Fall is perhaps my favorite time of the year: it gets cooler, leaves begin to turn, and the films just get so damned good in preparation for Oscar season. Things are still a little patchy, but films that studios have held onto all year are beginning to see the light of day, from fantastic family dramas to profound and bizarre cinematic experiences.
So, whether you choose to checkout that indie movie you’ve heard so much about or the latest big studio release, don’t forget to click on the movie title below to view the trailer. We want to make sure you know what you are getting into before you head to the theater.
Synopsis: The Identical tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. Drexel Hemsley becomes an iconic 50′s rock ‘n’ roll star, while RYAN WADE (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path – performing the legendary music of Drexel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country.
Two Cents: It’s Footloose, with more musical numbers and less Kevin Bacon.
Synopsis: Finding Fela is a critically apathetic look at the unorthodox Nigerian artist Fela Kuti. Following him from his music career and activism, the film offers a unique portrait that adds to the already huge legacy of the man himself.
Two Cents: Sundance didn’t respond too well to the film, and it seems to be a rather ambiguous and un-stimulating look at a man that needs none. How did they mess this up?
Synopsis: This renowned film supposedly offers a uniquely holistic perspective on the history and use of water. Baichwal and Burtynsky battle with a gaping history of the use of our planet’s most valuable resource, and cover the centuries over which it was taken for granted. Furthermore, they seem to provocatively ask what, as a species, are we going to do to fix the huge issues of water mismanagement and decrease that plague us, given our profound and spiritual connection with the stuff?
Two Cents: Prepare to leave the theatre with a heavy conscience.
|Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in Before I Go To Sleep|
Synopsis: Based on the breath-taking novel of the same name, Before I Go To Sleep follows Christine (Nicole Kidman), a woman suffering from anterograde amnesia after a devastating car crash. She learns of her marriage and her son, yet cannot help but feel like a stranger in the life she once built for herself. She is unable to recall how or why she was in the car, but with the help of her doctor begins a journal of patchy and foggy memories that she must attempt to piece together to find out the truth of not only her accident, but herself.
Two Cents: Buckle up, this one is gonna be good.
|Dolphin Tale 2|
Synopsis: The sequel to Dolphin Tale follows directly on from events at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Whilst Winter’s friends are doing well, she begins to suffer from depression: refusing to play or to eat, the gang call in a doctor who tells them they must find her a friend to live in her tank with her within the month, or they will remove Winter from the aquarium. Panic ensues, and divides are seen amongst the close team of workers who all want the best for Winter – until, however, a baby dolphin is recused off the coast, abandoned by her mother, who may just be the perfect match for Winter. But will they run out of time?
Two Cents: Someone needs to high-five Morgan Freeman’s agent. In the face. With a chair.
|Idris Elba in No Good Deed|
Synopsis: Idris Elba plays an incarcerated man, who successfully executes an escape from his cell. On the run, he approaches the home of a sweet mother, feigning a car accident and his need to use her phone. What ensues is a deeply dark battle between a psychopath and a desperate yet determined young mother, locked in her home and terrorised at the hands of this aloof, gorgeous but dangerous stranger.
Two Cents: It sounds like another B horror flick, but Idris Elba is a phenomenal lead, so they might just be able to pull this one out of the hat.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (Limited)
|James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby|
Synopsis: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby follows a seemingly happily yet complicated married couple, played by James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain from the day they meet to the present. One day, however, she disappears from her husband’s side, and they must both embark on an emotional journey to rediscover what was lost. What is so mesmerising about this film is how is tells the same story from 3 differing perspectives: Them, Her and Him. According to sources, Them is the version set to be released in theatres this September, but both Her and Him have had a solid festival run.
Two Cents: Perhaps the most fully realised pieces of cinema we have yet seen.
