Fall Movie Preview: 8 Upcoming Flicks We’re Excited About

With the Oscars coming up in March, you know there are going to be some good film releases in the next few months.

There are also movies that, although not generating Oscar buzz, are still worth a trip to the theater. From comedy and drama to suspense and films based on books, here are just a few we can’t wait to see.

Parkland
Release Date: October 4
Rated: PG-13

November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It was also the day that changed ordinary people’s lives forever. “Parkland” follows the people who played important, but perhaps forgotten, roles on one of America’s darkest days: the doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas; the man who captured the incident on his camera; the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald; and more. Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Paul Giamatti star, and Tom Hanks produces. Before the film hits theaters, read “Four Days in November” by Vincent Bugliosi, which the film is based on.

Gravity
Release Date: October 4
Rated: PG-13

Dr. Ryan Stone is set to embark on her first shuttle mission, commanded by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky. While performing a seemingly routine spacewalk, their shuttle is destroyed, and Stone and Kowalsky are left all alone with no apparent means to get back to earth. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star. Enough said.

Captain Phillips
Release Date: October 11
Rated: PG-13

In April 2009, Somali pirates hijacked the Maersk Alabama cargo ship and held its crew hostage. It took five days before the deadly standoff with the U.S. Navy was resolved. It was a dramatic event to watch unfold, so it’s not surprising that this true story has been adapted for the silver screen. Tom Hanks stars as Captain Richard Phillips.

The Book Thief
Release Date: November 15
Rated: Not yet rated

If you’ve read the book by Markus Zusak, you know what you’re in for with this film. Set in Nazi Germany, Liesel Meminger moves in with her new foster family, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. The couple decides to hide a Jewish fist-fighter in their home, whom Liesel befriends due to their shared love of books. She also befriends her neighbor Rudy, and the two take up stealing, including taking a book from a Nazi book burning being held in honor of Hitler’s birthday. Fingers crossed this film lives up to the novel, which remained on The New York Times’ Best Sellers list for almost 4-and-a-half years.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Release Date: November 22
Rated: PG-13

Parents of tweens and teens have probably already heard enough about Katniss’ latest adventure, but make it a family movie day with the latest installment of “The Hunger Games” trilogy. “Catching Fire” takes place after Katniss and Peeta’s dual victory in the 74th Hunger Games, which angered the Capitol and inspired the people of Panem.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Release Date: December 20
Rated: Not yet rated

Ron Burgundy has survived the ‘70s, and it’s now time for him to take on the ‘80s. And with a new decade comes a new form of broadcast journalism: the 24-hour news channel. The original gang is back, with new characters played by Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. But just seeing the phrase “Anchorman 2” probably already got you pre-ordering tickets.

Saving Mr. Banks
Release Date: December 20
Rated: PG-13

In 1964, Disney’s “Mary Poppins” won five Academy Awards. But before the film could even be made, Walt Disney had to win over P.L. Travers, the author who created the beloved nanny. And as “Saving Mr. Banks” will show, it wasn’t easy making Disney’s most Oscar-winning film. Tom Hanks stars as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson plays Travers.

August: Osage County
Release Date: December 25, in limited theaters
Rated: R

If you’ve been waiting to see Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the same movie, the time has come. “August: Osage County” is based on the Broadway show of the same name, which was debuted by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007 before moving to New York. The play won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for drama, so you know it’s good.