Winter movie preview: Talented directors define upcoming genres

Out of the Furnace – December 6 Previews for the film Out of the Furnace convey a typical action-adventure film, but it definitely has more to offer.

Out of the Furnace is the story of Russell Baze, played by Christian Bale, and his attempt to seek justice for his brother who disappears into a ruthless crime ring after returning home from a tour in Iraq. The film also stars Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.

The prominent appeal of the film is the raw, gritty and utterly realistic acting performances. Early viewing critics say the essence of Bale’s performance is bare and haunted and the film is one of the best acted of the year.

Out of the Furnace is directed by Scott Cooper who, despite his diminutive filmography, garners praise for his 2009 film Crazy Heart.


American Hustle – December 13

American Hustle is founded on more than just its all-star cast – it has an all-star director too.

American Hustle is the story of a clash between a brilliant con man and his partner, an FBI agent, a politician and his wife during the execution of one of the largest scandals in fictional history.

If it’s not the cast, which includes Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, that sells you on seeing American Hustle, then surely director David Russell is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Russell doesn't have a single “rotten” film, according to Rotten Tomatoes, in his career.


The Wolf of Wall Street – December 25

Martin Scorsese’s newest classic opens Christmas Day. Based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort – a real-life investment banker convicted of stock market fraud and manipulation – it stars prolific Scorsese collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, and follows his exploits in the high-profile banking world.

The Goodfellas director has a knack for grand stories about power, money and corruption, and this dark comedy with a 179-minute running time and a stellar cast that includes supporting actors such as Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill and The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, looks to be another masterpiece for the Scorsese canon.

With a script by Boardwalk Empire-creator Terence Winter and a cinematic legend at its helm, The Wolf of Wall Street has virtually no potential of falling short.


Inside Llewyn Davis – December 6

From a different generation of film legends, the Coen brothers – Joel and Ethan Coen – have produced oddball black comedies like Fargo and The Big Lebowski and award-winning dramas like No Country for Old Men. They are extremely versatile in style and genre and masters of dialogue in their screenwriting. There is no doubt that this next feature will add yet another layer to their body of work.

This minimalist dramedy stars Oscar Isaac as the titular lead character, a fictitious folk musician who makes his way through that specific music scene in New York City during the 1960s. The Great Gatsby’s Carey Mulligan and music legend Justin Timberlake take on supporting roles and contribute to the film’s awesome soundtrack with some great folksy rhythm.