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August 23, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Premium Rush (Aug. 24)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a bicycle messenger who picks up a suspicious envelope and finds himself on the run from a dirty cop played by Michael Shannon. The action-packed film follows the chase through the streets of Manhattan.
Lawless (Aug. 29)
Based on true events from Matt Bondurant’s novel The Wettest County In the World, this western tells the story of the legendary bootlegging brothers Jack, Forrest and Howard Bondurant. Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke star as the gangster siblings who try to achieve the American Dream during Prohibition in Virginia.
The Good Doctor (Aug. 31)
Premiering in 2011 at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Good Doctor tells the story of Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom), a British physician who lets his emotions overtake his logic. When he falls for a patient, he tinkers with her medications so her infection will not clear up and she’ll remain in the hospital. An orderly catches the doctor’s transgression and blackmails Blake into even more trouble.
The Possession (Aug. 31)
Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan team up to cast out an evil spirit from their daughter, who was cursed after she purchased an antique box at a rummage sale. Danish film director Ole Bornedal brings his thriller and horror experience to the film.
The Master (Sept. 14)
An all-star cast including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Laura Dern makes The Master an almost-guaranteed Oscar nominee. The film, which is rumored to be based on Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, showcases a World War II vet who returns and creates a new religion.
Resident Evil: Retribution (Sept. 14)
Milla Jovovich returns as Project Alice to once again battle the evil Umbrella Corporation. In the series’ fifth installment, Alice reunites with various characters from previous films to survive the undead and defeat Umbrella.
House at the End of the Street (Sept. 21)
Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar, starred in a blockbuster and now she’s taking the lead in an action thriller. Although its plot is predictable (new family moves into a too-good-to-be-true house on the creepy end of the road), the film remains a fall highlight thanks to Lawrence’s newfound star power. Her character, Elissa, stumbles upon plenty of secrets in the house next door when she develops a love-interest with the sole survivor of a horrific murder several years earlier.
Trouble with the Curve (Sept. 21)
Clint Eastwood, returning to acting for the first time since 2008’s Gran Torino, plays Gus, an aging baseball scout looking to recruit one last athlete. The gracefully aging actor and director stars opposite Amy Adams, who plays his estranged daughter, and Justin Timberlake, a prospective talent.
Hotel Transylvania (Sept. 28)
When monsters tire of scaring their human foes, they vacation at the Hotel Transylvania resort. All is well for Dracula (Adam Sandler), Frankenstein (Kevin James) and his bride (Fran Drescher) until an unwitting traveler (Andy Samberg) stumbles upon their human-free oasis and falls for Dracula’s daughter (Selena Gomez).
The Paperboy (Oct. 5)
Matthew McConaughey plays Ward Jansen, a local reporter, who returns home to a rural Florida town on a mission to find out the truth about a death row inmate (John Cusack). Along for the ride is Ward’s brother (Zac Efron) and a death-row enthusiast (Nicole Kidman). With shady characters throughout, this mystery develops around a search for the truth and knowledge of everyone’s true motives.
Taken 2 (Oct. 5)
Liam Neeson reprises his role as CIA operative Bryan Mills for the sequel to the acclaimed action-thriller Taken. A kidnapper out to avenge his son’s death from the first movie hijacks Mills and his wife (Famke Jansen) as they vacation in Istanbul. Now, Mills has to turn to his daughter to escape — classic role reversal.
Killing Them Softly (Oct. 19)
Based on the 1974 novel, Cogan’s Trade, by George V. Higgins, Killing Them Softly epitomizes American crime. Shot in New Orleans, the feature follows a mob investigation by point man Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) and his interlude with a host of gangster poker players.
The Big Wedding (Oct. 26)
Divorcees Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton have to pretend to still be married when their adoptive son’s staunchly Catholic biological mother returns for his wedding. The Bucket List director Justin Zackham heads this comedy, which also features Robin Williams as a priest and Susan Sarandon as the new wife who has to take a backseat for the masquerade.
Lincoln (Nov. 16)
Writer Tony Kushner developed the screenplay around Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, and Steven Spielberg directs an all-star cast, including Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Tommy Lee Jones plays Thaddeus Stevens. The film chronicles President Lincoln’s final days as the Civil War ends.
Skyfall (Nov. 21)
With its 23rd installment, the James Bond series enters its 50th year. Another chapter in the most prolific film series of all time, Skyfall features Daniel Craig’s third performance as Bond, Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film’s enduring antagonist, and new Bond babe Berenice Marlohe. Under fire, the MI6 Headquarters forces a 007 rescue mission and tests Bond’s loyalty to M, played by Judi Dench.
Life of Pi (Nov. 21)
Yann Martel’s fantasy adventure novel The Life of Pi was rejected by publishing houses more than five times before being accepted in 2001 and eventually made into a screenplay. Pi, an Indian boy, survives 227 days at sea after a devastating shipwreck. While isolated on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific, the boy befriends the only other survivor, a Bengal tiger.
Les Misérables (Dec. 14)
Straight from the world’s longest-running musical that has been viewed by more than 60 million people in 42 countries, the motion-picture musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1862 French classic stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. Set in 19th century France, Les Misérables details two decades of shattered dreams, tragic love, sacrifice and redemption.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14)
Prompted by the great wizard Gandalf the Grey, and legendary leader of Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield, Bilbo reluctantly agrees to join the Company of Dwarves on their quest to reclaim their stolen treasure. The upcoming fantasy-adventure will be the first of a three-part series. Directed and co-written by Peter Jackson, it will recycle a star cast from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, including Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Elijah Wood as Frodo.
Django Unchained (Dec. 25)
Set in the pre-Civil War Deep South, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained tells the tale of Django, a slave who has been separated from his wife and auctioned to vicious masters.
Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), the German dentist-turned-bounty-hunter, promises to help find and free Django’s wife from the evil clutches of Mississippi plantation owner Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.