There are nine Fridays (plus one very desirable Wednesday) between now and Thanksgiving, and, as usual, Hollywood will be pummeling you with movie upon movie. But autumn is typically a strange time for film, acting as a sort of bridge between summer's dopier action flicks and the end-of-the-year Oscar hopefuls. Typically we're allotted a handful of popcorn movies, a few Halloween-friendly pictures, and some potential Academy Award bait, and this year's no different.
Our 2012 Fall Movie Preview breaks down each of the next 10 weeks with a couple of suggestions for your viewing pleasure. Now, if you don't see anything you like, it's very possible that you're just a grouch. But keep in mind that the 20 films included herein represent less than a third of the titles being released during that time. Basically, you've got options.
Paul Thomas Anderson's eagerly awaited follow-up to 2007's "There Will Be Blood" is "The Master," an intriguing mid-century drama with Philip Seymour Hoffman as a magnetic spiritual leader and the much-missed Joaquin Phoenix as an alcoholic WWII vet who becomes his right-hand man.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, and Anna Kendrick lead the cast of the gritty "End of Watch," the third directorial effort from "Training Day" screenwriter David Ayer, which follows a couple of LAPD officers who make a routine traffic stop that lands them in the crosshairs of a drug cartel.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt reteams with his "Brick" writer-director Rian Johnson for the time-travel adventure "Looper," about a hitman whose job killing people sent from the future puts him gun-to-face with his 55-year-old self (Bruce Willis).
The first animated feature from "Samurai Jack" creator Genndy Tartakovsky is "Hotel Transylvania," which showcases the voice talents of Adam Sandler as good ol' Dracula, now a hotelier working to keep his daughter (Selena Gomez) away from a charming backpacker (Andy Samberg).
Liam Neeson is back as loving family man/not-all-that-retired spook Bryan Mills for "Taken 2," this time in Istanbul when he and ex-wife Famke Janssen are taken captive by a father (go-to Euro-baddie Rade Serbedzija) looking to avenge his Albanian-kidnapper son's death.
The 3D stop-motion "Frankenweenie" finds Tim Burton expanding on his 1984 short of the same name, with Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, and Christopher Lee helping to voice the story of a boy who must convince his neighbors that his reanimated pooch is still a good dog.
Ben Affleck mans the director's chair once again for "Argo," co-starring with John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, and Kyle Chandler in the once-classified true tale of a CIA exfiltration expert who hatches a daring plan to free six Americans in hiding at the home of the Canadian ambassador during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken are but four of the "Seven Psychopaths" in Martin McDonagh's ("In Bruges") crime comedy about a struggling screenwriter who gets mixed up in the LA underworld after a gangster's dog gets boosted.
"Catfish" directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman return for "Paranormal Activity 4," which promises to bring the surprisingly successful horror franchise full-circle by revisiting the circumstances surrounding Katie and baby Hunter, gone missing after "PA2."
Five years after expertly playing Jesse James for director Andrew Dominik, Brad Pitt joins him again for "Killing Them Softly," co-starring Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, and James Gandolfini. The crime flick is about a gangland enforcer investigating a heist pulled off during a mob-controlled poker game.
"Cloud Atlas" amasses the creative forces of filmmakers Tom Tykwer (1998's "Run Lola Run") and siblings Lana and Andy Wachowski (the "Matrix" trilogy) for an ambitious adaptation of David Mitchell's genre-spanning novel exploring the effects of individual actions throughout time. (Also known as the Tom Hanks/Halle Berry movie.)
Co-directed by Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson (?!), "Chasing Mavericks" stars Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, and Jonny Weston in the true story of late surfing icon Jay Moriarity and his quest to ride Northern California's most dangerous wave.
Wu-Tang's versatile RZA makes his feature-directing debut with "The Man with the Iron Fists," a bloody wire-fu flick set in 19th-century China in which he stars alongside Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu as The Blacksmith, a weapons maker caught in the middle of feuding clans.
Robert Zemeckis's first live-action film since 2000's "Cast Away" is "Flight," a drama with Don Cheadle, John Goodman, and Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who saves a flight from crashing, only to have the ensuing investigation into the equipment malfunction reveal something troubling.
Daniel Day-Lewis channels our 16th President in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" and co-starring Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Harris, and Sally Field in the story of the last few months of the Great Emancipator's life, which includes the Union's Civil War victory and the abolition of slavery.
Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville, and the late Patrice O'Neal lead the cast of "Nature Calls," writer-director Todd Rohal's (2006's "The Guatemalan Handshake") comedy about polar-opposite adult brothers whose entrenched rivalry is taken to another level when one drags the other's unenthusiastic kid and his friends on a camping adventure.
Joe Wright's opulent adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" features Keira Knightley as one of literature's best-known adulteresses, married to Jude Law's aristocrat but consumed by an affair with Aaron Taylor-Johnson's dashing cavalry officer.
French filmmaker Jacques Audiard follows up 2009's stunning Oscar nominee "A Prophet" with "Rust & Bone," starring Marion Cotillard and Belgian up-and-comer Matthias Schoenaerts in a drama about the unlikely romance that develops between a trainer of killer whales and a struggling single father.
Ang Lee continues his unpredictable streak with an eye-popping adaptation of Yann Martel's "Life of Pi," now a 3D adventure about a young man who survives a shipwreck and finds himself on a lifeboat with an orangutan, hyena, an ailing zebra, and a Bengal tiger.
"Silver Linings Playbook" is the latest from David O. Russell (2010's "The Fighter"), a comedy-drama about a former teacher (Bradley Cooper) who gets entangled with a mysterious young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) after his release from a mental institution. Also: Chris Tucker alert!
Oh, one more thing: Please remember that release dates are subject to change.