The fall movie season arrives, which means the superheroes go on vacation, the sequels take a breather and the literary adaptations, costume dramas and Oscar-hopeful pictures start arriving at the multiplex. Here is a list of some of the 50-plus movies heading to theaters between now and Thanksgiving. Release dates are subject to change.

Sept. 12

“Burn After Reading”: After sweeping the Oscars for the most serious and mature film of their career (“No Country For Old Men”), brothers Joel and Ethan Coen return to the irreverent, wacky turf of “The Big Lebowski” and “The Ladykillers” with this comedy about two gym employees (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand) who try to make money off a computer disc containing the precious secrets of a CIA agent (John Malkovich). George Clooney and Tilda Swinton also figure into the plot, somehow.

“Righteous Kill”: Unlike their last film pairing,” Heat,” in which they appeared only in a couple of scenes together, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino spend most of this thriller together on screen, playing a pair of New York City detectives on the trail of a serial killer. That’s the good news. The bad news? The movie is not being screened in advance for critics. Beware.

“Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys”: Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard are the matriarchs of two families – one upper-class, the other working-class – who become entangled in scandal in the sixth film from the man who brought you “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”

“The Women”: If you simply can’t wait for the “Sex and the City” movie to hit DVD, this loose remake of the 1939 George Cukor classic should tide you over. Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Eva Mendes and a slew of other actresses (with absolutely no men in sight) run around New York City shopping, getting their nails done, attending fashion shows and lamenting the state of their love lives.

Sept. 19

“Ghost Town”: Ricky Gervais, the genius star of the original BBC version of “The Office,” gets his first Hollywood starring role as a man who can see ghosts after a near-death experience – and they’re all constantly pestering him for something. Directed by frequent Spielberg screenwriter David Koepp (“War of the Worlds,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”).

“Igor”: John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Arsenio Hall and Jay Leno provide the voices for this animated tale of a mad scientist’s assistant who gets a chance to build his own monster when his boss dies.

“Lakeview Terrace”: Provocateur Neil La Bute (“Your Friends and Neighbors,” “In the Company of Men”) returns to push your buttons with this story about a happily married interracial couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) who move into their dream home – next-door to a racist, trigger-happy cop (Samuel L. Jackson) who doesn’t approve of their union.

“My Best Friend’s Girl”: Dane Cook is a man who specializes in taking women out on such horrific dates, they run back to the ex-boyfriends they had just dumped. But when Jason Biggs hires him to get his ex, Kate Hudson, to return to him, Cook finds himself falling for the girl he’s supposed to be terrorizing.

Sept. 26

“Choke”: Sam Rockwell stars in the adaptation of Chuck Pahlaniuk’s unusual novel about a con artist who preys on the kindness of strangers by pretending to choke on his food at pricey restaurants.

“The Duchess”: Keira Knightley stars as the 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who is stuck in a loveless marriage to a philandering husband (Ralph Fiennes).

“Eagle Eye”: The underrated D.J. Caruso (“The Salton Sea”) directs this thriller about two strangers (Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) who start to suspect they are being used as pawns in a political assassination plot.

“Miracle at St. Anna”: Spike Lee directs this story about four African-American soldiers who were part of an all-black division stationed in Tuscany during World War II and became separated from their unit while attempting to rescue a young boy.

“Nights in Rodanthe”: Diane Lane and Richard Gere are stranded in a tiny inn on the North Carolina coast during a ferocious storm. Amid the thunder and lightning, love blooms.

“Towelhead”: “Six Feet Under” creator Alan Ball makes his directorial debut with this story of the sexual awakening of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl (Summer Bishil) while adapting to life in suburban Houston.

Oct. 3

“An American Carol”: Anti-Fourth of July holiday crusader Kelsey Grammer gets a visit from three ghosts who try to change his view of America in this reimagining of the Dickens classic.

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua”: Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia, George Lopez and Edward James Olmos provide the voices for the dogs in this tale of a canine from the wrong side of the tracks in love with a pampered pooch from the 90210 ZIP Code.

“Blindness”: Fernando Meirelles (“City of God,” “The Constant Gardener”) directs Jose Saramago’s masterpiece novel about what happens after a city is struck by a plague that renders people blind. Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Gael Garcia Bernal and Danny Glover co-star.

“Flash of Genius”: Based on the true story of Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), a college professor who took on the Detroit auto industry in the 1960s, claiming they stole his idea for the intermittent windshield wiper.

“How to Lose Friends and Alienate People”: A British celebrity journalist (Simon Pegg) has trouble fitting in at his new job at a respected New York City magazine. Megan Fox, Kirsten Dunst and Jeff Bridges co-star in this adaptation of Toby Young’s memoir.

