The Soloist - April 24
IN BRIEF: Robert Downey Jr. portrays Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez who befriends a gifted and homeless cellist, Nathaniel Ayer, played by Jamie Foxx. Ayer developed schizophrenia during his time at the Juilliard School, further intriguing Lopez.
Looks promising: Director Joe Wright is more than capable to tackle this true life story after taking a break from the period drama ("Pride and Prejudice," "Atonement"). Plus, a talented cast with six Oscar nominations and one win (for Foxx) between them is sure to deliver on the acting side.
Not so much: It's rarely a good sign when the release date of a film is pushed back. Originally scheduled to be an Oscar-contender back in November, the movie has since seen two delays, which might signal post-production difficulties or a lack of studio confidence.
Away We Go - June 5
IN BRIEF: Director Sam Mendes, coming off of last year's Oscar-contender-that-wasn't "Revolutionary Road," looks to craft a small and light tale about future parents without much of a future. Husband and wife team, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, write the screenplay.
Looks promising: The ensemble cast is as varied as it is talented. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph play the couple at the heart of the film and are joined by Alison Janey, Jim Gaffigan, Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Daniels and Maggie Gylenhal.
Not so much: Looks like a bohemian-infused "Juno." Get ready for a backlash against its too-hip soundtrack and precious/overindulgent storytelling. But considering the talent involved, the film may be able to rise above these possible pitfalls.
Moon - Sept. 3
IN BRIEF: Sam Rockwell plays an astronaut confined to a moon mining operation for the past three years. With two weeks left on the moon he discovers a fellow human just off his base that carries a striking resemblance to him. Is he going crazy, or is there a more sinister agenda going on?
Looks promising: The 2001: A Space Odyssey comparison is a given, but early buzz from Sundance was very positive. The twisty plot will encourage a strong word-of-mouth if the finale's secrets aren't revealed before then.
Not so much: The brainy 2002 remake of "Solaris" attempted a similar deep-space isolation/paranoia bit, and right now you're thinking "Sola-what?" It's a tough angle to master and may leave audiences confused, or worse, bored.