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Fall Movie Preview: 84 movies you need to know about this season

Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Lawrence in a scene

Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Credit: Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."

We’re past the season of summer blockbusters and headed toward fall, when the prestigious award-seeking movies start coming out in droves. From biopics about famous and lesser-known individuals to a new nautical thriller from Tom Hanks and the 3-D release of one of the most beloved movies of all time, there’s quite a bit to see.

Here are 84 movies you need to know about this season:


Vin Diesel returns as Riddick for the third movie in this sci-fi series. Here, he’s fighting a lot of alien creatures. (Sept. 6)

This documentary investigates the life of the reclusive author of “The Catcher in the Rye.” Tons of celebrities, from Edward Norton to John Cusack, provide commentary. And what’s in his vault? (Sept. 6)

‘A Teacher’
An affair between a student and a teacher leads to trouble when the illicit relationship takes a turn for the worse. (Sept. 6)

See what happens when friends (Naomi Watts and Robin Wright) are in love with each other’s sons. From the writer of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Atonement.” (Sept. 6)

‘Hell Baby’
Leslie Bibb and Rob Corddry star in this comedy about an oblivious couple who move into a haunted house and have an evil child (see the film’s title). From the creators of “Reno 911.” (Sept. 6)

‘Out of the Clear Blue Sky’
This documentary looks at Cantor Fitzgerald, the investment company which had the top five floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center and saw more than half of its staff die on 9/11. (Sept. 6)

This French comedy follows a woman who is going for the rank of faster typist. (Sept. 6)

‘Touchy Feely’
Actress Rosemarie DeWitt and director Lynn Shelton reunite for this drama about a massage therapist who suddenly doesn’t want to touch anyone. Also starring Ellen Page and Allison Janney. (Sept. 6)

‘Winnie Mandela’
Jennifer Hudson stars as Winnie Mandela, and Terrence Howard is Nelson, in this biopic about the wife of the South African icon. (Sept. 6)

‘99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film’
This documentary draws from the Occupy Wall Street protest that took over Zuccotti Park and brought together a nationwide movement looking for change. (Sept. 6)

‘Insidious: Chapter 2’
The Lamberts (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) are back in this horror sequel. They’re digging up the past, which you know can’t be good. (Sept. 13)

‘The Family’
Luc Besson (“The Fifth Element”) writes and directs this action comedy about a mafia man and his family who are placed in witness protection in France. Starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron and Tommy Lee Jones. (Sept. 13)

‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’
Billy Bob Thornton returns as a director for the first time in many years for this film about a culture clash between families during the 1960s. Starring Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson and Robert Patrick. (Sept. 13)

‘And While We Were Here’
A writer (Kate Bosworth) vacationing on Italy’s Amalfi Coast fills up her days with an affair with a young gentleman and by working at adapting her grandmother’s stories. (Sept. 13)

‘Blue Caprice’
Isaiah Washington stars in this thriller that finds its inspiration in the deadly Beltway sniper attacks of a decade ago. (Sept. 13)

A 10-year-old Saudi girl sets out to buy a bicycle, which goes against her cultural traditions, in this uplifting film. (Sept. 13)

Hugh Jackman takes the lead in this thriller about a man who goes after the guy he thinks abducted his daughters. Also starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard and Paul Dano. (Sept. 20)

Ron Howard directs this racing flick about Formula One driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), who, after a horrific accident, quickly returned to face off against rival driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). Also starring Olivia Wilde. (Sept. 20)

‘A Single Shot’
When a hunter (Sam Rockwell) accidentally shoots a woman and finds a box of cash near her body, he uses that newfound wealth to hire a lawyer to help in his messy divorce suit. As it turns out, the criminals who were the owners of that money are going to want it back. (Sept. 20)

Based on a story by essayist and “This American Life” and New Yorker regular David Sedaris, this film stars Jonathan Groff (“Glee,” Broadway’s “Spring Awakening”) as a man who moves to Oregon and finds his life changed dramatically as he works at an apple farm. (Sept. 20)

This film looks at the assassination of President John F. Kennedy through the perspective of Dallas’ Parkland Hospital and some of the individuals who were left dealing with the tragic event. Starring Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, James Badge Dale, Jackie Earle Haley, Ron Livingston and Tom Welling. (Sept. 20)

