The 2015 season will see the Johnny Depp going for career redemption in “Black Mass.” Depp takes on the dramatic role of real-life gangster James “Whitey” Bulger.
Other films featuring potential best actor Oscar nominees include “The Martian,” starring Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars; biopic “Steve Jobs” with Michael Fassbender as the late Apple founder; and “Bridge of Spies,” featuring Tom Hanks as the unlikely negotiator for a captured U.S. pilot’s release.
Other films that telegraph quality and entertainment value include “Legend,” a biopic about Britain’s twin gangsters of the 1960s, Reggie and Ron Kray; and “Burnt,” starring Oscar winner Bradley Cooper as a brilliant but self-destructive London chef.
More picks from the dozens of movies opening between Sept. 4 and Nov. 13 are below. Opening dates are subject to change and may vary from city to city.
BLACK MASS —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 and becomes one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history. The cast also features Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kevin Bacon.
THE WALK — Director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump,” “Flight”) tells a character-driven story about Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist who walked between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in 1974. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Petit and Ben Kingsley co-stars as Petit’s mentor, Papa Rudy. Opening Sept. 30 at IMAX 3D and other select theaters, the film expands to wide release Oct. 9.
THE MARTIAN —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. Veteran director Ridley Scott (“Gladiator,” “Blade Runner”) guides a stellar cast including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
LEGEND —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.
STEVE JOBS — 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. The cast includes Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Michael Fassbender as Jobs.
BRIDGE OF SPIES —Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks in a Cold War-era set 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.
CRIMSON PEAK —The visionary Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” Hellboy”) directs two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain in a Gothic romance.
BURNT —Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, co-stars in last year’s popular and acclaimed drama “American Sniper,” lead the cast of this mix of comedy and drama set in the London restaurant scene. Cooper plays a self-destructive chef on the path to redemption.
ROCK THE KASBAH —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.” Oscar winner Barry Levinson directs and Zooey Deschanel and Bruce Willis co-star.
SUFFRAGETTE — Academy Award nominees Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep lead the cast of this historical drama about 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.
SPECTRE — 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. Daniel Craig returns as Bond, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ralph Fiennes as M. Christoph Waltz co-stars as the enemy Bond seeks.
MADE IN NEW ORLEANS
99 HOMES —Charming and ruthless, Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) makes a fortune by repossessing homes. He’s playing the system that includes the real estate market, banks and the federal government. Carver recruits someone he evicted, a desperate single father (Andrew Garfield), to work for him. Filmed in part in New Orleans.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND —Ben Mendelsohn plays a down-on-his-luck gambler whose fortunes change when he meets a younger poker ace played by Ryan Reynolds. On the way to a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans, the new team visits every racetrack, casino and pool hall they can find. The cast also features Sienna Miller and Alfre Woodard. Filmed in part in New Orleans.
BURNT —See previous description. Filmed in part in New Orleans.
OUR BRAND IS CRISIS —In this political, satirical drama, Sandra Bullock portrays a brilliant, scandal-tainted strategist who goes to work for a failing Bolivian presidential candidate. Billy Bob Thornton co-stars as Bullock’s nemesis who’s employed by a competing candidate. Partially filmed in New Orleans.
Nov. 6 (in limited release)
TRUMBO —“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter during Hollywood’s golden age who was convicted for contempt of Congress, fined, sentenced to a year in federal prison and blacklisted by the Hollywood studios. Helen Mirren co-stars as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Filmed in New Orleans.