The coming of the fall movie season should be exciting to moviegoers for one very huge reason: on Nov. 16, we get Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II. Do you know what this means? No more Twilight! After Thanksgiving, it’s all over!
Of course, the next four months also offer a variety of crowd pleasers, sequels that are eagerly awaited (as well as the ones nobody asked for) and the expected mix of holiday event movies and Oscar candidates. Here’s 10 of the most promising.
Written and Directed by P.T. Anderson, this drama about a religious cult stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams.
Why It Could Rock: It looks amazing, Phoenix appears to be making a huge acting comeback and, whether the filmmakers deny it or not, it definitely looks like Hoffman is playing Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Unless: The anti-religion angle winds up turning off audiences. Anderson’s brilliant but strange There Will Be Blood divided audiences and this one looks even more polarizing.
Opens Sept. 14.
Tim Burton remakes his 1984 live action short film into a stop motion animated comedy.
Why It Could Rock: This is Burton in his element and the story was ghoulish, charming and touching the first time.
Unless: His fans still haven’t forgiven him for Dark Shadows.
Opens Oct. 5.
Liam Neeson returns to take on more bad guys who mess with his family.
Why It Could Rock: The director, Olivier Megaton, helmed the adrenaline-rush guilty pleasure Colombiana last year and Neeson is everyone’s favorite and most unlikely new action star.
Unless: It feels like Death Wish 2, Transporter 2 or any other action series that gets old and redundant really fast.
Opens Oct. 5.
A multi-generational Sci-Fi Action Drama from the Wachowski Siblings, stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.
Why It Could Rock: It’s R-rated, three hours long, impossible to describe in one sentence, costs $100 million dollars and is overloaded with staggering imagery. They don’t make movies like this anymore.
Unless: It’s so crazy and overly serious, it becomes a national punch line after opening weekend.
Opens Oct. 26.
Drama about an inspirational pilot, starring Denzel Washington and directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Why It Could Rock: This is the first live-action movie Zemeckis has made since Cast Away and his filmography includes Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Washington needs no introduction.
Unless: The story, about an emergency aircraft landing by a skilled but intoxicated pilot, may not connect with audiences.
Opens Nov. 2.
The return of 007, starring Daniel Craig as…
Why It Could Rock: Bond… James Bond.
Unless: The disappointment of Quantum of Solace continues and Casino Royale proves unbeatable.
Opens. Nov. 9.
Peter Jackson’s return to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Why It Could Rock: The team that made this special the first time is back and the book is wonderful.
Unless: Reports that this two-parter is now a three-part trilogy (with the last film opening in 2014) undermines what a special event this is and comes across like Spaceballs 2: The Search For More Money.
Opens. Dec. 19
Tom Cruise in an action thriller based on the Lee Childs series of novels.
Why It Could Rock: The director, Christopher McQuarrie, wrote The Usual Suspects and Cruise is back in the neck-snapping, no-nonsense action mode of Collateral.
Unless: Audiences fail to see the difference between Jack Reacher or Ethan Hunt and are let down that this isn’t on the massive scale of a Mission: Impossible sequel.
Opens Dec. 21.
The long awaited film version of the Broadway musical, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathway.
Why It Could Rock: Jackman and Hathaway have the acting and singing abilities to pull off the demanding lead roles (the jury is still out on Crowe, in his non-Aussie bar band singing debut). The story packs a punch and there are no other movie musicals on the docket.
Unless: The heaviness of the story makes it a turnoff during the Christmas season. It will have to be brilliant to prove the failure of musical Rock of Ages was just a fluke. It’s opening against The Hobbit.
Opens Dec. 25.
Quentin Tarantino’s new action/drama, starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Why It Could Rock: American history, QT-style, with a superb cast and a novel mix of blaxploitation drama with a runaway slave angle. This could finally give Foxx the comeback he’s been longing for.
Unless: Sending up Hitler is one thing but taking liberties with the dark period of slave ownership in America’s south is a touchy subject matter, even for Tarantino. Plus, with the sure-to-be-record number of uses of racial slurs, this is likely to be on the year’s most controversial.
Opens Dec. 25.