Coming Soon: October

The best movie time of year rolls on. Here’s what I’m seeing in October.

October 3 

Gone Girl – one of the most anticipated films of my year (and everyone else’s) is David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian ?’s wildly popular dark novel. Like Fight Club and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo before it, Fincher has a knack for adaptations, and this one proves to be no exception. Given the mystery at the center of the story, don’t read the book in advance if you haven’t already. It’ll be a cinematic roller coaster ride either way.  Watch the trailer to see what I mean.

October 10

The Judge – a film can do worse than opening the Toronto Int’l Film Festival. Robert Downey, Jr. takes off the Iron Man suit just long enough to remind us he’s no one-trick pony in this courtroom drama. Starring as a hot-shot defense lawyer called home when his mother passes away, the story quickly shifts to his father (Robert Duvall), in some trouble over a fatal car accident. Here’s the surprisingly glossy trailer.

Whiplash – Miles Teller is the young actor you haven’t heard of yet, but will soon. His nuanced, multi-layered turn in the surprisingly significant The Spectacular Now last year put him on the map as a kid with talent. He’s done a few mainstream flicks since, but Whiplash was a Sundance indie darling, and if the trailer’s any indication, Teller turns in another not-to-miss performance. Watch it.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her – I purposefully didn’t include DER: Them in September’s line-up, because I’ll be waiting to see both films in October, as the director intended. The two films tell the story of a relationships from both perspectives: James McAvoy (him) and Jessica Chastain (her). And though Harvey has mashed them up for a single, mass-audience-friendly release, they’ve planned a limited run of the original films, and I’ll be in that theater. Watch the trailer.

October 17

Birdman – this one ranks right up there with Gone Girl as far as my most anticipated this year. Everything – from the premise to the early reviews to the glimpse the trailer provides – has awesome written all over it. Michael Keaton returns to screen in fine form, as a once-revered action star now just struggling to keep a roof over his head. Emma Roberts, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis and Naomi Watts, watch the trailer and be impressed.

Dear White People – easily one of the most buzzed about out of Sundance this year, I imagine it got all the positive attention for its originality. A post-Obama look at race among millennials, the film skewers every cliche in the book, all with a sense of humor straight from the “It’s funny because it’s true…” camp. Check out the hilarious trailer.

St. Vincent – every now and then I see a film (or a trailer for a film) and think, “Damn, I wish I wrote that story.” Bill Murray channels his best lovably grumpy old man in what looks to be a thoroughly winning tale of unexpected friendship between him and the boy next door. Bonus points for Melissa McCarthy in a role that doesn’t ask her to be over-the-top comedic to get her due. Watch the trailer.

October 24

1,000 Times Good Night – the second of “my” films on the list, this one stars Juliette Binoche as a war photographer leveled an ultimatum by her husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, aka Jaime Lannister): work or family. It’s a sweeping drama filled with gorgeous imagery (it helps the filmmaker was a war photojournalist himself), and I can’t wait to share it with you! See the trailer now.

Laggies – as a rule, I appreciate everything Lynn Shelton puts out. The fact that she’s as prolific as she is in a male-dominated industry is in itself worth respecting. Like any artist, though, some projects hit (Your Sister’s Sister) and some miss (Touchy Feely). This indie comedy, starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley, is someone else’s script, an approach that could work for or against Ms. Shelton. Here’s the trailer.

White Bird in a Blizzard – Shailene Woodley is in that sweet spot of starlet-hood (-ness?) where she can swing both teen phenom adaptations (see: TFiOS, Divergent) and indie breakouts (The Spectacular Now). She’s central to this late ’80s drama about a woman who disappears, sending her family – particularly her 17 year old daughter – into chaos. See the trailer here.

October 31

Horns – Daniel Radcliff is doing everything in his power to shed his Harry Potter image, from a daring stage role (that required full nudity!) to this latest, in which – as the title would suggest – he grows horns. Like, out of his forehead. I imagine the premise is a bit more nuances than that, but I can’t be sure. Check out the very odd trailer.

Nightcrawler – Jake Gyllenhaal has a way of choosing roles he can completely disappear in. In Nightcrawler, he’s a desperate, socially awkward outcast who discovers the bloody, grisly business of breaking news photographers. Soon, everything spirals out of control as he goes to extreme lengths to get the shot, and we’re along for the ride. See the trailer.