This fall’s lineup of movies promises plenty of early Oscar contenders and more than its fair share of action thrillers to join the usual horror movie lineup.
September will be a popular month for movies getting a head start on interest from Oscar voters and potentially audiences.
“The Light Between the Oceans” opens this weekend and will probably return to theaters when its inevitable Oscar nominations are announced. Even if the movie fails to impress critics, the drama features Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz, which nearly already clinches multiple acting nominations. The movie centers around a couple who learn that the baby they found and have cared for as their own child may belong to a woman who is mourning his death.
Also eyeing acting nominations is “Sully,” which stars Tom Hanks in the biopic about pilot Chelsey Sullenberger who made an emergency landing on the Hudson River, as well as Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” also a biopic starring Joseph Gordon Levitt as Edward Snowden.
Along the true story biopic front is “Queen of Katwe” near the end of September about a chess champion hopeful starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.
Without getting too far into the winter movies, “Allied” opens on Nov. 23 and stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as a soldier and resistance fighter in World War II. Ang Lee will also release his new movie, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” on Nov. 11.
Nate Parker will also see his film, “The Birth of a Nation,” open Oct. 7 after much interest early this year and amid new controversy regarding the rape accusation years ago at Penn State.
Some movies that could be up for consideration but may be a longshot are “The Girl on the Train” starring Emily Blunt as a woman trying to piece together a potential murder, and Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” set in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
Though these movies will stir early Oscar discussions, there are also plenty of action movies dotting the fall season.
“The Magnificent Seven” remake with Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt opens Sept. 23, and “Deepwater Horizon” follows shortly after that on Sept. 30. The drama-action film “The Accountant” starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal will open Oct. 14.
The weekend of Oct. 21 will be a busy one for those interested in action films, with the sequel “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” premiering with Tom Cruise reprising his role and joined by Cobie Smulders seemingly channeling her Marvel role of Agent Maria Hill. The weekend also includes the opening of the comedy-action film “Keeping Up with the Joneses” with Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis, and “Max Steel,” a teenage toy adaptation (three words that shouldn’t be uttered together about a movie).
Hanks will star in another movie this fall with “Inferno” on Oct. 28, another movie in the now trilogy of films about symbologist Robert Langdon (previously seen in “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons”).
Marvel will return to theaters with “Doctor Strange” on Nov. 4, which will test the waters of using more special effects and magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The drama “Arrival” will also test critical and audience response to a science-fiction movie with aliens, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner on Nov. 11.
There are also a few children’s movies this fall, including “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” on Sept. 30 and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” set in the “Harry Potter” universe, on Nov. 18. “A Monster Calls” this week was moved from its October release date to wide release on Jan. 6.
Meanwhile, comedy lovers will be offered “Masterminds” on Sept. 30 (with an all-star comedy cast of Kristen Wiig, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, Owen Wilson and Leslie Jones), “A Madea Halloween” on Oct. 21 and teenage dramedy “The Edge of Seventeen” on Nov. 18 with Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson.
Considering the fall is usually a slow season for movies, it may be time to make a trip to the theater after most crowds seemed to have avoided the movie pastime this summer, if the box office is any indication.