Regardless of how you want to classify the next few months (Fall? Autumn? That time when the kids finally go back to school?), this year's Best Picture (candidates/winners) will most likely debut in theaters between now and Christmas. For those of you looking for some sort of intelligence boost after a summer full of dumb, dumber and dumbest, fear not -- Hollywood is sending a slew of wonderful-looking flicks our way.

In order to celebrate this joyous time of year, we here at Cinematical have decided to share with you the films we're most looking forward to. What films do our writers want to see make a big splash in theaters this fall? Stay tuned all this week to find out. In the meantime, how about I kick things off with ...

The Departed -- Director Martin Scorsese teams up once again with Leonardo DiCaprio (his newest muse) in this remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Add to that a cast that includes Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and, well, I'm totally sold. Pic tells of the battle between Massachusetts police and an Irish-American gang. When each plants a mole on the other's turf, things become hairy and worlds are sure to collide. Seeing as I'm a Scorsese nut, The Departed marks my most anticipated film of the fall. This cops and robbers tale hits theaters on October 6 and currently has a trailer online for you to watch.

p>A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints -- As a lifelong New Yorker, it's no wonder I tend to lean toward films set on my home turf. In his directorial debut, Dito Montiel has written a gritty coming-of-age story that revolves around a boy growing up in Astoria, New York during the 1980s. Starring Robert Downey Jr. (whose character is coincidentally named Dito too), Rosario Dawson, Shia LaBeouf and Chazz Palminteri, pic certainly appears to have that Bronx Tale feel, with a bit more drugs, sex and violence thrown in. Saints first debuted at Sundance (where James reviewed it) and is slated to rock New York and Los Angeles on September 29, and a trailer is currently available online.

Casino Royale -- Yes, after talking for months about this damn film, I kind of want to see it now -- if only to watch Daniel Craig prove he's worthy of such a classic role. The series returns to the big screen this fall with a new look, a new blonde Bond and, hopefully, a brand new direction for a franchise that desperately needs one. Based on Ian Fleming's novel, pic takes a trip back and revolves around 007's first mission as a sexy, womanizing, international assassin. It's a mighty gamble for producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, though I have a very good feeling this risky roll of the dice will pay off. Casino Royale slides into theaters everywhere on November 17, 2006. And, yes, there's a trailer online for you to watch.

categories Movies, Cinematical