The fall movie season, sandwiched between the summer and holiday seasons that fill the multiplexes with potential blockbusters, usually brings films of a more thoughtful, artful nature to theaters.
Oscar season commences with Johnny Depp going for career redemption in “Black Mass.” Here, Depp takes on the dramatic role of real-life gangster James “Whitey” Bulger.
The potential nominees don’t stop there. Matt Damon stars as an astronaut stranded on Mars in “The Martian.” Director Danny Boyle’s upcoming biopic, “Steve Jobs,” looks like the type of stuff Oscar voters relish. It doesn’t hurt that Aaron Sorkin wrote the script, either. Then, Tom Hanks reteams with director Steven Spielberg for “Bridge of Spies,” a drama written by the Coen brothers.
And that’s just a fraction of the films coming out in the next few weeks.
More picks from the dozens of movies opening between Friday and Nov. 13 are below. Opening dates are subject to change and may vary from city to city.
Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kevin Bacon
Directed by Scott Cooper
In 1970s South Boston, an FBI agent persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to collaborate with the agency for the purpose of eliminating a common enemy, the Italian mob. Johnny Depp stars as Bulger, a ruthless mobster who subsequently evades justice, solidifies his power, becoming one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley and Charlotte Le Bon
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump,” “Flight”) returns to the director’s chair for this character-driven story about Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist who walked between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in 1974. Opening Sept. 30 at IMAX 3D and other select theaters, the film expands to wide release Oct. 9
Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by Ridley Scott
Not yet rated
Following a ferocious storm on Mars, an astronaut’s fellow crew members presume he’s dead. Left alone in the hostile environment, he must improvise to survive. Screenwriter Drew Goddard (“The Cabin in the Woods,” Netflix’s “Daredevil”) adapted the script from Andy Weir’s best-seller.
Starring Tom Hardy and Emily Browning
Directed by Brian Helgeland
Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland (“L.A. Confidential,” “Mystic River”) directs this dramatization of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious 1960s gangsters, Reggie and Ron Kray. Tom Hardy delivers a double performance, playing both of the twin-brother criminals.
Starring Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen and Kate Winslet
Directed by Danny Boyle
Not yet rated
A biopic with “awards bait” written all over it. Oscar winner Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) directs from a script by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network,” “Moneyball”). The movie is based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs, played here by Michael Fassbender.
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Starring Tom Hanks, Alan Alda and Amy Ryan
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks in a Cold War-era thriller about a Brooklyn insurance-claims lawyer sent by the CIA to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Matt Charman and Ethan and Joel Coen wrote the script, which is based on historical events.
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and Mia Wasikowska
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
The visionary Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”) directs two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain in a Gothic romance set in a somewhat haunted house.
ROCK THE KASBAH
Starring Bill Murray, Zooey Deschanel and Bruce Willis
Directed by Barry Levinson
Not yet rated
After a burned-out rock manager played by Bill Murray gets stranded in war-torn Afghanistan, he discovers a gifted Pashtun teenager who dreams of being the first woman to compete in her country’s version of “American Idol.”
Starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep
Directed by Sarah Gavron
This historical drama revolves around women who were willing to risk their jobs, homes, children and lives in their fight for voting rights in early 20th-century Britain. Opens Oct. 23 in New York and Los Angeles and Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 in additional markets.
Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes
Directed by Sam Mendes
Not yet rated
Spurred by a cryptic message from the past, James Bond embarks on a rogue mission to Mexico City and Rome. In the Eternal City, Bond meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), an infamous criminal’s beautiful and forbidden widow. He also discovers the existence of a sinister organization — SPECTRE.