September is full of bookish film adaptations, with movies made from kids books, an international bestseller, a bestselling mystery and a couple of heart-stopping YA thrillers, of course. Here’s what’s in theaters, and what’s coming soon.
Things are starting off with “The Maze Runner,” adapted from the young adult novel by James Dashner. Opening wide this week, “The Maze Runner” follows a group of teens in a dystopian world, and the maze they confront. Our review finds it part “Lord of the Flies,” part “Hunger Games” and part “Survivor.”
There is another “The Hunger Games” installment coming, but not right away. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1" doesn’t arrive until Nov. 21. Here’s the trailer.
Also out now are several film adaptations aimed at adults. “The Drop” is a Brooklyn gangster drama by Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River”), starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini in his final role.
Lawrence Block’s bestselling Matthew Scudder series is the basis for the thriller “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson as an ex-cop turned unlicensed private investigator (look for Dan Stevens in another role designed to shed his genteel “Downton Abbey” reputation). The story line is based on the 10th novel in Block’s series, now up to its 18th book, but is the first to be made into a feature film.
Then there’s “The Scribbler,” a dark sci-fi thriller based on the graphic novel by Dan Schaffer, starring Katie Cassidy with Gina Gershon and ex-adult film star Sasha Grey.
There’s lighter fare too: “Hector and the Search for Happiness” is based on the international bestselling novel by Francois Lelord. The movie stars Simon Pegg as an unhappy psychiatrist who travels the world, as you might have guessed, searching for happiness.
Jonathan Tropper adapted his own novel for “This Is Where I Leave You,” a comedic drama about a prickly family forced to sit shiva together as per their father’s will. The movie stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver.
A generation before Cheryl Strayed took the 1,100-mile hike that became “Wild” (the film is coming in December), Australian Robyn Davidson set out across the outback for a 1,700-mile solo trip. Her memoir, "Tracks,” is finally out on screens, starring Mia Wasikowska with the very busy Adam Driver playing a National Geographic photographer.
The popular children’s book series by Alan Snow, “The Ratbridge Chronicles,” has been adapted into the animated film “The Boxtrolls” opening Sept. 26. Here’s the trailer.
“Days and Nights” is an update of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” set in rural New England, written and directed by actor Christian Camargo, who also appears in the film. The cast includes William Hurt, Allison Janney, Katie Holmes and Ben Whishaw.
A month couldn’t go by without an appearance by James Franco, who stars with Kate Hudson in “Good People,” an adaptation of the thriller by Marcus Sakey. Two Americans, a townhouse, debt and an illicit windfall spell trouble.
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