After a summer movie season that featured blockbuster movies like The Dark Knight Rises, Men in Black 3, The Bourne Legacy, and the Amazing Spider-Man, we now move to the fall/winter releases and start to see the release of serious Oscar contenders. Here are our picks of flicks not to miss, including a brief description and their anticipated release dates. Get the popcorn ready!
The Master is a drama set in the 1950’s that centers on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as ‘The Master’, (Philip Seymour Hoffman), whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) who becomes his right hand man. The film was written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson and has an all star cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Laura Dern.
The Perks of Being a WallFlower Adapted from the best selling novel of the same name, tells the story of a high school freshman and how his life changes when he meets two eccentric seniors. The movie was written and directed by Stephen Chbosky and stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd and Dylan McDermott.
End of Watch Two young L.A. cops are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious drug cartel during a routine traffic stop. The movie was directed by David Ayer and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez and America Ferrera.
Trouble With the Curve An aging baseball scout named Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) is given one last assignment to prove his worth to the organization. Against his wishes, his boss and friend Pete (John Goodman), asks Gus’s daughter Mickey (Adams) to join him on the trip to make sure he’s ok. Together they scout a top prospect. While baseball is the backdrop, this movie focuses on the relationships between the characters. The movie was directed by Robert Lorenz and stars Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard and John Goodman. With a strong cast this is definitely one to watch.
House at the End of the Street In this horror film a mother and daughter move to a new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving son, she learns the story is far from over. The movie was directed by Mark Tonderai and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot and Elisabeth Shue.
Hotel Transylvania is an animated comedy film. Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) the owner of the Hotel Transylvania, invites some of the world’s most famous monsters to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez). When an unexpected ordinary young traveler named Jonathan (voiced by Andy Samberg) shows up, Dracula must act quickly to ensure that his daughter doesn’t fall in love with him. The film was directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and features the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon and David Spade.
Looper In this sci-fi time travel thriller, a 25-year-old assassin named Joseph Simmons (Gordon-Levitt) is given an assignment to kill someone. When Simmons recognizes his target as a future version of himself (Bruce Willis) his older self escapes. His failure to complete the assassination causes his employers to come after him, forcing him to fight for his life as he continues to hunt for his older self. The film was directed by Rian Johnson and features an all star cast including Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo and Jeff Daniels.
Won’t Back Down, Two determined mothers, one a teacher, look to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children. Based on a true story the movie was directed by Daniel Barnz and stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez and Ving Rhames.
Frankenweenie is an animated comedy film. A young boy conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. The movie was directed by Tim Burton and features the voices of Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Catherine O’Hara and Christoper Lee.
Sinister a crime novelist (Ethan Hawke) purchases a new home .After moving in he discovers a box of old home movies that depict previous families who lived in the house, as well as their murders. As Ellison looks further into the mystery behind the tapes, he discovers that the murders all have ties to a supernatural entity known only as “Bagul”. This supernatural horror film was directed by Scott Derrickson and stars Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, James Ransone, Clare Foley, Fred Thompson.
Taken 2 In this sequel to the 2008 hit film, Taken, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Nesson) and his wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter. The film was directed by Olivier Megaton and stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Framke Janssen.
Seven Psychopaths in this dark comedy Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, “Seven Psychopaths”. Billy (Sam Rockwell) is Marty’s best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. Hans (Christopher Walken) is Billy’s partner in crime: a religious man with a violent past. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) is the gangster whose beloved dog Billy and Hans have just stolen. Sounds crazy and it is. The movie was written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film stars Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko, and Gabourey Sidibe.
Argo is an American political drama film co-produced and directed by Ben Affleck. The movie is based on Tony Mendez’s account of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film has gotten a lot of early ‘Oscar buzz’, and stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman.
Alex Cross When a detective is told that a member of his family has been murdered. He vows to track down the killer. The movie was directed by Rob Cohen and stars Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, and Rachel Nichols.
Killing Them Softly Adapted from George V. Higgins’ novel and set in New Orleans the story follows professional enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game. The movie is directed by Andrew Dominik and stars Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Sam Shepard and Richard Jenkins.
Chasing Mavericks is based on the life of surfer Jay Moriarity. It chronicles his quest to surf Northern California’s most dangerous waves, and Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler), the local legend who takes him under his wing in order to train him to survive. In the course of Moriarty’s training, the two surfers form a unique friendship. The movie was directed by Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted and stars Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer and Leven Rambin.
