Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 | midnight
A Dangerous Method (November 23) Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley. Directed by David Cronenberg. Director Cronenberg and actor Mortensen have worked together on two previous dark dramas, 2005’s A History of Violence and 2007’s Eastern Promises, and A Dangerous Method looks like another intriguing and successful collaboration between the two. Featuring Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and rising star Fassbender (who played Magneto in X-Men: First Class) as Carl Jung, Method focuses on a troubled but alluring female patient (Knightley) who comes between the two pioneers of psychiatry. The combination of Cronenberg and Freud promises a whole lot of psychosexual intrigue, played out in a disturbingly compelling fashion. –Josh Bell
Wanderlust (October 7) Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux. Directed by David Wain. Alt-comedy veterans Wain and Ken Marino (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) bring their oddball sensibilities to the mainstream in this comedy about an urban couple (Rudd and Aniston) who wind up living on a commune.
Paranormal Activity 3 (October 21) Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Yes, it’s more “found footage” of things going bump in the night, this time in a 1980s-set prequel featuring the sisters from the first two films as young girls.
In Time (October 28) Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy. Directed by Andrew Niccol. Niccol returns to the philosophically oriented sci-fi of his movies Gattaca and Simone with this story about a society in which no one ages past 25, and people must literally buy time in order to stay alive.
The Rum Diary (limited release October 28; Las Vegas release TBD) Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart. Directed by Bruce Robinson. Depp once again plays an alter ego of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, this time a newspaper reporter drawn into the Puerto Rican underworld.
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (November 4) John Cho, Kal Penn, Danneel Ackles. Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson. The stoner pals return to take on Santa Claus, Jesus Christ and Neil Patrick Harris, all in totally gratuitous 3D.
Puss in Boots (November 4) Voices of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis. Directed by Chris Miller. The suave, swashbuckling cat from the Shrek series gets his own movie, in which he teams up with Humpty Dumpty and romances a fellow feline adventurer.
J. Edgar (November 11) Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench. Directed by Clint Eastwood. J. Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio), the FBI’s powerful and controversial original director, gets the biopic treatment, with a screenplay by the writer of Milk.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (November 18) Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner. Directed by Bill Condon. The first part of the last installment in the Twilight supernatural romance series finds Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) finally consummating their relationship.
Hugo (November 23) Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Renowned auteur Scorsese takes on a mainstream 3D family film with this fantasy based on a children’s novel about an orphan living in the walls of a Paris train station.
The Muppets (November 23) Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper. Directed by James Bobin. The first Muppets theatrical release since 1999 sees the lovable puppet characters trying to save their theater with the help of their biggest fans.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (November 11) Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson. Directed by Sean Durkin. One of the standouts at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Martha Marcy May Marlene, despite its welter of names, turns out to be a riveting portrait of a single character, albeit one with multiple conflicting identities. Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley) gives a magnificently ambiguous performance as a young woman who’s escaped from a cult but neglected to mention that fact to her sister (Paulson), with whom she’s now holed up. Flashbacks to her time with the cult’s charismatic leader (Hawkes) disturb mightily—yet are arguably less harrowing than her shaky present-tense navigation of the humdrum world to which she’s returned. A brilliant exercise in sustained tension. –Mike D’Angelo