November at the Movies

Welcome to All Oscars All The Time, ladies and gentlemen! Okay, that's not entirely accurate, November still has a couple genre delights to offer when it isn't slamming us over the head with potential nominees, but make no mistake, it's full steam ahead towards Oscar season at this point, so if you're into making predictions and having an opinion, take our your pocketbook (that's still a thing, right?) and get ready to spend this month. November is hitting the ground running!

Getting Your Genre On

"The Man with the Iron Fists" (Nov. 2)

Tarantino produces, Eli Roth writes and RZA directs and stars in this elaborate action-adventure movie (also starring Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe) about a blacksmith in 19th century China who turns into a human weapon to fight the clan trailer and save the village he now calls home. WHAT is happening? It's too weird that this movie even exists to not see it. It could literally be called the worst movie ever made and we will still be seeing it. Oh, and it's 3-D. Because of COURSE it is.

"Skyfall" (Nov. 9)

Sam Mendes directs this almost perfectly-reviewed Bond film that also acts as the most personal of the bunch, taking a look at the character of Bond in a way not often seen before. Many are calling it an exhilarating blend of "Bourne..." and "Dark Knight" that manages to both honor the past of Bond and look square into the future. Smart, gripping and action-packed, "Skyfall" is the Daniel Craig Bond movie we've been waiting for after the promise of "Casino Royale," and will no doubt rule the November box office.

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" (Nov. 16)

That is, until "Twilight" comes along. On top of being the final film in the bank breaking franchise, "Breaking Dawn Part 2" will also provide celebrity obsessed fans across the country with a sick look into the R-Patz and K-Stew of yore, and if you doubt the appealing nature of that kind of voyeurism, you have too much faith in us as a people. But hey, there is also a chance this fifth installment might not be terrible. "Breaking Dawn Part One" was just self-aware and screwed up enough to kind of work, thanks to director Bill Condon, and considering we *know* part two features Bella eating a mountain lion, it really can't be that bad, can it?

"Red Dawn" (Nov. 21)

This remake of the '80s classic has been sitting on a shelf for so long, practically all of the unknowns who were originally cast, like Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, are now full blown movie stars! Unfortunately, it seems as though the film has been stalled for a reason, torn apart by critics at every turn, some even referring to it as the worst of the year. Yikes. If the idea of a group of teenagers forming a guerilla group to retake their city from foreign troops is appealing to you, just rent the original.

Family Fun Times

"Wreck-It Ralph" (Nov. 2)

FINALLY! Since the first footage ever was shown at D23 last year, we have been eagerly anticipating this animated feature about a video game villain who wants to go good. Disney managed to snag the rights to a host of classic video game characters, who help make up the landscape of this Arcade-based world, and early reviews hint that the movie, featuring voices from John C. Riley, Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman, is a certified blast.

"Rise of the Guardians" (Nov. 21)

This animated movie, based on the book series, with a screenplay by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and a score by Alexandre Desplat, features the voices of Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher and more. Also, it calls Guillermo del Toro an Executive Producer. Sold! Oh yeah, the plot. The Nightmare King wants to engulf the world in darkness, so the immortal guardians, which include the likes of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, band together to take him down.

ALL of the Oscar Consideration

"Flight" (Nov. 2)

Beloved director Robert Zemeckis returns to live action with this mystery thriller about an addict pilot who is hailed as a hero after miraculously landing a plane after a mid-air disaster. Although the logline, on its face, reads "Oscar-bait snoozefest," critics are saying this is Denzel Washington's best performance since "Training Day" and Zemeckis' best film since "Forrest Gump," calling it audacious, absorbing, electrifying and more exciting descriptors! Get a leg up in the Best Actor category and be sure to catch this one as soon as possible.

"Lincoln" (limited Nov. 9, wide Nov. 16)

Celebrate! Daniel Day Lewis has emerged from wherever he hides between films to once again grow some new facial hair and get nominated for an Oscar! Spielberg's latest big-budget biopic has been getting mixed reviews from the start, but does that mean anyone who was planning on seeing it is randomly gonna stay at home? Wethinks not. This film specifically focuses on Lincoln's final days in office and the universe would have to explode before Day Lewis would ever be snubbed a nomination. Not to mention the countless inevitable technical nods.