Cloud Atlas Adapted from the 2004 novel by the same name by David Mitchell, details the story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present, and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution. The movie was written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski and stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon.
Flight Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as time goes by, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault, and what really happened on that plane? The movie was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly and Don Cheadle
The Man With the Iron Fists is a martial arts film set in 19th century China, the story follows the Blacksmith (RZA) who is forced to create elaborate weapons for a small village. When a traitor threatens to destroy the village, he is forced to join both warriors and assassins to protect his community. The movie was directed by RZA and stars Russell Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu, Byron Mann, RZA, Rick Yune, David Bautista, and Jamie Chung.
Wreck-It Ralph is an animated comedy film about a video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives. The movie was directed by Rich Moore and features voices by John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Ed O’Neill, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch.
Skyfall is the 23rd film in the James Bond series. In this installment an operation in Istanbul ends in disaster, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is missing and presumed to be dead and the identities of every active undercover MI6 agent are leaked onto the internet. As a result, M (Judi Dench) becomes the subject of a government review over her handling of the situation. The movie was directed by Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney.
Lincoln A revealing drama that focuses on the 16th president’s tumultuous final months of his presidency. With a nation divided by war, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With moral courage and fierce determination his choices during this critical time change the fate of generations to come. The movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Anna Karenina Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. The movie was directed by Joe Wright and stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi. This is the 5th and final movie in popularTwilight Saga series. The movie was directed by Bill Condon and stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Maggie Grace, Nikki Reed, and Dakota Fanning.
Rise of the Guardians is an animated adventure film. When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world. The movie was directed by Peter Ramsey and features the voices of Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Jude Law and Isla Fisher.
The Silver Linings Playbook After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife (Jacki Weaver). Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own. The movie was directed by David O’Russell and stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Julia Stiles, and Chris Tucker.
Hyde Park on Hudson The story of the love affair between FDR (Bill Murray) and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney), centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King (Samuel West) and Queen (Olivia Colman) of England visited upstate New York. The movie was directed by Roger Michell and stars Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams.
Playing for Keeps A former professional athlete with a weak past tries to redeem himself by coaching his son’s soccer team, only to find himself unable to resist when in scoring position with his players’ restless and gorgeous moms. The movie was directed by Gabriele Muccino and stars Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Dennis Quaid.
Deadfall Siblings Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run with stolen loot from a casino job gone horribly wrong. The movie was directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and stars Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Sissy Spacek, Kris Kristofferson and Charlie Hunnam.
Les Miserables Based on the musical of the same name, which is in turn based on an 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo. The film tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette (Amanda Syfried), the illegitimate daughter of Fantine (Anne Hathaway), and must avoid being captured again by Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe), a police inspector. The film is directed by Tom Hooper and stars an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and Aaron Tveit.
The Hobbit an Unexpected Journey is the first of three movies in the trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novel of the same name. In the first installment, a curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the Dragon Smaug. The movie was directed by Peter Jackson and stars Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Richard Armitage.
This is Forty is a spinoff from Judd Apatow’s 2007 hit film, Knocked Up and looks at the lives of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) a few years after the events of Knocked Up. The movie was directed by Judd Apatow and stars Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Fox, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow and Ryan Lee.
Not Fade Away Set in suburban New Jersey during the 1960s. Not Fade Away is a coming of age story that follows the lives of Douglas, Wells and Ronny, members of a young rock n’ roll band trying to make it. The movie was directed by David Chase and stars Will Brill, John Magaro, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, James Gandolfini and Lisa Lampanelli.
Hunter Killer an untested American submarine captain teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general. The movie was directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Gerard Butler and Sam Worthington.
Jack Reacher a city is thrown into chaos following a shooting that leaves five dead. What at first seems like a simple case to solve becomes complicated when the accused requests that Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) be put on the case. The movie was directed by Christopher McQuarrie and stars Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Robert Duvall, David Oyelowo, and Michael Raymond-James.
The Impossible the account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. The movie was directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and stars Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Geraldine Chaplin and Tom Holland.
Parental Guidance Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star as a married couple who attempt to reunite their son with his ex-girlfriend after meeting his hellish new mate in this romantic comedy. The movie was directed by Andy Fickman and stars Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott.
Django Unchained is set in the deep south and follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a freed slave who treks across America with Dr. King Schultz (Christopher Waltz), a German dentist turned bounty hunter. With the help of his mentor, the slave-turned-bounty hunter, sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). The movie was directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Jamie Foxx, Don Johnson Christopher Waltz, James Remar and Leonardo DiCaprio.
See you at the movies!