PITCH PERFECT – When the Mayans predicted the end of the world, they foresaw this a cappella-themed comedy. The one bright spot? It’s helmed by Jason Moore, the director of Avenue Q. (10/5)
TAKEN 2 – Liam Neeson (still) has a very particular set of skills. Skills that (still) make him a nightmare for nameless Eastern European thugs. He will (still) find them, and he will (still) kill them. (10/5)
V/H/S – A found-footage omnibus that opened to surprising reviews at Sundance, will this six-headed beast of a horror movie be enough to topple Paranormal Activity as the reigning king of scary movies? (10/5)
THE PAPERBOY – The Paperboy is a pulpy, sensational crime drama with all the flair that won director Lee Daniels accolades for Precious, but who cares about that? Nicole Kidman pees on that twink from High School Musical! (10/5)
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS – What happens when Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell and Tom Waits make a movie about dog snatchers with In Bruges director Martin McDonagh? I haven’t the faintest idea, but it sounds incredible. (10/12)
ARGO – Based on the true story of how the CIA smuggled American hostages out of Iran in 1979 under the guise of a fake film shoot, Argo looks like awards-season catnip – and it’s the latest chapter in Ben Affleck’s quiet transformation into a decent director. Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman co-star. (10/12)
ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART II – Even Paul Ryan wouldn’t see this likely abomination. (10/12)
KILLING THEM SOFTLY – After a pair of dopey amateur crooks robs a mob-protected poker game in New Orleans, a professional enforcer (Brad Pitt) is sent to track them down. The last time director Andrew Dominik collaborated with Pitt, the result was The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. This time around, the Dominik-Pitt pairing looks to be a little sharper, a lot funnier and mercifully faster paced. (10/19)
3, 2, 1… FRANKIE GO BOOM – This is easily the worst film title of 2012. I’m not even sure what it’s about – the trailer isn’t much help – but the god-awful name deserves attention. Are we sure it isn’t just the catchphrase for a new CBS sitcom? (10/19)
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 – All of this has happened before, and as long as this movie cracks $100 million all of this will happen again. Stay tuned for Paranormal Activity 5 next year. (10/19)
ALEX CROSS – What’s the odder casting decision: Tyler Perry as a crime-fighting super cop, or Matthew Fox as a sadistic mass murderer? I’d have to see this dull adaptation of a James Patterson series to find out, so I guess I’ll never know. (10/19)
CLOUD ATLAS – When book snobs talk about a novel being “unfilmable,” they’re almost definitely talking about David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. If the Wachowskis can keep Mitchell’s many plates spinning – and mimic the poignant intimacy that made his novel so brilliant – this will be their masterpiece. (10/26)
ROOM 237 – Heeeeere’s Stanley! This documentary, presented in nine segments, spellbindingly dissects the themes and motifs of The Shining. Interpreting one of the most baffling horror movies ever made is no small feat – theories about Kubrick’s intent range from allegories about the Holocaust to proof that the moon landing was faked – but whatever the reading, Room 237 will stick with fans forever. And ever, and ever…. (10/26)
THE SESSIONS – Nobody ever won an Oscar for being subtle, so here comes John Hawkes playing a polio-afflicted man in an iron lung who hires a “sex surrogate” (Helen Hunt) to lose his virginity. An infirm man paying to get laid — such a fitting analogy for this bald-faced award bait. (10/26)
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