Alright, so September was kind of a letdown. Most of my most anticipated films proved to be decent flicks (Riddick, Don Jon, Prisoners), while a few cracked the mold and provided some solid entertainment (Insidious Chapter 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2). I’d still chalk September up as a slight disappointment, which means October’s batch of films are really going to have to impress.
This time around we’ve got a ton of really good-looking titles, which means some of the lesser ones will have to be withheld from my five film list. Films like Machete Kills, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa and the Carrie remake are all movies that have decent chances of success, but will most likely fail. Bad Grandpa is the only one that I’d love to include on my list, but will refrain, because the Jackass crew tends to do more of the same, which is still funny and entertaining, but not quite groundbreaking.
Machete Kills has been receiving mediocre reviews, but I enjoyed the first and will hope for the best with the second, while Carrie looks just plain awful.
Anyways, here’s my list of five films that I think you need to keep an eye on for October.
Previous lists below:
5. Runner Runner
Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake star in Brad Furman‘s Runner Runner, which looks like a high-stakes gambling drama that might provide enough thrills to prove itself worthy of some praise. Affleck hasn’t done this type of role in a while, which makes me excited to see what the now Oscar-nominated director can do in front of the screen, especially after all of the Batman casting talk.
Timberlake has also been known to deliver in supporting drama roles, such as Alpha Dog and The Social Network, so I’d love to wash that horrible taste he left in my mouth from after watching In Time.
Also, Furman last directed The Lincoln Lawyer, which was a tightly-constructed legal drama that just so happened to boost Matthew McConaughey back into the spotlight for dramatic roles, opposed to his usual safe romantic comedy roles.
Hopefully, Runner Runner moves quickly and provides us with a slick crime drama to help keep October moving before we face the more serious Oscar contenders.
The film opens on October 4th, 2013.
4. Escape Plan
Two of the biggest action stars of the 80s, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, are back on the big screen together in Mikael Håfström‘s Escape Plan. I’m not going to lie and tell you that this one looks like a first class drama, but it does look like a bit of nostalgic fun, featuring two seasoned performers. Just seeing Stallone and Schwarzenegger starring in the same film together makes me a happy camper.
I doubt Escape Plan outruns its already littered cliches and simple plots, but it could be fun and mindless enough to make me smile and sometimes that’s good enough at this point.
Plus, Håfström is an excellent director that manages to turn decent-looking films into good ones. Just see 1408 and The Rite if you want some good examples.
Escape Plan opens on October 18th, 2013.
3. Captain Phillips
Shaky cam expert director Paul Greengrass returns after the poorly received (but really fucking good) film Green Zone, which starred Matt Damon. Greengrass has mostly worked with Damon on the last two Bourne entries and Green Zone, but he’s also put his airtight and gritty filmmaking techniques to good use in other genres, like United 93.
Here, he’s working with Tom Hanks on a true story called Captain Phillips and it looks a lot more like United 93 than any of his other films.
Captain Phillips tells the real-life story of one captain and his crew as they get overran by Somali pirates. Greengrass has a way with making gritty and realistic dramas and I could easily see Captain Phillips landing Hanks an Oscar nomination or possibly even getting Greengrass a few of his own too.
The film opens on October 11th, 2013.
2. The Counselor
Ridley Scott follows up Prometheus with a Cormac McCarthy-written film titled The Counselor. Scott has yet again scored another sizable cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and so on.
The Counselor looks like a stirring drama, full of seedy characters and violence, but it could be another case of great marketing, much like his somewhat disappointing sci-fi film Prometheus, which I actually ended up enjoying a great deal, but can still see why people were so disappointed with it.
The Counselor has the benefit of coming in under the radar and hopefully that will help keep the hype leveled until the film reaches theaters everywhere.
It opens on October 25th, 2013.
I’ve already seen Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity, which simply means that I already know how absolutely breathtaking it really is. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in what is without a doubt the best movie of 2013 and one of the best science fiction films ever made. Cuaron has made a technical masterpiece and a gripping drama to boot, which pushes the IMAX 3D envelope to the next level, while also telling a story that’s deeply personal, yet grand in scope.
Gravity is a game-changer and should be the number one film to see on everyone’s list for October and for 2013 in general. I’d like to rant about it some more, but I’m saving that for my review, which goes live this week!
Gravity opens on October 4th, 2013.
September was a quiet month for films, yet October is absolutely exploding with all sorts of variety. Gravity should easily have everyone’s attention, but there’s enough content being released that almost every genre fan should be pleased in some way or another.
This leaves room for an even bigger November, with Oscar season kicking into full swing and some bigger tentpole fall titles being dropped on us as well.
What are you most looking forward to in October?