MOVIES WITH MICHAEL: Coen brothers, Clooney films top fall schedule

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6. “American Hustle”

Director: David O. Russell

Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence

Release date: Dec. 25

After the heartbreakingly beautiful romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook,” Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are teaming up with director David O. Russell once again.

In the film, Christian Bale and Amy Adams play con artists who have to work with a FBI agent (Cooper) to switch up the game, specifically on Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), the mayor of Camden, N.J.  

Russell blew me away with “Silver Linings Playbook,” so I’m excited to see the actors working with him again. While the story is much different, it still sounds like it’s going to be an interesting film. I have faith in Russell to make another great one, but if the story is not all there it could turn easily into another “Gangster Squad” style letdown. 

5. “Anchorman: The Legend Continues”

Director: Adam McKay

Cast: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell

Release date: Dec. 20

The hilariously offensive and obnoxious team of San Diego’s top-rated news men return for what’s going to be another great film. 

The original film is still to this day one of the best quotable comedies I’ve ever seen. My hope is for the sequel to be equally as quotable and with the writing of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. I’m sure that’s exactly what we’ll get. 

4. “The Monuments Men”

Director: George Clooney

Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Bill Murray 

Release date: Dec. 18

This movie hasn’t been on my radar for long but once I saw the trailer, I knew it was bound to be one of my favorite movies from the year. With an ensemble cast like this, I’d expect nothing less. 

The movie is about a group of art historians and museum curators who team up to recover renown works of art stolen by the Nazis. I’ll be interested to see how Clooney moves this story along. 

3. “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen

Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake

Release date: Dec. 20

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is about a struggling folk musician in the 1960s New York music scene. The film appears to be a more serious, deep Coen drama. 

Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac were so great in “Drive” and in this they’ll have another chance to prove that they work well together. 

2. “Jobs”

Director: Joshua Michael Stern

Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, J.K. Simmons

Release date: Friday

I personally couldn’t find it harder to wait for this film to come out. I have always been an Apple fanboy and Steve Jobs admirer, so the idea of having a “The Social Network” style backstory to the Apple empire makes me genuinely happy. Jobs was one of the biggest visionaries of our time and in the movie, we’ll get a peek at what his life was really like through all the ups and downs of starting his company. 

You never realize it until seeing the trailer, but Ashton Kutcher looks a lot like Steve Jobs and I think that he’ll do a great job in the role. Since Kutcher has been typecast as the bumbling idiot thanks to his roles in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “That ‘70s Show,” a lot of critics don’t have faith in his ability to bring justice to the Jobs name. I trust Kutcher to be an actor and perform well in the role he’s been given. 

1. “12 Years a Slave”

Director: Steve McQueen

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch

Release date: Oct. 31

I love historical dramas, and “12 Years a Slave” set in the 1800s looks like it’s going to be one to remember. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a born free man from New York, who is taken out of freedom and sold into slavery in the deep South. 

During his time as a slave, he will experience cruelty like he’s never experienced — from the merciless slave owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), while fighting to survive and keep his humanity. 

With a strong ensemble cast partnered with the solid direction of Steve McQueen, the man who brought us “Shame,” this film is sure to be extraordinary. 


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