“What Just Happened”: A harried Hollywood film producer (Robert De Niro) must deal with temperamental actors (Sean Penn), boorish studio chiefs (Catherine Keener), cranky ex-wives (Robin Wright Penn) and Bruce Willis (Bruce Willis) in this film industry comedy directed by Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man).

Oct. 10

“Body of Lies”: A CIA agent (Leonardo Di Caprio) attempts to infiltrate a terrorist network in Jordan in this adaptation of David Ignatius’ novel. Russell Crowe co-stars as his CIA superior. Directed by Ridley Scott (“American Gangster,” “Gladiator”).

“City of Ember”: Bill Murray, Tim Robbins and Martin Landau are among the inhabitants of the titular city, a magical place of lights known the world over. Then the town’s generator starts to fail, threatening to darken the place forever.

“The Express”: Fact-based drama about the life of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win football’s Heisman Trophy. Dennis Quaid co-stars as his coach.

“Quarantine”: While covering a story, a TV reporter (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are sealed by the authorities inside an apartment building where a virus is turning people into zombies.

Oct. 17

“Max Payne”: A DEA agent (Mark Wahlberg) and a hired killer (Mila Kunis) join forces to track down the people who killed their families.

“The Secret Life of Bees”: In 1960s South Carolina, a teenage girl (Dakota Fanning) goes on a journey to learn more about the life of her late mother. Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys are the women who help her on her quest.

“W.”: Director Oliver Stone promises this biopic about the life of President George W. Bush (played by Josh Brolin) will be a compassionate look at the man. Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn and Richard Dreyfuss make up Bush’s cabinet, while James Cromwell is his dad.

Oct. 24

“Crossing Over”: Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, Sean Penn and Ray Liotta co-star in this multicharacter drama about illegal immigrants who risk their lives to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Directed by Wayne Kramer (“The Cooler”).

“High School Musical 3: Senior Year”: The Disney Channel TV-movie phenomenon makes the leap to the big screen. Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel return to sing and dance their way through graduation – and pave the way for a new class of song-happy students.

“Pride and Glory”: Edward Norton is a New York City police officer investigating a case of corruption that points toward his brother-in-law (Colin Farrell).

“Saw V”: Like death and taxes, there’s no avoiding them.

Oct. 31

“Zack and Miri Make a Porno”: Writer-director Kevin Smith pushes the R-rating to its limits with this foul-mouthed comedy about a pair of longtime friends (Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks) who decide to make an adult film in order to raise some quick cash. During filming, though, the pals discover feelings for each other they never knew they had.

Nov. 7

“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”: The former Central Park zoo dwellers (voiced by Ben Stiller, Bernie Mac, Sasha Baron Cohen, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer) hook up with their multigenerational families in the wilds of Africa.

“Role Models”: Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott are two wild men ordered by a judge to do community service as mentors for troubled teenagers. The blind lead the blind in this comedy from director David Wain (“Wet Hot American Summer”).

Nov. 14

“Nothing Like the Holidays”: Luis Guzman, Freddy Rodriguez, Jay Hernandez and Melonie Diaz are the members of an extended family who come together for a holiday reunion in the Chicago suburb of Humboldt Park.

“Quantum of Solace”: Daniel Craig returns for his second outing as 007, this time taking an environmentalist slant as he battles a business man (Mathieu Almaric) trying to take over the world”s water supply.

“The Road”: Cormac McCarthy’s award-winning (and relentlessly grim) novel comes to the screen, with Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the father and son traveling across a post-apocalyptic America covered in nothing but gray ash and populated by thieves, scavengers and cannibals.

“Soul Men”: Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac are two estranged former back-up singers who get reacquainted in order to perform at a 20-year anniversary concert.

Nov. 21

“Bolt”: Computer-animated tale of a TV-star dog (voiced by John Travolta) unaware that the superpowers he enjoys on the program don’t translate into the real world. Miley Cyrus and Malcolm McDowell round out the voice cast.

“The Soloist”: The true story of Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia while studying at Julliard and wound up playing violin on the streets of L.A. Robert Downey Jr. co-stars for director Joe Wright (“Atonement”).

“Twilight”: A legion of fans of Stephenie Meyer’s phenomenally successful series of books about the romance between a high school girl and a vampire is already lining up for tickets to this adaptation of the first book in the series. Kristen Stewart stars as the new girl in school who falls for a mysterious boy (Robert Pattinson) who may or may not be a bloodsucker. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen”), who faces the wrath of millions if she screws it up.


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