"Anna Karenina" (Nov. 16)

Playwright Tom Stoppard and director Joe Wright team up for this 9th adaptation of Anna Karenina, this time starring Keira Knightly, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Michelle Dockery, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Kelly McDonald, and believe it or not a slew more of recognizable English faces. The story follows aristocrat Karenina (Knightly) and her life altering affair with Count Vronsky (Johnson), and word on the street is the visuals in this film are some of the absolute most breath taking of the year so don't be surprised if it pops up in Cinematography, Costume Design and Art Direction. Though be sure to manage your expectations, as many critics are saying the heart of the movie doesn't live up to the visuals. In any event, if you haven't seen the trailer yet, stop whatever you're doing and get on that, cause holy heart-stopping sensuality! (Read our review.)

"Life of Pi" (Nov. 21)

Ang Lee tries his hand at 3-D for the first time in his ambitious new picture, based on the best-selling novel about a shipwrecked boy and tiger who go on an epic journey together. The footage that played at CinemaCon brought the audience to tears with a mere ten minutes, and early reviews call it the best 3-D yet, powerful and accomplished, though many critics also warn that the film teeters on manipulative Oscar bait territory. Be prepared for "Life of Pi" to pop up in technical categories a plenty, and hey, perhaps Best Picture as well, depending on where the tides of the Oscar season take us. Make sure to take this one in not only in theaters, but in the best 3-D you can find. Lee has discussed in depth that this film is specifically designed to be seen with a third dimension, and to experience it without it would be doing yourself a great disservice. (Read our review.)

Silver Linings Playbook"The Silver Linings Playbook" (Nov. 21)

This David O'Russell directed festival darling, starring Bradley Cooper as a bi-polar former high school teacher who falls for a depressed widow played by Jennifer Lawrence, is currently rocking 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's easily the best reviewed of the Oscar potential bunch coming out in November, and is already inspiring talk about nabbing that Musical/Comedy Golden Globe away from "Les Miserable". If early Oscar talk is any indication, expect Silver Linings Playbook to take the indie comedy with heart slot in this years Best Picture line up, though if the track record of these types of films hold true, expect it to go the way of "Little Miss Sunshine", "Up in the Air", "The Kids are All Right" and "The Descendants", and get tarnished by backlash, preventing a win. Or hey, will Silver Linings Playbook end up being the exception that proves the rule? (Read our review.)

"Hitchcock" (Nov. 23)

This drama that follows the love story between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville, and the making of "Psycho," is one of two movies exploring the famed director this year, the other, "The Girl", having aired on HBO last month. This theatrical exploration of Hitchcock's life stars Anthony Hopkins as the titular director and features Helen Mirren as his wife, and Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel as the famous actresses in his life. Great performances, a behind-the-scenes look at a beloved movie, and a taut, fun tone should mean an exceptionally entertaining film.

"Rust & Bone" (Nov. 23)

In what may net Marion Cotillard yet another Oscar nomination and who knows, even another win, "Rust & Bone" follows the story of a beautiful young socialite and Orca trainer who loses her legs in a tragic accident, but is pursued by the man in love with her nonetheless, who ultimately helps her regain her will to live. Oh god. ALL of the tears. The film is from french director Jacques Audiard who impressed American audiences with his 2009 Oscar-nominated film "A Prophet." (Read our review.)

"Killing Them Softly" (Nov. 30)

This eagerly anticipated mob thriller satire from Andrew Dominik reunites the director with his "Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford" star, Brad Pitt. Many critics are already calling the film (about three guys who ill-advisedly rob a mob-protected card game and cause plenty of chaos) one of the unexpected best of the year. Movies like this unfortunately hardly get the recognition they deserve when it comes to the Academy Awards, but we can always hope for the best.