With the summer movie season now completely out of the way, it’s time to set our gazes on the horizon. Let’s look ahead to see what’s opening between now and the end of October.
While the first third of the year before summer is usually slim pickings for moviegoers (although there were some very fun movies that opened in early 2014), the final third of the year after summer is where we find it hard to balance life and movies because so many entertaining, important and acclaimed films vie for our time and money.
‘The BoxTrolls’ (Sept. 26)
The folks behind ‘Coraline‘ and ‘ParaNorman‘ have their stuff together. The artistic quality of their stop-motion animation is insanely high, and the types of stories they’re telling have some intense elements. Yet with that darkness is also a lot of playfulness and huge heart. While ‘The BoxTrolls’ doesn’t seem to be as dark as ‘Coraline’ or ‘ParaNorman’, it certainly appears to have a great big beating heart that just might get your rusty ticker ticking.
‘The Equalizer’ (Sept. 26)
Director Antoine Fuqua has the potential to make great movies, but he also has the potential to bomb. The studio ripped ‘American Gangster‘ out from under him just before shooting because he refused to lower its highly inflated budget. He’s given us great movies, but he’s also given us awful ones. The only reason this Denzel Washington vehicle made my list is because I know several people who’ve already seen it and called it “badass.”
‘Gone Girl’ (Oct. 3)
David Fincher returns to the big screen with Ben Affleck leading ‘Gone Girl’, the story of a husband whose wife is murdered and everyone around suspects him as the killer. When all clues point to him, he must try to prove his innocence while the investigation closes in. The whole time, you, the audience member, don’t know if he actually did it or not (unless you read the book). From Fincher, expect greatness.
‘Book of Life’ (Oct. 17)
This animated flick produced by Guillermo del Toro has a creepy flare with a Dia de Los Muertos visual style. Don’t know what that is? Watch the trailer. The movie looks disturbing and gorgeous at the same time. The voice cast includes Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Pearlman (of course), Danny Trejo and many more.
‘Men, Women & Children’ (Oct. 17)
Overrated director Jason Reitmen returns after such flops as ‘Labor Day‘ and ‘Young Adult‘ with a heavy-hitting ensemble piece that looks so manipulative and clichéd that you’d think it was written by Paul Haggis. The large cast features Adam Sandler, Judy Greer, Jennifer Garner, Emma Thompson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Dean Norris and J.K Simmons as people who don’t really know one another because of the secrets they’re allowed to keep through the use of personal technology.
‘Fury’ (Oct. 17)
David Ayer (‘End of Watch‘, ‘Sabotage‘) directs Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs and Michael Peña in a World War II drama. The intense-looking film follows a group of soldiers trying to make their way to safety through Germany in a tank.
‘Birdman’ (Oct. 17)
After stellar festival reports, ‘Birdman’ sounds like the wildest and most creative art house film in years. A washed-up actor (Michael Keaton) known mainly for playing a superhero in his prime takes a role on Broadway in order to reclaim his career. ‘Birdman’ is to crazy actors as ‘Black Swan’ was to crazy ballerinas.
‘Laggies’ (Oct. 24)
Keira Knightley stars in this Sundance coming-of-age comedy as a twenty-something who’s looking for her place in life. In order to move ahead, she steps back into the ease of her teenage life by hanging out with a high school girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). Sam Rockwell co-stars in this very promising indie flick.
‘Nightcrawler’ (Oct. 31)
Jake Gyllenhaal leads the cast of this disturbing crime drama. With a video camera and a sidekick to hold it, he sets off to find gruesome late night accidents and crimes before the police can respond – all for the sake of a thrilling job.
‘Horns’ (Oct. 31)
Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, slaps on an American accent to play a guy whose life is ripped apart by the murder of his girlfriend. Although considered suspect number one, without viable evidence, he walks free, but is judged by everyone around him. That’s when he grows horns. Crazy, right? Being the only real horror movie opening this Halloween (who wants to see ‘Saw’ re-released?), I’ll take it.
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