The best movies to see this month

These films are topping our must list this month

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Gone Girl

  • Rated as: 5/5

Transformed into the kind of wickedly confident Hollywood thriller you pray to see once in a decade, Gillian Flynn's absorbing missing-wife novel emerges—via a faithful script by the author herself—as the stealthiest comedy since American Psycho. It's a hypnotically perverse film, one that redeems your faith in studio smarts (but not, alas, in local law enforcement, tabloid crime reporting or, indeed, marriage).

  1. Opens October 3

Men, Women & Children

An ensemble-acted shriek on the topic of Internet and social-media overconsumption, this Texas-set drama is adapted from a worrymaking novel by Chad Kultgen.

  1. Opens in limited release October 3

The Judge

The sort of film that shouts where it could whisper and stomps where it could tiptoe—and not always disagreeably—The Judge pitches a slick prodigal son, Hank (Robert Downey Jr.), a self-obsessed city-slicker and lawyer, against his aging, cantankerous father, Joseph (Robert Duvall), a blinkered provincial judge still ruling over cases.

  1. Opens October 10

Whiplash

You already know J.K. Simmons's ferocious jazz teacher in the electrifying Whiplash if you've seen things like Full Metal Jacket, Battle Royale and—just to be safe—the grizzly bear in Grizzly Bear. Clad fully in black, biceps bulging, Simmons's Fletcher exudes downtown attitude. He rules the top department of an elite NYC music program with a clenched fist, instantly squeezing off the wayward bleat of a saxophone. Part of the joy of watching dramas like this must be a masochistic thrill in seeing young pukes suffer.

  1. Opens in limited release October 10

St. Vincent

Bill Murray stars as a misanthropic war vet who becomes an unlikely friend to a boy recovering from his parents' divorce.

  1. Opens in limited release October 10

Kill the Messenger

Based on the trut story of journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) who exposed the CIA's involvement with the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

  1. Opens in limited release October 10

One Chance

Tenor Paul Potts (James Corden) becomes a singing sensation after appearing on the TV show Britain's Got Talent in 2007.

  1. Opens in limited release October 10

Fury

Training Day scribe turned filmmaker David Ayer directs megastar Brad Pitt, alongside some other people who aren’t Brad Pitt, but wish they were (one of whom is Shia Labeouf). Four years after he single-handedly smashed the Nazi high command in Inglourious Basterds, our Bradley is being called back to the front. This time he’s playing a Sherman tank commander called (yes!) Wardaddy, who leads his hard-bitten crew on a death-or-glory mission in the dying days of WW2. We haven’t been too sold on Ayer’s directorial work so far—Street Kings and End of Watch—but this has got old-school meaty treat written all over it.

  1. Opens October 17

The Book of Life

A young man journeys through three worlds where he must face his darkest fears.

  1. Opens October 17

Birdman

"Most of the successful people in Hollywood are failures as human beings." So said Marlon Brando. But what happens when their 15 minutes are up? It’s not like failure suddenly transforms former megacelebs into humble human beings who can pick up their own coffee from Starbucks. That's Michael Keaton’s problem in this savagely funny, strangely sweet, sad and utterly brilliant New York-set comedy from Mexican writer-director Alejandro González Iñárritu, better known for his gloomy, state-of-the world dramas Babel and 21 Grams.

  1. Opens in limited release October 17

Dear White People

A biracial student (Tessa Thompson) tries to shake up race relations at her Ivy-League college by forcing her traditionally black residence hall to diversify.

  1. Opens in limited release October 17


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