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Originally published September 4, 2010 at 7:06 PM | Page modified September 5, 2010 at 2:44 PM

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'Harry Potter and the Deathly Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest that Never Sleeps': A mondo list of fall movies

The Seattle Times' rambling list of fall movie openings, including "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I," "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps" and "Jackass 3D."

Seattle Times movie critic

What's fall without an enormous mishmash of movies crowding the multiplexes? Here are some of the titles we'll soon be seeing on big screens everywhere; note that release dates are tentative and can change as quickly as Lisbeth Salander can hack your e-mail.

No, but I read the book

They're almost all grown up now: The "Harry Potter" saga begins to come to an end, nine years after the first movie, with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I" (Nov. 19), with all the usual suspects and 3D to boot. (Part II, in case you've had your soul sucked out by a Dementor and have been therefore distracted, comes next July.)

The Swedish-language version of Stieg Larsson's "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," the final film in his Millennium Trilogy, arrives Oct. 29, with Noomi Rapace continuing her bang-up performance as cybersleuth Salander. Also on screen is another Swedish blockbuster novel, John Ajvide Lindqvist's young-vampire tale "Let the Right One In," previously filmed in Swedish as "Let the Right One In" and now released in an English-language remake as "Let Me In" (Oct. 1), with Kodi Smit-McPhee ("The Road") and Chloë Grace Moretz ("Kick-Ass").

Mark Romanek's film version of Kazuo Ishiguro's haunting British novel "Never Let Me Go" arrives in theaters Oct. 8, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Spider-Man-to-be Andrew Garfield. "My Dog Tulip," a beloved 1950s man-and-dog memoir by J.K. Ackerley, comes to the screen as an animated tale Nov. 5. And "Tamara Drewe" (Nov. 5), based on the serial comic by Posy Simmonds, is the latest from director Stephen Frears ("Cheri," "The Queen") and stars Gemma Arterton.

Guys in suits

Ladies and gentlemen, Gordon Gekko! The '80s icon is back, along with some slimmer cellphones, in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" (Sept. 24), with Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf and the busy Carey Mulligan. John Wells' drama "The Company Men" (Oct. 29) follows three corporate employees (Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper) as they get downsized.

The annual movie

from Clint Eastwood

He's 80 years old, and he's still making a movie every year — and, even more impressively, the movies are usually pretty great. "Hereafter" (Oct. 22) sounds like a bit of a departure for him: It's described as a supernatural thriller uniting several characters — an American (Matt Damon), a Frenchwoman (Cécile de France) and a London schoolboy — all haunted by mortality. Peter Morgan ("The Queen") wrote the screenplay.

So how'd they look

in real life?

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Feature films based on real folk are all over this fall. Meet John Lennon (Aaron Johnson) as a Liverpool teen in "Nowhere Boy" (Oct. 8), directed by Sam Taylor-Wood. Or CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) and her diplomat husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) in "Fair Game" (Nov. 5). Or Britain's King George VI (Colin Firth), who must deal with a speech impediment when he unexpectedly gains the throne upon his brother Edward's abdication in "The King's Speech" (Nov. 24), or Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (James Franco) in 1950s San Francisco in "Howl" (Oct. 29).

Less familiar faces will be featured in David Fincher's "The Social Network" (Oct. 1), about the Harvard kids behind the birth of Facebook, featuring Jesse Eisenberg as founder Mark Zuckerberg. Hilary Swank will take on the real-life drama of Betty Anne Waters, a working mother who put herself through law school to defend her brother after he was jailed for murder, in Tony Goldwyn's "Conviction" (Oct. 22). And the also-busy James Franco stars in Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" (Nov. 5), about mountain climber Aron Ralston's attempt to save himself after a boulder trapped him in an isolated Utah canyon.

Cops and robbers

and Helen Mirren with a gun

Let's go to that last one first: The great Mirren goes all badass, along with Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Mary-Louise Parker in "Red" (Oct. 15), based on the DC Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. Ben Affleck follows up his (very good) directing debut "Gone Baby Gone" with another crime drama set in Boston: "The Town" (Sept. 17), starring Affleck, Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall.

Edward Norton and Robert De Niro headline "Stone" (Oct. 8) as a scheming prison inmate and a corrections officer. Russell Crowe plays a man who plots to break his wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of prison in "The Next Three Days" (Nov. 19), written and directed by Paul Haggis ("Crash").

Love the hair

Well, it's Cher, so what do you expect? "Burlesque," opening Nov. 24, features La Cher as a nightclub owner who hires a small-town girl (Christina Aguilera) and watches her rise to stardom. Stanley Tucci and Alan Cumming co-star, but their hair remains to be seen. Also sure to be nicely tressed is "Tangled" (Nov. 24), a Disney animated take on the "Rapunzel" fairy tale, with Mandy Moore voicing the lead role.

Moving at the speed of ...

