Fall films preview: James Bond, "Breaking Dawn" and awards contenders

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions
Francois Duhamel
Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in "Skyfall."
Columbia Pictures

(CBS/AP) Summer is winding down, and so are the action-packed blockbusters the season brings to theaters. Now, it's on to fall.

This year's fall and holiday movie lineup promises something for everyone, including vampires, a new James Bond film and a number of potential awards-contenders.

Pictures: Fall films preview 2012

Those looking forward to awards season will be waiting for Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," Kathryn Bigelow's hunt-for-bin Laden film "Zero Dark Thirty," Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" and other films that have been generating early Oscar buzz.

There's also big-screen adaptations of "Anna Karenina" (with Keira Knightley and Jude Law) and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (with Emma Watson), Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a time-traveling assassin in "Looper," Clint Eastwood as a baseball scout in "Trouble with the Curve," the Ben Affleck-directed "Argo" and Daniel Day-Lewis as the title role in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

Musical lovers are likely looking forward to Tom Hooper's adaptation of "Les Miserables" (featuring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe among the starring - and singing - roles), and "Lord of the Rings" fans are sure to have the December release date of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" marked on their calendars.

The final film in the "Twilight" series - "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2" - opens on Nov. 16, and there's little doubt that fans will flock to see it in droves, despite the relationship drama surrounding stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Also coming out in November is "Skyfall," the latest 007 film. Daniel Craig reprises his role as the British superspy in this Sam Mendes-directed outing that stars Javier Bardem as the villain.

Those looking for family-friendly fare are also in luck - "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters Inc" are getting 3-D re-releases, and the animated films "Wreck-It Ralph," "Rise of the Guardians," "Hotel Transylvania" and Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" will also debut in the coming months.

Here's a closer look at the films coming out from September-December:


Sept. 7

  • "The Words": A writer (Bradley Cooper) must face the music after plagiarizing a novel.
  • "Bachelorette": Three friends (Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan) are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman (Rebel Wilson) they used to ridicule back in high school.

Sept. 14

  • "The Master": A World War II Navy veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) falls under the spell of a charismatic cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
  • "Resident Evil: Retribution": Milla Jovovich resumes her battle against a plague of zombies.
  • "Finding Nemo": The beloved father-son animated fish tale returns in a 3-D version.
  • "Arbitrage": Richard Gere stars in a Wall Street thriller about a deceitful hedge-fund manager negotiating a merger.

Sept. 21

  • "Dredd": An executioner (Karl Urban) fights a drug epidemic in post-apocalyptic America.
  • "End of Watch": Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are cops minding the mean streets of Los Angeles.
  • "House at the End of the Street": A dream house becomes a place of terror for a mom and her daughter (Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence).
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower": Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller star in a teen coming-of-age tale.

Sept. 28

  • "Looper": Joseph Gordon-Levitt's a hitman assigned to bump off his future self (Bruce Willis) in a time-travel thriller.
  • "Hotel Transylvania": Adam Sandler provides the voice of Dracula in an animated monster mash.
  • "Trouble with the Curve": An aging baseball scout (Clint Eastwood) enlists his daughter (Amy Adams) on his latest talent trip.
  • "Won't Back Down": Two moms (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis) fight to save their kids' inner-city school.


Oct. 5

  • "Taken 2": Liam Neeson's back as a fierce ex-agent protecting his kin against a crime boss.
  • "Frankenweenie": Tim Burton updates his early short film with an animated feature about a boy resurrecting his dead dog.
  • "Sinister": A collection of home movies unleashes horror on a crime novelist (Ethan Hawke) and his family.
  • "Pitch Perfect": Anna Kendrick and her college chums compete in the warbling world of a cappella singing.
  • "The Paperboy": A reporter (Matthew McConaughey) and his younger brother (Zac Efron) investigate the events surrounding a murder to exonerate a man on death row (John Cusack).

Oct. 12

  • "Argo": Ben Affleck directs and stars in a rescue thriller set against the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
  • "Here Comes the Boom": A teacher and ex-wrestler (Kevin James) moonlights as a mixed martial-arts fighter to save his school's music program.

Oct. 19

  • "Alex Cross": A homicide investigator (Tyler Perry) squares off against a serial killer (Matthew Fox).
  • "Killing Them Softly": Brad Pitt's an enforcer tracking three hoods who robbed a mob-protected card game.
  • "Paranormal Activity 4": The supernatural franchise makes its annual return for Halloween.

Oct. 26

  • "Cloud Atlas": Tom Hanks and Halle Berry lead an ensemble of stars in multiple roles for an epic saga that spans centuries.
  • "Chasing Mavericks": Gerard Butler and Jonny Weston star in the true-life story of surfer Jay Moriarity.
  • "Fun Size": A girl and her little brother get a lesson in school popularity on Halloween.
  • "The Sessions": A polio patient (John Hawkes) in an iron lung enlists a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) so he can lose his virginity.


Nov. 2

  • "Wreck-It Ralph": A second-banana video game character (voiced by John C. Reilly) sets out on his own in this animated comedy.
  • "The Man with the Iron Fists": Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu star with director RZA in a martial-arts battle for gold in China.
  • "Flight": Denzel Washington's a pilot hailed as a hero after miraculously landing his damaged jetliner.
  • "This Must Be the Place": Sean Penn's a reclusive former rock star on a road trip of revenge over his late father.

Nov. 9

  • "Skyfall": Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in a thriller sparked by secrets out of the past of his boss, M (Judi Dench).
  • "Lincoln": Steven Spielberg directs, Daniel Day-Lewis stars as the 16th president.

Nov. 16

  • "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2": Kristen Stewart adjusts to her after-life as a vampire in the finale of the supernatural fantasy.
  • "Anna Karenina": Keira Knightley and Jude Law star in a new take on Leo Tolstoy's romantic epic.

Nov. 21

  • "Red Dawn": Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson are among U.S. youths battling overseas invaders.

Nov. 23

  • "Silver Linings Playbook": An ex-con (Bradley Cooper) rebuilds his life with help from a mysterious woman (Jennifer Lawrence). With Robert De Niro.
  • "Rise of the Guardians": An animated tale pits Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and other mythical beings against an evil spirit.
  • "Life of Pi": Ang Lee directs a 3-D story of a young man stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.


Dec. 7

  • "Hyde Park on Hudson": Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) is host to Britain's king and queen on the eve of World War II.

Dec. 14

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey": "The Lord of the Rings" mastermind Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth for chapter one of his three-part prelude.
  • "Les Miserables": Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway croon in the big-screen adaptation of the musical based on Victor Hugo's classic.

Dec. 21

  • "This Is 40": Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their "Knocked Up" roles in Judd Apatow's marital comedy.
  • "Zero Dark Thirty": Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") directs a saga about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
  • "Jack Reacher": Tom Cruise is an ex-military cop chasing a deadly sniper.
  • "Monsters, Inc.": John Goodman and Billy Crystal's cartoon creature-feature is back on screen in 3-D.
  • "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away": Executive producer James Cameron presents a 3-D saga set amid the dreamy acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil.

Dec. 28

  • "Django Unchained": Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz star in Quentin Tarantino's pre-Civil War bounty-hunter adventure.
  • "The Guilt Trip": Seth Rogen's on a cross-country road trip with his overbearing mom (Barbra Streisand).
  • "Parental Guidance": Grandparents (Billy Crystal and Bette Midler) clash with their daughter (Marisa Tomei) over raising her three kids.

Tell us: What films are you most looking forward to?