With the early horses out of the gate and a smattering of expected disappointments out of the way, it’s time to get serious--awards-show serious. Here’s what to look forward to in October.

October 4


This film has had critics and fans talking for months. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock already have garnered Oscar nods from the rumor mill. Here, they star as two astronauts left stranded after a space walk goes horribly wrong.

Runner, Runner

Justin Timberlake stars as a math whiz who pays his grad-school tuition by gambling online. When a poker site swindles him, he travels to Costa Rica to confront the gambling godfather and get his money back. Instead, he finds a criminal career opportunity. Everything about this film looks promising, though I worry Timberlake doesn’t have the acting chops to pull it off.

October 11

Captain Phillips

Apparently, joining Sandra and George at the Academy Awards will be Tom, as in Hanks. Here, he stars as the captain of a cargo freighter that is hijacked by Somali pirates. Captain Phillips must work to keep his cargo and crew safe, while appeasing and understanding the desperate intruders.

Romeo and Juliet

Actually, another envisioning of the classic love story is overdue. In this version, director Carlo Carlei opts for a traditional retelling and relies on his aptly chosen stars, True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth to bring the story to life.

October 18

Escape Plan

If all the heady Oscar fare was bogging you down, I present Escape Plan: Sylvester Stallone stars as a security specialist wrongfully imprisoned in the world’s most secure penitentiary. He must employ his unique talents to escape. What’s that, you say? If only Arnold Schwarzenegger were also an inmate and could help Sly with both physical force and a hint of buddy comedy…Christmas came early.

The Fifth Estate

The story of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the rift that ultimately ended the partnership between him and the site's co-founder. Eh, I wasn’t that invested to begin with…

12 Years a Slave

This film could prove to be that under-the-radar project that surprises everyone at awards’ time. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a free man in the pre-Civil War era who is abducted and forced into slavery by a cruel plantation owner played by Michael Fassbender. Brad Pitt also stars as a Canadian abolitionist.

All is Lost

Robert Redford stars as a lone sailor lost in open water after his yacht is destroyed in an accident. Redford is the only actor--and the performance is already being called a tour de force.

October 25

The Counselor

Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt must have enjoyed working together because they are sharing the screen again. This time, Fassbender stars as an attorney who gets sucked into the world of drug-trafficking and organized crime.

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