Now that the Summer 2011 Movie Season is over, it’s time to look ahead to Fall. For some movie fans, Fall is a welcome respite from the oft-numbing assault of Summer blockbusters; for other fans it will be time spent having to endure a lot more “artsy” films and Award season hopefuls until the holiday movie season arrives with its own slew of blockbuster fare.

For better or worse, the Fall 2011 season will match the preceding Summer season in the sense that remakes, spinoffs and sequels will rule the cineplex – but even amongst those seemingly uninspired offerings, there are certainly a few gems to keep an eye out for.

Our guide to the Fall 2011 Movies includes links to our coverage of each film (just click any title), a brief synopsis about what the film is about, and our early predictions about whether the we think the movie is worth your time and ticket money. So bookmark this post now – you’ll probably need it again before the year is out 😉 .

First, you owe it to yourself to check out our awesome, custom-made trailer for the Fall (and Winter) movie season(s), created by our own Mike Eisenberg!

You can jump to a particular month by clicking on the links below.

Fall 2011 Movie Guide

September 2011

Burke and Hare

September 9th (US)

A black comedy about two 19th century grave robbers (Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis) who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school.

Our Take: John Landis (An American Werewolf In London) is an icon for his ability to mix the humorous with the macabre, and with Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) and Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) in the lead, this could be an entertaining film – if it makes it onto people’s radar, that is.

Contagion

September 9th

Steven Soderbergh’s action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak. Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston star.

Our Take: In our Contagion review, we peg the movie as being interesting and stylish, but a little short on heart. Still, it’s from Steven Soderbergh, who took a similar (and successful) approach with his ensemble film Traffic. So you know it can’t all be bad.

Warrior

September 9th

The youngest son (Tom Hardy) of an alcoholic former boxer (Nick Nolte) returns home, where he’s trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament — a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother (Joel Edgerton). Jennifer Morrison, Noah Emmerich and Kevin Dunn co-star.

Our Take: Our Warrior Review pegs this film as one of the big surprises of 2011. Although ‘rise to glory’ sports stories are a dime a dozen, Warrior stands out thanks to it’s fantastic lead performers and the skilled direction of Gavin O’Connor (Miracle).

Straw Dogs

September 16th

L.A. screenwriter David Sumner (James Marsden) relocates with his wife (Kate Bosworth) to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both. Alexander Skarsgård, Willa Holland, Dominic Purcell and James Woods co-star.

Our Take: People will likely be attracted (literally and figuratively) to the cast of pretty faces, but the Straw Dogs trailer paints this as being yet another unnecessary remake.

Drive

September 16th

A Hollywood stunt performer (Ryan Gosling) who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong. Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks co-star.

Our Take: In our Drive Review we describe the film as a brilliant work of bloody, thrilling, high-art crime drama with some award-worthy performances. It may sound like an odd mix of parts, but director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson) makes it all run as smooth as a high-octane sports car.

I Don’t Know How She Does It

September 16th

A comedy centered on the life of Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker), a finance executive who is the breadwinner for her husband and two kids.

Our Take: If you are an on-the-go wife and/or mother, this one is for you. If you’re related to an on-the-go wife and/or mother, be prepared to be dragged along for the show. Everyone else need not apply.

Restless 

September 16th

The story of a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII. Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper and Jane Adams star.

Our Take: Not the cup of tea we typically drink here at Screen Rant, but Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right) is definitely a star in the making, so performance-wise, we expect this film to pack a strong emotional punch.

Abduction

September 23rd

A thriller centered on a young man (Taylor Lautner) who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website. Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Michael Nyqvist, Sigourney Weaver and Maria Bello co-star.

Our Take: This film will be the official barometer that measures whether Taylor Lautner will have a successful post-Twilight career. The kid is a real-life martial arts star (see HERE), so action could be a better fit for him than supernatural drama. But is director John Singleton (2 Fast 2 Furious) the man to launch Lautner’s action career? We’ll see.

Dolphin Tale

September 23rd

A story centered on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap. Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Connick Jr. and Nathan Gamble star.

Our Take: Grab the family and head to the theater for a wholesome good time.

The Double

September 23rd

A retired CIA operative (Richard Gere) is paired with a young FBI agent (Topher Grace) to unravel the mystery of a senator’s murder, with all signs pointing to a Soviet assassin.

Our Take: Richard Gere proved he still has dramatic edge in Brooklyn’s Finest last year, and The Double trailer showed that he’ll be bringing that edge to this role as well. That’s good, because otherwise the combined presence of Topher Grace and writer-turned-first-time-director Michael Brandt wouldn’t be enough to sell us on this flick.

The Killer Elite

September 23rd

A group of former British special forces members (Robert De Niro, Jason Statham) are being hunted by a team of assassins led by a former Navy Seal (Clive Owen).

Our Take: The Killer Elite trailer makes this look like a standard action flick for Statham (and to lesser extent, Owen), though De Niro is clearly slumming it. Might be better if saved for your Netflix Instant Que.

Moneyball

September 23rd

The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget, by employing a young man’s (Jonah Hill) computer-generated analysis to draft his players. Robin Wright, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Chris Pratt co-star.

Our Take: After many starts and stops this film finally arrives. Selling audiences on a baseball movie is hard enough – selling them on a movie about baseball statistics would’ve been impossible, if not for the presence of Brad Pitt, the comedic talent of Jonah Hill, and a crackling script from Aaron Sorkin, who already won an Oscar for making a Facebook movie into a cultural event. Don’t count this one out just yet.

50/50

September 30th

A semi-comedic account of a 27-year-old guy’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease. Seth Rogen co-stars.

Our Take: Given that this story comes from the real-life account of Rogen’s friend (and the movie’s writer) Will Reiser, expect it to respect the subject matter with a careful balance of humor and authentic drama. With Gordon-Levitt in the lead, and Rogen basically playing Seth Rogen, it should be an entertaining ride. Still don’t believe us? Check out the 50/50 trailer for proof.

Courageous

September 30th

Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From the creators of Fireproof.

Our Take: There is definitely an audience for these faith-based movies about life and hope. The question is: are you part of that audience?

Dream House

September 30th (USA)

Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling. Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts star.

Our Take: An impressive cast and skilled director (Jim Sheridan of In The Name of the Father and My Left Foot fame) indicate that this is going to be much deeper than your standard psychological thriller. The trailer is effectively creepy, but shows a bit too much of the plot.

Margaret

September 30th

A young woman (Anna Paquin) witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people’s lives. Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin, Jean Reno, Krysten Ritter and Olivia Thirlby co-star

Our Take: The cast is pretty strong, but other than that we’ve heard little-to-nothing about this indie offering.

Take Shelter

September 30th

Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father (Michael Shannon) questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Our Take: Michael Shannon has already earned an Oscar nomination for his talent, and mainstream audiences certainly got to know him from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Now that he’ll be starring as the villain in Superman: Man of Steel, audiences will likely want to see the Shannon’s full talent on display.

Tucker & Dale vs Evil

September 30th

Tucker (Alan Tudyk) & Dale (Tyler Labine) are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids.

Our Take: In our Tucker & Dale vs. Evil Review we pegged this film as a funny spin on slasher film conventions, enhanced by the great comedic abilities of Tudyk and Labine. Definitely one for horror/comedy fans to check out.

What’s Your Number? 

September 30th

A woman (Anna Faris) looks back at the past twenty men she’s had relationships with in her life and wonders if one of them might be her one true love. Chris Evans co-stars.

Our Take: Quick movie math: Anna Faris is charming. Chris Evans is charming. Anna Faris + Chris Evans = charming date movie.

October 2011 Movies…

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