"Prisoners" is a crime drama and thriller out September 20, 2013. Hugh Jackman plays a working class Boston dad whose daughter is kidnapped. Maria Bello plays the mom and Jake Gyllenhaal plays the detective searching for the couple’s daughter. The fast-paced flick also stars Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, and Terrence Howard. As Jackman’s character is out of his mind with fear and grief he goes all vigilante and hunts down the man he believes abducted his daughter. The question is does he have the right guy? We’ll have to wait until next month to find out. The plot sounds similar to the two-star meh flick Taken but Prisoners is expected to be a much better film.
"The Family" is a dark crime comedy with plenty of action due out September 20, 2013. Robert De Niro plays Mafia boss Fred Manzoni. Fred rats out some mob guys so he and his family, which is his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children, Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D’Leo), are shuffled off to witness protection in a sleepy French town. French director Luc Besson makes great use of the sparkly cast. Pfeiffer is a hoot. The Manzoni’s don’t play well with others and Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) runs himself ragged trying to put out fires. As Fred’s former Mafia cronies chase him down, chaos abounds. Think of it as the Sopranos in the French countryside, sort of. The story is based on Tonino Benacquista’s novel Malavita. The executive producer is Martin Scorcese.
"Captain Phillips" is a biography action crime thriller due out October 11, 2013. Academy Award nominated director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) has proven his skill with heart-racing action and pulse-pounding terror. Tom Hanks stars as the true life hero, Captain Richard Phillips. In 2009, Phillips’s merchant vessel the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama was hijacked by Somali pirates. This was the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in 200 years. Phillips was taken prisoner and held for ransom for days before being rescued by Navy SEALs in a daring attack. Oscar nominee Catherine Keener plays Phillips’s wife, Andrea Phillips. The movie is based on the book by Richard Phillips, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.”
"The Counselor" is a thriller due out October 25, 2013. Director Ridley Scott teams up with the Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men) for McCarthy’s first foray into screenwriting. You can expect dark humor, a nightmarish scenario, and pure pandemonium. A lawyer (Michael Fassbender) finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. The cast is more than enough to entice you: Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, John Leguizamo, and Rosie Perez. One sad background note: director Ridley Scott Production was shut down for a week after Tony Scott, Ridley’s brother committed suicide in August 2012. The filming resumed last September. This one looks like a winner.
"Ender’s Game" is a sci-fi action thriller due out November 1, 2013. Based on the novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card, the film takes place 70 years after a horrific alien war. An unusually gifted child named Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (played by Asa Butterfield of Hugo) is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future Earth invasion. Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) is the man in charge of training our youthful future protectors. When Ender gets through that program he moves on to receive instruction from military space trainer Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley). Rackham will lead our young warriors into a battle that will determine the future of the human race. The cast includes Abigail Breslin as Valentine Wiggin and Viola Davis as Major Gwen Anderson.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is a biography crime drama due out November 15, 2013. It’s based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who rose to meteroic wealth and basked in his high life. That is until his partying plummets into the depths of crime, corruption, and trouble with the federal government. Martin Scorsese directs so we can almost stop there and say, “Run, don’t walk to this one.” Leonardo DiCaprio, Scorcese’s new DeNiro, looks fine in his pinstripe suits while he has one helluva good time playing this Wall Street rockstar. It’s almost as if Leo is playing another Gatsby but this one is as gleeful as a lottery winner until it all crashes. The top tier cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau, Spike Jonze, Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, and Rob Reiner.
"The Monuments Men" is part comedy, part action thriller, and part history drama, due out December 18, 2013. It’s based on the true story of a World War II platoon sent to Germany by FDR with orders to rescue artistic masterpieces stolen by Nazis. The German army was told to destroy everything as the Third Reich fell. The Monuments Men were a strange crew of seven museum directors, curators, and art historians who found themselves risking their lives in a race against time to preserve 1000 years of culture. George Clooney stars, directs, and coauthored the screenplay with Grant Heslov. Heslov is Clooney’s cofounder of their production company Smoke House (Clooney’s previous production company, Section Eight, closed down). Stars include Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray and Jean Dujardin. This may be 2013′s Argo.