Rush

With the mega popcorn movie season over we’re starting to see summer recap articles flooding in, and so far, most have painted summer 2013 as underwhelming or downright horrible. Maybe some of those writers just didn’t see White House Down.

But, in general, this past season was packed with a variety of good-to-terrific options, from the likes of Frances HaOnly God Forgives, and The Way, Way Back to The Great Gatsby, Fast & Furious 6, and This is the End. There were a lot of gratifying offerings.

There were letdowns, too, but what summer doesn’t have a few disappointments? The same will go for this fall movie season, which, as of right now, is looking excellent.

Here are 10 movies that should make going back to school, work, or whatever else you got going on a little more tolerable:

The Family

Opens September 13th

Luc Besson is a brand. The films he makes — or nowadays, produces or writes — are self-aware shoot’m ups that are 100% Besson. But it’s been a while since he’s directed a crime picture that caught fire with us Stateside. With The Family, it’s a welcomed return in that regard, partially in thanks to his stellar cast and Martin Scorsese sitting in a producer’s chair.

The scenes with Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones alone, if any good, should make this comedic crime caper about a mob family relocated to France a must-see.

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Blue Caprice 

Opens September 13th

Everyone remembers the Beltway Snipers, but maybe none more than the people of Maryland, Virginia and DC. It was a tense three weeks in October 2002, and the film based on the two snipers, Blue Caprice, is suitably startling. Director Alexandre Moors‘ film is an uncomfortable 90 minutes worth experiencing, showing the manipulative and complicated relationship between John Allen Muhammad (Isaiah Washington) and Lee Malvo (Tequan Richmond).

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Newlyweeds

Opens September 18th in New York

Sundance is a place where we find emerging voices each year. Some last, some don’t. Hopefully the director of NewlyweedsShaka King, will. His stoner dramedy is a strong debut that is more than a stylish calling card; it has personality. Based on the plot synopsis — the bumpy relationship of two stoners — it could go either way as a broad pot comedy or a punishingly bleak “don’t do drugs!” PSA. Fortunately, it’s neither. It’s something far better.

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Rush

Opens September 20th

Ron Howard is at his best with these awards contenders. He’s been slightly inconsistent these past few years, making quality that ranges from Frost/Nixon to The Dilemma. With the rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan have a compelling true life story that shouldn’t be difficult to mess up. From what I’ve heard, Rush milks that rivalry and friendship for all its worth, being Howard’s best film in years.

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Prisoners

Opens September 20th

A 2 1/2 hour drama focusing on grieving, desperate parents whose children have gone missing is not an typical studio film. Based on the reviews out of the festival circuit, Prisoners is as surprising as it sounds. With that cast, a powerful drama drenched in dread is easy to imagine.  Watching Hugh JackmanMaria BelloViola DavisJake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano work may not be a bad way to spend your time at the movies.


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