10 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2011
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures/DreamWorks Animation/Summit Entertainment
Summer is coming to an end, and with it the summer movie season draws to a close. The time for crowd-pleasing blockbusters is over, and in their place the multiplexes fill with serious, award-worthy films. You know the type: highbrow dramatic works about sparkly vampires, swashbuckling cats, and singing frogs.
OK, so the fall movie season isn't just about Oscar-caliber artistry. There are some hotly anticipated crowd-pleasers coming to theaters between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. You'll get the beginning of the end of the "Twilight" franchise with "Breaking Dawn - Part 1." Shrek's pal Puss in Boots will sink his claws into a solo adventure. And after over a decade away, the Muppets are returning to movie theaters in a musical comedy extravaganza. Here are our top ten picks to see in the coming months.
Release Date: September 16
Nicolas Winding Refn is not your average action director; he makes intense tales of masculinity that are equal parts grindhouse and art house. For "Drive," which won him a best director prize at this year's Cannes Film Fest, Refn teams up with Ryan Gosling for a gritty noir about a stunt driver who gets on the wrong side of the mob. It also stars Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, and comedy legend Albert Brooks playing against type as a brutal gangster.
Release Date: September 23
In this adaptation of the bestselling book from Michael Lewis, author of "The Blind Side," Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the real-life general manager of the cash-strapped Oakland A's. Beane decided that the old ways of choosing players was wrong, and in doing so changed the way baseball is played. It also stars Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman with a screenplay from Academy Award winners Steven Zallian and Aaron Sorkin.
Release Date: September 30
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("Inception") plays a young guy who's world is turned upside-down when he's diagnosed with cancer, and Seth Rogen is his best friend trying to keep his spirits up. He also gets professional help from an attractive young therapist played by Anna Kendrick, who was nominated for an Oscar for "Up in the Air." The movie is inspired by a true story from Rogen's own life, and it finds laughs in a heartbreaking situation.
THE IDES OF MARCH
Release Date: October 7
The awards season gets into full swing with the release of this political drama starring and directed by George Clooney. Loosely based on Howard Dean's 2004 presidential run, Clooney plays a candidate harboring a devastating secret. It costars Ryan Gosling (he's having a busy year) along with a host of Academy Award winners/nominees -- Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Release Date: October 14
You like dancing? You like the '80s? You'll get both with this remake of the beloved Reagan-era dance flick. Newcomer Kenny Wormald takes on the Kevin Bacon role (let's hear it for the boy) who romances a small-town girl played by Julianne Hough from "Dancing With the Stars." It's directed by Craig Brewer, who made the Oscar-winning "Hustle and Flow."
PUSS IN BOOTS
Release Date: November 4
A feline as adventuresome and stylish as Puss in Boots deserves a movie all his own. In this prequel to the "Shrek" movies, Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of the fearsome furball, and he is joined by Salma Hayek as alluring Kitty and Zach Galifianakis as Humpty Dumpty.