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Some of the cinematic releases we are most looking forward to this fall, in order of predicted release date.

Blue Caprice (September 13)

Alexandre Moors’ feature length debut, a standout at this year’s Sundance Festival, is a frightening, sober look at 2002’s Beltway sniper shootings Washington DC. Leads Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond have been roundly acclaimed for their challenging performances as John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. Moors’ lyrical film is an haunting portrait of two convicted killers whose actions locked the country in fear and puzzlement long after the two were ultimately arrested.

Opening in New York on September 13 at the IFC Center (323 Avenue of the Americas, West Village, Manhattan) before expanding nationally to select theatres thereafter.

Mother of George (September 13)

Highlighted by sumptuous imagery and assured camerawork, Mother of George is an exaltedly intimate and beautiful tale of Crown Heights’ Yoruba Nigerian community, particularly one newlywed couple and their difficulty to conceive a child, find happiness, and balance between the poles of their American surrounding and their Yoruba culture. An exciting release from rising, new director Andrew Dosunmu.

Opening in New York on September 13 at Angelika Film Center (18 W Houston St, East Village, Manhattan) before expanding nationally to select theatres thereafter.

After Tiller (September 20)

Third-trimester abortion practitioner George Tiller’s 2009 assassination left only four doctors in the United States who still perform the controversial operation. Moving and thought-provoking, After Tiller is a nuanced document of one of today’s most hardened subjects.

Opening in New York on September 20 at both the Film Forum (209 West Houston St., West Village, Manhattan) and Lincoln Center Film Society  (144 West 65th St., Upper West Side, Manhattan) before expanding nationally to select theatres thereafter.

Gravity (October 4)

Gravity’s trailer is, on it own, one of the 2013’s most tense moments in film.  Let’s hope the film is only as riveting. Drawing praise at the Venice and Telluride Festivals, Director Alfonso Cuarón continues his astonishing use of long shots and technical bravura, opening Gravity with a gripping, nearly 20 minute unbroken scene.

Opening nationally to major theatres October 4.

Escape From Tomorrow (October 11)

Besting Bansky, Escape From Tomorrow was surreptitiously filmed on the grounds of Disney World. Racked by uncertainties over legal issues and possible obstruction from Disney, it was, for a time, doubted, whether the film would ever receive a wide release (Director Randy Moore edited the film in South Korea to elude the long arm of Mickey.) Fear not, though, this strange, Lynchian film is coming to a theater this fall.

Opening in New York on October 11 at the IFC Center (323 Avenue of the Americas, West Village, Manhattan). Keep an eye on its Facebook or Twitter for further screenings.

12 Years a Slave (October 18)

The third feature movie from filmmaker-video artist Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave finds him once again fearlessly exploring subjects largely avoided by cinematic history: terminal hunger strikes by imprisoned IRA members in Hunger, sex addiction in Shame, and now slavery. Concerning the harrowing experience of Solomon Northup, who despite being a free black man was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 19th century, 12 Years a Slave boasts a strong cast (Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti) and a powerful, aching story.

Opening nationally to major theatres October 18.

Blue Is the Warmest Color (October 25)

This year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, Blue Is the Warmest Color has been celebrated for its searing depiction of first love, sexual awakening (including a 10 minute, extended sex scene), and wrenching heartbreak between the films two female leads. Debuting at Cannes just weeks after after France legalized same-sex marriage, the movie’s well of good will and luck may have dried up a little bit in recent days, but that or it’s NC-17 rating hopefully won’t deter you from looking in this passionate, fervent new film.

Opening in the United States at the New York Film Festival on October 25, and in limited release at the end of that month.

The Wolf of Wall Street (November 15)

Thus far, this list has been graced by first time directors and relative newcomers to cinema, but it couldn’t last forever. Martin Scorsese has a new film coming out this November. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey look perfectly cast as Wall Street wolves. Blustering, brash, and madcap, The Wolf of Wall Street looks like its has all the unhinged makings of a corporate take down.

Opening nationally to major theatres November 15

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Jeremy Polacek

A son of the Chicago suburbs, Jeremy Polacek has somehow lived in New York City longer than in that metropolis of the Midwest. Often found in the dim light of the theatre or library, he tweets at @JeremyPolacek.