1. I’m Still Here
Casey Affleck directed this absolutely true documentary (wink, wink) about Joaquin Phoenix trading acting for rap music. It’s “a portrait of an artist at a crossroads,” says Magnolia Pictures. We say it’s a crock, but possibly a fun one. Sept. 10.
2. Never Let Me Go
Three children growing up in a cloistered English boarding school, only to discover they are clones raised for organ replacement. Carey Mulligan and a deglamorized Keira Knightley star in the Mark Romanek–directed film, based on the Kazuo Ishiguro novel. Sept. 15.
3. The Town
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Rebecca Hall (Please Give), and Jon Hamm give already buzzed-about performances in Ben Affleck’s second directorial effort, a heist pic set, once again, in working-class Boston. Sept. 17.
4. Jack Goes Boating
Philip Seymour Hoffman directs himself as a dreadlocked limo driver whose friends (theater vets John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega) set him up on a heartbreakingly awkward date with a damaged sweetheart (Amy Ryan). Based on Bob Glaudini’s play. Sept. 17.
The breakout documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman follow Schulman’s 24-year-old brother Nev as he strikes up a disturbing Facebook relationship. Sept. 17.
6. Enter the Void
Auteur-provocateur Gaspar Noé (Irreversible) creates a Technicolor dream riot in which a dead junkie wanders the sex-drenched streets of Tokyo. The must-see foreign film of the fall. Sept. 17.
7. The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg plays the Harvard kid who may (or may not) have ripped off the idea for a company loosely based on Facebook. Written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by David Fincher, and co-starring Justin Timberlake and Hollywood’s next Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield. Start your updates now. Oct. 1.
8. Nowhere Boy
The film covers the troubled relations between the soon-to-be Beatle John Lennon (Kick-Ass’s Aaron Johnson), the mother who abandoned him, and the aunt who raised him (Kristin Scott Thomas). But the juicier story may be offscreen: Director Sam Taylor-Wood, 43, just gave birth to a daughter with Johnson, 20. Oct. 8.
9. It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar) direct a comic Cuckoo’s Nest about a depressive teen (Keir Gilchrist) stuck in an asylum with an odd young woman (Emma Roberts) and a mental-home vet (Zach Galifianakis). Oct. 8.
The true story of a high-school dropout (Hilary Swank) who’ll do anything to prove the innocence of her bad-news brother, played by the always-worth-seeing Sam Rockwell. Think of it as Erin Brockovich meets The Shawshank Redemption. Oct. 15.