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Fall for film

By Barbara Vancheri

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

POSTED:


As far as Hollywood is concerned, summer is in the rearview mirror. Fall movie season has arrived and will stretch into November when it gives way to holiday films including "Into the Woods" from director Rob Marshall.

As always, dates are subject to change, some titles will vanish and others will appear by Thanksgiving.

SEPT. 12

"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby"

Much like a marriage brings two people together, writer-director Ned Benson combined his films "Him" and "Her" into a single story about a once happily married couple played by James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain.

"Dolphin Tale 2"

The story of the dolphin with the prosthetic tail, a symbol of perseverance in the 2011 original movie, continues. But when her surrogate dolphin mother dies, she must bond with a new companion or be moved from her aquarium home. Hawaii surfer Bethany Hamilton joins the returning cast.

"The Drop"

Crime drama following a lonely bartender (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. James Gandolfini, in his final performance, is his employer and cousin.

"No Good Deed"

A suburban Atlanta wife and mother learns no good deed goes unpunished when she offers to help a stranger claiming car trouble. Turns out he's a dangerous escaped convict in this thriller with Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba.

"The Skeleton Twins"

When estranged twins, played by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, feel they're at the end of their ropes, an unexpected reunion forces them to confront why their lives went so wrong.

SEPT. 19

"The Maze Runner"

Movie based on James Dashner's best-selling novel about a boy named Thomas, a place called the Glade, a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. and something locked away in his memories that might be the key to solving the mysteries of the Maze.

"Pride"

Gay and lesbian activists come together to support striking mine workers in 1984 England in this film inspired by a true story and starring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and others.

"This Is Where I Leave You"

When their father dies, four adult siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live together for a week. Joining them are spouses, exes and might-have-beens in this dramedy with an ensemble led by Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman and Tina Fey.

"Tracks"

Story of Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), a young woman who leaves her city life to make a solo trek through almost 2,000 miles of sprawling Australian desert.

"Tusk"

Kevin Smith is the mastermind of this horror movie being called "a truly transformative tale" about a podcaster who meets an adventurer (Michael Parks) in the backwoods of Canada who wants to turn him into a walrus.

"A Walk Among the Tombstones"

Lawrence Block's best-selling crime thriller comes alive with Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an NYPD cop turned unlicensed private investigator. He races to find the deviants who kidnapped and murdered the wife of a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens, "Downton Abbey") before they strike again.

"The Zero Theorem"

Terry Gilliam directs Christoph Waltz as a reclusive computer genius living in a burned out church and working on a project about discovering the meaning of life, or lack, once and for all.

SEPT. 26

"The Boxtrolls"

A human boy, lovingly raised by quirky creatures beneath the streets of Cheesebridge, ventures above ground and teams up with a feisty girl to keep the Boxtrolls safe from a villain in a family movie from the creators of "Coraline" and "ParaNorman."

"The Equalizer"

An ex-CIA agent (Denzel Washington) uses his lethal skills to protect an endangered young woman (Chloe Grace Moretz) from the Russian mob, in a hard-edged adaptation of the cult '80s TV show from director Antoine Fuqua.

OCT. 3

"Gone Girl"

Book a girls' night out. Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck star in a thriller based on Gillian Flynn's novel about a woman who goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary and the husband who becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance and possible murder.

"The Good Lie"

Reese Witherspoon and Sudanese actors, all of whom have direct, personal ties to the war in their country, bring the story of the lost boys of Sudan to the screen.

OCT. 10

"Addicted"

Sharon Leal plays a wife, mother, businesswoman and sex addict in this erotic thriller based on the novel by the author known simply as Zane.

"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"

Judith Viorst's 1972 children's book inspired this family film starring Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and, as the boy who wakes up with gum in his hair and watches the day go downhill, Ed Oxenbould.

"The Judge"

Robert Downey Jr. is a big-city lawyer who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, a judge (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

"Kill the Messenger"

Jeremy Renner portrays Gary Webb, a real-life investigative reporter driven to suicide in 2004 after writing a series linking the CIA to the explosion of crack cocaine in Los Angeles and watching others try to discredit his work.

OCT. 17

"The Best of Me"

Two sets of actors, including James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, star in a romantic drama, based on Nicholas Sparks' novel, about high school sweethearts reunited after 20 years.

