I’m a sucker for documentaries, especially when they’re about the literary world’s most famous recluse, whose work unintentionally inspired at least two high-profile assassins. My interest is piqued by the fact that this movie is written, produced and directed by Shane Salerno, who penned 2007’s awesomely bad Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Sure, Salerno didn’t get the Salinger family to talk, but he did get John Cusack, which is a win in my book. Sept. 6.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a lovable porn addict. Could you get any more heart-warming? Fine, maybe if he was, I don’t know, a puppy addict, but then we probably wouldn’t get to see his butt. Not that I know for sure we do get to see it, I’m just guessing/hoping. That’s not even the reason I’m including Don Jon on my list; it’s been getting amazing buzz from critics since the Toronto Film Festival, making it totally legitimate arthouse eye candy. Sept. 27.
After Children of Men, I’ll watch pretty much anything by Alfonso Cuarón. Luckily, this spooky sci-fi thriller, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts stranded in helpless orbit after their space shuttle is destroyed, looks just as chilling and artistic as its illustrious predecessor. Oct. 4.
Sissy Spacek’s seminal scream queen is a hard act to ape, but if anyone can do the horror classic justice, it’s the triple threat of Chloë Grace Moretz as the titular blood-drenched telekenetic, Julianne Moore as her creepy Jesus freak mom and indie darling Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) stepping in for original director Brian de Palma. Even the lesser male lead is buzzy: newcomer Ansel Elgort, who’ll headline in next year’s film adaptation of John Green’s YA bestseller The Fault in Our Stars. Oct. 18.
12 Years a Slave
Every year has its Prestige Picture, with a capital P, and this is it. Based on an 1853 autobiography, the historical epic—directed by (the non-deceased) Steve McQueen—follows a free black man played by the criminally underrated Chiwetel Ejiofor who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti and Quvenzhané Wallis co-star. Look for 12 Years to rack up some serious Oscar noms come January. Oct. 31.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Scorcese. DiCaprio. Both fun to say in an over-the-top Italian accent, but also (usually) a recipe for great filmmaking, Gangs of New York notwithstanding. The Wolf of Wall Street, a dark comedy based on the book by ’90s finance ‘It’ Boy Jordan Belfort, brings the boys back to the Big Apple, but with lighter, leaner and much more fun material. Matthew McConaughey in a cheesy Donald Trump bouffant just seals the deal. Nov. 15.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I know—me and 80 million other people, right? But The Hunger Games was one of those rare, almost-as-good-as-the-book blockbusters. They are never, ever better than the book, unless said book was written by Stephenie Meyer, so I’m psyched for the sequel. Although the fact that I just used the word “psyched” might disqualify me based on age. I might need to hedge my bets and wear a romper. Nov. 22.