Fall is an interesting time at the box office. It’s a mix of summer leftovers and the beginnings of the award season hopefuls. It’s an ecclectic mix where you have family friendly fare alongside depressing dramas vying for Oscars. Even the term “Fall release” needed some clarification. We decided that in order to qualify, it had to be released (or expanding) between Labor Day weekend and the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though that’s not the calendar season of Fall, they seemed to be the clear markers between summer blockbusters and Oscar-bait.

 

A few of us got together to vote on which movies we’re most excited for this fall. A couple people were looking forward to Wreck-it Ralph, while others were more excited for The Hobbit. With four writers chiming in, the only film that got a unanimous vote ended up getting pushed back and therefore ineligible for this list. (It was Gangster Squad for those curious.) Check out our full list of the 30 most anticipated fall films, in order of release,  from our staff.
Title:  For a Good Time, Call…
Release Date:  August 31, 2012 (limited, expanding in September).
Director:  Jamie Travis
Starring:  Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Justin Long
Ex-frenemies Katie (Ari Graynor) and Lauren (Lauren Miller) reluctantly agree to share a downtown NYC apartment. To pay the rent, the duo decide to expand Katie’s one-girl phone-sex line into a legitimate business operation.Why am I excited?:  The red-band trailer is hilarious, from start to finish, and wondrously quotable: “Whatever they say, I just tell ‘em I want to lick it.” – Katie (Ari Graynor).  - Sarah Katz

Title:  A Lonely Place for Dying
Release Date: September 7, 2012
Director: Justin Eugene Evans
Starring: Micahel Scovotti, Ross Marquand, Michael Wincott, James Cromwell
A Lonely Place for Dying premiered back in 2009 at the San Diego Film Festival and has since won a slew of awards and recognition at film festivals across the world.  When the first 22 minutes of this British film were released through VODO last year it became one of the most downloaded files on Earth!  Set in 1972, a KGB mole and a CIA agent engage in a deadly confrontation in this drama-thriller.  According to IMDB, the production used the most tumbleweeds ever gathered for a film, 357! – Brian Rudloff

Title: The Master
Release Date: September 14, 2012
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern
The buzz is deafening for Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, but details are still scarce (good luck decoding the first poster).  The official trailer reveals the rough outline of the story, which centers on the relationship between the founder of a religious organization (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and the young drifter he takes under his wing (Joaquin Phoenix) after World War II.  The filmmakers have denied that the fictional religion portrayed in The Master is a stand-in for the Church of Scientology, but there were apparently enough similarities to the notoriously PR-sensitive organization for skittish execs at Universal to dump the project.  A new P. T. Anderson film is a rare and momentous occasion, and the controversy that it is courting (Anderson’s private screening for Tom Cruise reportedly caused the Magnolia star and noted Scientologist to admit that he “had issues” with parts of the film) has only increased our excitement. – Eric Ambler

Title:  The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Release Date: September 14, 2012
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott
I have never read the book, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower trailer makes it look like a genuine, heartfelt, inspirational, high school coming-of-age tale!  Love it!  Allegedly, however, the book is much sadder than the trailer suggests and takes a serious look at issues of drug use, homosexuality, sex, and suicide.  It will be interesting to see where the tone actually lands.  In any event, the author of the novel is directing the film, so it will be the true artist’s vision.  Also, Emma Watson! – Brian Rudloff

Title: Dredd
Release Date: September 21, 2012
Director: Pete Travis
Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

One of Britain’s most iconic comic book characters gets a second shot with movie audiences when Karl Urban dons the visored helmet of Judge Dredd, a policeman patrolling a post-nuclear megalopolis in Dredd.  Darker in tone than the 1995 Sylvester Stallone vehicle, the film also stars Game of Thrones’ wicked Lena Headey as the film’s terrorist villain and Olivia Thirlby as the wide-eyed cadet who helps Urban fight up to the top of the Headey’s skyscraper hideout (there’s shades of The Raid: Redemption in the brutal trailer).  Dredd’s rocky post-production has been plagued by rumors of friction between writer Alex Garland and director Joel Travis due to Garland’s significant alterations of Travis’ footage in the editing room.  Both parties denied the allegations in a joint statement that admitted an “unorthodox collaboration,” but here’s hoping that that Dredd emerges from adversity as an enjoyable action romp. – Eric Ambler

Title:  House at the End of the Street
Release Date: September 21, 2012
Director: Mark Tonderai
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows, Elisabeth Shue
Honestly, House at the End of the Street looks like it could very well be a bland pile of mild teenage horror fodder, a laSwimfan, but I’m just eager to see a little more Jennifer Lawrence on the screen! The plot revolves around a teenager, Elissa (Lawrence), and her divorced mom’s move in to a new home next to an alleged abandoned house where a gruesome set of murders took place.  Shit hits the fan when Elissa starts making out with the murderer’s brother.  The film was nominated for a sound editing award in Canada, so its got that going for it! – Brian Rudloff

Title:  End of Watch
Release Date:  September 21, 2012  (limited, expanding: September 28, 2012)
Director:  David Ayer
Starring:  Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick
Two young police officers (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) are targeted by a dangerous drug cartel after inadvertently confiscating money and guns from two cartel members during a standard traffic stop. Why am I excited?:  Four words: “Jake Gyllenhaal” and “cop uniform.”  - Sarah Katz

Title:  10 Years
Release Date:  September 21, 2012  (limited)
Director:  Jamie Linden
Starring:  Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Lynn Collins, Kate Mara, Anthony Mackie, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long, Ari Graynor, Chris Pratt, Ron Livingston, Oscar Isaac, Scott Porter, Nick Zano, Brian Geraghty, Max Minghella, Aaron Yoo
Having lost touch in the last few years, best friends Jake (Channing Tatum), Cully (Chris Pratt), Reeves (Oscar Isaac), AJ (Max Minghella), and Marty (Justin Long) reunite for their ten-year high school reunion. The question for each becomes how will their future be affected by their respective pasts, in the form of girls (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Kate Mara, Lynn Collins) and high school mistakes? Why am I excited?:  Did you read the cast list?! Also, who doesn’t love a high school reunion story?   - Sarah Katz

Title: Looper
Release Date: September 28, 2012
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt
In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by transporting back Joe’s future self. I absolutely loved Brick and am so excited for Rian Johnson to take on the action genre. Throw in JGL, one of the most talented young actors around, and a time-bending storyline and you can bet my butt will be in that theater. – Kristal Bailey

Title:  Hotel Transylvania
Release Date: September 28, 2012
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade
Legendary animated series creator Genndy Tartakovsky of Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Star Wars: Clone Warsfame brings his signature style and humor to the big screen for the very first time with Hotel Transylvania.  The overprotective Dracula’s world is in peril when a regular human discovers his secret hotel sanctuary for monsters and shows an interest in his teenage daughter.   Beloved comedy writer Robert Smigel also had a hand in the script, so hopes are gargantuan for this 3D, CGI flick. - Brian Rudloff

Keep reading our Fall Film Picks on Page 2.

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