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Gazette Premium Content Your fall movie guide

by RENE RODRIGUEZ Miami Herald - Published: September 5, 2013

Just as summer movie burnout settles in, along come the films of fall to give us something to talk about other than special effects and action setpieces and how on Earth can Batman possibly fight Superman.

Sure, there will still be plenty of would-be blockbusters, including another Thor movie and the second installment in the "Hunger Games" franchise. But there are also new movies from Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips"), Ridley Scott ("The Counselor"), Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska"), Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"), along with several adaptations of popular novels and celebrated smaller pictures that have earned praise on the festival circuit.

Here is a list of some of the 50-plus movies coming our way between now and Thanksgiving. (Check local listings to confirm dates.)

Just as summer movie burnout settles in, along come the films of fall to give us something to talk about other than special effects and action setpieces and how on Earth can Batman possibly fight Superman.

Sure, there will still be plenty of would-be blockbusters, including another Thor movie and the second installment in the "Hunger Games" franchise. But there are also new movies from Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips"), Ridley Scott ("The Counselor"), Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska"), Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"), along with several adaptations of popular novels and celebrated smaller pictures that have earned praise on the festival circuit.

Here is a list of some of the 50-plus movies coming our way between now and Thanksgiving. (Check local listings to confirm dates.)

SEPT. 6

"Riddick" - Vin Diesel returns at the mysterious and deadly Riddick in this third outing for the franchise. This time (every time?) he finds himself on a dead planet with alien predators as foe.

SEPT. 13

"The Family" - What if "The Sopranos" had ended with Tony turning informant and joining the witness protection program? Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer are a married couple with kids hiding out in France from the mobsters they ratted out. Tommy Lee Jones is the CIA agent trying to keep them safe. But old habits die hard. Directed by Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element," "The Professional"), who nicely balances dark humor with grave action.

"Insidious Chapter 2" - Director James Wan ("The Conjuring") and screenwriter Leigh Whannell ("Saw") reunite for more old-school, PG-13-rated frights in this sequel to their 2010 hit recounting the further adventures of a family (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) haunted by a persistent demon.

"Salinger" - Screenwriter Shane Salerno ("Savages") makes his directorial debut with this documentary exploring the life of the famously secretive author J. D. Salinger.

SEPT. 20

"Battle of the Year 3D" - So you think you can dance? Josh Peck plays a basketball coach recruited by an American team to help them win the annual dance crew world championship held in France.

"C.O.G." - This adaptation of David Sedaris' essay stars Jonathan ("Glee") Groff as an arrogant East Coast intellectual who moves to Oregon and becomes an apple picker.

"Prisoners" - The Oscar buzz has begun for director Denis ("Incendies") Villeneuve's thriller about the increasingly desperate father (Hugh Jackman) of an abducted girl and the detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) scrambling to find her.

SEPT. 27

"Baggage Claim" - Intent on getting engaged before her younger sister's wedding, a flight attendant (Paula Patton) gives herself a month to find her perfect man. Djimon Hounsou, Adam Brody, Taye Diggs and Derek Luke are among the eligible bachelors.

"Blue Caprice" - Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond star as the deranged team who embarked on the Beltway sniper attacks that left 10 people dead in October 2002.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" - Bill Hader returns as the voice of the hapless inventor who came up with a machine that made food rain down from the sky. Now he must figure out how to deal with the voracious animals that mutated as a result of 24/7 chow.

"Don Jon" - Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed and stars in this comedy about a promiscuous online-porn addict who falls for an innocent woman (Scarlett Johansson) weaned on happily-ever-after Hollywood romances and fairy tales.

"Enough Said" - Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars for writer-director Nicole Holofcener ("Please Give," "Walking and Talking") as a divorced single mom who realizes the man (the late James Gandolfini) she has started to fall for is the ex-husband of her new best friend (Catherine Keener).

"Rush" - Ron Howard directs this no-nonsense, R-rated look at the legendary rivalry between Grand Prix drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) during the 1970s, on and off the race track.

OCT. 4

"Gravity" - The early word on director Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi thriller about two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) sent floating through space after an accident, tethered only to each other, is that the movie is good enough to stand alongside "2001: A Space Odyssey."

"Runner Runner" - A broke grad student (Justin Timberlake) travels to Costa Rica to confront the online gambling tycoon (Ben Affleck) who may have conned him out of his money.

OCT. 11

"All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" - Seven years after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, this slasher flick finally gets a release. Amber Heard stars as one of the teenagers who start getting picked off one by one during a party at a remote farm.

"Captain Phillips" - Paul "Shakycam" Greengrass ("The Bourne Ultimatum," "Green Zone") directs this fact-based thriller about the 2009 hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates. Tom Hanks stars as the captain trying to keep his cool under great duress.

