Oct. 8 Two from very different filmmakers who've earned fans for very different reasons: Gaspar Noé's Irreversible (2002) follow-up, the Japan-set, drugs 'n' ghosts drama Enter the Void; and the latest from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (2006's Half Nelson), mental-hospital dramedy It's Kind of a Funny Story.
Oct. 15 Here's a double feature for adrenaline junkies: Red (stands for "Retired Extremely Dangerous") lures former CIA agents (Willis! Freeman! Mirren! Malkovich!) back into the ass-whipping game, and Jackass 3-D. Yep.
Oct. 22 Just in time for Halloween, Clint Eastwood's paranormal activity-tinged Hereafter, starring Matt Damon and penned by Frost/Nixon (2008) scribe Peter Morgan, does box-office battle with Paranormal Activity 2. (Prediction: Paranormal Activity 3-D in 2011. Just sayin'.)
Oct. 29 Ben Affleck gets laid off in The Company Men, written and directed by the multi-Emmy'd John Wells (ER, The West Wing).
Nov. 5 21 Grams (2003) costars Sean Penn and Naomi Watts reunite for Fair Game, which is not a remake of Cindy Crawford's 1995 big-screen debut (and swan song). Nope, this Fair Game is about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, with nary a Baldwin in sight.
Nov. 12 Rachel McAdams is a harried TV producer in Morning Glory, also starring Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford; Denzel Washington has to halt a runaway train in Unstoppable, directed by his frequent collaborator Tony Scott (who, after Ridley's DOA Robin Hood, is probably the more enjoyable Scott brother nowadays).
Nov. 19 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. Perhaps you've heard of this already.
Nov. 24 Wait, Cher and Christina Aguilera are in a movie called Burlesque, and it's not in 3-D? Way to drop the ball, Hollywood.
Dec. 17 Tron: Legacy. Jeff "The Dude, Now With Oscar" Bridges returns in the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 video-game classic.
Dec. 22 Wanna see: Sofia Coppola's latest, Somewhere, about a movie star (Stephen Dorff) who's unexpectedly saddled with daddy responsibilities; and Crazy Heart — er, Country Strong, starring Gwyneth Paltrow as a country singer. Don't wanna see: Little Fockers. Just ... don't.
Dec. 25 This year's Christmas Day pick? Gotta be Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit remake, starring Jeff Bridges in the role John Wayne made famous.
Dates TBD, but too interesting to leave out: Danny Boyle follows up his Oscar land grab with 127 Hours, with James Franco as trapped mountain climber Aron "Cut Off His Own Arm to Survive" Ralston. And if the mind-bending trailer is any indication, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman as a besieged ballerina, is gonna be a must-see.