Argo (Sept. 14)

A CIA agent devises a rescue attempt for six Americans trapped in Iran during the revolution of the late seventies. Ben Affleck stars in and directs this thriller based upon true events, and that’s all the reason you should need to add this to your 2012 watch list. His first two directorial efforts, Gone Baby Gone and The Town, are different in many ways but equally entertaining. If Argo proves to be as engaging and well crafted as those two Affleck just may find himself crowned as Clint Eastwood’s heir apparent. Early Eastwood… -RH

Looper (Sept. 28)

I will pretty much sign up for anything Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt are in, but a story that sounds a bit like The Terminator (future selves and all) and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick)? Count me in. Plus I have been following the film’s Twitter for almost a year now so, you know, color me excited. -AL

There’s also a dreamy Tumblr page, which is where we got this image and the image for the article header. -Ed.

Taken 2 (Oct. 5)

Olivier Megaton isn’t just the most aptly named action director in the business. He’s quickly becoming producer Luc Besson’s go-to guy for sequels. He did right by the Transporter series and almost hit his stride with his catsuit-heavy hitgirl film Columbiana, and now he’ll come back to the Besson well with Taken 2, in which Liam Neeson will return with his very specific and considerable set of skills. Only this time, it’s Neeson’s Bryan Mills who gets taken. Who will come and rescue him? Silly reader! He will rescue his own damn self. -NM

Frankenweenie (Oct. 5)

Burton’s live-action films have been pretty hit-or-miss (mostly miss) for the past decade, but his animated work has consistently proved interesting. Frankenweenie in particular should give frustrated fans of Burton even more hope since the project marks a return to roots for the director. It’s a feature-length adaptation of his 1984 animated short about a boy who resurrects his dead dog Mary Shelley-style. Plus, there’s no Johnny Depp in sight! -LP

Gangster Squad (Oct. 19)

Director Ruben Fleischer has punched a ticket to Zombieland and delivered hilarious pizza action in 30 Minutes or Less, and now it’s time for his career to evolve into the dramatic. What’s in his future? The past. This crime flick heads back to the 40s and 50s when the Los Angeles Police Department struggled to make sure the cold-veined gangsters of the East didn’t feel welcome in the land of the sun. Even though Bryan Cranston won’t be involved after all, the cast is still filled to the hat brim with talent. -CA

Cloud Atlas (Oct. 26)

Recently some wild concept art from the Wachowski produced sci-fi epic was released, showing a future version of Seoul, Korea that was astonishing. If the rest of the movie pans out as the Wachowskis and director Tom Tykwer intend, it’s going to be the most ostentatious science fiction film in a year that will see quite a few ambitious projects from brilliant filmmakers. And with a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Keith David and more, it’s bound to be well-acted. Prepare for something big, something colorful and if we’re lucky, a bit of slow-motion. -NM

Skyfall (Nov. 9)

All my life I’ve been a Bond nerd, go ahead and ask me the year of release of any entry and the artist behind its title song (if you want proof of how sad my obsession really is). Given the financial turmoil at MGM, the uncertainty of Daniel Craig‘s return, and the overall disappointment that was Quantum of Solace, it isn’t hard to understand why we are so pumped to know we are definitely getting a new Bond film independent from now flat-lined storyline of the first two. -BS

Gravity (Nov. 21)

 

Two astronauts (Sandra Bullock, George Clooney) encounter trouble in the darkness of space and are forced into desperate measures in their attempt to get home. The script for this film reads like ‘Speed on a space ship’ and both Bullock and Clooney are wonderfully engaging actors, but the number one reason this film should be high on your radar is director Alfonso Cuaron. And if you’ve seen the magical adventure that is A Little Princess then you know why. Children of Men is also pretty good. -RH


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