Fall Films

Fall Films: 12 Years a Slave Fall is here, and has brought a few promising films with it. Fall is a kind of transitional period; it isn’t summer blockbuster season anymore, but we haven’t reached the endless list of Oscar contenders that usually get packed in toward the end of the year either. In this season, we find a variety of films both big and small in scope and creativity. The following is a list of movies that, judging by their trailers and early reviews, look to be the best that will be gracing our theaters this autumn.

Gravity – PG-13
After a freak accident leaves an engineer and an astronaut adrift in space, the two must work to survive and get back to the safety of their space station. Beyond that, not much is known about the story of this film, as the trailers and early clips have been vague but mesmerizing. It’s hard to tell what Gravity will offer in the way character development or intricate story arcs, but some are saying that it is one of the greater visual achievements in recent years. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, this will probably be your favorite flick of 2013, and if this happens to be playing in an IMAX near you, you will not want to miss out. Gravity hits theaters October 4.

Captain Phillips – PG-13
This film is based on the true story of Richard Phillips, the captain of the American cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. The story follows the boarding and capture of Richard’s ship, and his fight to keep his crew, as well as himself, alive. The film stars Tom Hanks, and there are few people left in Hollywood whose name carries the good credit that Hanks’ does. Sure, he has made a dud or two over the years, but when you see him in a film like this you’re almost guaranteed a solid picture. Captain Phillips comes to theaters October 11.

Ender’s Game – PG-13
After fighting off an alien invasion that leaves earth decimated, humanity works and prepares for another impending attack. They don’t know when the invaders will return, but they cannot afford to be caught unprepared again. They have pinned their hopes upon a young prodigy to lead their military to victory, Ender Wiggin. Based on the acclaimed science-fiction novel of the same name, Ender’s Game looks like it will be one of the most exciting and entertaining films this fall. If you enjoy action, adventure or science-fiction, this looks like a must-see film, Ender’s Game lands in theaters November 1.

12 Years a Slave – R
This film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York in pre-Civil War America who was abducted and sold into slavery. During his internment, he fights not only to survive, but also to keep his dignity in the face of unbridled evil and cruelty. This film has been turning heads and generating buzz at every preview so far. People are comparing it to Schindler’s List, which is nothing short of the gold standard for emotionally striking social justice films. Regarding his work on the film, Brad Pitt was quoted as saying “I just have to say, if I never get to participate in a film again, this is it for me, it was a privilege.” Given the rating and subject matter, this will certainly not be a film to bring the little ones to, but for more mature audiences, this film is sure to be a thought provoking and emotional experience. 12 Years begins showing October 18.

Thor: The Dark World – PG-13
Faced with an enemy older than the universe itself, and a race more powerful than Odin and all of Asgard, Thor will have to sacrifice everything to save humanity as the very fabric of reality hangs in the balance. Marvel really does seem to have this formula down; all of the films leading up to and then culminating with The Avengers, have ranged between decent and downright phenomenal. Now, as we see a list of sequels to thee previous films, and even new franchises premiering such as Ant Man and The Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel doesn’t look like it’s losing any steam. Thor explodes into theaters November 8.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – PG-13
To be fair, this one is sort of cheating This film comes out in December, so it really is more of a winter film, but it’s going on the list anyway because it just wouldn’t seem right to leave it out. In this second installment, Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves have escaped the Misty Mountains, and must face the dreaded forest of Mirkwood and countless other challenges that threaten to keep them from reaching The Lonely Mountain. Once they have made it to the mountain, they must defeat the dragon Smaug, and reclaim the lost city of Erebor. This sequel to The Hobbit hits theatres December 13.

Rick Deal is a freelance writer and worship leader. He blogs at culturemakerblog.com, and tweets at @Letsmakeadeal26.

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