Aug 22 ( - Fall is just around the corner, bringing a mixture of Oscar-contenders and holiday blockbusters geared to both the arthouse and Comic-Con set.

On the serious side, just the list of directors is enough to get cinephiles salivating: Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, Alexander Payne, Steve McQueen, Paul Greengrass and the Coen brothers all have movies gunning for the awards circuit.

Here's a look at the films we are dying to see in coming months.

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard
Director: Denis Villenueve
Release Date: Sept. 20

Danger: The cast alone makes this movie seemed destined for greatness, but its commercial potential remains unclear: 17 movies open that weekend -- that's a lot of competition, even if most are tiny indies.

Why We're Still Psyched: Villenueve's last film was "Incendies," a criminally underappreciated Canadian movie that earned an Oscar nomination in 2011. Footage showing a man who kidnaps a suspect in the disappearance of his daughter was well-received at CinemaCon; it showcased strong work from Jackman, who just one year ago earned an Oscar nomination for "Les Miserables." Bonus: Roger Deakins, cinematographer extraordinaire.


Cast: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth and Olivia Wilde
Director: Ron Howard
Release Date: Sept. 20 in limited release, goes wide Sept. 27

Danger: Race-car movies often spin out. It's bad news when the best of the bunch is a satire of the genre, "Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby."

Why We're Still Psyched: Howard has a talent for turning true stories into cinematic tales of uplift, as with Oscar-winning "Apollo 13." In the saga of Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda, who survived a horrific accident and came back to compete for a world championship, "Rush" looks to be headed for the winner's circle.


Cast: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, vast expanses of space