30 movies to see this fall

Say hello to a much cooler film season—here are 30 picks to set your cinema-lovin’ heart ablaze this fall



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Film Forum’s “Tennessee Williams”

One of theater’s greatest dramatists also had a healthy career in movies, filled with adaptations of his stage work (The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire) and hot-and-heavy original screenplays like the astonishing Southern melodrama Baby Doll (pictured). Head on over to Film Forum to witness Williams’s prime brand of Southern gothic. (Sept 26–Oct 6)


The Two Faces of January

Thank you, fall, for reminding us what our brains are for (those things we usually check at the multiplex door during summer). Based on a twisty mystery by author Patricia Highsmith, this Greece-set thriller stars Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and, stepping out of Inside Llewyn Daviss gloom, Oscar Isaac. (Sept 26)



Last summer’s The Conjuring was the most shocking of things: a truly scary horror movie, one that owed its thrills to real meat-and-potatoes craft, not CGI. Nothing is known about this inevitable origin tale about the creepy doll, and Conjuring director James Wan is only producing this time. Still, we’ve got nightmarish hopes. (Oct 3)


Gone Girl

Anticipation is at a fever pitch for David Fincher’s gloomy-looking adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling mystery, starring Rosamund Pike as a chipper, well-to-do wife who suddenly disappears and Ben Affleck as the aloof spouse who might be responsible. Fincher is an expert with suspense (return to Zodiac, people), and this project seems perfect for him. (Oct 3)


Left Behind

Time to fire up the Cage rage: Why do we always get hopeful when we hear that Nicolas Cage is starring in a cheesy thriller? Adding to our glee: This one takes place after millions of everyday people vanish in the Rapture, leaving our pilot hero to wail in solace—and presumably uncork some killer monologues. (Oct 3)


The Judge

The opening-night selection of the Toronto International Film Festival sounds like a showcase for powerhouse acting just this side of awards solicitation. Robert Downey Jr. plays a hot-shot attorney called back home after his father, a revered small-town judge (Robert Duvall), is accused of murder. (Oct 10)


Kill the Messenger

What would you do if you discovered that the CIA was responsible for arming the Nicaraguan Contras and importing tons of crack cocaine? San Francisco journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) followed this true story to its bitter end. A potential Oscar magnet, the dramatization looks to be a primo fix for all viewers tired of fake superheroics. (Oct 10)



Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) steps up considerably in the role of an intense drumming student who shuts out the world. Yet the film’s ace is J.K. Simmons as a jazz instructor whose unsympathetic ferocity takes your breath away. The movie will have you talking about perfectionism for days, mainly because it feels close to perfect itself. (Oct 10)



In ’80s movies like Night Shift, Beetlejuice and the original Batman, Michael Keaton embodied the spirit of a generation—then he disappeared. Now he’s back, in an ideal rebound comedy directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel) about a moody ex-celeb who mounts a tell-all on Broadway. Adding to our anticipation: Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is rumored to have constructed the film into what appears to be a single shot. (Oct 17)

Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) gets his new orders from Lieutenant Parker (Xavier Samuel) in Columbia Pictures' FURY.


Back to the front, Pitt! After sparkling up the screen in Inglourious Basterds, one half of Brangelina plays a tank officer sent on a dangerous mission behind enemy WWII lines. It’s a much more somber-sounding affair than Quentin would ever dare, and we’re ready to see Pitt stretch after 12 Years a Slave. (Oct 17)

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