Collider’s Most Anticipated 2013 Movies: October to December

     September 30, 2013

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The summer movie season has come to a close, and it’s now time to turn our focus towards what this fall has in store for us.  Unsurprisingly, there are a number of very promising character-centric pics headed our way, and on paper these next few months look to be an embarrassment of riches.  We saw more than a few disappointments this summer (especially with regards to the sci-fi genre), so hopefully the end of the year will have a higher success rate when it comes to delivering the goods.  Regardless, it’s sure to be a nice change of pace from the effects-driven onslaught of the summer.

In the latest installment of our Most Anticipated series, Matt, Adam, and Dave run down what films they’re most looking forward to between October and December.  Hit the jump to read on.

Matt’s Picks

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NEBRASKA

Director: Alexander Payne

Cast: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Stacy Keach, Bob Odenkirk, and June Squibb

Release Date: November 15th

Why I’m Excited:  Alexander Payne always seems to manage the tricky balance between quiet comedy and heartfelt drama, and it looks like he’s done it again with Nebraksa.  Bruce Dern picked up Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance as a man who believes he’s won millions of dollars from a sweepstakes, and goes to Nebraska to collect his prize.  The trailer presents a subdued tone similar to Payne’s Sideways, but also looks like it’s building upon the estranged family situation the writer-director showcased in About Schmidt and The Descendants.

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AMERICAN HUSTLE

Director: David O. Russell

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Michael Pena, and Jack Jones.

Release Date: December 13th

Why I’m Excited: In addition to the excellent cast, American Hustle looks like it’s taking Russell back to a slightly darker, more acerbic place.  The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook are both nice movies with a little bit of an edge, but the trailer for American Hustle makes it out to be in the same vein as Goodfellas.  Sure, there’s going to be goofy moments like Christian Bale playing the bongos on Jennifer Lawrence’s ass, but there’s also going to be some crime ruining lives.  I don’t know if Russell will ever go back to something as crazy as I Heart Huckabees, but at least American Hustle probably won’t end with an uplifting competition.

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HER

Director: Spike Jonze

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Scarlett Johansson

Release Date: December 18th

Why I’m Excited: Love stories have been part of Spike Jonze’s films before, but they’re part of a larger, stranger world.  In Her it looks like the love story is the larger, stranger world.  But what I like about Jonze’s movies is that even though they’re bizarre, they’re rooted in heartbreaking emotions with a heavy emphasis on catharsis through loss.  That trope seems inevitable with a story about a man who falls in love with a computer, but the tenderness and warmth also appears present in the trailer.  This is one of the films that made me want to come up to New York for their film festival, and I think it will be well worth the trip.

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ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

Director: Adam McKay

Cast: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Steve Carell.

Release Date: December 20th

Why I’m Excited: I don’t know if Adam McKay and Will Ferrell will be able to top their classic 2004 film, but I’m willing to bet they’ll come pretty darn close.  The trailer is hilarious, and pushing the news team into a new era is an ingenious move.  As society progresses, you keep the focus on four guys who didn’t know the definition of the word “diversity” (although I’m pretty sure all networks could use an old, wooden ship).  It’s time for the Channel 4 News Team to reassemble, and muddle their way through a new era.

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THE MONUMENTS MEN

Director: George Clooney

Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Hugh Bonneville.

Release Date: December 20th

Why I’m Excited:  I like all of the movies George Clooney has directed.  Some are better than others, but you can feel his confidence behind the camera, and I like his willingness to branch out into new genres.  He also has a strong talent for historical eras, and The Monuments Men looks like a good blend of high-stakes drama with the potential for some solid comedy from the supporting cast.  The trailer is a bit iffy, but I trust Clooney’s track record, and I really like the story of a group of soldiers trying to save artwork before the Nazis destroy it.

Note: I saw Kill Your Darlings at Sundance; Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Labor Day, and Blue Is the Warmest Color at TIFF; and Inside Llewyn Davis at NYFF.  I highly recommend all of these movies.

Adam’s Picks

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ABOUT TIME

DirectorRichard Curtis

Cast: Domnhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill NighyTom HollanderMargot RobbieLydia Wilson, and Vanessa Kirby

Release Date: November 1st

Why I’m Excited:  I’m an unabashed Richard Curtis fan.  Love, Actually and Pirate Radio both have a wonderful blend of humor and drama that rarely drifts into the saccharine, and the same looks to be on display in About Time—with a time travel twist to boot.  It’s a fascinating premise in which to expound on the romantic comedy genre, and Curtis has a knack for drawing up a host of charming characters.  The pairing of Bill Nighy and Domnhall Gleeson is super promising, Rachel McAdams is adorable, and the trailer is just downright sweet.

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THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprioJonah HillKyle ChandlerMatthew McConaugheyJean DujardinMargot RobbieJon Bernthal, and Rob Reiner.

Release Date: November 15th (maybe)

Why I’m Excited:  Though a collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio will always pique my interest, The Wolf of Wall Street looks to be something special.  For one, this thing looks absolutely insane.  The Kanye West-infused trailer shows that Scorsese will be navigating dark comedy territory for the first time in a very, very long while, and DiCaprio, Hill, and McConaughey appear to be all-in with their wild performances.  Moreover, the 90s excess-centered premise feels especially timely in the wake of the recent financial crisis.

