra Streisand) in “The Guilt Trip” (Dec. 25).
Things That Go Bump
The “Resident Evil” series gets its latest entry with “Retribution” (Sept. 14).
“VHS” (Oct. 5) is a horror anthology film centering on some stolen videocassettes. Critics at this year’s Sundance Film Festival wrote that this was among the most frightening of recent horror movies.
Ethan Hawke moves into a house with an ominous past in “Sinister” (Oct. 5) and the found footage phenomenon continues in “Paranormal Activity 4” (Oct. 19).
“Silent Hill” gets a sequel – “Revelation” (Oct. 26) – and the werewolves of “Jack and Diane” (Nov. 2) are more likely to feast on that film’s human cast than to suck on a chili dog outside the Tastee Freeze.
Adam Sandler lends his voice to “Hotel Transylvania” (Sept. 28), a Halloween-themed animated film, while Tim Burton remakes his own “Frankenweenie” (Oct. 5).
John C. Reilly voices the character of a misunderstood video game villain in “Wreck It Ralph” (Nov. 2) and “Rise of the Guardians” (Nov. 23) tells the tale of the titular group, who must protect the planet from an evil spirit.
A Thrill a Minute
Jake Gylenhaal and Michael Pena play two LAPD officers who take on a drug cartel in “End of Watch” (Sept. 21), while Tyler Perry takes over for Morgan Freeman as detective “Alex Cross” (Oct. 19).
Russell Crowe stars in “The Man with the Iron Fist” (Nov. 2), a kung fu epic directed by the Wu Tang Clan’s RZA. No, seriously.
The North Koreans take over duties for the Russians in the remake of “Red Dawn” (Nov. 23) and Tom Cruise portrays homicide investigator “Jack Reacher” (Dec. 21) in this adaptation of Lee Child’s novels.
And Everything Else
Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams star in “Trouble with the Curve” (Sept. 21), a baseball drama, while Emma Watson leads the adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s cult novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (Sept. 21).
British director Andrea Arnold (“Fish Tank”) modernizes “Wuthering Heights” (Oct. 5) and playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”) directs Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken in “Seven Psychopaths,” which tells the story of some bumbling criminals who get in too deep after kidnapping a mobster’s beloved Shih Tzu.
Check back every Monday at 10 a.m. for This Week at the Movies. We will feature reviews of many of these films as they are released during the course of the season.