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2013 Fall Preview: Our 20 Most-Anticipated Films

Written by on September 4, 2013 

After highlighting the 20 best features we’ve already seen, our 2013 fall preview continues with a look at the films which we, personally, have yet to see, but are nevertheless greatly looking forward to. With a mix of remakes, major studio tentpoles, smaller dramas, and a few from our favorite directors, there should be something for everyone below. Unlike our other fall previews, this one is a countdown leading to our most-anticipated — and, if you’re wondering about the placement of films such as Inside Llewyn Davis or Blue is the Warmest Color, we once again suggest heading over to this feature. One can also come back later in the week, when we’ll highlight the festival titles we hope get acquired, right in time for the launch of TIFF.

20. Jack Ryan: Shadow One (Kenneth Branagh; Dec. 25th)

Cinema does not necessarily need another Tom Clancy adaptation, yet the opportunity to combine his old-school espionage plots with some modern (which, yes, can still equal “non-abrasive”) excitement is a fine one; after Kenneth Branagh equipped himself relatively well with Thor, the more grounded origins of a different Paramount-distributed hero should be right in his wheelhouse, too. Chris Pine, now inheriting action roles established decades prior, is a commendable choice for this titular role, though the promise of Branagh and Kevin Costner as his foe and mentor, respectively, is nothing to scoff at. As far as Christmas blockbusters go, we could do a lot worse — but here’s hoping this one satisfies on its own terms.  – Nick N.

19. The Fifth Estate (Bill Condon; Oct. 11th)

Following Alex Gibney‘s WikiLeaks doc from this past summer, DreamWorks will be delivering a dramatized spin on those same events with The Fifth Estate, Bill Condon‘s bid to get a bit more serious after the final two Twilight films. Led by Benedict Cumberbatch, playing the role of Julian Assange, the trailer has pointed toward a worthy retelling of these recent events; with a TIFF premiere just around the corner, we’ll soon find out if that’s the case. – Jordan R.

18. Rush (Ron Howard; Sept. 20th)

Since donning his Thor costume, Chris Hemsworth has more or less stuck with major blockbuster options, but this month will see him take on biopic material with Rush, a look at the rivalry between Formula One stars James Hunt and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). It comes from Ron Howard and, somewhat accordingly, the previews have yet to convince yours truly that it’ll deviate from standard awards fare, but, with a Toronto premiere on the horizon and some strong early buzz, perhaps that won’t be the case. – Jordan R.

17. Oldboy (Spike Lee; Nov. 27th)

How does one remake the most memorable, jaw-dropping, deliciously icky revenge saga the 21st century has seen thus far? If you’re Spike Lee, you cast a brooding Josh Brolin in the lead, surround him with actors like Sharlto Copley and Elizabeth Olsen, and make clear your intentions to avoid a slavish adaptation of Park Chan-wook’s 2004 original, and instead use the hammer-swinging masterpiece as inspiration. While there are reasons to be weary — the release date recently moved back one month — the film’s eye-popping poster and ultra-violent red band trailer indicate that Lee’s Oldboy will, at the very least, be one hell of a ride. We’ll have to wait and see whether that ride includes a squid. – Christopher S.

16. Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée; Nov. 1st)

If 2012 was the emergence of Matthew McConaughey, serious actor, then 2013 may just be the next stage. Following Bernie, Magic Mike, and an especially twisted turn in Killer Joe, the actor recently defied box office expectations with Mud — and, before his lead role in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, he’ll get a chance at some awards glory with this performance. Starring as famed Texan Ron Woodruff — a man who took it upon himself to smuggle alternative medicine into the US when his own government didn’t know how to handle the ’80s AIDS crisis — it looks to be another remarkable, meaty part for the man, not to mention one for his supporting star, Jared Leto.Jordan R.

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