The Oranges (Oct. 5) If you've been missing Hugh Laurie on House, then you'll definitely want to see the film that could be his big-screen breakthrough. Laurie stars as a New Jersey family guy having a midlife crisis in the worst possible way — developing a crush on the grown daughter of his best friends (Oliver Platt and Allison Janney). The excellent Catherine Keener plays his exasperated wife.
Seven Psychopaths (Oct. 12) This one may be the season's biggest guilty pleasure. When a dognapping ring nabs the wrong pooch — a shih tzu owned by a psychopath gangster (Woody Harrelson) — Mr. Big goes on a bloody rampage to get it back. The quirky cast includes Colin Farell, Sam Rockwell, Tom Waits and, of course, the greatest screen psychopath of them all, Christopher Walken.
Killing Them Softly (Oct. 19) The story of an enforcer who is hired by the mob to clean up after one of their card games is raided by gunmen could easily degenerate into your standard Goodfellas-wannabe shoot-'em-up. But writer/director Andrew Dominik, who created one of the most thoughtful westerns of the past decade, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, is reuniting with the star of that film, Brad Pitt. With Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins along for the ride, this could be something special.
The Big Wedding (Oct. 26) Let's unravel this plotline: Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton were once married and adopted a son. But they divorced a long time ago, and De Niro married Keaton's best friend, Susan Sarandon. Now the son is getting married, and his birth mother, a devout Catholic, is coming to the ceremony. Only she doesn't know De Niro and Keaton got divorced, a big no-no, sin-wise, in her eyes. So guess what? De Niro and Keaton have to go through the whole wedding week pretending they're still together. The whole film seems like a high-wire act from the get-go, but the cast is first-rate (Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl and Topher Grace). And, writer/director Justin Zackham somehow made the maudlin-on-paper Bucket List into a semi-classic, so who knows?