The Tangential Thinker

It’s hard to believe summer has come and gone. The kids are back in school, the temperatures’ dropping and the cineplex is brooding. Gone are the days of eating your body weight in popcorn and watching stuff blow up. It’s awards season. And frankly, after some of this summer’s action offerings (The Expendables, Takers), I could use some headier stuff. Here’s what to look forward to:

The Town

Ben Affleck is slowly but surely clawing his way back onto the A-list. Here he plays a ruthless Boston bank robber who falls in love with a woman he briefly took hostage during a heist. The film also stars St. Louis native Jon Hamm as an FBI agent investigating the crime. (Sept. 17)

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Woody Allen returns to his wheelhouse with his latest offering, a dysfunctional family comedy. This one stars Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins and Freida Pinto. (Sept. 22)

Let Me In

It may be awards season, but it’s also the season of ghosts and goblins…and it’s the year of vampires. In this story, a 12-year-old boy who is bullied at school befriends a woman who has recently moved to town. Bet you can’t guess what her big reveal is. Yep, she’s a vampire. (Oct. 1)

The Social Network

Perhaps the most hotly anticipated film of fall, this is the real-life story of the Harvard students who started the massive social networking website Facebook. Stars Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake. (Oct. 1)

Life as We Know It

Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star as two singles who, after a disastrous first date, find themselves living under one roof. They are both godparents to a baby whose parents have been killed in an accident. Insert obvious diaper-changing humor here. (Oct. 8)


This is the wonderful story of Penny Chenery (Diane Lane), an inexperienced housewife who takes over her father’s ailing horse farm and is forced to navigate the male-dominated world of horse racing. Ultimately, with the help of her trainer (John Malkovich), she produces the greatest race horse in history. (Oct. 8)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The final installment of the millennium trilogy finds Lisbeth Salander at death’s door after being shot and buried alive. Mikael Blomkvist continues his investigation into her past and uncovers a massive government conspiracy and cover-up. The American remakes of the trilogy are scheduled to begin release in December 2011, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. (Oct. 15)

The Company Men

This may be a dark horse in the awards race, especially if the economy doesn’t improve. Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and Ben Affleck star as three middle managers trying to survive corporate downsizing. (Oct. 22)


Clint Eastwood directs this part-drama, part-otherworldly thriller about three people, all affected by death in different ways and all on a journey to explore their notions of the hereafter. Stars Matt Damon. (Oct. 22)

Wild Target

Bill Nighy plays Victor, an assassin who develops a liking for one of his targets, Rose (Emily Blunt). In the process of sparing her, he develops a young protégé, (Rupert Grint). The two think Victor is a private detective and they tag along as he tries to keep Rose safe from the disgruntled client who hired him to kill her. (Oct. 29)

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