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It’s already October, but fall movie season is just gearing up, with some of the season’s most anticipated films hitting theaters over the next two months. Following this weekend’s release of David Fincher‘s hotly anticipated film version of Gone Girl, the next few weeks promise the big-screen arrivals of Whiplash, Brad Pitt‘s Fury, Birdman, Nightcrawler, Interstellar and Foxcatcher. The end of November will see the release of the latest installments of fan-favorite franchises like The Hunger Games, Horrible Bosses and Dumb and Dumber.
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As you plan your moviegoing calendar, check out the latest trailers for all of these and more of fall’s most eagerly awaited titles, presented in chronological order by release date.
Gone Girl (Oct. 3): David Fincher directs and Ben Affleck stars in the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s best-selling novel about a woman (Rosamund Pike) who mysteriously vanishes, with her husband (Affleck) suspected of killing her. Haunting trailers and the movie’s New York Film Festival premiere only served to heighten the already strong interest in the twist-filled drama.
Read more How the ‘Gone Girl’ Cast Reacted to Landing Their Parts
The Judge (Oct. 10): Robert Downey Jr. stars in his first drama since 2009’s The Soloist in the Toronto Film Festival opener The Judge. At that screening, the movie, which features Downey as a shady lawyer who ends up representing his estranged father (Robert Duvall) when he’s accused of murder “engaged and resonated with the gathered crowd,” The Hollywood Reporter‘s awards analyst Scott Feinberg wrote. The potential awards contender was a passion project for Downey and his wife, Susan, who produced it with him. The David Dobkin-directed title also stars Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Dax Shepard and Vincent D’Onofrio.
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St. Vincent (Oct. 10 in limited release; expanding Oct. 17 and Oct. 24): Bill Murray could be an awards contender for his role as an old curmudgeon who bonds with the young boy who moves in next door in the dramedy also starring Melissa McCarthy. The film was well received at its Toronto world premiere on Bill Murray Day. Writer-director Ted Melfi‘s script previously landed on the Black List under its earlier title, St. Vincent de Van Nuys.
Whiplash (Oct. 10): Whiplash was enthusiastically received at its Sundance premiere earlier this year, where the Miles Teller starrer about an aspiring jazz drummer was quickly snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics and won the audience and jury awards. Both Teller and J.K. Simmons, who plays a brutal music instructor, have already received raves for their performances. Writer-director Damien Chazelle‘s script landed on the 2012 Black List before receiving some help from Sundance to make what he was told was an “execution-dependent project.”
Birdman (Oct. 17): Birdman really took flight after its impressive debut in August at the Venice Film Festival, where the dramatic, darkly comedic film received a long standing ovation and near unanimous praise from the international press. In his review, The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief film critic Todd McCarthy praises Birdman‘s “exemplary cast” and writes, “The film’s exhilarating originality, black comedy and tone that is at once empathetic and acidic will surely strike a strong chord with audiences looking for something fresh that will take them somewhere they haven’t been before.” In a potentially Oscar-worthy performance, Michael Keaton plays a former superhero-movie star trying to make a comeback in theater, but the chaos within his personal life and stemming from his theatrical debut leads to raucous dramatic and darkly comedic moments. The film is also a frontrunner in several other Oscar categories.
Read more Critics’ Roundup: 10 Best Films From the Major Fall Festivals (So Far)
Book of Life (Oct. 17): Guillermo del Toro and Jorge Gutierrez‘s The Book of Life uses vivid and ornate animation to depict protagonist Manolo facing a series of trials in the land of the dead, which he must complete in order to come back to life and reclaim the heart of the beautiful Maria. Behind the eye-catching visuals lie the voice talents of Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman and Diego Luna in this well-rounded family flick.