‘Battle of the Year’
It’s another movie in which people compete to be the best dancers. Can they step up? Starring Josh Peck, Josh Holloway and Chris Brown. (Sept. 20)

‘Haute Cuisine’
This foodie biopic focuses on Daniele Delpeuch, the private chef of Francois Mitterrand. (Sept. 20)

‘Thanks for Sharing’
Behold the journey of three people in a 12-step program for sex addiction. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad and Pink. (Sept. 20)

‘The Wizard of Oz IMAX 3D’
Experience the classic film in a whole new dimension when it returns to theaters in IMAX. It’s a great classic rendered on the largest possible scale. (Sept. 20)

‘Enough Said’
Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Eva, a divorced woman looking for a new direction in life, which is helped along by her new friend Marianne (Catherine Keener). She then meets a nice guy (the late James Gandolfini), but he might have a connection to Marianne. (Sept. 20)

‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2’
If you like tons of groan- worthy food puns (such as “There’s a leak in the boat!”), come on back to this animated series, in which the leads Sam and Flint are finding their way back to Swallow Falls. There, they encounter living food monsters, such as a tacocodile supreme, shrimpanzees and a sad tomato. (Sept. 27)

‘Baggage Claim’
Writer-director-playwright David E. Talbert adapts his own novel about a woman (Paula Patton) in search of a man with husband potential. There’s an airplane subplot as well, as per the title of the film. Also starring Djimon Hounsou, Taye Diggs, Derek Luke and Adam Brody. (Sept. 27)

‘As I Lay Dying’
James Franco writes, directs and stars in this adaptation of the 1930 William Faulkner novel about the Bundren family in Mississippi as they bring their mother to her burial spot. Also starring Danny McBride and Tim Blake Nelson. (Sept. 27)

‘Muscle Shoals’
This documentary looks at the Alabama locale that’s played an integral role in the music world. With commentary from Bono, Mick Jagger and other music legends. (Sept. 27)

‘Don Jon’
Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs and stars in this comedy about a nice Jersey guy who meets a nice girl (Scarlett Johansson), but has a hard time giving up his love of porn. Also starring Julianne Moore and Tony Danza. (Sept. 27)

‘Metallica Through the Never’
Here’s the Metallica musical you never expected. During a concert, a young roadie (Dane DeHaan, “Chronicle”) is tasked with finding this truck that has some widget that the band needs. That trip, of course, takes a turn for the post-apocalyptic. (Sept. 27)

Elizabeth Olsen stars in this film about a young woman in 1860s Paris, co-starring Tom Felton of “Harry Potter” fame. (Sept. 27)


Visionary Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”) writes and directs this sci-fi thriller starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock about an accident in space that leaves Bullock’s Dr. Ryan Stone plummeting toward Earth. (Oct. 4)

‘Grace Unplugged’
AJ Michalka is an 18-year-old singer with huge music ambitions that clash with her religious faith. Actual line from the trailer: “I want to blow people away with my music.” Also starring James Denton and Kevin Pollak. (Oct. 4)

‘Narco Cultura’
This documentary looks at drug traffickers who have attained a level of fame for their illicit work. (Oct. 4)

Relive the amazing run from former Knicks star Jeremy Lin, who came out of nowhere to assert himself as a force on the team in 2012. (Oct. 4)

‘AKA Doc Pomus’
Brooklyn-born songwriter Jerome Felder, aka Doc Pomus, who wrote hit songs such as “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “A Teenager in Love,” is the focus of this music documentary. (Oct. 4)

‘Bad Milo’
There’s really no way to get around the concept of this comedy horror flick. Ken Marino plays Duncan, who has a demon living in his intestines that, when someone makes him angry, emerges from his rear end and kills that person. So yes, butt demon. That is a thing now. (Oct 4)

‘Nothing Left to Fear’
A family moves to a small Kansas town and strange things start happening to their children. Demonic things. Starring Anne Heche, James Tupper and Clancy Brown, and featuring original music by Slash. (Oct. 4)

‘Runner Runner’
Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck bring you into the world of online poker. Of course, things are not going to end well, especially when the FBI gets involved. Also starring Gemma Arterton and Anthony Mackie. (Oct. 4)

‘All Is Bright’
Pauls Rudd and Giamatti star as a pair of Canadians who come to Brooklyn to sell Christmas trees. (Oct. 4)

