9/2: The Debt
The espionage thriller boasts a stellar cast. The story centers around retired Mossad secret agents Rachel and Stephan played by Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkenson. They discover they need to settle unfinished business started 30 years earlier while on a secret mission for Israel. They were sent to track down a Nazi war criminal, using Rachel as "the lure" to draw him into a trap. Jessica Chastain plays the young Mirren who struggles with her duty when romantic feelings surface. The film bounces back and forth between two time periods with John Madden, who directed "Shakespeare in Love", at the helm, this promises to be a winner.
Another terrific cast is assembled, this time for a thriller about a highly communicable virus that wipes out millions of people worldwide in just weeks. Amidst the international chaos, Matt Damon plays a Midwesterner whose wife, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is one of the first to get the disease. Kate Winslet is a doctor for the Center for Disease Control and Marion Cotillard plays a World Health Official. Add Jude Law to the mix as a crusading blogger and Steven Soderbergh as director and you have a recipe for a heart pounding journey.
9/16: I Don't Know How She Does It!
Carrie fans will be thrilled that Sarah Jessica-Parker is back on the big screen in the romantic comedy about a working Mom who's high wire act is dangerously starting to come crashing down. The premise isn't original, but it will be fun to watch her navigate that slippery slope that all too many women cope with every day.
Based on a true story, Brad Pitt plays Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane as he struggles to reinvent his cash poor and undervauled team in the early 2000s. But don't call this just a baseball movie. Life lessons abound as Pitt and Jonah Hill, a clever young A's exec, toss out the rule book and realize that thinking outside the box gives everyone a chance to start again. Word is that Pitt hits this dramedy out of the park!
I've loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt ever since he played the sweet and vulnerable guy in 500 Days of Summer. In 50/50 he plays a young man diagnosed with spinal cancer who bonds with his best pal played by Seth Rogen who helps him through the chemo and the tough diagnosis with heart and humor. In real life, Rogen's best friend went through this harrowing scenario and he asked his pal, now in remission, to write the screenplay. Poignant and funny.
10/7: The Ides of March
George Clooney stars in this. Need I say more? Ides is a political thriller that takes us inside the intense climate of a presidential campaign. Clooney plays Gov. Mike Morris, an inspiring Democratic candidate, who discovers that his young media strategist has a secret that could destroy his campaign. He's forced to choose between morality and winning. Clooney co-wrote the script. I'd like to see the Sexiest Man Alive run for office one day!
Come on! Consider this a guilty pleasure, especially if you grew up with Kevin Bacon's 1985 version. The new "Ren" is played by 27 year old newcomer Kenny Worlmald of MTV's Dancelife. And former Dancing with the Stars favorite Julianne Hough is the preacher's daughter who loves to shake things up on the dance floor.
10/28: Like Crazy
This love story won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance film festival this year. It's the tale of a long-distance relationship about college lovers who try to sustain that passion on opposite ends of the world. Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin are the appealing couple who are determined to be together despite work, immigration laws, and their own insecurities.
11/04: Tower Heist
The comic dream team of Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller stars in this caper. A group of employees at a luxury apartment complex decide to steal 20 million from one of the residents, a Bernie Madoff type who lost their pension funds in a Ponzi scheme. Given the recession, this stealing from the rich premise becomes even more satisfying, as well as hilarious.
11/18: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One
We finally see Bella and Edward's long-awaiting wedding and passionate honeymoon consummation. And then, a half-vampire baby? That's the big news in the beginning of the end of the insanely popular series. If you have followed it this far, you will see it through until the bitter end.
11/23: The Descendants
George Clooney au deux! It's a busy fall for George on the big screen. I have high hopes for this drama helmed by Sideways director Alexander Payne. Clooney is a Hawaiian land baron whose life is turned upside down after his beloved wife goes into a coma and he learns that she'd been having an affair. A complicated affair of the heart.
12/16: The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep who has recently brought us the likes of Julia Child and Vogue's dragon lady Anna Wintour to the big screen, this time morphs into former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during her peak of power in the 1980s. The film is about her extraordinary political career, along with the love she sacrificed on the way. Hey, Meryl reading the phone book would be interesting.
12/21: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I loved the Swedish film based on Stieg Larsson's best seller, but I'm ready for the American version now. I just can't get enough of his trouble heroine Lisbeth Salander who is now played by Rooney Mara. Daniel Craig takes on the role of the Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkist. As a fan of the book I'm looking forward to this, but the pressure is on for director David Fincher to come through!
12/23: We Bought a Zoo
Matt Damon plays Benjamin Mee, a real-life London newspaper columnist who moved his family to a decrepit rural zoo, and after the death of his wife from cancer, worked to reopen it. As the animals prosper, he finds his own healing gifts. This feel good tearjerker is perfect for the holidays.
12/28: War Horse
Steven Spielberg is back at the helm with a World War I story about a British farm boy who nurtures a pet horse until his father sells the horse to the British Army. He enlists as well and hopes one day to be reunited with his equine pal Joey. Bring hankies to this one too.
Based on the hilarious and searing Broadway production God of Carnage, the top notch cast of Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Oscar winners Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster star in this film adaptation. Two couples meet to discuss the fight between their two sons. A civil discussion descends into an all out brawl between the parents that will have you laughing out loud. I just hope the movie is as good as the play!