The Drop (Limited)
|Tom Hardy in The Drop|
Synopsis: Tom Hardy stars as Bob, a barman who finds himself at the centre of an investigation for a robbery gone wrong, and must confront the past of his family and friends who demand his loyalty no matter what the cost. His employer Marv (James Gandolfini) runs a bar in which large amounts of dirty money is exchanged hands all night long, and after a the place is robbed, Bob must figure out who to trust.
Two Cents: Lots of secrecy and postponed releases with this film, but with a final performance with the late Gandolfini, it will definitely be worth a see.
Synopsis: Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) begin their honeymoon in their secluded cabin in a bid to gain privacy and maximise the romance between the two. However, once there, things begin to get quite strange: starting with a range of confessions from the bride to her husband about her family to finding her nude in the forest rambling in the middle of the night. But this is just the beginning: once back in the cabin, Paul begins to wonder if he should worry not only about his marriage, but also his life as strangers surround the cabin and his wife grow ever the more distant, and he under covers evidence of a dangerous creature living near and watching him.
Two Cents: Rose Leslie is mesmerising in the trailer. Enough said.
Synopsis: The Petersen family are a simple, suburban family when they are struck by the tragedy of losing their son Caleb in Afghanistan. In the aftermath of his death, David, an unexpected visitor knocks on the door, recently discharged from the army and promising to fulfil the promise to their son. Initially wary, the two siblings of the family are eventually won over by David’s charm and good looks. However, a series of unfortunate events lead the sister, Anna, to suspect that David might just be there for another reason, and that he is not who he says he is at all.
Two Cents: Mediocre at best.
|The Maze Runner|
Synopsis: Dylan O’Brien stars as Thomas, who wakes up in the middle of a mechanical maze with a group of teenage boys. He is unable to recall anything pertaining to how he got there. By day, the boys act in an orderly fashion and complete communal tasks, living in supposed harmony, but come nightfall, the huge doors to the maze close shut, and only the screams of what lives over the wall are heard. Many of the boys travel through the maze during the day when it is safe in a bid to map out the maze and perhaps find a way out, but must always return by dusk. Thomas, it seems, may be their only hope of finally discovering what the maze is all about, and with the arrival of the last addition and only girl, played by Kaya Scodelario, they realise time may be running out once and for all.
Two Cents: It appears that the studios will stop kicking the dead horse of teen dystopian films when it stops spitting out money…
|The ensemble cast of This is Where I Leave You|
Synopsis: Based on the book of the same name, the film focuses on the four grown Altman siblings (Stoll, Bateman, Fey and Driver) who must sit Shiva for a week following the death of their father. The family is unrelenting and poisonous as accusations fly and the past does not remain so for long, as old feuds see the light and familiar faces reek havoc on the fragile familiar balance.
Two Cents: You had me at Jane Fonda.
|Justin Long in Tusk|
Synopsis: Justin Long stars as Wallace Bryton, a popular podcaster who mysteriously disappears rafter interviewing a bizarre seafarer (Michael Parks). His best friend (Haley Joel Osment) and girlfriend Allison must embark on a terrifying journey to recover him in the Manitoban wilderness with the help of an ex-cop (Johnny Depp). However, it seems that his capture has a particularly gruesome transformation in store for Wallace, who may not be in one piece when they find him.
Two Cents: The promotional pictures say it all.
|Liam Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones|
Stars: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens
Two Cents: Despite fears that this may basically be Taken 3, it looks quite riveting.
|Simon Pegg in Hector and The Search For Happiness|
Synopsis: Hector, a successful psychiatrist, offers priceless advice to his depressed and gloomy patients, who look to him for many of life’s answers. It is not long, however, before Hector begins to feel like a fake: he feels bored and tired of his life, and does not feel he is in any place to be giving advice on what true happiness is. Without his girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) he embarks on a journey that he hopes may literally change his life for the better. But Hector might be avoiding certain truths rather than chasing after them, and must forced himself to reflect on what really makes him happy.
Two Cents: With anyone else I would have said the film would end up cloying and suffocatingly sentimental, but Simon Pegg is perhaps the most sincere actor around, so this might be lovely.