Adam Scott is an Adult Child of Divorce (the title acronym, FYI) who finds out that as a child he was part of a study on children and divorce. Also starring Amy Poehler as Scott’s stepmother, which is really weird given that they’re married on “Parks and Recreation.” (Oct. 4)

Freeskiing and ski-BASE jumping pioneer Shane McConkey, who died while performing a stunt in 2009, is the focus of this documentary. (Oct. 10)

‘Captain Phillips’
Tom Hanks headlines this film, based on the true story of Capt. Richard Phillips, who had his cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. Directed by Paul Greengrass. (Oct. 11)

‘Machete Kills’
Danny Trejo returns as the title character in this grindhouse thriller with an impressive cast: Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga and — billed as “introducing Carlos Estevez” — Charlie Sheen. (Oct. 11)

‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane’
This movie, starring Amber Heard and Anson Mount, and directed by Jonathan Levine (“Warm Bodies,” “The Wackness”), has been on the shelf since 2006! It’s about the title lady, invited to a weekend party where people keep disappearing. (Oct. 11)

‘Romeo and Juliet’
Here’s another telling of the classic tale, this one starring Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth in the title roles, and supporting performances by Stellan Skarsgard, Ed Westwick, Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. (Oct. 11)

Alan Rickman stars as Hilly Kristal in this film about the legendary nightclub. Also starring Malin Akerman and Johnny Galecki. (Oct. 11)

‘Escape From Tomorrow’
This film is about a father, on vacation with his family at an amusement park, learning that he’s lost his job. But the really interesting thing about this surreal black-and-white flick is that it was shot at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., without Disney’s permission. (Oct. 11)

‘Kill Your Darlings’
This indie, a hit at Sundance, stars Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg in 1944 at Columbia University, where the beat poet meets Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster). Also starring Dane DeHaan, Elizabeth Olsen and Michael C. Hall. (Oct. 16)

‘The Fifth Estate’
Bill Condon, the director of both parts of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” helms this film about the always controversial Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the founder of WikiLeaks. OK, in all fairness to Mr. Condon, he has directed quality films like “Kinsey” and “Dreamgirls” as well. (Oct. 18)

Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, who re-crafted “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” writes this new adaptation of Stephen King’s book, now starring Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role and Julianne Moore as mom. There will be blood. (Oct. 18)

‘Escape Plan’
This will always been remembered as the film that paired Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger without the rest of the “Expendables.” Sly plays a guy who can break out of any prison. Until he’s put into a superprison, where he and an inmate (Arnold) work together to escape. (Oct. 18)

‘All Is Lost’
Writer-director J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”) returns with this film about a sailor (Robert Redford) whose yacht has been hit by a shipping container while out at sea. And a big storm is brewing. Lots of Oscar buzz for Redford. (Oct. 18)

’12 Years a Slave’
Set before the Civil War, this film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (“Children of Men”) as Solomon Northup, a freeman living in upstate New York who is taken and sold into slavery. From “Shame” director Steve McQueen and also starring Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano, Alfre Woodard and Paul Giamatti. It’s based on a true story. (Oct. 18)

‘I’m in Love With a Church Girl’
Find out what happens when a guy with a history of drug trafficking meets and falls for a church girl, as the title explains. Starring Ja Rule, Adrienne Bailon, Stephen Baldwin and Michael Madsen (Oct. 18)

‘The Counselor’
Cormac McCarthy (author of the novels “The Road” and “No Country for Old Men”) writes the screenplay of this thriller, directed by Ridley Scott, about a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who dabbles in drug trafficking. Also starring Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem. (Oct. 25)

‘Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa’
The reality stars known for taking a ton of pain in stride turn out a scripted movie about a kid and his grandpa on a cross-country trip. (Oct. 25)

‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’
This French film, about a 15-year-old girl’s coming of age and burgeoning lesbian relationship, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Heads up though: This has an NC-17 rating for explicit sexual content. (Oct. 25)


‘Ender’s Game’
Gavin Hood writes and directs this adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi novel, starring Asa Butterfield as the title character, who is enlisted to help save humanity. The movie also stars Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin. (Nov. 1)

‘About Time’
Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in “Harry Potter”) stars as a man who can travel through time, a power that he uses to perfect his relationship with a woman he’s in love with (Rachel McAdams). Written and directed by Richard Curtis (“Love Actually”) (Nov. 1)

