Just as summer movie burnout settles in, along come the films of fall to give us something to talk about other than special effects and action setpieces and how on Earth can Batman possibly fight Superman.
Sure, there will still be plenty of would-be blockbusters, including another Thor movie and the second installment in the Hunger Games franchise. But there are also new movies from Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips"), Ridley Scott ("The Counselor"), Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska"), Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"), along with several adaptations of popular novels and celebrated smaller pictures that have earned praise on the festival circuit.
Here is a list of some of the 50-plus movies coming our way between now and Thanksgiving.
<strong> "The Family":</strong> What if "The Sopranos" had ended with Tony turning informant and joining the witness protection program? Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer are a married couple with kids hiding out in France from the mobsters they ratted out. Tommy Lee Jones is the CIA agent trying to keep them safe. But old habits die hard. Directed by Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element," "The Professional"), who nicely balances dark humor with grave action.
<strong>"Insidious Chapter 2":</strong> Director James Wan ("The Conjuring") and screenwriter Leigh Whannell ("Saw") reunite for more old-school, PG-13-rated frights in this sequel to their 2010 hit recounting the further adventures of a family (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) haunted by a persistent demon.
<strong>"Salinger":</strong> Screenwriter Shane Salerno ("Savages") makes his directorial debut with this documentary exploring the life of the famously secretive author J. D. Salinger. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton and Tom Wolfe are among the famous faces who weigh in on the writer's legacy.
<strong>"Battle of the Year 3D":</strong> So you think you can dance? Josh Peck plays a basketball coach recruited by an American team to help them win the annual dance crew world championship held in France.
<strong>"C.O.G.":</strong> This adaptation of David Sedaris' essay stars Jonathan ("Glee") Groff as an arrogant East Coast intellectual who moves to Oregon and becomes an apple picker.
<strong>"Prisoners":</strong> The Oscar buzz has begun for director Denis ("Incendies") Villeneuve's thriller about the increasingly desperate father (Hugh Jackman) of an abducted girl and the detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) scrambling to find her.
<strong> "Baggage Claim":</strong> Intent on getting engaged before her younger sister's wedding, a flight attendant (Paula Patton) gives herself a month to find her perfect man. Djimon Hounsou, Adam Brody, Taye Diggs and Derek Luke are among the eligible bachelors.
<strong>"Blue Caprice":</strong> Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond star as the deranged team who embarked on the Beltway sniper attacks that left 10 people dead in October 2002.
<strong>"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2":</strong> Bill Hader returns as the voice of the hapless inventor who came up with a machine that made food rain down from the sky. Now he must figure out how to deal with the voracious animals that mutated as a result of 24/7 chow.
<strong>"Don Jon":</strong> Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed and stars in this comedy about a promiscuous online-porn addict who falls for an innocent woman (Scarlett Johansson) weaned on happily-ever-after Hollywood romances and fairy tales.