It’s October, which means awards season has officially commenced. Last month gave us a taste with Ron Howard’s Rush, Hugh Jackman yelling in Prisoners, and, last but not least, Luc Besson’s The Family. Maybe not that last one so much, but the other two weren’t a shabby way to kick things off.
This month has two movies in particular that should blow socks off while also causing a few tears to flow in the process. They’re the obvious suspects, but they both pack awfully heavy punches. There’s also a little talked about science-fiction-ish movie you may want to check out this weekend as well…
But there’s more than three movies to see this month. So, without further ado, here are the ten must-see movies of October 2013:
Opens October 4th
The hype for this movie could not have reached greater heights. James Cameron praised it as “the greatest movie set in space,” and while I wouldn’t go that far, Gravity‘s praise is well-earned. Alfonso Cuaron‘s space thriller is a tight 90 minute ride. It doesn’t have the nuance, emotion, or strong character work from Children of Men, but, to be fair, Cuaron’s ambitions here are different. This is a pure popcorn movie that dazzles sequence after sequence.
Opens in limited release and on VOD October 4th
Any current or former high school film nerd should relate to director and star Matthew Johnson‘s debut film, especially if you faced your share of bullies for your nerdom. The Dirties is about those kind of nerds who live their lives off movie quotes, and who reach their breaking point with their antagonists. The dark turn towards the end may cause the film to go off the rails, but what comes before it is a solid dark comedy.
Opens October 4th
Thus far the critics haven’t been kind to this one, but my hopes remain intact. The pairing of director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) and screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien (A Solitary Man) is promising. The thriller starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, and, one of the best actresses around, Gemma Arterton, has classy popcorn movie written all over it, in spite of the disheartening reviews.
Opens October 11th
“By the time the film reaches its inevitably heart-stopping conclusion, Tom Hanks has similarly reached another level in his performance, the impact of which resonates long after the credits come up,” said Kate Erbland, after seeing Paul Greengrass‘s latest at New York Film Festival.
She couldn’t be more on the money. Hanks, playing Captain Phillips, gives one of his most assured performances to date. Greengrass is now an old pro when it comes to intensity, but with the thanks of Hanks and an inspiring true life story, it’s an emotional experience with a keen level of intimacy.
Escape from Tomorrow
Opens in limited release and on VOD October 11th
Allison Loring was not a fan of Escape from Tomorrow at this year’s Sundance, but her log line for the film sold me, “Escape from Tomorrow is certainly not for everyone, but it is a trip watching a man breaking down in a place created to escape your problems and troubles, not draw them out.”
A black-and-white art house mind trip secretly shot at Disney World is a world that should be worth visiting.