Screen Invasion’s 30 Most Anticipated Fall Films


Title:  Won’t Back Down
Release Date:  September 28, 2012
Director:  Daniel Barnz
Starring:  Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holly Hunter, Ving Rhames
Two mothers (Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal) fight a corrupt teacher’s union president (Holly Hunter) and a school principal (Ving Rhames) to better their children’s subpar inner city public school. Why am I excited?:  Can’t help but love strong female characters fighting the good fight, especially when the movie is (loosely) based on a true story.  – Sarah Katz


Title:  Butter
Release Date: October 5, 2012
Director: Jim Field Smith
Starring: Yara Shahidi, Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Alicia Silverstone, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Hugh Jackman
The illustrious world of butter sculpting is explored in this ensemble comedy film set in small-town Middle America.  The script, by first timer Jason A. Micallef, spent time on Hollywood’s blacklist of most popular screenplays before getting picked up.  Fans of Modern Family should be excited to see Emmy-winner Ty Burrell bring the laughs on the big screen. – Brain Rudloff

Title: Frankenweenie
Release Date: October 5, 2012
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short
Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. Tim Burton returns to his best medium, stop-motion. Burton always does best when he takes a story that he’s personally invested in to the big screen – just look at The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands – and this is definitely his biggest passion project to date. Starting as his first short film, Frankenweenie finally gets the feature film treatment so many years later.  – Kristal Bailey

Title:  V/H/S
Release Date: October 5, 2012
Director: Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Radio Silence
Starring: A bunch of people
This found footage horror anthology finds a group of criminals searching through a stack of disturbing videotapes for a rare piece of footage they were hired to steal.  Early buzz out of Sundance this year says the high concept beast works on all levels. With Ti West, the new savior of horror cinema, involved, there is a good chance that V/H/S is an instant genre classic. – Brian Rudloff


Title: Taken 2
Release Date: October 5, 2012
Director: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Serbedzija
Liam Neeson’s got skills and knows how to use them in this action sequel, which returns most of the principal cast from the surprise 2008 smash hit.  This time a different Luc Besson protégé is at the helm, but there’s no reason to believe that Taken 2 can’t make international vigilantism look as cool as the first film did.  The twist is that Neeson is the one being held hostage in retaliation for murdering half of the Albanian mafia in the original.  He must enlist the help of his daughter (Maggie Grace) to escape and exact revenge on his captors.  The first Taken was a perfect guilty pleasure; even if this one is just a retread, it’ll still have the visceral thrill of watching Oskar Schindler beat up baddies in a smart long-sleeved henley. – Eric Ambler

Title:  Pitch Perfect
Release Date:  October 5, 2012
Director:  Jason Moore
Starring:  Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Alexis Knapp, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Adam DeVine, Ester Dean, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, Hana Mae Lee
Beca (Anna Kendrick), a Bardon University freshman and self-declared outsider, reluctantly joins The Bellas, Barton’s all-female a capella group. Run by Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp), The Bellas are in serious need of some new tunes. With the help of Beca, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and other new recruits (Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee), The Bellas take on their male counterpart, the Treblemakers, and others in their quest for a cappella greatness. Why am I excited?:  Aside from the cast and the a cappella, I dare you to watch the teaser trailer and not want to see this movie.  – Sarah Katz

Title: Argo
Release Date: 10/12/2012
Director: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John 

As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. Affleck has proven himself a talented director with his previous effort, The Town. This sounds so crazy that it had to be based on a true story to get greenlit. The trailer seems to balance the serious subject material with touches of humor really well and the acting talent is top-notch.  -Kristal Bailey

Title: Fun Size
Release Date: October 12, 2012
Director: Josh Schwartz
Starring: Victoria Justice, Chelsea Handler, Jane Levy, Johnny Knoxville
Nickelodeon starlet Victoria Justice hits the big screen as a teenager who ditches her trick-or-treating little brother (Jackson Nicoll) to attend a Halloween party, then frantically tries to locate him before their mother (Chelsea Handler) finds out he’s gone missing.  Fun Size is the film directorial debut of soapy TV mastermind Josh Schwartz (Chuck, Gossip Girl), working from a script by Colbert Report scribe Max Werner.  That kind of pedigree hints that Fun Size might be an acerbic antidote to the typical tween comedy:  it was briefly slated for release under Viacom’s MTV Films label before being shifted back under the kid-friendly Nickleodeon banner.  Schwartz enjoyed his greatest success placing witty barbs in the mouths of babes on The O.C., so it will be interesting to see how his smart-aleck sensibility translates to a feature film. – Eric Ambler

Title:  Paranormal Activity 4
Release Date: October 19, 2012
Director: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Starring: Dianna Agron (?), Katie Featherston (?), Brady Allen (?)
I’m a fan of the Paranormal Activity series.  So sue me!  Actually, the second installment kinda sucked, but Catfish’s Joost and Schulman made part 3 one of the most suspenseful and terrifying movie experiences of recent memory.  The mythology is actually quite intriguing and I am excited to see where they take it next.  All details are under wraps, but Glee’s Dianna Agron is rumored to be the star. – Brian Rudloff

Title: Killing Them Softly
Release Date: October 19, 2012
Director: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn
A mob enforcer investigates the stick-up of an illegal high stakes poker game in this adaptation of a George V. Higgins novel.  We’re already seen the dream team of Brad Pitt and Richard Jenkins discuss the finer points of dirty business, so hopes are high that Killing Me Softly can maintain that Sopranos­-esque blend of melancholy and menace.  (And what do you know: James Gandolfini—Mr. Tony Soprano himself—plays a supporting role.)  It’s only the third film in 12 years for director Andrew Dominik, who also scripted.  Dominik’s previous trips to the criminal underworld in Chopper and The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford were well-received critically, but the star power behind Killing Them Softly could make it the talented Aussie’s commercial breakthrough. – Eric Ambler

Title: Cloud Atlas
Release Date: October 26, 2012 (U.S.); Early 2013 (International)
Director: The Wachowskis, Tom Tykwer
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving
A single “WTF?”-inducing promotional image was the only indication that this adaptation of David Mitchell’s tricky time-jumping novel was going to be a real, honest-to-God movie until Warner Bros. announced it as a surprise addition to its fall slate.  Cloud Atlas will have to lure some of the horror-seeking Halloween audience with its six interlocking storylines that unfold from the 19th century through the distant future, and a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Susan Sarandon playing a pot-bellied Indian man.  You’ve got to hand it to Andy and Lana Wachowski for taking a huge gamble on such an unusual project after the giddy sugar rush that was Speed Racer flopped at the box office in 2008.  Even if the plot has serious Southland Tales trainwreck potential, the Wachowskis’ decision to join forces with Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) ensures that their latest two-hour-plus epic will at least be an impressive visual feast. – Eric Ambler

Keep Reading our Fall Film Picks on Page 3.

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The Author

Kristal Bailey

Kristal Bailey

With a soft spot for movies that fall into the “So Bad They’re Good” category, Kristal Bailey regularly watches B-movies, 80s comedies, and sci-fi from the 50s and 60s. She also refuses to grow up if that means she has to hide her love for Disney and Pixar films.

In her free time, she enjoys reading graphic novels or books that are soon to be turned into movies, watching hours and hours of television, and spending way too much time on Twitter.