Camp X-Ray (Oct. 17): Kristen Stewart has received strong marks for her role as a Guantanamo Bay prison guard in writer-director Peter Sattler‘s first feature, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, with IFC picking it up shortly after the festival. In his Sundance review, THR‘s David Rooney called the film “riveting” adding that Stewart does “perhaps her best screen work to date … against an equally compelling characterization from Peyman Moaadi. … Its psychological complexity and rich emotional rewards should ensure this expertly crafted if overlong film a significant audience.”
Fury (Oct. 17): Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Logan Lerman and Michael Pena star in David Ayer‘s gritty drama about the last days of WWII, experienced through the eyes of a five-man tank crew embarking on what could be considered a suicide mission to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
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Nightcrawler (Oct. 31): Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Nightcrawler has already received attention for its creepy trailers as well as the actor’s dramatic weight (and blood) loss while making the indie thriller about an aspiring L.A. crime reporter who gets a little too close to the action. The Open Road film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, where it received a loud standing ovation, with THR‘s Scott Feinberg saying it was “destined to become a classic” genre film, with co-star Rene Russo having a shot at a best supporting actress Oscar nomination.
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Interstellar (Nov. 7): While much of the plot of Interstellar remains unknown, that hasn’t dulled the enthusiasm for Christopher Nolan‘s latest secretive project. Hints about the star-studded film’s focus have been teased out via trailers and a particularly revealing Australian TV spot. The epic sci-fi film is expected to feature Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway on a mission to save humanity as the Earth faces an ecological disaster. The film also stars Jessica Chastain and Nolan’s good-luck charm Michael Caine. There will also likely be some impressive special effects.
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Rosewater (Nov. 7): Jon Stewart took time off from The Daily Show in the summer of 2013 to direct his first film, about Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned and accused of being a spy after he participated in a Daily Show segment. The film was warmly received at its Telluride premiere and later screened at the Toronto Film Festival.
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The Theory of Everything (Nov. 7): The Stephen Hawking biopic is getting awards buzz after its Toronto premiere, which received a prolonged standing ovation, with Feinberg arguing that stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones have strong shots at landing Oscars for their performances in the Focus Features film directed by James Marsh, who won the best documentary Oscar for his 2008 film, Man on Wire. Feinberg added, “The Theory of Everything checks off a lot of boxes that have historically correlated with Academy success.”
Dumb and Dumber To (Nov. 14): Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey reprise their roles as Harry and Lloyd almost 20 years after the original Dumb and Dumber. In addition to the prospect of seeing the two stars reunite, the sequel’s satirical ad campaign and trailer, which garnered 23.5 million views in its first week on YouTube, have bolstered growing anticipation for the film’s November release.
Foxcatcher (Nov. 14): Based on the true story of a shocking murder, Foxcatcher features Steve Carell in a surprisingly dark performance as an eccentric multimillionaire who trains Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, played by Channing Tatum, who’s McCarthy wrote that the film “sees director Bennett Miller well surpassing even the fine work he did in his previous two films, Capote and Moneyball.” Indeed, the film, which has played at Telluride and Toronto and will screen at the New York Film Festival, is already being seen as an Oscar contender.
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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 (Nov. 21): Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and the rest of the Hunger Games gang return for the first installment of the series’ two-part final chapter. The film’s set to feature more of Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s Plutarch Heavensbee, including some scenes that may have been digitally constructed following the actor’s shocking death, and marks the Hunger Games debuts of Julianne Moore and Game of Thrones‘ Natalie Dormer.
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The Imitation Game (Nov. 21): The Benedict Cumberbatch starrer emerged as an across-the-board awards contender following the strong reception to its Telluride world premiere. The biopic of World War II hero Alan Turing, who cracked the German Enigma code, co-stars Keira Knightley.
Horrible Bosses 2 (Nov. 26): Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis have gone from murder to kidnapping in the sequel to 2011’s hit comedy Horrible Bosses. While the first film’s still-living evil employers, played by Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston, are returning, the trio of not-so-skilled criminals has new targets in the sequel, specifically Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz, playing an investor and his son who steal their idea for a product the trio’s invented called the Shower Buddy.
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