The 10 Must See Movies of September 2013

By  · Published on September 3rd, 2013

With the mega popcorn movie season over we’re starting to see summer recap articles flooding in, and so far, most have painted summer 2013 as underwhelming or downright horrible. Maybe some of those writers just didn’t see White House Down.

But, in general, this past season was packed with a variety of good-to-terrific options, from the likes of Frances Ha, Only God Forgives, and The Way, Way Back to The Great Gatsby, Fast & Furious 6, and This is the End. There were a lot of gratifying offerings.

There were letdowns, too, but what summer doesn’t have a few disappointments? The same will go for this fall movie season, which, as of right now, is looking excellent.

Here are 10 movies that should make going back to school, work, or whatever else you got going on a little more tolerable:

The Family

Opens September 13th

Luc Besson is a brand. The films he makes – or nowadays, produces or writes – are self-aware shoot’m ups that are 100% Besson. But it’s been a while since he’s directed a crime picture that caught fire with us Stateside. With The Family, it’s a welcomed return in that regard, partially in thanks to his stellar cast and Martin Scorsese sitting in a producer’s chair.

The scenes with Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones alone, if any good, should make this comedic crime caper about a mob family relocated to France a must-see.

Blue Caprice

Opens September 13th

Everyone remembers the Beltway Snipers, but maybe none more than the people of Maryland, Virginia and DC. It was a tense three weeks in October 2002, and the film based on the two snipers, Blue Caprice, is suitably startling. Director Alexandre Moors’ film is an uncomfortable 90 minutes worth experiencing, showing the manipulative and complicated relationship between John Allen Muhammad (Isaiah Washington) and Lee Malvo (Tequan Richmond).


Opens September 18th in New York

Sundance is a place where we find emerging voices each year. Some last, some don’t. Hopefully the director of Newlyweeds, Shaka King, will. His stoner dramedy is a strong debut that is more than a stylish calling card; it has personality. Based on the plot synopsis – the bumpy relationship of two stoners – it could go either way as a broad pot comedy or a punishingly bleak “don’t do drugs!” PSA. Fortunately, it’s neither. It’s something far better.


Opens September 20th

Ron Howard is at his best with these awards contenders. He’s been slightly inconsistent these past few years, making quality that ranges from Frost/Nixon to The Dilemma. With the rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan have a compelling true life story that shouldn’t be difficult to mess up. From what I’ve heard, Rush milks that rivalry and friendship for all its worth, being Howard’s best film in years.


Opens September 20th

A 2 1/2 hour drama focusing on grieving, desperate parents whose children have gone missing is not an typical studio film. Based on the reviews out of the festival circuit, Prisoners is as surprising as it sounds. With that cast, a powerful drama drenched in dread is easy to imagine. Watching Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano work may not be a bad way to spend your time at the movies.

A Single Shot

Opens September 20th

There’s more than a single shot in this movie, but what follows that initial shot fired is like a page-turning crime novel. Unsurprisingly, it is based on a novel, written and now adapted by Matthew F. Jones into a gruff thriller. As an adaptation it could’ve used some paring down, but what’s here, especially in the first hour, is a delight. Sam Rockwell is excellent as a loner who makes a major mistake over a bag of money, which eventually people come chasing after, played by the intense likes of Jason Isaacs and Joe Anderson.

Enough Said

Opens September 20th

Featuring one of the late James Gandolfini’s final performances. From one of the funniest independent voices out there, Nicole Holofcener, this new film focuses on a divorced woman (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) who begins dating her friend’s ex-husband (James Gandolfini). The trailer teases a funny, sweet, and awkward romance, and Holofcener has yet to make a dud, so we shouldn’t expect Enough Said to be her first.

Mr. Nobody

Opens on VOD and iTunes September 26th

This movie has been sitting on a shelf for us Americans for far too long. How the Belgium’s and Germans got to see this film first really makes my American blood boil, because, without an ounce of hyperbole, it’s an incredible film. Some group of investors were lovely (or crazy) enough to sink $47M into this beautiful, enchanting mix of sci-fi and drama. The narrative – Mr. Nobody (Jared Leto, giving his most dynamic performance yet), recounting how his life could’ve gone had he made certain choices – isn’t for everyone, but it demands attention and should find new devotion when it hits.

Don Jon

Opens September 27th

Joseph Gordon Levitt’s feature debut is a modern day dose of Saturday Night Fever and American Gigilo. Structurally, Don Jon is a different film, but its titular character, themes, and often poppy sensibility give it a kindred spirit to those two classics. It’s a fun and stylish character piece that shows Levitt’s talent as a writer, director, and, as if he hasn’t already proven himself in this department, actor. He’s given himself a meaty meathead of a role, playing a guy far too influenced by pornography.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Opens September 27th

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a delightful surprise in 2009. Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s animated pic was a coming-of-age story set during Michael Bay’s best action movie. The film did considerably well on DVD, so now we’re getting a sequel, except without Miller and Lord directing.

Cody Cameron and Chris Pearn, who both worked on the first movie, have taken over the director’s chair. Based on our interview with them at Comic-Con, it’s clear they understood the appeal of the first Cloudy and plan on staying in touch with the movie that Lord, Miller and “a lot of people” made.

Honorable Mentions:

Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.