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OUT OF THE FURNACE

DirectorScott Cooper

CastChristian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Shepard

Release Date: December 6th

Why I’m Excited: Adult dramas are few and far between these days, but Out of the Furnace looks to be a swell entry in the genre.  Scott Cooper is back behind the camera for the first time since his impressive debut Crazy Heart, and he’s assembled a fantastic cast to tell a blue-collar story with themes of redemption and family.  The film’s trailer promises a thrilling ride with a strong character focus (and Pearl Jam, natch), and I’m very much looking forward to the finished product.

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INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

DirectorsJoel and Ethan Coen

CastOscar IsaacCarey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, and John Goodman

Release Date: December 6th

Why I’m Excited: Try not to get goosebumps while listening to Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford sing “Fare Thee Well” in the trailer.  Despite its folk music background, Llewyn Davis looks to be a decidedly bleak entry in the Coen brothers’ oeuvre, but their signature humor and colorful characters are still on full display.  This is my most anticipated film of the year so my expectations are high, but I have yet to see anything from the film that gives me pause.

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HER

DirectorSpike Jonze

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, and Rooney Mara

Release Date: December 18th

Why I’m Excited: Though I initially had this slot filled with Foxcatcher (unfortunately delayed to 2014), Spike Jonze’s first feature effort in four years was very high on my “alternates” list.  I’m utterly fascinated by the premise—guy falls in love with his operating system—and if anyone can sell that logline it’s Phoenix.  Feature film-wise, Jonze has yet to falter in my book, and Her offers up his most formidable challenge yet.  How do you make the audience buy into a relationship in which one person is never onscreen?  I have faith that Jonze can pull it off and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it all play out.

Note: I caught Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Labor Day, and Blue Is the Warmest Color at TIFF, all of which I very highly recommend.

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Dave’s Picks

Dave’s Picks

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GRAVITY

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris

Release Date: October 4th

Why I’m Excited: For a year that started off so promising for the sci-fi genre, this film is my last hope for a picture that actually pushes some boundaries rather than rehashing tired stories and settings we’ve experienced before.  James Cameron may have called it the “best space film ever done”, but I’ve been anticipating this one since the attachment of Cuarón at the helm.  Buzz for the film has been strongly positive, as has been talk of Gravity’s awards chances.  We’ll see if it’s worth the wait in just a couple of days, and if this will be the film to earn Cuarón a fourth Oscar nomination and, perhaps, his first win.

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CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

DirectorPaul Greengrass

CastTom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Catherine KeenerMax MartiniBarkhad AbdiBarkhad AbdirahamanFaysal AhmedMahat M. AliMichael ChernusCorey JohnsonChris MulkeyYul Vazquez, and David Warshofsky

Release Date: October 11th

Why I’m Excited: Regardless of the social inequalities and political ideologies this film is sure to explore, my anticipation is all about Hanks and his portrayal of the title character.  Greengrass has a proven ability to handle military actioners and Hanks certainly knows how to play a man on a metaphorical island (or a literal one), so it’s exciting to see these two collaborate for the first time.  It sounds like this flick could be a new career high for the accomplished Hanks, so I for one would like to judge that assessment for myself.

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THE FIFTH ESTATE

DirectorBill Condon

CastBenedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Laura LinneyStanley TucciAnthony MackieDavid ThewlisPeter CapaldiDan StevensAlicia Vikander, and Carice van Houten

Release Date: October 18th

Why I’m Excited: If there’s a more timely film that’s come out this year then I haven’t heard about it.  In an age where more and more people are using the power of the internet to take justice into their own hands when it comes to perceived wrongdoings of governments, militaries and corporations, The Fifth Estate will likely be just one of many similar stories to come.  However, it remains to be seen if any future adaptations will have a cast like this or another name as ubiquitous as that of Cumberbatch in the lead.

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OUT OF THE FURNACE

DirectorScott Cooper

CastChristian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson and Sam Shepard

Release Date: December 6th

Why I’m Excited: I’ve got a bit of a local connection to this one as it was filmed in an economically hard-hit suburb of Pittsburgh.  I’m excited to see how it plays up on the big screen.  I’m equally excited to see Cooper’s directorial follow-up to the beautiful and touching Crazy Heart, not to mention we get to see the Dark Knight himself take to the screen in a dramatic lead, his first since concluding Christopher Nolan’s trilogy.  It will be nice to see him take on a small-scale story with personal stakes once again, rather than being tasked with saving millions.

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THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

DirectorBen Stiller

CastBen Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt, and Shirley MacLaine

Release Date: December 25th

Why I’m Excited: We’ve only seen trailers for the picture at this point but it looks to be every bit as creative and free as the human imagination itself.  Anyone who’s spent weekday afternoons lost in a pleasant haze of daydreams while toiling away at a nine-to-five office job can surely appreciate the film’s premise.  What remains to be seen is just how the plot of the protagonist’s real world adventure plays out, but I’m excited to be along for the ride.

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