The good news about the fall movie lineup is that there's a lot on the horizon, too much to go over at once and almost none of it comes from the pages of Marvel. On the contrary, fall films are heavy into literature, with adaptations of Shakespeare, Hawthorne and Kazuo Ishiguro numbering among the drama-laden season. One even focuses on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. And sci-fi blockbuster fans can relax too. “Tron Legacy,” a movie based on nothing but a 1980s idea of video games, closes the season.
“I'm Still Here: The Lost Years of Joaquin Phoenix”
Remember when Joaquin Phoenix showed up on “Late Night,” telling Letterman he was giving up acting in favor of a career in hip-hop? Evidently Casey Affleck got the ensuing “lost years” on tape. So, soul searching or elaborate publicity stunt?
Martin Landau plays an older man who tries to turn a strange encounter with a woman (Ellen Burstyn) into a new life.
“Never Let Me Go”
An enigmatic concept about sequestered youngsters you may or may not want to unravel by reading the book, by “The Remains of the Day” novelist Kazuo Ishiguro.
Blurring the line between documentary and reality is a theme this fall, as with this story about a man filming his brother's involvement in an eerie online love affair.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's “The Scarlet Letter,” adultery caused its protagonist scorn and shame. In this high-school update, the modern-day version of Hester Prynne (Emma Stone) turns a bad reputation into a hard cash.
“Jack Goes Boating”
Philip Seymour Hoffman directs himself opposite Amy Ryan in a love story about two oddballs set to self-improvement themes.
“You Will Meet a Tall Dark
Woody Allen's annual outing involves the romantic tribulations of a quirky network of friends and family.
“Never Let Me Go” opening Sept. 15.Sept. 24
“Enter the Void”
Brother and sister orphans live dangerous lives with a pact in “Irreversible” director Gasper Noe's psychedelic tale, an intensely color-saturated film which draws from the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
James Franco portrays the late poet and activist Allen Ginsberg.
“Waiting for Superman”
Davis Guggenheim documentary examines why so many children are left behind by public education.
“Let Me In”
A curious title change marks this American remake of the creepy European vampire film “Let the Right One In” from a few years back.
“The Social Network”
Facebook is inescapable at the moment, but a movie still seems premature. David Fincher directs. Jesse Eisenberg stars as the man responsible for the News Feed.
ExposAc of the global financial crisis by “No End in Sight” director Charles Ferguson, which suggests it will be more methodical than Michael Moore's recent version.
“It's Kind of a Funny Story”
At least one fall movie must star the graphic font from “Juno” and “Away We Go,” this one a comedy about a kid who finds himself and romance in a mental ward full of misfits.
John Lennon's late childhood and teenage years are examined by actors who look nothing like the mop-headed Beatles but give uncanny vocal imitations.
Diane Lane stars as the owner of arguably the greatest racing horse of all time. John Malkovich costars.
Danny Boyle travels from the colorful mess of Indian slums to the arid emptiness of Utah in this survival story about a man (James Franco) trapped in the elements.
Starlet of the moment Gemma Aterton plays the sexy, distracting neighbor at a quaint English writers' retreat in this adaptation of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.
Hilary Swank reaches for another Academy Award as a working-class girl who becomes a lawyer to free her brother (Sam Rockwell) from a murder rap.
“The Company Men”
Watch out bad economy, you're in for a Hollywood reckoning in this inspiration saga about three men (Ben Affleck is the main one) afflicted by corporate downsizing.
Clint Eastwood's latest project, a supernatural thriller about a factory worker (Matt Damon) who sees dead people, is being kept as secret as possible.
“Nice Guy Johnny”
If you're looking for a normal boy-meets-girl story this fall, this Hamptons-set indie film by Edward Burns (“Sidewalks of New York”) looks like your ticket.
“Monsters,” opening Oct. 29.Oct. 29
Looks an awful lot like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, but the latter makes up for the rip-off factor in the trailer.
At no point will Hollywood retreat from exposAcs of our misadventures in the Middle East. This one casts Naomi Watts to restage the Valerie Plame affair.
“Welcome to the Rileys”
“Twilight” actress Kristen Stewart gets a little serious as a teen stripper unofficially adopted by James Gandolfini.
The repeated references to Stephen Hawking are amusing, but everything else in the trailer to this alien-invasion blockbuster looks dismayingly clichAcd.
Unbelievable is more like it. Tony Scott directs Denzel Washington in yet another action thriller set on a runaway train, after “The Taking of Pelham 123.”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1”
Spoiler alert: “Part 1” will be nearly indistinguishable from “Part 2.”
“The Next Three Days”
Russell Crowe stars in this novel thriller about a man with a plan to break his wife out of prison.
Christina Aguilera ventures to the big city to pursue a dream of getting on stage in a kind of modern-day cabaret, with Cher as her mentor.
“I Love You Phillip Morris”
It doesn't sound odd to hear Jim Carrey playing an over-the-top con artist, but a real-life one, who's gay — that's something else.
“Night Catches Us”
This unusual love story is set in the 1970s and follows a former Black Panther who mysteriously returns to his old neighborhood.
Broadway queen Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”) last distinctly set-decorated Shakespeare for the cinema with “Titus.” She shakes up the Bard's supernatural final play by recasting Prospero as Prospera (Helen Mirren).
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie costar in a remake of the French thriller “Anthony Zimmer.”
In terms of hype and wait (Disney made the first groundbreaking film, which holds up well, almost 30 years ago) this is the most highly anticipated movie of the year.