The summer movie season is officially over.
But even though fall movies might not feature as many superheroes or alien invasions as the blockbusters audiences have spent hours and hours devouring over the past four months, there are still plenty of reasons for people to go to the theaters.
Here are some films to keep in mind (listed in order of release) before the holiday movie season gets into full swing in mid-November.
“The Words” (PG-13) — Bradley Cooper (“The A-Team”) stars as Rory Jansen, a struggling writer who catches his big break when he discovers a manuscript of unknown authorship and publishes it as his own. Things get hairy, though, after a man (Jeremy Irons) shows up claiming to be the true author.
Film enthusiasts looking for the kind of brainy drama mostly absent during the last four months might appreciate “The Words,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (PG) — Thirty-one years after Harrison Ford first donned the fedora as archaeologist Indiana Jones, Steven Spielberg’s classic adventure film is still among the best the genre has to offer. For one week, audiences will have the opportunity to see one of the most iconic characters of all time in glorious IMAX.
“Finding Nemo 3-D” (G) — Pixar’s 2003 feature about fish returns to the big screen — this time in 3-D. With so few films aimed at children being released these days, audiences could definitely do worse than re-watching this gorgeously animated fish tale on the big screen.
“Searching for Sugar Man” (PG-13) — A documentary about the biggest ‘70s rock icon who never was, “Searching for Sugar Man” is easily among the best films to have premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Music lovers, movie fans and anyone who enjoys an amazing story should not miss the chance to see this film during its run in limited release.
“Trouble with the Curve” (PG-13) — The great Clint Eastwood stars as an aging baseball scout who, along with his daughter (Amy Adams), goes on one last recruiting trip.
Any time an actor like the 82-year-old Eastwood, who had previously stated that 2008’s “Gran Torino” would be his last performance, steps out of retirement, it’s probably worth taking note.
“Hotel Transylvania” (PG) — A hotel run by Dracula as a getaway for his monster friends is visited by an uninvited guest.
With a voice cast that includes the likes of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Kevin James, “Hotel Transylvania” is a star-studded affair. But the real draw might be its director, Cartoon Network veteran Genndy Tartakovsky, who created a string of hit shows like “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Samurai Jack.”
“Frankenweenie” (PG) — Director Tim Burton (“Corpse Bride”) returns to the world of stop-motion with a remake of his own 1984 short film.
Although Burton’s recent output has been pretty hit-and-miss, “Frankenweenie” looks like it could have everything it needs to become another Halloween classic like Burton's “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993).
“Taken 2” (PG-13) — Liam Neeson returns to the role that made him an action star in this sequel to 2008’s “Taken.” This time around, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Neeson) is taken hostage with his wife (Famke Jansen). Now his daughter (Maggie Grace) has to help them escape.
“Flight” (Not yet rated) — Director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”) makes a welcome return to live-action films with this offering about a commercial airline pilot (Denzel Washington) who miraculously lands a damaged plane only to have his personal life scrutinized by the media.
“Wreck-It Ralph” (Not yet rated) — After 2010’s “Tangled,” Disney Animation is shaking things up a bit with its upcoming release, “Wreck-It Ralph.” Set in the world of a frustrated eight-bit, video-game villain named Ralph, the movie focuses on his game-hopping quest to become a hero.
Older audience members will appreciate cameos by a who’s-who of classic game characters.
“Skyfall” (Not yet rated) — The details of Daniel Craig’s third outing as 007 are being kept under wraps, but for fans of the spy franchise, the choice of Sam Mendes (“Road to Perdition”) as director seems inspired.
With any luck, this could be one of the best Bond films in the series’ 50-year history. Like previous Bond movies, however, expect quite a bit in the way of violence and sexual content.
A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.