The Skeleton Twins (Limited)
|The Skeleton Twins|
Synopsis: Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play twins Maggie and Milo, who are reunited after many years avoiding each other. Milo is a failing actor whose gay relationships with closeted men (Ty Burrell) wreck his self-esteem, and Maggie is secretly avoiding having to tell her husband (Luke Wilson) that she just isn’t ready to have kids. Their reunion could not be better timed, but instead of helping one another, they attack and belittle the other with no restraint. They must find a way back, or they risk irreparable consequences to their relationship with each other and those around them.
Two Cents: Films like these are only dreamt of.
Synopsis: Mia Wasikowska plays Robyn Davidson, the real-life woman who travelled 2,700km from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean across deserts with her dog, Diggity, and four camels. Adam Driver plays the photographer assigned to document her amazing journey, and they forge a strong relationship in their days of solitude.
Two Cents: Awesome. Just awesome.
The Zero Theorem (Limited)
|Christoph Waltz in The Zero Theorem|
Synopsis: Hired by a company named Mancom, Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) must use his eccentric personality and programming skills to build a computer that determines if life has any meaning. Management (Matt Damon) determines he is sane enough to work from home, quite to Qohen’s dismay, and he is given access to vast amounts of information that only worsen his existential crisis. With the help of his psychiatrist (Tilda Swinton) and female companion, Qohen must overcome his nightmares, his angst, and his fear to solve ‘The Zero Theorem’, and give humanity the answer its been looking for all these years: what does it all mean?
Two Cents: Utterly exquisite and beyond bizarre.
Synopsis: In a small, unnamed town a secret community of trolls live underground, emerging only at night to make use of the waste the town generates. Many years ago, an abandoned young boy named Eggs was adopted by the trolls, and has grown up in their warmth and love. However, the people above the town are having increasing interactions with the trolls, and hire exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) to solve them of their dastardly ‘problem’. Little do they know how peaceful the trolls are, and it is up to Eggs, and his newly found female companion (Elle Fanning) to protect the trolls at any cost.
Two Cents: This looks fantastic – a really charming animated film.
|Chloe Grace Moretz and Denzel Washington in The Equalizer|
Synopsis: Denzel Washington plays a man with a corrupt and dangerous past in The Equalizer. He uses his very specific set of skills to enforce justice where it has been overlooked, whilst leading a perfectly normal and unassuming life as a handyman: he is conflicted between his anger for the unjust and his desire to lead a normal life. However, when he finds a young prostitute (Chloe Grace Moretz)and a former acquaintance badly beaten at the hands of her pimp, he begins a journey of revenge from which he can never return, incurring the wrath of the Russian mob in his path.
Two Cents: Generic and mediocre to the bone – nothing we haven’t seen before.
Good People (Limited)
|Kate Hudson, James Franco and Tom Wilkinson in Good People|
Synopsis: James Franco and Kate Hudson star as a married couple struggling with their steep dept payments, that is, until they find a stash of money hidden in the wall as they discover their neighbor dead. Naturally they use the money to get themselves out of their sticky situation, only to be violently pursued by the thief to whom the money belongs.
Two Cents: Tom Wilkinson is always a sure thing, but no-one can really look at James Franco without laughing now.
|Viggo Mortensen in The Two Faces of January|
Synopsis: A wealthy and secretive couple, Colette and Chester (Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen) arrive in Greece on a romantic holiday, and are targeted by a con artist, Rydal. (Oscar Issac). Little does Rydal know that Chester is one himself, of far more skill and experience, and Rydal’s interest in the couple is piqued. When a private investigator follows Chester to the island on behalf of his victims, he is murdered, and Rydal and Chester embark on a necessary friendship to dispose of the body. However, as Colette grows closer to Rydal and Chester’s suspicions grow, their plans of escape are continuously compromised, and so begins a cat and mouse game for the ages.
Two Cents: This film promises great actors, a captivating and unusual story and a beautiful backdrop – what more could you want!