Oct. 19 (limited released), R
After attending a cello recital, the Learner family’s stop for gas on Reservation Road proves to be a moment that will change them forever when their son dies in a fatal hit-and-run. Joaquin Phoenix plays the father distraught over his son’s death who tracks down the driver (Mark Ruffalo) who fled the scene.
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Oct. 26 (limited release), R
Filmmaker Sidney Lumet has a history of churning out suspense films, which he continues with his latest. In the hunt for some more cash, a broker (Philip Seymour Hoffman) convinces his younger brother (Ethan Hawke) to help him rob a local jewelry store that just happens to be owned by their parents.
Nov. 2, R
Ridley Scott directs this film about a true-life 1970s Harlem cult hero. Denzel Washington plays Frank Lucas, a driver who works his way up the black crime rankings to become an inner-city drug lord. Russell Crowe plays an outcast cop who is out to stop him.
Nov. 2, PG
Jerry Seinfeld wrote the screenplay and voices the main character in this animated feature about Barry B. Benson, a bee who graduates from college and realizes that his only career option is to make honey. Discontent with the prospect, he ventures outside the hive and becomes friends with a New York City florist named Vanessa (Renée Zellweger).
Lions for Lambs
Nov. 9, R
Robert Redford directs and stars in this film that deals with the war on terrorism. Two students (Michael Pena, Derek Luke) join the war in Afghanistan after being inspired their professor, Dr. Malley (Redford). Tom Cruise plays a congressman and presidential hopeful and Meryl Streep a journalist whose stories overlap with the fate of Malley’s students.
Nov. 14, R
Director Richard Kelly’presents a near-future police state after nuclear attacks in Texas. The stories of three Californians—an amnesiac former action star (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), an ex-porn star (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and police officer (Seann William Scott)— intersect as the world comes crashing to an end.
Nov. 16, PG-13
Director Robert Zemeckis tries to translate the motion capture animation of his film “The Polar Express” to the epic tale of Beowulf. The film tells the classic story of the great warrior Beowulf (voiced by Ray Winstone) who must protect the people of Denmark by battling the beast Grendel (Crispin Glover) and Grendel’s mother (Angelina Jolie).
I’m Not There
Nov. 21, R
Six different actors portray prolific singer-songwriter Bob Dylan throughout various points of his life and career. There’s already a lot of buzz around Cate Blanchett’s performance as the androgynous rock star circa when he went electric. Directed by Todd Haynes. Also starring Richard Gere, Christian Bale and Heath Ledger.
No Country for Old Men
Nov. 21, R
The Coen Brothers latest film is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. The gritty crime drama takes place in Texas near the Rio Grande where a hunter comes across a scene of dead bodies, $2 million in cash, guns and a stash of heroin, and raising the attention of a local sheriff. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin.
This supernatural comedy tells the story of Sam (Bret Harrison), a slacker employee at a Seattle home improvement store. On his 21st birthday, Sam finds that his parents sold his soul for the devil, and now he must return escaped souls to hell, with the help of his friends and some new special powers.
Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)
With a title that promises all the ingredients of a hit, this prime-time soap about New York’s richest family and the lawyer they pay to clean their messes, revels in excess. Plus, it’s been making news for starring Candis Cayne, who, like her character, is transsexual.
Jimmy Smits stars as the patriarch of Miami’s Duque dynasty – a Cuban-American family with a fortune in the sugar and rum markets. With power struggles and deception, the Duque clan has already drawn comparisons to two famous families – the Sopranos and the Corleones.
Pushing Daisies (ABC)
Cinematic visuals and a fairy-tale plot – about a man with the ability to raise the dead with just a touch – have fans eagerly awaiting each new episode of this series. Lee Pace stars as the parable’s geeky Ned; he’s already garnering buzz as the season’s breakout star.
Bionic Woman (NBC)
Michelle Ryan stars in this contemporary remake of the 1970s classic about a woman granted superhero powers after a post-accident surgery with experimental, hi-tech prosthetics. Thirty years later, the story comes closer to reality than ever.
Gossip Girl (CW)
Set in the ritzy world of Upper East Side prep schools, this series – which could almost be called Sex and the City, Jr. – is already winning fans for its mix of realism and absurdity. Shot on location, this series presents a very specific slice of life in New York, one that’s filled with champagne, couture and society balls.
Next Great American Band (FOX)
For those sick of Simon Cowell and Co., this series offers some harder sounds and real instruments. Drummer Shiela E. and Goo Goo Doll Johnny Rzeznik join forces with “Australian Idol” host Ian Dikson in this latest attempt to capitalize on the Idol franchise.
The most believable of this season’s field of average Joes (by day at least) out to save the world, Chuck (Zachary Levi) is a socially awkward computer tech at an electronics chain. When top spy secrets are implanted in his brain by an e-mail from a friend, Chuck finds himself involved in government operations that put his life in danger.
Songs of Mass Destruction (Oct.)
Annie Lennox’s career has spanned over 25 years. The singer-songwriter in treating her audience with her fourth solo album entitled “Songs of Mass Destruction.” Lennox produces a mature pop sound that is amplified by commanding ballads and serious content; including “Sing,” a song inspired by her humanitarian efforts and features 23 world-famous female artists.
