Sept. 05--All films are created equal until you see them. Then the cream rises to the top and the others sink like a stone.
The list below contains some of both, for those opening in Milwaukee from now through the Friday before Thanksgiving. Time will tell which is which. As usual, their release dates are subject to change.
"Austenland" Keri Russell is a Jane Austen fanatic visiting a theme park dedicated to creating an experience faithful to the writer's works, including a romantic brush with Mr. Darcy.
"Riddick" Vin Diesel returns as a sightless man stranded on a sun-scorched planet battling predators and mercenaries.
"The Ultimate Life" A man learns life lessons, told in flashbacks, while attempting to execute his grandfather's will.
"The Family" Mobster snitch Robert De Niro is in the witness protection plan with his wife, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, and family. With Tommy Lee Jones.
"Insidious Chapter 2" The supernatural continues to plague a couple and their children. This time, Patrick Wilson, who played an exorcist in "The Conjuring," is possessed.
"Salinger" Documentary biography of the reclusive author.
"Battle of the Year" Male dance competition movie. "An American crew hasn't won the battle in the last 15 years." With Josh Holloway, Chris Brown.
"Prisoners" Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard as dads whose daughters have just been abducted. Jake Gyllenhaal is the cop.
"A Single Shot" Sam Rockwell as a hunter who accidentally shoots a woman, finds a bag full of cash and falls into a deadly struggle with its owners. Sounds like "A Simple Plan."
"Thanks for Sharing" Mark Ruffalo is a recovering sex addict who falls in love with Gwyneth Paltrow. With Josh Gad, P!nk.
Sept. 26-Oct. 10
2013 Milwaukee Film Festival See separate story for details.
"Baggage Claim" Stewardess arranges to be on flights with her ex-boyfriends to get a date for her sister's wedding. With Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs.
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" Animated sequel.
"Don Jon" A porn addict ends up learning lessons from two very different women. Directed and written by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stars, with Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza.
"Rush" Fact-based Ron Howard race-car drama about 1976 rivalry between Formula One drivers played by Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl. By "The Queen" and "Frost/Nixon" writer Peter Morgan.
"Enough Said" Bittersweet tale with James Gandolfini as a schlubby nice guy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the woman who falls in love with him and Catherine Keener as his ex-wife. By Nicole Holofcener. One of Gandolfini's last films.
"Gravity" Two people struggle to survive after being stranded in space. With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney. Co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
"Machete Kills" Goofy grindhouse action film by Robert Rodriguez with Danny Trejo as the title government assassin and Charlie Sheen as the president.
"Runner Runner" Justin Timberlake as an online gambler, who is recruited by a tycoon, played by Ben Affleck, who is wanted by the FBI.
"All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" A 2006 horror film by Jonathan Levine, the director who went on to make "50/50" and "Warm Bodies." With Amber Heard.
"Captain Phillips" Fact-based tale with Tom Hanks as the captain of a freighter captured by Somali pirates. Directed by Paul Greengrass.
"The Fifth Estate" The WikiLeaks movie, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange. Directed by Bill Condon.
"Haunt" Teens explore a haunted house.
"The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" Milwaukee native George Tillman Jr. directed this story of two boys' struggle to survive parentless in a housing project. With Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks.
Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival See separate story for details.
"All Is Lost" An experienced sailor's battle to survive when lost at sea. With Robert Redford.
"Carrie" Remake of the Stephen King story about a high school girl, played by Chloe Moretz, with telekinetic powers. By "Boys Don't Cry" director Kimberly Peirce.
"Escape Plan" A man must escape from a prison he designed. With Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"The Counselor" Star-studded Ridley Scott film of a Cormac McCarthy story about a lawyer involved with drug traffickers. With Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem.
"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" Reality-style film about an 85-year-old man on a cross-country trip with his 8-year old grandson. With Johnny Knoxville.
"About Time" Romantic comedy about a man who can travel in time who meets and re-meets the woman of his dreams. With Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy. By "Love Actually" director Richard Curtis.
"The Dallas Buyers Club" Matthew McConaughey as a man in 1986 Dallas who, after being diagnosed with HIV, begins smuggling alternative but not-yet-authorized treatments in from Mexico to sell to others with the disease who can't get medicine. Based on a true story.
"Ender's Game" A gifted boy is sent to an advanced military school to prepare for an alien invasion. Based on the novel by Orson Scott Card. With Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley.
"Free Birds" Animated film about turkeys who try to get themselves off the holiday menu.
"Last Vegas" Group of aging friends throw bachelor party for the last remaining single man among them. With Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline.
"Thor: The Dark World" Superhero sequel with Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins.
"The Best Man Holiday" A group of friends reunite for the holidays. With Terrence Howard, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" Fact-based Martin Scorsese film about the high life and hard fall of a broker jailed for fraud. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Jon Favreau.
"The Delivery Man" Remake of Canadian film "Starbuck," which opened the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival, stars Vince Vaughn as a sperm donor who learns he has fathered more than 500 kids.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Second in series based on young adult sci-fi books stars Jennifer Lawrence.
"Nebraska" Deadpan, black-and-white Alexander Payne film with Bruce Dern as a boozy lottery winner settling scores during a road trip with his son, played by Will Forte.
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