Metro Weekly

Film: Fall Arts Preview 2014

50 new movies still coming to theaters in 2014

OCTOBER

Gone Girl — David Fincher. His name alone will be enough to convince many people to see Gone Girl, adapted from Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. Ben Affleck stars as Nick, a man suspected of killing his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) after she disappears. It also features Neil Patrick Harris in a role far removed from his usually comedic self as Amy’s ex-boyfriend and Tyler Perry as Nick’s attorney. The story will differ from the novel, so even fans of the book will have something new to enjoy in what’s sure to be a pretty satisfying thriller. (10/3)

The Judge — Robert Downey Jr. puts down the iron suit and picks up his acting chops as he goes toe-to-toe with Robert Duvall, as a son forced to defend his estranged father against a murder charge. A great cast, including Billy Bob Thornton and Vera Farmiga, round out a film that looks heavy on the Oscar-baiting and riddled with emotional clichés, but should prove enjoyable nonetheless. (10/10)

Dracula Untold — Big budget, heavy on the CGI, plenty of action. Universal seems to have the pieces in place for its Dracula reboot, which tells the tale of how the Count first came to be, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be more than popcorn fare for those looking for mindless entertainment. (10/10)

Kill the Messenger — Remember when the CIA allowed Nicaraguan drugs to be distributed throughout the United States, knowing full well that the profits were being used to support rebels opposed to the Central American country’s political establishment? If you need a refresher, Kill the Messenger tells the story of Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), an investigative journalist who blew the story wide open and suffered backlash from the government, drug kingpins and even his fellow journalists, even putting his own and his family’s lives in danger. (10/10)

Fury — Brad Pitt heads back to World War II, though this time there’s a lot less Basterds and a lot more emotion. As the commander of a five-man tank crew stationed behind enemy lines, Pitt and co. are members of the final push in the European Theater during the final month of the war. Helmed by the writer of Training Day and End of Watch, Fury should pack a pretty decent punch when it trundles into cinemas this Fall. (10/17)

The Best of Me — It’s based on a Nicholas Sparks’ novel, features John Legend’s All of Me in the trailer, and stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. Expect mediocre dialogue, cheesy sentimentality and deliberate attempts to make you cry. (10/17)

The Book of Life — An animated film that will either be utterly spectacular, or spectacularly awful. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, it promises something we’ve never seen before — and its art direction alone seems to confirm that. A gorgeous, surreal, Mexican-inspired color palette and set design separate it from the usual Pixar-wannabes that crop up every year. Throw in a story that deals with love, death, gambling, action, and the battle between following your head or your heart and it could combine into something pretty incredible. Or, it’ll be a huge, jumbled mess that’ll leave you desperate to head home and break out your copy of Toy Story. (10/17)

Birdman — Michael Keaton takes center stage, figuratively and literally, as an actor desperately trying to stay relevant as he mounts a Broadway adaptation of the Birdman superhero he is known for playing. From there, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film descends into madness — beautifully controlled, wonderfully acted, technically dazzling madness — with a cast that includes Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis. (10/17)

White Bird in a Blizzard — A coming-of-age story mixed with an emotional thriller, wrapped up in captivating performances from Eva Green, Shailene Woodley and Christopher Meloni. Green plays a mother and wife who disappears, with Woodley leading the film as the daughter who sets out to find her — and in doing so finds herself. Yes, that’s more than a little groan-worthy, but the film itself will likely dazzle you. (10/24)

St. Vincent — Bill Murray stars as the grouchy, world-weary Vincent, who’s tasked with looking after his new neighbor’s son. It’s a clichéd tale of grumpy old man finding new joy through the eyes of an innocent youth, but there’s a lot to please here. Murray’s performance, for one, as he drags young Oliver through his daily routine of gambling and drinking, and Melissa McCarthy, taking a break from the rut she’s been stuck in since Bridesmaids. It won’t forge new cinematic grounds, but it’ll please all the same. (10/24)

Nightcrawler — Don’t get confused, comics fans. This isn’t a film about X-Men character Kurt Wagner. Instead, Jake Gyllenhaal takes the lead as an L.A. freelance journalist who specializes in reporting on crime. Promising satire of the sensational aspect of local TV news, thrills as Gyllenhaal seeks out every murder, fire, robbery and car crash, and strong performances from its core cast, Nightcrawler may not feature a superhero, but it could be pretty exciting stuff all the same. (10/31)

Next films for November.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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