In reviewing the crop of films scheduled to be released towards the end of the year, a handful piqued our interest for various reasons. Some have a solid pedigree, others have fascinating tales to tell, a few are adaptations of famous works, and a couple simply look fun. Though some of these films may prove to be real stinkaroos, at this point they all smell pretty sweet. Here’s a rundown.
Tom Stoppard adapted the Tolstoy novel about romantic entanglements in 19th-century Russia. Joe Wright directs, Kiera Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson star. Release date November 9.
Ben Affleck directs himself, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman…and Adrienne Barbeau! The drama about the Iranian revolution and an attempted rescue of six American comes out October 12.
The Gangster Squad
Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin and Nick Nolte populate this period picture about the 1940s-era LAPD trying to keep east coast organized crime from infiltrating their city. Ruben Fleischer directs. Release date to be determined.
Alfonso Cuarón directs Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in the story of the lone survivor of a tragic space mission trying to return to earth. Release date November 21.
The Great Gatsby
Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Tobey Maguire round out the cast of Baz Luhrmann’s version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel. Release date December 25.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The tale of Bilbo Baggins finally comes to the big screen with Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis, directed by Peter Jackson. Release date December 14.
Hyde Park on Hudson
Bill Murray plays Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the story of his love affair with distant cousin Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney). Roger Michell directs. Release date December 7.
Inside Llewyn Davis
The latest Joel & Ethan Coen film is set in the world of folk music in 1960s New York. Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake star. Release date February 8.
The Broadway musical version of Victor Hugo’s epic novel comes to the screen with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, directed by Tom Hooper. Release date December 14.
Life of Pi
Ang Lee directs the story of a young Indian boy who survives a shipwreck and finds himself drifting in the Pacific Ocean with a variety of wild animals. Release date December 21.
Daniel Day-Lewis portrays the American president during the Civil War years in this Steven Spielberg-directed drama based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt also star. Release date December.
The Silver Linings Playbook
After spending four years in a mental institution, Bradley Cooper goes to live with his mother and tries to get back together with his wife. Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro also star in this David O. Russell-directed film. Release date November 21.
Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow directs Joel Edgerton and Jessica Chastain in the tale of a team of Navy Seals setting out to find Osama bin Laden. Release date December 19.