The fall movie season is one of the most reliably inconsistent as audiences have to contend with the wasteland of September before ramping up into the awards-season onslaught of November and December. While there are plenty of great films in theaters now (“You’re Next,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “The World’s End” and “The Spectacular Now” chief among them), The Daily Texan has put together a list of upcoming releases to keep an eye out for in the unreasonably warm winter months.
“12 Years a Slave”
Steve McQueen is one of the most measured, compelling young directors working today, and his strong sense of restrained style should be interesting when applied to the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free African-American man who’s abducted and sold into slavery in the South. Frequent McQueen collaborator Michael Fassbender (who gave his best performance in “Shame,” McQueen’s last film) returns as Northup’s brutal owner. The rest of the ensemble includes Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti and Paul Dano, and the film should be one of the most shattering works of the year.
Director: Steve McQueen
Release Date: Oct. 18
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Martin Scorsese’s collaborations with Leonardo DiCaprio are consistently interesting efforts, and the timeliness, style and cast of this film are intriguing. While the film’s propulsive, Kanye-scored trailer showcases performances from DiCaprio (starring as real-life Wall Street criminal Jordan Belfort), Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey, supporting turns from Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner and Spike Jonze promise to be fascinating additions.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Crime Drama
Release Date: Nov. 15
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
No filmmaker has such a finely tuned sense of time and place as the Coen brothers, and this exploration of the New York music scene in the 1960s earned rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. The Coens’ last musically inclined film, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” was one of their most strange but endearing works, and T-Bone Burnett has returned to do the music for “Inside Llewyn Davis,” along with cast member John Goodman. Goodman is joined by Oscar Issac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, several performers whose sensibilities should pair nicely with the Coens’ sense of humor and melancholy.
Director: The Coen brothers
Release Date: Dec. 20
“Anchorman: The Legend Continues”
Ours is a generation that grew up loving “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” and the fact that we’re finally getting a sequel, nine years later, couldn’t be more exciting. Even if director Adam McKay can’t manage to capture lightning in a bottle twice, it’s exciting to see the entire cast returning for what promises to be the movie everybody sees on Christmas with their folks. Judging from his last few films, Will Ferrell has been saving all of his funny for this one, so let’s hope it lives up to the glorious heights of the first “Anchorman.”
Director: Adam McKay
Release Date: Dec. 20