Summer 2014 has come to a thudding close. These past four months have had their ups and downs, but overall this summer wasn’t as bad as the headlines are making it out to be. Despite a significant dip in attendance, there were all kinds of good movies. If you were disappointed by a film this summer, odds are that whatever film you saw next likely left you satisfied. Plus, even though there wasn’t a ton of originality this summer, at least there was variety.
This fall is packed with both variety and originality. The remainder of the year should get any film fan excited since we’ll be seeing films from Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Bennet Miller and other beloved storytellers. We’ll have reviews for some of those films as festival season rolls along, so keep an eye out. All of that kicks off this month.
So let’s get started with the 10 must see movies this September.
The Skeleton Twins
Opens in limited release September 12th
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader playing estranged siblings brought back together sounds like comedy gold, but The Skeleton Twins isn’t a flat-out comedy. It’s about a brother and sister attempting to commit suicide on the same day, so naturally there’s some drama. Wiig has certainly shown she’s capable of nailing more dramatic moments with Bridesmaids and Friends with Kids. As for Hader, he hasn’t had the same chance as Wiig yet, but he earned plenty of praise for his performance back at Sundance.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Opens in theaters September 12th
Three versions of this story are being released in a month’s time. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was initially over four hours long and broken into two movies: Him (James McAvoy) and Her (Jessica Chastain), but The Weinstein Company is first releasing a condensed version of Ned Benson‘s epic love story.
The question is: which version should people see? Based on all the love for this movie, probably all three. Who wouldn’t want to spend six hours watching James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, William Hurt, Viola Davis, Bill Hader (King of September?), Isabelle Huppert, and Ciarán Hinds?
A Walk Among the Tombstones
Opens in theaters September 19th
Scott Frank is the writer behind some of the best movies of the 90s: Out of Sight, Dead Again and Get Shorty. In 2007 he made his directorial debut with The Lookout — a film just as fine as his aforementioned writing credits. It’s a smart, dramatic, clever thriller featuring what might be Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s best performance yet. Frank’s returned behind the camera with an adaptation of a Lawrence Block book about an unlicensed private detective (Liam Neeson) working for a drug lord trying to solve the mystery of wife’s murder.
The Zero Theorem
Now on VOD and opens in limited release September 19th
A familiar but new film from Terry Gilliam. Even though he didn’t write the script, The Zero Theorem‘s ties to the filmmaker’s past work are obvious. For starters, the story follows a loner, Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz), in a world dominated by sensory overload. While the rest of humanity has allowed technology to consume their lives, Qohen’s is driven by waiting for a phone call that will explain why he exists. This comic tragedy is a strangely moving story about hoping our lives have importance. Gilliam is in fine form here, making The Zero Theorem his most cohesive, entertaining and thoughtful film since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Opens in limited release September 19th
We don’t see enough of Michelle Monaghan. She’s been in a few independent films lately that didn’t garner much attention, but she’s an excellent actor who needs a bigger spotlight. Even when she’s in movies that don’t turn out well, she manages to deliver fine work. When Monaghan has the material to support her, she’s fantastic. Just watch Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang for a reminder or checkout her overlooked performance in Trucker.
In Fort Bliss Monaghan plays an Army medic returning from Afghanistan. The film is currently flying under-the-radar, but it should be worth seeing for Monaghan alone.