‘Dallas Buyer’s Club’
Based on a true story, Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron Woodroof, a tough-guy Texan in 1985 who learns that he is HIV-positive, leading him on a worldwide quest for medical relief. (Nov. 1)

Naomi Watts portrays the Princess of Wales in this film about her last two years, looking at an affair she had with a Pakistani surgeon (Naveen Andrews). (Nov. 1)

‘Le Week-End’
Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan are a couple who return to Paris, where they had their honeymoon many years ago. While there, they encounter an old friend (Jeff Goldblum). (Nov. 1)

‘Free Birds’
“Horton Hears a Who!” director Jimmy Hayward guides this new animated feature about two turkeys who go back in time to try and change the meal of choice for Thanksgiving. Featuring Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson. (Nov. 1)

‘Last Vegas’
When Archie (Michael Douglas) gets engaged, he and his senior buddies (Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) are off to Vegas for a bachelor party. It’s “The Hangover,” but older. (Nov. 1)

‘Big Sur’
This is the latest Jack Kerouac work to get a cinematic adaptation. Starring Jean-Marc Barr, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Radha Mitchell and Anthony Edwards. (Nov. 1)

‘Thor: The Dark World’
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, and the Avenger will have to save the nine realms from an ancient race. (Nov. 8)

‘Armstrong Lie’
Documentarian Alex Gibney looks at Lance Armstrong, whom he had been filming since 2009. Of course, the film took a big turn when the cyclist fessed up to doping in 2012. (Nov. 8)

‘Best Man Down’
During their destination wedding in Phoenix, Kristin (Jess Weixler) and Scott (Justin Long) have to deal with the death of Scott’s outrageous best man (Tyler Labine). They return home for the funeral, where Scott learns a lot about his pal. (Nov. 8)

‘How I Live Now’
Saoirse Ronan is an American teen who goes to stay with her family members in the U.K. in this thriller set in the near future. When there, she meets a young man whom she becomes quite fond of. Oh, and she has to deal with the outbreak of World War III. (Nov. 8)

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
From Martin Scorsese comes this film, based on a true story, about Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), who was a stockbroker befallen to illicit behavior. Also starring Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau and Kyle Chandler. (Nov. 15)

‘The Best Man Holiday’
When a pair of friends from college meet again after 15 years, they get caught up in all the same issues they had back in the day. Starring Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan and Morris Chestnut. (Nov. 15)

‘The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman’
The title character, played by Shia LaBeouf, faces some problems when he falls for a woman who has been “claimed” by a gangster. (Nov. 15)

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
The sequel to the blockbuster adventure sci-fi flick continues the story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), who are now in the sights of the Capitol after the events of the last Hunger Games. (Nov. 22)

‘Delivery Man’
In a remake of the 2011 French Canadian film “Starbuck,” Vince Vaughn stars as a man who fathered 533 children through donations to fertility clinics. More than 100 of them file suit to discover who their father is. Also starring Cobie Smulders, Britt Robertson and Chris Pratt. (Nov. 22)

Director Alexander Payne (“The Descendants,” “Sideways”) returns with this road-trip drama about a father and his estranged son heading from Montana to Nebraska, where they’re set to get a million-dollar prize. Starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte. (Nov. 22)

The new Walt Disney animated movie follows a woman (voiced by Kristen Bell) who enlists a mountain man (Jonathan Groff) to help her find her villainous sister, who has trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. (Nov. 27)

‘Black Nativity’
Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) adapts the work of Langston Hughes for this musical about a teen in Baltimore heading to New York City to visit his estranged family for the holidays. Starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson. (Nov. 27)

‘Grace of Monaco’
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in this biopic set amid an impending French invasion of Monaco in the 1960s. Tim Roth, Parker Posey, Derek Jacobi and Frank Langella are among the co-stars. (Nov. 27)

Spike Lee adapts this brutal South Korean revenge thriller (which was adapted from a Japanese manga series), with Josh Brolin in the lead as an ad executive held in prison for 20 years who finally gets out and goes after his captors. (Nov. 27)

After moving to a small town, a former DEA agent clashes with a local meth dealer. Starring James Franco and Jason Statham. (Nov. 27)

‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’
Idris Elba (“Pacific Rim”) plays Nelson Mandela in this biopic ranging from his childhood through the presidency of South Africa. (Nov. 29)

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