Fall movie preview: 15 films we're looking forward to this autumn

Brad Keefe, Columbus Alive

As the leaves take on their colorful changes, the fare in theaters switches from dumb summer action to thoughtful autumn dramas (and, yes, some dumb fall action). Bust out those light jackets, and let's see what's coming at the movies this fall.


(Sept. 20)

A loaded cast (Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and many more) leads this drama about the abduction of two young girls and the ensuing investigation.


(Sept. 27)

This look at 1970s Formula One racing rivals James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is drawing raves as director Ron Howard's best film in years.

"Don John"

(Sept. 27)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs and stars as a classic Jersey bro trying to balance family life, his new girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson) and the other tenets of his existence: church, the gym and internet porn.


(Oct. 4)

Director Alfonso Cuarón is responsible for the best movie of the previous decade ("Children of Men"). The buzz on this gorgeous 3D thriller about two astronauts adrift alone in space looks like he might be making the best movie of the current one. By far my most anticipated film of the year.

"Machete Kills"

(Oct. 11)

Robert Rodriguez took his first stab (pun!) at this over-the-top B-movie action hero (played by grizzled Danny Trejo) a few years ago, but it wasn't over-the-top enough for me. The sequel (starring everyone from Lady Gaga to Charlie Sheen) looks to correct that.


(Oct. 18)

Yes, you can rightly say that Brian De Palma's 1976 version of Stephen King's novel should be left alone, but with a truly talented youngster (Chloë Grace Moretz) playing Carrie and an amazing veteran (Julianne Moore) playing her mother, I'll give it a shot.

"12 Years a Slave"

(Oct. 18)

A sweeping drama about a New York man's journey into slavery in the pre-Civil War U.S., this new film from director Steve McQueen ("Shame") is an early Oscar frontrunner.

"The Counselor"

(Oct. 25)

If Ridley Scott is a director who is often only as good as the script he's working from, this could be a hell of a movie, as he's working from the first original script by Cormac McCarthy ("No Country for Old Men," "The Road"). Brad Pitt leads a cast of heavy hitters.

"Ender's Game"

(Nov. 1)

One of the few much-loved sci-fi books NOT already turned into a movie is being turned into a movie. Look for the exploits of young Ender in a futuristic military school to set off a storm of internet comments.

"Dallas Buyers Club"

(Nov. 1)

Matthew McConaughey continues his recent resurgence, here playing an HIV-positive Dallas man who teams with a transgender woman (Jared Leto, also drawing buzz) to smuggle in HIV treatments not yet approved in the U.S.

"Thor: The Dark World"

(Nov. 8)

Lest you think we make it through the fall without another Marvel superhero movie, we have the follow-up to the first (surprisingly enjoyable) "Thor." Then-unknown Chris Hemsworth has since become a star, too.

The Wolf of Wall Street

(Nov. 15)

Leonardo DiCaprio is to the late part of Martin Scorcese's career what Robert DeNiro was to the early part. Their latest pairing tells the true story of a corrupt Wall Street stockbroker. Fancy finding one of those.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

(Nov. 22)

The "Hunger Games" trilogy continues, this time with its Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as a bona fide star. Also looking forward to more delightful J-Law talk show appearances and MORE GIFs! (Seriously, I love Jennifer Lawrence.)


(Nov. 22)

I wasn't as impressed as some with director Alexander Payne's last effort ("The Descendents"), but his track record ("Sideways," "Election," "About Schmidt," "Citizen Ruth") means this is still anticipated. Bruce Dern plays an alcoholic father traveling to meet his estranged son (Will Forte).


(Nov. 29)

Director Spike Lee is boldly remaking Chan-wook Park's 2003 mind-bender about a man imprisoned for 15 years. The original is a brutal revenge tale not suitable for some audiences, so it will be interesting to see if Lee has to pull punches. Josh Brolin stars.