Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
Jason Reitman has adapted Joyce Maynard's 2009 novel into a film starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, and Tobey Maguire, one that's sure to make a big Oscar push for all involved when it opens on Christmas Day. The story concerns a 13-year-old boy and his mother who become entangled with a mysterious man who hitches a ride. He, of course, turns out to be a murderer who's just escaped from prison. The suspenseful setup eventually turns into something of a coming-of-age story, as the boy and his mother form a strange bond with the escapee, who becomes a father figure for the boy (and a romantic partner for the mother). Maynard is a lovely writer and received strong reviews for Labor Day, so this could be the perfect thing to read, both unsettling and oddly touching, while you vacation with your own relatively normal (well, we hope anyway) family. In theaters Dec. 25
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell with Partick Robinson
A nonfiction account of a Navy SEAL mission gone terribly wrong, Lone Survivor was written by Marcus Luttrell, the only of four SEALs to survive a 2005 clash with the Taliban. The book, which also chronicles Luttrell's path to becoming a SEAL, is getting something of the action movie treatment by Peter Berg this November, though its release date would seem to suggest that it will be a more serious film than, say, Battleship. Still, probably better to have read the actual thing before heading off into Berg's world of pumped-up action and Taylor Kitsch glowering. Everyone is now well aware of the exploits of the famous SEAL Team 6, so here is your chance to learn about another elite group of commandos. There's a political element to the book that might chafe some, what with its strong conservative bent and criticism of the liberal media, but at the core is an exciting and tragic first-hand account of the war in Afghanistan. In theaters Nov. 15
The Requisite Y.A. Stuff
All right, enough with all the gloomy warfare and family strife. It's time for some teen adventure. There are three big Y.A. adaptations coming out this fall, so you should probably spend your down time boning up. The first is The Seventh Son, based on The Spook's Apprentice, the kick-off to a British fantasy series about so-called Spooks fighting against demons, witches, and other dark magic. You'll only have to read the first book for now, but if the movie (Oct. 18), which stars Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, and dreamy son of Narnia Ben Barnes, does well, there are, um, eleven other books to go, with a thirteenth on the way. Then it's time for Ender's Game, a sci-fi space actioner based on the book by Orson Scott Card. Fans seem pretty excited about the movie (Nov. 1), which stars Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford, though others are wary of Scott Card's troubling social politics, which tend to seep into his books. Decide for yourself, I suppose. And then lastly there's Catching Fire, the second film in the Hunger Games franchise (Nov. 22). If you haven't already, you'll need to reed two books to be caught up for the film. But they're worth it; scary and wildly entertaining as they are. Sure, kids killing kids isn't the cheeriest of beachtime reads, but it's OK, it's all make believe. It's for kids, after all.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.