10 Films to Check Out in September

Bruce Willis goes back in time, a popular horror franchise switches gears and Resident Evil throws an all-star reunion.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani


The month of September used to be the dumping ground for genre films unworthy of the blockbuster season and indie dramas with no hope of Oscar glory. That may not be the case this year: September is so full of motion picture releases we actually had to whittle it down to the highlights just to avoid overloading your calendar. Here, then, are the biggest movies coming out this month, including several would-be action smashes, an unexpected horror sequel and a couple of films with legitimate Academy Awards prospects. Which films should you budget for this September? Find out below…


Rec 3: Genesis (Rated R)

Starring: Leticia Dolera, Diego Martin

Directed by: Paco Plaza

Release Date: September 7

The Rec movies helped start the whole “found footage” horror genre, and now they’re here to end it with a genre-busting, ultra-violent comedy spin on the franchise.

CraveOnline’s Call: Diehard fans of Rec and Rec 2 might be a little disappointed by the third film’s complete about-face in both style and tone, but if they’re true horror fans they’ll also be delighted by the 1980’s-inspired gorefest the series has morphed into. Great characters, memorable set pieces and a great film overall. Don’t miss it.


The Words (Rated PG-13)

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons

Directed by: Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal

Release Date: September 7

Bradley Cooper plays a struggling writer who shoots to stardom and critical acclaim through a book he didn’t even write.

CraveOnline’s Call: The trailers make The Words seem like an Oscar-worthy drama about the plaintive stares, artistic ambition and living a fiction of your own creation. That’s why we suspect that it’s not very good. It appears overly sincere and melodramatized for such a simple storyline. Maybe we’re wrong, maybe it’s genius, but it looks just awful.


The Master (Rated R)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Release Date: September 14

Joaquin Phoenix plays a war veteran who falls in with a burgeoning cult leader played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in a film supposedly inspired the founding of Scientology.

CraveOnline’s Call: Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film since There Will Be Blood had better be a doozy. Good thing it looks like that’s what he’s made. He’s never directed a bad film, that Anderson, and the enigmatic storytelling on display in his trailers imply that he hasn’t lost his ability to entrance. Besides, we’re just fascinated by the concept.  


Resident Evil: Retribution (Rated R)

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez

Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson

Release Date: September 14

Milla Jovovich returns for another Resident Evil movie, and former franchise co-stars Sienna Guillory and Michelle Rodriguez come along for the ride. Who care about the plot?

CraveOnline’s Call: It’s like Resident Evil, but another one. Attractive women are going to do implausible things while fighting outlandish CGI monsters and uprooting an incomprehensible conspiracy. As such, it’s probably going to entertain a lot of people and make metric tons of money, good or bad.


Stolen (Rated R)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Malin Akerman, Josh Lucas, Danny Huston

Directed by: Simon West

Release Date: September 14

Nicolas Cage plays a career thief forced to perform one last job when a psychotic ex-partner kidnaps his daughter.

CraveOnline’s Call: Only hope is that Stolen is even dumber than it looks, because the trailers make it look like a generic action borefest featuring a villain (Josh Lucas) wearing what appears to be a leftover Garth costume from “Saturday Night Live.” If Simon West goes back to the insanity of his old Con Air days, this might just be a hoot. If he takes it seriously, Stolen probably going to suck hard.


Dredd 3D (Rated R)

Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

Directed by: Pete Travis

Release Date: September 21

Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is also jury and executioner in a far-flung dystopia, who breaks in his psychic rookie partner (Olivia Thirlby) while raiding the sky rise home base of a drug kingpin (Lena Headey) in this comic book adaptation.

CraveOnline’s Call: We were skeptical after the abysmal Sylvester Stallone movie and the negative buzz around the film’s post-production cycle, but after the film’s successful Comic Con 2012 preview screening it sounds like Dredd 3D is the kind of ultra-violent, uncomplicated action sci-fi combo we took for granted back in the 1980s. Bring it on!


End of Watch (Rated R)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick

Directed by: David Ayer

Release Date: September 21

Beat cops Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena run afoul of a Mexican drug cartel in this half-found footage police drama.

CraveOnline’s Call: David Ayer does not have a good track record with this sort of thing (if you remember Harsh Times fondly, you may be the only one), but from what we’ve seen the End of Watch relies more on the bromantic chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Pena, who are both talented enough to make the film worth watching. We suggest you watch out for it.


Hotel Transylvania (Rated PG)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Andy Samberg,
Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Molly Shannon, Jon Lovitz

Directed by: Genndy Tartakovksy

Release Date: September 28

Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) opens his own hotel in the Carpathian Mountains and tries to shield his daughter from teenaged romance. Hilarity, and a presumably heartwarming lesson, no doubt ensues.

CraveOnline’s Call: It looks like the usual, crappy, all-star CG-animated family comedy that we all dread being dragged to by our kids, nieces, nephews and/or younger siblings. But it was directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the man responsible for “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Samurai Jack” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (the good version), so we’re approaching with cautious optimism. Wait for the reviews before you make your final decision. Maybe he can pull this off.


Looper (Rated R)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt,
Piper Perabo, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Release Date: September 28

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an assassin who eliminates targets sent back in time to his era, where the bodies won’t be recognized, but his latest target is the future version of himself, played by Bruce Willis.

CraveOnline’s Call: For hardcore sci-fi nerds and indie film fans, Looper may be one of the most anticipated films of the fall season, with its twisty premise and a director whose previous films, Brick and The Brothers Bloom, were both exceptional. This is Johnson’s big break, and it appears for all the world like he hasn’t blown it. Looper is probably the “Must See” film of September, at the very least.


Trouble with the Curve (Rated PG-13)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake

Directed by: Robert Lorenz

Release Date: September 28

Clint Eastwood returns to the front of the camera as an aging baseball scout reconnecting with his estranged daughter, played by Amy Adams.

CraveOnline’s Call: Eastwood’s first on-camera appearance in years, outside of his own films, looks like the kind of generic schmaltz he usually avoids. Our hearts, no doubt, will be warmed, but if you’re under the age of 60 it probably won’t be enough to entertain you, unless you take Trouble with the Curve’s romantic notions about baseball as a kind of counterpoint to Moneyball. See it with your dad if you must.

Disclaimer: Release dates, and our opinions, are subject to change.