The fall movie season begins at Labor Day and runs until mid-November (from Thanksgiving week on, the new films are mostly Oscar bait and movies you can see with your mother). September can bring some stinkers and October always includes a formulaic batch of horror films, but the pleasure of autumn is how many edgy movies show up in theaters.

They’re odd enough to push the envelope, which makes them not quite givens for award season and, if they’re funny, the humor tends to be darker. Here are 10 movies to keep an eye out for before the snow flies.

The release dates are national, so in some cases, expect these movies to arrive in Maine a few weeks later.

“The Skeleton Twins” (Sept. 12): Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play estranged twins who reunite. And humor is only a small part of the story. The “Saturday Night Live” alums both push themselves, dramatically and the results appear – wait for it – moving.

“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them” (Sept. 12): People swooned over this lyrical tale of a dissolving relationship when it screened at Cannes. It was two separate films then, one featuring the woman’s (Jessica Chastain) perspective, the other the man’s (James McAvoy). Now you’ve got three choices. See their story cut together in September, or hold out for two separate films, “Him” and “Her,” both releasing Oct. 10. Or, see all three.

“Gone Girl” (Oct. 3): We all read the book. Let’s agree the end went a little off the rails. But you know who could reel it in? Dark thriller master David Fincher. He directs author Gillian Flynn’s adaptation. Ben Affleck seems the perfect actor to play that jerk Nick Dunne, and Rosamund Pike, an underappreciated English actress, looks like an alluring choice to play that tricky Amy.

“A Good Marriage” (Oct. 3): (Also out on video on demand that day – sometimes, but not always, a sign that a movie is no great shakes.) A wife discovers that her loving husband is likely a serial killer. Standard creep/suspense-fest? Maybe. But Stephen King wrote the screenplay, adapting his 2010 novella of the same name, and that’s rare and compelling. Compounding our interest, the elegant Joan Allen plays the wife, the highly skilled Anthony LaPaglia the husband.

“Whiplash” (Oct. 10): Miles Teller of “The Spectacular Now” plays an aspiring jazz musician whose teacher (J. K. Simmons) is overbearing, abusive and just generally the kind of mentor you only see in movies. Lots of shouting. But the feverish music and mood of the previews sells this one.

“Birdman” (Oct. 17): Michael Keaton stars as a washed-up actor who once played a movie superhero and is trying to reinvent himself with a radical Broadway play. A plot that has the former Mr. Mom sending up his “Batman” days? Yes! Plus, Alejandro González Iñárritu directed and while his “Biutiful” was sheer misery, “Amores Perros” and “Babel” were dazzling.

“Nightcrawler” (Oct. 31): Truth, Jake Gyllenhaal is best served by going dark, plotwise. (As in, the opposite of “Prince of Persia.”) In this he plays a creepy “journalist” trolling the streets of Los Angeles for stories. Rene Russo plays the television veteran he either manipulates or learns from. The previews are enticingly chilling.

“Laggies” (Oct. 24): From indie director Lynn Shelton (“Your Sister’s Sister”) a story about a woman with arrested development (Keira Knightley) who goes on the lam from her life for a week with a teenager (Chloe Grace Moretz) she’s just befriended. With indie charmer Sam Rockwell. Here’s to seeing Knightley having fun and being funny in a movie for a change.

“Interstellar” (Nov. 7): Fresh off that Oscar, Matthew McConaughey plays a noble space explorer who departs an environmentally devastated Earth – think Dustbowl – looking for a solution in a wormhole. Wormhole? You have to trust: Christopher Nolan co-wrote the screenplay and directed. Expect some “Inception” mind games. Anne Hathaway is McConaughey’s co-pilot and Michael Caine the boss.

“Foxcatcher” (Nov. 14): Why it matters: Wrestling isn’t my thing, even at an Olympian level or when the wrestler is played by Channing Tatum. But director Bennett Miller (“Capote” and “Moneyball”) has yet to make a wrong turn, so I’m in for this dramatization of real and utterly bizarre events. Bonus: an unrecognizable Steve Carell playing paranoid schizophrenic millionaire John du Pont.


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