The Season in Movies

Photo: François Duhamel/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight (12 Years a Slave); Michael Gibson/Courtesy of Sony Pictures (Carrie); DanielMcFadden/Courtesy of Relativity Media (Don Jon); Frank Connor/Courtesy of Dreamworks (The Fifth Estate); Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures (Frozen); Murray Close (The Hunger Games); Jasin Boland/Courtesy of Sony Pictures (Captain Phillips); Courtesy of Relativity Media (Romeo and Juliet); Keith Bernstein/Courtesy of the Weinstein Company (Mandela); Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics (Kill Your Darlings)

9/6: Adore
Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as moms charting unexplored sexual waters with each other’s sons, based on a novel by Doris Lessing.

Hell Baby
The feature-length directing debut of Reno! 911’s Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant: Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb move into a haunted New Orleans house and need a crack team of exorcists to save them from birthing the devil’s offspring.

It’s been nine years since director David Twohy and Vin Diesel’s 2004 sci-fi adventure The Chronicles of Riddick, a follow-up to their 2000 hit Pitch Black. Now, Diesel is back as the Furyan outlaw and murderer, yet again stranded on a distant planet.

A documentary about the reclusive writer’s life and his influence, featuring interviews with various luminaries (Edward Norton, John Cusack, E. L. Doctorow).

Touchy Feely
A masseuse (Rosemarie DeWitt) suddenly becomes terrified of physical contact, while her dentist brother (Josh Pais) discovers he has a healing hand.

Winnie Mandela
The first of this year’s two Nelson Mandela biopics, this one focuses on the life of the South African leader’s infamous wife. Here, Jennifer Hudson is cast as Winnie; Terence Howard plays Nelson.

9/13: Blue Caprice
A hit at Sundance, this drama is based on the Beltway-sniper murders and stars Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond as the gunmen.

The Family
Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones in a slapstick comedy about a crime family entering a witness-protection program and relocating … to France.

Insidious Chapter 2
Director James Wan, who recently scored a huge horror hit with The Conjuring, revisits his 2010 haunted-house chiller, about a family that has the ability to travel among the spirit world.

Jayne Mansfield’s Car
Billy Bob Thornton directs and stars in a movie about an Alabama man (Thornton), abandoned by his wife for many years, who has to make peace with her British family after her death.

A Saudi Arabian girl tries to buy a bike, against considerable resistance, in this first feature film shot entirely in that country (and directed by a woman, no less).

9/20: A Single Shot
A hunter (Sam Rockwell) uncovers some loot after accidentally shooting somebody. Nothing good comes of it, in this West Virginia backwoods thriller.

Enough Said
In writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s latest comedy, divorced masseuse Julia Louis-Dreyfus falls for James Gandolfini (in his final role)—the ex-husband of her client (Catherine Keener).

I Spit on Your Grave 2
A sequel to the controversial 2010 rape-revenge horror flick, which was a remake of an even more controversial 1978 rape-revenge horror flick.

Hugh Jackman kidnaps the man he thinks is responsible for his daughter’s disappearance. A delightfully creepy Paul Dano and his equally creepy Winnebago also star.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 3-D
The second of George Lucas’s Star Wars prequels to get the 3-D treatment.

Thanks for Sharing
Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, and Josh Gad star in this comedy about three friends who meet during a 12-step program for sex addicts.

The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience
For those who felt the original Wizard of Oz needed to look more like Oz the Great and Powerful.

9/27: As I Lay Dying
Writer-director-star-student-of-the-world James Franco does William Faulkner, in this adaptation of the novel about a family trying to respect their mother’s last wishes. Danny McBride, somewhat surprisingly, co-stars as Vernon Tull.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
The sure-to-be-huge sequel to 2009’s animated blockbuster. Voice talents include Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and James Caan.

Don Jon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed, and stars in this acid comedy about a man trying to balance his love for his girlfriend (played by Scarlett Johansson) and his addiction to Internet porn.

In this adaptation of Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin, Elizabeth Olsen (the youngest one) plays an unfulfilled working-class woman who falls for her husband’s friend.

10/4: Runner Runner
Justin Timberlake’s acting career continues apace—this time he’s a willing pupil drawn into the alluring criminal world of gambling tycoon Ben Affleck.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 3-D
It will never end.

10/11: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
This disturbing, twisty-turny teen slasher movie starring a suddenly famous Amber Heard was made way back in 2006, but is only now getting its U.S. domestic release.

Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks returns to the big screen after what feels like a really long time (deliberately ignoring Cloud Atlas) in this true story of the American captain whose ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete
Two young friends—an African-American boy and an Asian-American boy— have to get by on their own when one boy’s mother, a prostitute, is taken away.

Machete Kills
A somewhat randomly cast sequel (Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen) to Robert Rodriguez’s gory, faux-grind-house hit starring Danny Trejo as an indestructible Mexican hero.

A multi-character drama set at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on the day John F. Kennedy was shot.

Romeo and Juliet
Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth get star-crossed, and Julian Fellowes (the beloved creator of Downton Abbey) tries to de- Luhrmann-ize this classic.

10/12: Gambit
The Coen brothers wrote this remake of a 1966 Michael Caine–Shirley MacLaine movie, about backstabbing and revenge in the art world. It stars Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz.

10/18: Carrie
Stephen King’s first novel, originally (and perhaps definitively) adapted by Brian De Palma in 1976, now features Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role and Julianne Moore as her overbearing mother.

Escape Plan
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger try to break out of a futuristic maximum-security prison. Despite Arnold’s cameos in The Expendables, this is the first time these two action behemoths have headlined a movie together.

Kill Your Darlings
Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, and Ben Foster star in this murder mystery involving Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs in their youth.

Repressed, conservative Julianne Hough questions her worldview after a plane crash, in Diablo Cody’s directorial debut.

Twelve Years a Slave
Shame and Hunger director Steve McQueen’s drama takes a decidedly more serious tone than the slave narrative of 2012’s Django Unchained. This one is about a free man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from New York who is sold into slavery.

10/25: The Counselor
Cormac McCarthy wrote this Ridley Scott–directed legal thriller in which a respected lawyer’s (Michael Fassbender) brief foray into the world of drug trafficking lands him in a lot more trouble than he expected. Factoid: This is Fassbender’s second movie with Brad Pitt this year, after Twelve Years a Slave.

‘Jackass’ Presents Bad Grandpa
Johnny Knoxville pretends to be a geriatric ne’er-do-well for a variety of unwitting bystanders in this Jackass spinoff, which mixes stunt-driven antics with a loosely written plot.

11/1: About Time
A young man with the ability to time-travel uses his powers to meet the ideal woman (Rachel McAdams, in her second time-travel-related movie) and attempts to construct a perfect life with her through a series of Groundhog Day–like rewinds.

Ender’s Game
A young, shy gaming whiz becomes Earth’s best hope when he’s recruited to lead the battle against alien invaders.

Free Birds
An animated film about two turkeys (voiced by Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson) who travel back in time to keep people from eating turkeys at Thanksgiving.

Last Vegas
Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline are four old friends at a bachelor party in what looks to be a cross between Wild Hogs and The Hangover.

11/8: Best Man Down
A young couple’s wedding is ruined when their best man dies and they have to go to Minneapolis for his funeral.

Thor: The Dark World
The mighty Avenger, a.k.a. erstwhile Norse god of thunder, a.k.a. male Goldilocks returns.

11/15: The Best Man Holiday
Not to be confused with Best Man Down, this sequel to 1999’s The Best Man reunites the original cast (including Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terence Howard, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan) nearly fifteen years later as they come together for the holidays.

The Book Thief
A film adaptation of the YA mega-best-seller about a foster girl in Nazi Germany, her love of books, and her friendship with a Jewish refugee.

11/22: Delivery Man
Vince Vaughn, sperm-bank donor, discovers he’s the biological father to hundreds of children.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
In the second installment of the trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is forced to return to the arena, and Jennifer Lawrence is forced to see this franchise through.

11/27: Black Nativity
Director Kasi Lemmons adapts Langston Hughes’s iconic musical retelling of the Nativity tale with an all-black cast.

A new Disney animated epic about a young girl, voiced by Kristen Bell, and her friends, who go on a quest to free their kingdom from eternal winter.

James Franco is the gang leader holding a small town hostage, and Jason Statham is the retired DEA agent who will presumably kill him in exceedingly gruesome fashion.

Grace of Monaco
Is it possible that Nicole Kidman hasn’t played royalty until now? Well, she gets her chance here, in this story about Princess Grace Kelly and her marriage to Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth).

Josh Brolin stars as the man looking to find out why he was mysteriously held captive for twenty years, in Spike Lee’s remake of Korean director Park Chan-wook’s insane 2003 revenge thriller.

11/29: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
The second, and much more ambitious, Mandela biopic of the season, with Idris Elba as the African leader and Naomie Harris as his wife, Winnie.

The Season in Movies