The legendary Triple Crown-winning horse is the subject of "Secretariat" (Oct. 8), starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich and some handsome stallions. Denzel Washington must stop a runaway train (and not just any runaway train, but an unmanned train, loaded with hazardous chemicals, headed straight for another train filled with schoolchildren) in Tony Scott's "Unstoppable" (Nov. 12), assisted by Chris "Captain Kirk" Pine. And "Faster" (Nov. 24), starring Dwayne Johnson, involves an ex-con, a cop and a hit man, all presumably speedy.

Romance

Love blooms on screen this fall, between Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal ("Love and Other Drugs," Nov. 24), Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Ryan ("Jack Goes Boating," Sept. 24), and some combination of Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Freida Pinto and Antonio Banderas (Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger," Oct. 1). Rachel McAdams and Patrick Wilson fall in love off-camera while Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford bicker on-camera in "Morning Glory" (Nov. 12) set in the world of morning television. The indie film "Douchebag" (Oct. 29) follows two brothers as they search for the younger brother's grade-school girlfriend, and "Life as We Know It" (Oct. 8) throws Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel together as unexpected guardians of a friend's baby. Think they'll fall in love? Ever seen a movie?

Documentaries

Among this season's self-explanatory documentary titles: "Client Nine: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer" (directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney; Nov. 5), "Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould" (about the concert pianist; Oct. 22) and "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel" (Sept. 17). Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for 'Superman' " (Oct. 1) explores the state of public education in America; Charles Ferguson's "Inside Job" (Oct. 22) finds the story behind the economic crisis of 2008.

SIFF favorite "Waste Land," about Rio de Janeiro garbage workers enlisted in a large-scale art project, arrives for a regular run Nov. 12. Also last seen at SIFF was "Last Train Home" (Oct. 22), about the effects of long-term separation on a Chinese family. Master documentarian Frederick Wiseman, whose last film seen here was the great "La Danse," turns his attention to Austin, Texas, and a "Boxing Gym" (Nov. 12). And a couple of this season's docs are sure to inspire chatter: "Catfish" (Sept. 24), about an online encounter that may not be what it seems, and "I'm Still Here" (Sept. 10), about Joaquin Phoenix's so-called rap career — is it a doc, or a mock? Stay tuned.

Be afraid

"Buried" (Oct. 8) depicts Ryan Reynolds buried six feet under, for 90 minutes, with only a cellphone and a lighter for company. Yikes. "Paranormal Activity 2" creepily arrives Oct. 22, with presumably more of the same mysterious goings-on. Wes Craven's serial-murder flick "My Soul To Take" turns up Oct. 8. A group of seemingly random folk encounter Satan in an elevator (and haven't we all been there?) in "Devil" (Sept. 17).

Renée Zellweger turns up as a social worker trying to help a child with scary parents in "Case 39" (Oct. 1), alongside Bradley Cooper. Meanwhile, aliens are quarantined in Mexico in "Monsters" (Oct. 29), and yet nonetheless appear to invade Los Angeles in "Skyline" (Nov. 12).

Make 'em laugh

Zach Galifianakis turns up in two comedies this fall: "Due Date" (Nov. 5), as an actor on a road trip with expectant father Robert Downey Jr., and "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (Oct. 8) as a mental-health-clinic patient who befriends a troubled teen (Keri Gilchrist). Speaking of teens, Emma Stone plays a high-schooler who finds a creative way to monetize virginity in "Easy A" (Sept. 17), and a former high-school bully may get her comeuppance in "You Again" (Sept. 24), starring Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and the ubiquitous (but endearing) Betty White.

Various things in 3D

Can there really be anything left in the "Saw" franchise? Why, "Saw 3D" of course, staggering into theaters just in time for Halloween (Oct. 29), and if you're going, you're braver than me. And, should you wish to watch a group of oddly enthusiastic men performing truly disgusting stunts in three dimensions, "Jackass 3D" (Sept. 15) should fit the bill. (I'm not even going to try a pun here, having not yet recovered from seeing "Jackass 2.")

On a more pleasant, kid-friendly front, the animated tale "Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" (Sept. 24), surely the season's longest and hardest-to-spell title, is based on the fantasy novels of Kathryn Lasky and features among its voice cast Hugo Weaving, Geoffrey Rush and Helen Mirren. And the animated superhero comedy "Megamind," featuring the starry voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, turns up in 3D everywhere Nov. 5.

And finally,

a few fine festivals

Local Sightings, Northwest Film Forum's celebration of Northwest filmmaking, runs Oct. 1-7; for more information, see www.nwfilmforum.org. The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival celebrates its 15th year with screenings all over Seattle Oct. 15-24; www.threedollarbillcinema.org. Dyan Cannon will be the special guest of the Port Townsend Film Festival, now in its 11th year, Sept. 24-26; www.ptfilmfest.com. And the Seattle Latino Film Festival unspools at SIFF Cinema Oct. 1-3; www.siff.org.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

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