"Escape from Tomorrow" - Writer-director Randy Moore's already-legendary thriller, shot on location at Walt Disney World without permission, follows a husband and father (Roy Abramson) who learns he has been fired during the final day of a family vacation at the Magic Kingdom.

"Machete Kills" - Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas and Sofia Vergara join the self-conscious B-movie fun in the second installment of writer-director Robert Rodriguez's campy action series about a machete-wielding Mexican government agent (Danny Trejo).

"Romeo & Juliet" - Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit") and Douglas Booth play the star-crossed lovers in screenwriter Julian ("Downton Abbey") Fellowes' adaptation of one of Shakespeare's most obscure, least-filmed plays. (Psych.)

OCT. 18

"12 Years a Slave" - "Shame" director Steve McQueen returns with another artful provocation, this one based on the true story of a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from upstate New York in the pre-Civil War era who was abducted and sold into slavery. Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti and Brad Pitt co-star.

"Carrie" - Chloe Grace Moretz takes over for Sissy Spacek as the bullied teen with telekinetic powers. Director Kimberly Pierce ("Boys Don't Cry") reportedly consulted with Brian De Palma, who made the 1976 original "Carrie," before shooting began. Julianne Moore co-stars as Carrie's fanatically religious mother.

"Escape Plan" - Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzegger co-star for the first time (no, "The Expendables" movies don't count) as convicts who attempt a daring prison break. Directed by Mikael Hafstrom ("1408," "Evil").

"The Fifth Estate" - Having finally put the "Twilight" saga to rest, director Bill Condon ("Kinsey," "Showgirls") gets back to real movies with this drama about the price WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his partner Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Bruhl) paid after they starting posting classified documents online.

OCT. 25

"The Counselor" - Revered novelist Cormac McCarthy ("No Country for Old Men," "The Road," "Blood Meridian") makes his screenwriting debut with this thriller about a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who dabbles in the drug trade and quickly finds out you can't just dabble in the drug trade. Ridley Scott directs the fall's most formidable cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Bruno Ganz and Dean Norris.

NOV. 1

"Ender's Game" - Filmmaker Gavin Hood ("Tsotsi," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine") adapts Orson Scott Card's popular sci-fi novel about an unusually gifted boy (Asa Butterfield) drafted into military school by two officers (Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford) who are helping defend Earth against an alien invasion.

"Last Vegas" - Four lifelong 60-something friends (Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. You know, like "The Hangover" but with the cast of "Cocoon."

"Man of Tai Chi" - Keanu Reeves makes his directorial debut with this chopsocky adventure about a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who joins an underground fight club.

NOV. 8

"Dallas Buyers Club" - Even though the film hasn't yet been screened, Matthew McConaughey is already expected to land a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as the cowboy Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 and given 30 days to live, then resorted to tracking down alternative - and illegal - medical treatments from around the world.

"Thor: The Dark World" - Alan Taylor, who directed some of the most memorable episodes of "Game of Thrones," "Mad Men," "The Sopranos" and "Deadwood," makes his feature film debut with this second movie about the adventures of the hammer-wielding God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth). Natalie Portman, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins all return. So does the dastardly Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

NOV. 15

"The Best Man Holiday" - Old flames, ancient rivalries and buried hatchets all rise to the surface when a group of friends (including Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Regina Hall and Morris Chestnut) reunites over the Christmas holiday for the first time in 15 years in this sequel to 1999's "The Best Man."

"The Wolf of Wall Street" - Leonardo DiCaprio teams up with director Martin Scorsese for the fifth time (after "Gangs of New York," "The Aviator," "The Departed" and "Shutter Island") for this adaptation of Jordan Belfort's memoir about his meteoric rise and inevitable fall as a corrupt stockbroker. Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin and Spike Jonze co-star.

NOV. 22

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" - After winning the 74th Hunger Games competition, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) go on a victory tour that inadvertently sparks a rebellion. Director Francis Lawrence ("I Am Legend," "Constantine") takes over from Gary Ross.

"Nebraska" - Director Alexander Payne ("The Descendants," "Election," "Sideways") gets out of his comfort zone by collaborating with a new screenwriter (Bob Nelson) and using black-and-white film to tell the story of a cranky old drunk (Bruce Dern) who goes on a road trip with his reluctant son (Will Forte) from Billings to Lincoln to claim a million-dollar magazine sweepstakes prize.

NOV. 27

"Frozen" - In Disney's 53rd animated film, Anna (Kristen Bell) teams up with a mountain man (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer to find the Snow Queen, who is also Anna's sister, and end the eternal winter.

T.D. MOBLEY-MARTINEZ OF THE GAZETTE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS STORY.

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