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Fall film forecast

Moviegoers are faced with many options, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the good from the terrible. The Oracle makes that choice easier with a list of some of the more promising films being released this fall.

“The Debt”

Wednesday

Don’t judge “The Debt” by its title, or otherwise you might miss out on this complex espionage thriller by thinking it’s a movie about interest rates.

The plot switches between 1966 and 1997, revolving around three secret agents as they carry out their mission in East Berlin and deal with its ramifications 30 years later. What actually happens on their mission is a mystery. They are sent into Soviet Berlin to abduct a Nazi war criminal.

The film is distributed by Focus Features, which has a reputation for making smart movies.

“Apollo 18”

Friday

“Apollo 18” is the alleged true story of a secret two-man moon mission that went awry. NASA denies its authenticity, but filmmakers insist that the footage is legitimate – which they support with evidence on their website – despite a credited screenwriter.

The atmosphere is like “The Blair Witch Project” in space, with tons of “Oh my God, what was that?” moments.

Two reasons to see it: one scene in the trailer has something crawling inside an astronaut’s spacesuit, and the tagline, “discover the reason we never went back.”

“Moneyball”

Sept. 23

This baseball-themed drama stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. The film chronicles Beane’s attempt to put together a successful ball club on a budget.

The athletic underdog story has been done plenty before, but this one has an economic spin to it. Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman co-star.

“50/50”

Sept. 30

The word “dramedy” get’s tossed around a lot, but there isn’t another way to describe this movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. Adam (Gordon-Levitt) is diagnosed with cancer and given a 50 percent chance to live.

With Seth Rogen playing his best friend and providing the usual punchlines, the film seems a lot like “Funny People” – another Rogen cancer movie.

You might just see it to find out whether Gordon-Levitt’s character lives or dies, but the trailer provides some laughs one might not expect from a movie about a deadly illness.

“The Ides of March”

Oct. 7

George Clooney both acts and directs in this film about a young staffer, played by Ryan Gosling, working on a presidential campaign. Despite his idealism and loyalty, he is lured to the other side and quickly learns about foul play in politics.

Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman co-star, doubling the Oscar odds of this drama. The film is based on the Beau Willimon play “Farragut North.”

“The Rum Diary”

Oct. 28

Johnny Depp stars in another story from the mind of Hunter S. Thompson. Based on a novel written by Thompson in 1961, the film follows a reporter who lands a job writing for a struggling newspaper in Puerto Rico.

The trailer makes it out to be “Fear and Loathing in San Juan” with all the outlandish debauchery you would expect from a Thompson tale, except this one looks to have a more concrete plot.

Aaron Eckhart and Amber Heard join Depp in his latest stint as a wacky journalist running wild in a colorful town.

“In Time”

Oct. 28

This futuristic sci-fi thriller starring Justin Timberlake takes place in a world where time is the worldwide currency. A digital countdown is displayed on a person’s wrist, and if that time runs out, the individual dies.

Will Salas (Timberlake) runs into a man who is 105 years old and no longer feels like living. He sacrifices himself and donates his 100-plus years of time to Will, who then sets out to bring down this immoral system by basically becoming the Robin Hood of time – giving it away to those who most need it at the expense of those with an abundance.

“In Time” seems like an interesting take on the age-old immortality plot. The supporting cast is, obviously, young, with the likes of Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy and Johnny Galecki.