"Birdman"

Critics are rediscovering the genius of Michael Keaton with this black comedy-fantasy. He plays an actor, famous for portraying an iconic superhero, who struggles to mount a Broadway play while battling his ego and attempting to recover his family, career and himself.

"The Book of Life"

Animated fantasy-adventure about a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest to rescue his one true love and defend his village. With the voices of Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Hector Elizondo, Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum.

"Dracula Untold"

Luke Evans stars in an origin story for Dracula alongside Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Diarmaid Murtagh and Samantha Barks.

"Dear White People"

In a satire of race relations, writer-director Justin Simien follows a group of African-American students as they navigate life at a largely white college.

"Fury"

Brad Pitt is a battle-hardened Army sergeant who commands a Sherman tank and five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines as the Allies make their final push in the European theater.

"Men, Women & Children"

Jason Reitman directs this story of teens and their parents as they attempt to navigate the ways the Internet has changed their relationships, communication, self-image and love lives. With Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris and Adam Sandler.

OCT. 24

"John Wick"

Keanu Reeves is a retired hit man forced back into the game after thugs steal his car and kill his dog in this action thriller.

"Laggies"

A marriage proposal to an overeducated, underemployed 28-year-old woman sends her into a panic and the home of a new teenage friend in this coming-of-age comedy starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloe Grace Moretz.

"Ouija"

After a young woman dies, her friends try to contact her through a Ouija board and freaky, frightening stuff happens.

"St. Vincent"

Bill Murray is a retired curmudgeon who becomes the caretaker for a new Brooklyn neighbor, a 12-year-old boy, and drags him to a race track, strip club and local dive bar. Melissa McCarthy is the child's mother and Naomi Watts a pregnant stripper.

OCT. 31

"Before I Go to Sleep"

Thriller, based on the S.J. Watson novel, about a woman who survived a traumatic accident but wakes up every day with no memory. New truths make her question everything and everyone, including her doctor and her husband. Nicole Kidman, Mark Strong and Colin Firth star.

"Nightcrawler"

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a driven man who joins freelance camera crews who film marketable mayhem for TV news.

NOV. 7

"A Merry Friggin' Christmas"

A posthumous release from Robin Williams. Williams plays Joel McHale's estranged father trying to make up for lost time. The film also stars Lauren Graham and Candice Bergen.

"Big Hero 6"

Inspired by Marvel comics of the same name, a boy with a plus-size inflatable robot transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes in an animated comedy-adventure.

"The Homesman"

Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars alongside Hilary Swank in a Western based on the Glendon Swarthout novel about madness and heroism on the Great Plains in the 1850s.

"Interstellar"

Christopher Nolan directs Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine in the tale of explorers who use a newly discovered wormhole to conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

"Rosewater"

Jon Stewart makes his screenwriting and directing debut with a movie version of the memoir "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity and Survival" by BBC journalist Maziar Bahari. Gael Garcia Bernal leads an international cast.

"The Theory of Everything"

Eddie Redmayne portrays British scientist Stephen Hawking opposite Felicity Jones as his first wife, Jane. Together, they face the challenges of ALS.

NOV. 14

"Beyond the Lights"

A rising young musician (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) falls into a passionate affair with the cop (Nate Parker) assigned to protect her in a romance originally titled "Blackbird" from writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Love & Basketball").

"Dumb and Dumber To"

Twenty years after Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels transformed themselves into the moronic Lloyd and Harry, they're back and on a road trip to find the daughter Harry never knew he had.

"Foxcatcher"

This eagerly anticipated movie is about the real-life DuPont chemical fortune heir who went to prison for killing an Olympic gold medalist and wrestler. It stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.

NOV. 21

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"

Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage in this sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore and Josh Hutcherson.

"The Imitation Game"

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code but later was prosecuted by the UK government for homosexual acts the country deemed illegal.

NOV. 26

"Horrible Bosses 2"

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis decide to launch their own business but when an investor pulls the rug out from them, they hatch a scheme to kidnap his adult son. Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine join the mix.

"Penguins of Madagascar"

Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice of Agent Classified and John Malkovich speaks for a villain in this 3-D animated comedy in which the birds get into the global espionage business.






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