As autumn comes upon us this week, so do the films of fall. Now is when movies get serious, when Hollywood starts thinking about Oscar. You’ll still find plenty of zombies and ninjas at the multiplex in the coming weeks, just not “quite” as many as you would have found in July.
Here is a list of movies scheduled for release between now and Thanksgiving. Dates are subject to change.
“Capitalism: A Love Story”: Michael Moore’s first documentary since he took on health care in “Sicko” explores the increasingly large role corporate America has played in government and the resulting financial crisis.
“A Serious Man”: The new comedy from iconoclastic directors Joel and Ethan Coen centers on a beleaguered college professor whose wife leaves him for a colleague.
“Whip It”: “Juno’s” Ellen Page stars in Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, the story of a small-town beauty queen turned roller-derby ruffian.
“Couples Retreat”: Four married couples (among them Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman, Kristin Davis and Jon Favreau) vacation at an island that specializes in relationship counseling.
“Zombieland”: A fearless gunman (Woody Harrelson) and a scaredy cat (Jesse Eisenberg) join forces in a world overrun by flesh-eating zombies.
“Law Abiding Citizen”: A bereaved man (Gerard Butler) targets the Philadelphia prosecutor (Jamie Foxx) who orchestrated a plea bargain for the killer of his wife and daughter.
“The Road”: Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece about a father and son (Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee) comes to the screen, after a year’s delay of tweaks and adjustments.
“The Stepfather”: The remake of the 1987 cult classic stars Penn Badgley as a young man who suspects his mother’s new boyfriend (Dylan Walsh) may not be whom he says he is.
“Where the Wild Things Are”: Director Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s seminal children’s book, based on a screenplay by Jonze and Dave Eggers, promises to be special.
“Amelia”: Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank tries for a third with this biopic of Amelia Earhart, who disappeared in 1937 while trying to fly solo around the world. Directed by Mira Nair.
“Astro Boy”: The computer-animated adventures of a boy robot (voiced by Freddie Highmore) and his scientist creator (Nicolas Cage).
“Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”: The first of Darren Shan’s popular series of novels to be filmed centers on a teenager (Chris Massoglia) who is turned into a vampire and joins a circus.
“Saw VI”: Not to be confused with “Saw V” or “Saw IV.” Because it’s really, really different.
“Youth in Revolt”: Director Miguel Arteta adapts C.D. Payne’s cult novel about a teenager (Michael Cera) who hopes to lose his virginity to the girl of his dreams (Portia Doubleday).
“The Box”: Writer-director Richard Kelly (“Donnie Darko”) adapts from a Richard Matheson short story, about a married couple (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) given a wooden box. Push its button, and you become instantly wealthy — but someone, somewhere, drops dead.
“Disney’s A Christmas Carol”: Director Robert Zemeckis continues his obsession with computer-generated rotoscope animation with this 3D, IMAX-sized retelling of the Dickens classic, starring Jim Carrey as Scrooge.
“The Fourth Kind”: Milla Jovovich stars as a psychologist in a remote Alaska town who discovers many of her patients are suffering from the same malady: Alien abduction.
“The Men Who Stare at Goats”: A soldier (George Clooney) claims to be a former member of a secret unit that uses paranormal powers to carry out missions.
“2012”: Disaster magnet Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow”) returns to destroy our planet again.
“Pirate Radio”: In the 1960s, while the BBC limited itself to two hours of rock ’n’ roll music a week, a pirate radio station sates Britain’s hunger for guitar-driven music. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Rhys Ifans star.
“The Blind Side”: A drama about a homeless African-American teenager (Quinton Aaron) who is taken in by a wealthy white couple (Sandra Bullock and
Tim McGraw) as part of a college football recruitment program.
“Planet 51”: Like “District 9,” only in reverse. And animated. And for kids.
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon”: After the bloodsucker Edward (Robert Pattinson) and his personable family split town, the heartbroken Bella (Kristen Stewart) finds comfort in the arms of a young werewolf (Taylor Lautner).