By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Dr. T and the Women
True, he's due to deliver a winner any minute now, but if there's a less appropriate director than Robert Altman to make a movie about a gynecologist, we can't think who. (All right, maybe Woody Allen.) Richard Gere plays the good doctor; Helen Hunt, Laura Dern, Shelley Long, and (God help her) Farrah Fawcett are among the sitting ducks.
More college potboiling, this time about racism.
More DV hipness; this one's a postapocalyptic fantasy.
Brendan Fraser hops on the multi-personality/alt-destiny bandwagon with this fantasy, in which a tech geek sells his soul to the devil (Elizabeth Hurley, natch).
Just One Time
An East Village fireman and his fiancée consider threesomes with members of both sexes. Very Three's Company.
Pay It Forward
Haley Joel Osment gets a challenge from his teacher (Kevin Spacey) that complicates the kid's relationship with his troubled single mom (Helen Hunt). Director Mimi Leder has lots of TV movies under her belt; this sounds like another one.
Ring of Fire
The Johnny Cash tune presumably gets trotted out again, in this rodeo circuit dramedy written by James "son of Robert" Redford. Daryl Hannah, Molly Ringwald, and Kiefer Sutherland try to recapture the '80s.
A Room for Romeo Brass
Shane Meadows, one of the U.K.'s brightest kitchen-sink hopes, zeroes in on the friendship between two 13-year-olds, one tubby and black, the other skinny and white.
James Gray's Little Odessa was one of the most promising American debuts in recent memory; his subway-yards family crime drama could be one of the season's must-sees, gloomy advance word from Cannes notwithstanding. Mark Wahlberg heads a solid cast that includes James Caan, Joaquin Phoenix, and Ellen Burstyn.
Sound and Fury
Excellent advance word for this documentary about cochlear implants, seen by some deaf activists as a threat to their language and way of life; the film promises difficult questions about definitions of identity, culture, and abuse.
Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows
Everyone said it couldn't be donecapitalize on the original's $240 million with another mock-doc sequeland it probably can't be. But Joe Berlinger, of Brother's Keeper and Paradise Lost fame, is in there pitching.
Julian Hobbs's doc sniffs around serial killers' artwork and the galleries that hoard the stuff.
The Little Vampire
A little brat (the one from Jerry Maguire) makes friends with a little vampire brat, and they fly around and stuff. Reserved for children you actively despise.
Hill Harper is a mild-mannered Casanova with married-girlfriend problems.
What would the fall/winter season be without that pestilent wind called Nora? Now Ephron assays a let's-rip-off-the-Lottery scenario of her own genius devising, with John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Bill Pullman, and Tim Roth wondering if things could get much worse.
Denys Arcand charts the career of a French Canadian supermodeland finally satisfies the overwhelming demand for fashion-world satires created by Prêt-à-Porter.
A Time for Drunken Horses
Iranian filmmaker-actor Bahman Ghobadi makes a bid for international recognition with this tougher-than-leather neorealist odyssey about a family of children attempting to survive in the Kurdistani wilds.
Venus Beauty Institute
Nathalie Baye plays a promiscuous Paris beautician, looking for love in all the wrong places.
Boys Life 3
Another gay-shorts anthology.
Live Nude Girls Unite!
Strippers unionize in this shrill, egomaniacal first-person doc.
Me & Isaac Newton
It seems the only thing Michael Apted can do right is docs, so here he is, grilling seven scientists about how they attack unified field theory, robot technology, lemur conservation, language cognition, gene therapy, etc.
A young Chinese woman suffers the pitfalls of want-ad romance.
The Story of O
Euro version of the beloved sadomasochistic classic.
Too Tired to Die
The Amati Girls
Why is Hollywood cash-interested in remakes of TV series that can only be watched in reruns with half a beer bag on and the motivational inertia of a roadkill dog? Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu are the new Trio of Big Hair.
The Golden Bowl
The Legend of Bagger Vance