The eleventh month is also the eleventh hour for award consideration. While one would think an Oscar-caliber movie would stay with a viewer, contenders seem to want their film fresh in voters’ minds. So with a few brain breaks for popcorn premieres November should prove to be a heady cinematic month.

November 1

The Dallas Buyers Club

Philadelphia meets Erin Brokovich

Matthew McConaughey is trying to reignite the Oscar buzz he had early in his career. Here he stars as Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician who is diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. He is subsequently outraged by the lack of availability of experimental treatments for terminal patients and fights to make unapproved drugs accessible.

Enders Game

The Last Star Fighter meets The Hunger Games

The gold mine that is teen fantasy drama continues to produce. This time, in a futuristic world, Earth’s dwindling elders must prepare the planet’s youngest survivors to fight a daunting race of invading aliens. Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford star, so the script must really be good. Either that or both men must really want a beach house.

Last Vegas

The Hangover meets Cocoon

Four lifelong friends take a weekend bachelor trip to Las Vegas and discover times have changed in Sin City. Yes, this movie looks hackneyed and hokey. Yes, it’s going to milk every senior-in-a-casino joke out there, but how often do we get four, yes four, Academy Award winners—Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas—sharing the screen?

November 8

Thor: The Dark World

Clash of the Titans meets 2012

In the wake of the massive impact of Thor’s last visit to Earth with the mighty Avengers, (that’s true from a box-office perspective as well) Thor returns to reunite with his love, Jane, and battle a demonic and nearly omnipotent foe bent on plunging the universe into darkness. And for all those girlfriends who are getting dragged to the theater by their Marvel-obsessed dates: Chris Hemsworth is shirtless for 123 minutes. Enjoy.

About Time

The Time Machine meets Groundhog Day

A young man discovers he has the ability to time travel and uses his power to create the perfect meeting, first date and relationship. As he proceeds through his well-crafted life, he slowly discovers that time doesn’t control fate.

The Book Thief

Shindler’s List meets Stand by Me

A young girl witnesses the horrors of Nazi Germany during World War II. While her foster parents harbor a Jewish refugee under their stairs, Liesel steals books marked for burning and teaches herself to read.

November 15

The Wolf of Wall Street

Greed meets Boogie Nights

Based on the memoir of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, the film documents the widespread decadence, greed and corruption of 1990s Wall Street. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in what should prove to be an indulgent and disturbing look back.

November 22

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Lord of the Flies meets The Patriot

When we last left Katniss, she had won the hunger games competition and was basking in her victory. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing and revolution is afoot as the masses (a.k.a. the 99 percent) become increasingly disgruntled with their circumstances.

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