The Top 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The Fall Movie Season (In Order By Release Date) 9.21.15

As I always do at the start of every season, I put out a list of the top 10 films that I look forward to most. I’ll keep this pretty brief other than then Hollywood’s really waited to wait to share the goods until late this year, even more so than usual, as each one of these films were carefully hand selected from a crop of about 25. It also should be noted that Christmas Day’s (12/25) movie releases are not included in this list, so you won’t find David O’ Russell’s “Joy”, Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”, or Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu’s “The Revenant”. Since well, I’m focusing here purely on fall movie releases whose release dates are being released within actual fall dates (9/21-12/21). Come winter though, I will have another list for you to munch on. But until then, the following are my top 10 most anticipated films of the fall movie season.

1) “The Martian” (Dir: Ridley Scott) (Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, and Jeff Daniels)

Synopsis: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel adapted to the screen by Drew Goddard (“Cloverfield”, “The Cabin in the Woods”, “World War Z”), and helmed by master director Ridley Scott (“Alien”, “Blade Runner”, “Prometheus”), THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

Opens Everywhere Nationwide on 9/30

2) “Sicario” (Dir: Denis Villeneuve) (Starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, and Josh Brolin)

Synopsis: An idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is assigned to work a dangerous stretch of the US-Mexico border by her superior officer (Josh Brolin). She’s exposed to the brutality of the Mexican drug cartel, and becomes partners with a defector from the cartel (Benicio Del Toro) who possesses keen knowledge about the organization. As she gets deeper into the ruthlessness and corruption surrounding the FBI sting to find the organizations leaders, her moral and professional boundaries are pushed to their breaking point. Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”, “Prisoners”, “Enemy”) directs this pulse-pounding crime drama.

Expands From Limited to Wide Release on 10/2

3) “Crimson Peak” (Dir: Guillermo Del Toro) (Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam)

Synopsis: When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay: a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) comes a supernatural mystery starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam

Opens Everywhere Nationwide on 10/16

4) “Bridge of Spies” (Dir: Steven Spielberg) (Starring Tom Hanks)

Synopsis: Tom Hanks stars as the American attorney tasked with negotiating the release of a U-2 spy plane pilot who was shot down over Russia at the height of the Cold War in this historical drama from DreamWorks Studios. Director Steven Spielberg (“Schindler’s List”, “Saving Private Ryan”, “Munich”) and Mark E. Platt produce a film written by Matt Charman and Joel and Ethan Coen (yes that Joel and Ethan Coen of the Coen Brothers!)

Opens Everywhere Nationwide on 10/16

5) “Steve Jobs” (Dir: Danny Boyle) (Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels)

Synopsis: This incisive biographical drama written by Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network”) and directed by Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”, “127 Hours”) explores the genius and shortcomings of computing guru Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) through the lens of three product launches.

Expands From Limited to Wide Release on 10/23

6) “The Lobster” (Dir:  Yorgos Lanthimos) (Starring Colin Ferrall, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly)

This unconventional love story is set in a dystopian future where potential mates are sent to a hotel and have 45 days to find a significant other before they are transformed into horrific monsters and banished to the woods. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in this off-the-beaten-path film from director Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”). “The Lobster” was nominated for the Palme d’Or (Best Picture) at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Expands From Limited to Wide Release on 10/30

7) “Spectre” (Dir: Sam Mendes) (Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, and Ralph Fiennes)

Synopsis: A cryptic message from Bond’s (Daniel Craig) past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M (Ralph Fiennes) battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre. Directed by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”, “Revolutionary Road”, “Skyfall”) and based off of a treatment from the bestselling James Bond/007 author Ian Fleming.

Opens Everywhere Nationwide on 11/6

8) “Spotlight” (Dir: Tom McCarthy) (Starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, and Micheal Keaton)

Synopsis: “Spotlight” stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber, and Stanley Tucci. It tells the riveting true story of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigation team who uncovered a scandal that would rock the city and shock the world. For years, whispers of the Boston Archdiocese’s cover up of sexual abuse within the Catholic church were largely ignored by the media, the police and the legal system. Against all odds, the spotlight team fought to expose the truth. “Spotlight” is directed by Academy Award (R) Nominee Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent”, “The Visitor”, “Win Win”).

TBD If It’s Going To Open in Limited Release or Nationwide on 11/6

9) “Trumbo” (Dir: Jay Roach”) (Starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, John Goodman, Elle Fanning, Louis C.K., and Helen Mirren)

Synopsis: The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. This film tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger. Directed by Jay Roach (the “Austin Powers” Trilogy, “Meet The Fockers”).

TBD If It’s Going To Open in Limited Release or Nationwide on 11/6

10) “Macbeth” (Dir: Justin Kurzel) (Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard)

Synopsis: Macbeth is the story of a fearless warrior (Michael Fassbender) and inspiring leader brought low by ambition and desire. A thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a reimagining of what wartime must have been like for one of literature’s most famous and compelling characters, a story of all-consuming passion and ambition set in war torn Scotland. Original story by William Shakespeare and directed by Justin Kurzel (“The Snowtown Murders”) this film was nominated for the Palme d’Or (Best Picture) at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

TBD If It’s Going To Open in Limited Release or Nationwide 12/4

There you have it folks. And that’s only the beginning if you can believe it or not. The upcoming winter season looks packed with good films, many of which are early prediction Best Picture nominees. So stay tuned for what’s to come!

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