Though there are just a few precious months left in what has been a mostly humdrum year for movies, the upcoming fall movie season promises to be one of the best in recent memory. From a slew of comedy and action sequels–Dumb and Dumber To, Horrible Bosses 2, Hunger Games: Mockingjay, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For–to what should be some serious Oscar contenders–Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood–the second half of 2014 will offer up something for everyone. Here are the 5 films I am most looking forward to:
Honorable Mention: Exodus: Gods and Kings – Ridley Scott, December 12
The second biblical epic of 2014 boasts an outstanding cast, including Christian Bale, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, and Sigourney Weaver, and is directed by the masterful Ridley Scott. Though I do not expect much more than an action-packed, CGI-driven visual spectacle, it should nonetheless be an interesting watch.
5. Foxcatcher – Bennett Miller, November 14
Steve Carell dons a prosthetic nose and fake teeth to portray John Eleuthere du Pont, a schizophrenic millionaire and wrestling coach in Bennett Miller’s upcoming biopic. The movie debuted at Cannes, where it was extremely well received. While much of the focus has been on Carell’s performance (which could very well earn him his first Academy Award nomination), I am curious to see how Channing Tatum, who plays du Pont’s star wrestling pupil, Mark Schultz, holds up in perhaps his most serious role to date.
4. Gone Girl – David Fincher, October 3
It is great to see David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) back at it after his somewhat disappointing adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Mysteries are what he does best (i.e. Zodiac and Se7en) and it appears as if Gone Girl will be a return to form. Starring Ben Affleck and an unusual supporting cast that includes Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry among others and a score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Gone Girl will undoubtedly keep you on the edge of your seat.
3. Birdman – Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarittu, October 17
While David Fincher’s Gone Girl will be a return to form, Alejandro G. Iñarritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, seems to be a significant departure from what he has done in the past. Based on the trailer (and Zach Galifianakis in a supporting role) the film seems to be more comedic in tone as opposed to the dark, gloominess of his Death Trilogy (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel). However, don’t be surprised if this tale of a washed up, down on his luck actor trying to recapture his former glory ends up being much more sordid than the pre-release hype might let on.
2. Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson, December 12
In my mind, P.T. Anderson is the best director still making movies. He follows up 2012’s fantastic The Master with Inherent Vice, adapted from Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as “Doc” Sportello, a P.I. in Los Angeles. Joaquin Phoenix was incredible as the protagonist in The Master and hopefully his second collaboration with Anderson is just as great. As is typical with a P.T. Anderson film, there is a large and very impressive supporting cast, including Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, and Reese Witherspoon. Though no trailer has been released yet, keep an eye out for one in the next month or two.
1. Interstellar – Christopher Nolan, November 7
Boy, oh, boy. A new Christopher Nolan film starring Matthew McConaughey? Count me in. As a subscriber to the recent Matthew McConaughey mania that has swept the country after his roles in Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective, I could not be more excited for the collaboration between the hottest actor in Hollywood and one of the most creative and inspired directors of the last decade. Though still shrouded in secrecy despite the release of a trailer earlier this summer, the space epic should provide the thrills and general cinematic bravado typical of a Christopher Nolan film.
Check out the trailers for all the movies I listed below: