Fall films usually mean the “best” of what Hollywood has to offer. An enormous majority of the Best Picture winners of the last several decades have arrived in the final quarter of the year. 2012 is no different. Yet, there is still plenty of summer-type blockbuster fare out there awaiting an eager audience.
To get you excited for what we like to call summer blockbuster season part two, we present out Top 10 Fun Fall Movies. On Friday, Movie Fanatic presents our Top 10 Fall Movies that will surely battle for Oscar glory including The Hobbit, Argo, The Master and more.
10. Dredd 3D
You may be surprised just how good Dredd 3D is, as we will explain further in our Dredd 3D review going live September 13. Karl Urban is a lifelong fan of the graphic novels and comics and brings an authority to the role that was sorely missing in Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 film. Filmmakers also use 3D in the most brilliant of ways that is sure to send this film into the stratosphere of visual sensory brilliance. Release date: September 21.
9. This Is 40
Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their roles from Knocked Up in this semi-sequel to that film. Director Judd Apatow even has his two children (with wife Mann) reprise their roles as the couples’ children. Judging by the This Is 40 trailer, the same heartfelt humor from the first film is ever-present in the sequel that opens December 21.
8. Seven Psychopaths
An all-star cast (Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell) is featured in a crime thriller that focuses on a group of dog kidnappers who claim to “find” the lost dog to get the reward, shown off in the Seven Psychopaths trailer. But, what happens when the hapless criminals kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu? Harrelson, as the criminal lord, goes completely berserk! Seven Psychopaths lands October 12.
7. Killing Them Softly
Brad Pitt as a hired killer? Sign us up! When three idiots decide to rob a mob-protected poker game, the “family” sends in Pitt’s killer to extol revenge. The flick features a stellar cast led by Pitt, but also with James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Scoot McNairy and Sam Shepard. Look for Killing Them Softly on October 19.
Robert Zemeckis returns to his live action roots (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) after reinventing the motion capture world (Polar Express, A Christmas Carol). Denzel Washington stars as an airline pilot who becomes a hero when he saves a flight from crashing. During the investigation, Washington’s halo gets a little tainted when something shocking arises. Flight is released on November 7.
5. Jack Reacher
As we saw in a highlight reel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this past spring, Tom Cruise kills it in Jack Reacher as a homicide detective who discovers more than he bargains for as he investigates a military sniper who is accused of shooting five innocent people.
The film is based on the wildly successful books by Lee Child and as it is part of a series, look for Cruise to have found his next franchise. Jack Reacher premieres December 21.
Tim Burton returns to his stop motion animated roots for a full-length version of one of the first short films he ever made. Burton was a hired gun for Disney when he made the original Frankenweenie on his own time. It became a watched-on-home-video sensation and now with a big budget and the entire Disney studio behind him, Frankenweenie jumps to the big screen in the story of a boy who refuses to let his canine best friend go quietly into death.
He uses a little Frankenstein science and brings him back to life. If the Frankenweenie TV spot gets you, make sure you mark its release date of October 5 on your calendar.
One of the best films Movie Fanatic saw at TIFF is Looper. Director Rian Johnson has done an incredible job of taking the simplest of concepts and turning it into a full-blown, mind-boggling movie experience. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a Looper, someone who lives in the past who awaits mobsters in the future sending back people who give them problems in order to kill them as soon as they land.
But, what happens one day when Gordon-Levitt’s future self (Bruce Willis) is the man behind the mask? The Looper cast also includes a stellar Emily Blunt. Looper is set to rock audiences September 28.
2. Django Unchained
With Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino hopes to do for Westerns what he did for World War II movies with Inglourious Basterds. As told to us in our Jamie Foxx interview at Comic-Con, Tarantino has in fact, outdone himself on many levels. The story follows a slave turned bounty hunter and his mentor (Christoph Waltz) as they try to rescue his wife from a slave owner in Mississippi. Merry Christmas, indeed: Django Unchained arrives December 25.
What else can be said other than after waiting four years for Daniel Craig to return as James Bond, there can be no more of an anticipated film this fall than Skyfall. Oscar winner Sam Mendes turns a lifelong passion for all things Bond into a dream realized as he takes the helm as director.
Javier Bardem is our Bond baddie and Judi Dench does her last turn as M with a mysterious Ralph Fiennes lurking in the background. The super agent and his Skyfall Bond girls swing back into action November 9.
Honorable mentions: The Man with the Iron Fists, Rise of the Guardians, Alex Cross, Taken 2, Here Comes the Boom, Wreck-It Ralph and Resident Evil: Retribution.