Carnival Ride (Oct.)
Carrie Underwood’s reflection on real-life stardom is the root of her sophomore album, a quality competition for her sextuple-platinum debut, “Some Hearts.” The title alone, “Carnival Ride,” sums up this highly anticipated follow-up; intimate tracks of discovery and realization create a brand of her own, separating her from “American Idol” fame.
Jennifer Lopez is back in your stereo with radio friendly, upbeat anthems for dance lovers. Lopez always brings a seamless blend of funk, R&B and hip-hop to the forefront of the pop arena; this time around she delves into the emotions of healthy love and independence.
Ultimate Santana (Oct.)
Santana’s latest CD is a compilation of fan faves that date back to 1969. This hits collection also features new collaborations, “This Boy’s Fire”, with Latina mogul Jennifer Lopez and Baby Bash. Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger also updates this disc with vocals on the previously unreleased, “Into the Night.”
The great American rock poet is back with the E Street Band to render new stories told over commanding melodies. This is the first album where Springsteen hasn’t composed a song but he doesn’t fail to bring new life to these folk classics.
As I Am (Nov.)
Modern, inventive, vintage soul is still evident on Alicia Keys’ upcoming album, “As I Am.” Rock ‘n’ roll nuances emboss topics of self-respect, world issues and individuality meshed in the guise of love songs. Her artistic delivery is just as pure and adds layers to the assertive woman on 2003’s “The Diary of Alicia Keys.”
Her Name Is Nicole (Nov.)
Pussycat Dolls’ front woman is making her own claim to fame as a sultry solo artist. Scherzinger melds her songwriting skills and pop star package into a sound that signifies her outside of a girl group. This exposes her audience to her other facets as performer, with a personal introduction to Scherzinger.
Die, Mommie, Die! Oct. 21
An unhappy ex-pop singer poisons her film producer husband in a desperate attempt to end their marriage. Betrayals range from her affair with a TV actor to her children provoked to seek revenge and murder their mother. As lies unravel, an entertaining twist of events ensues.
Lucy Oct. 29
Vivian is a self-absorbed anthropologist, not fond of motherhood. While at the height of her career she is forced to care for her autistic teenage daughter. Their estrangement and her daughter’s condition push Vivian on a path that leads to new discoveries.
August: Osage Country Oct. 30
An extending family living in rural Oklahoma is the focus of Tracy Letts’ new play. When the alcoholic father disappears, buried secrets and truths surface while dealing with a pill-popping mother in the midst of it all.
Pygmalion Oct. 18
The initial inspiration for “My Fair Lady” has been revived. Broadway novice Claire Danes plays Eliza Doolittle. This poor Cockney girl of London is eyed by a Professor Higgins, who bets to make her a society lady under his etiquette teaching. Knowledge is no longer the foundation of their relationship as his feelings grow for her.
Is He Dead? Nov. 8
Mark Twain’s unpublished novel was rediscovered in 2002, and now it makes its Broadway premiere as a play. There is stark comedic social commentary involving the art world. Fame, greed and deceit cause a struggling artist to stage his own death in hopes of adding value to his paintings, raising questions about everyone involved.
The Screwtape Letters Nov. 8
A revival adaptation of a novel by C. S. Lewis, author of the “Chronicles of Narnia.” The war of good and evil arises for demons trying to secure the damnation of souls. The story is told from the devil’s point of view as he trains a novice, Toadpipe, to win a man’s soul from God.
Clapton: The Autobiography
by Eric Clapton
Broadway, 352 pages
The rock icon details his childhood, musical experiences, heroin addiction, alcoholism and the heartbreaking death of his son. The autobiography also tells of the unrequited love story behind the hit song “Layla.”
I Am America (And So Can You!)
by Stephen Colbert
Grand Central Publishing, 250 pages
Funnyman Stephen Colbert has tons of viewers for his satirical television show “The Colbert Report.” Colbert brings the political wit behind his daily television show to this book filled with neo-conservative humor about what real Americans believe.
A Free Life
by Ha Jin
Pantheon, 672 pages
Already an acclaimed author for his book “War Trash” and a National Book Award winner for his previous release “Waiting,” Ha Jin delves into the hard work and aspirations of Chinese immigrants in 1990s America in his latest novel.
The Abstinence Teacher
by Tom Perrotta
St. Martin’s Press, 368 pages
The author of “Election” and “Little Children” tackles the divisive issues of sex and religion in a suburban landscape. It portrays the impact of different belief systems on the budding relationship of two protagonists.
The Almost Moon
by Alice Sebold
Little Brown and Company, 304 pages
Scoring a hit with her last novel “The Lovely Bones,” Sebold tells the dark story of a middle-aged woman who murders her senile mother and revisits her family’s troubled, dysfunctional past.
World Without End
by Ken Follett
Dutton Adult, 1024 pages
Fans of Follett’s 1989 “The Pillars of the Earth” are excited about this long-awaited sequel, which picks up in the same location in the 14th century, set against the Black Death, when conservative and progressive thinkers clash.