The story about the creation and founding of Facebook doesn’t sound very interesting on paper, but in the hands of director David Fincher (“Benjamin Button” and “Fight Club”), it’s emerging as a leading Oscar contender.

CASE 39


Strange to see Renee Zellweger in a horror picture, but here she is playing a social worker encountering a family she’ll rue getting involved with. The impressive supporting cast includes Ian McShane and Bradley Cooper.


LET ME IN


This Hollywood remake of the Swedish smash, “Let the Right One In,” stars two of the finest child actors working today: Chloe Moretz (“Kick-Ass”) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”). They play lonely 12-year-olds who strike up a bizarre but touching friendship complicated by the fact that one of them is a vampire. Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield” ) directs.


THE SOCIAL NETWORK


The story about the creation and founding of Facebook doesn’t sound very interesting on paper, but in the hands of director David Fincher (“Benjamin Button” and “Fight Club”), it’s emerging as a leading Oscar contender. Among the potential nominees are Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield as Harvard nerds who come up with a revolutionary idea that earns them vast riches and even vaster legal troubles.


BURIED


Ryan Reynolds acts out your worst nightmare, playing an Iraq war contractor who is captured and buried alive with only a lighter, a cell phone and his wits as a means of escape.


FREAKONOMICS


Celebrated documentarians like Alex Gibney, Eugene Jarecki and Morgan Spurlock contribute segments to this film version of the best-selling book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner about incentives-based thinking.


HOWL


James Franco is one of the handsomest men alive; poet Allen Ginsberg is not. So how in the world can one play the other? Acting, my friend. And few act more fluently than Franco, who manages to transform himself into the young bard of the Beat Generation. The movie’s trailer suggests a sort of black-and-white “Mad Men” after dark, but I’m betting Franco gives the balding, bearded counter-culture icon his just due.


WAITING FOR SUPERMAN


Looking to do for public education what his “An Inconvenient Truth” did for global warming, documentarian Davis Guggenheim lays out exactly what’s wrong with America’s schools and how egregiously they are depriving our youth. From teachers unions to school administers, just about everyone is earning a failing grade, Guggenheim asserts.


YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER


Another year, another Woody Allen disappointment. Or so it seems. This one, though, has real possibilities, especially with Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin filling the roles of two married couples seeking excitement outside their unholy matrimony. Lucy Punch, Antonio Banderas and “Slumdog’s” Freida Pinto are among the forbidden fruits waiting to be picked.