The summer movie season has come to a close. Overall, it was a pretty good four months for film fans and general moviegoers. There were the expected duds, but there were a ton of movies that lived up to the hype and some that exceeded far beyond it. There are plenty of wide and small releases that will stick with filmgoers before the year ends -- and hopefully longer than that.
[Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), [Boyhood](movie:989626), [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes](movie:322904), [Edge of Tomorrow](movie:267902), [The Rover](movie:395105), Cavalry, [The Double](movie:1107752), and the list of satisfying summer movies goes on.
Now with the summer movie season ending, we'll be seeing less blockbusters and more Oscar baiters. And that's fine, because there's a lot of potentially great films heading our way.
Here are 15 movies to look forward to this Fall:
15. The Zero Theorem
Now on VOD and opens in theaters September 19th
Terry Gilliam fans will be pleased with [The Zero Theorem](movie:567555). It's his most focused film in years, harkening back to the themes and ideas explored in his early work. The Zero Theorem features a loner overwhelmed in a world where technology has taken over. In this sensory overload future, Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) is waiting for a phone call to give his life meaning. It's a strangely moving story about an introverted man hoping it all has meaning -- that we're not all just waiting on this planet to die.
Opens in theaters this October
Joe Carnahan's five million dollar action movie was suppose to be released earlier this year, but after Universal was hesitant to spend 25 million dollars marketing the film, Stretch went into limbo. The other day it was announced [Stretch](movie:714343) will see the light of day come next month. Considering Carnahan's behind it, it should be worth the wait. The director behind Narc and The A-Team is coming off The Grey -- which is his best film to date. While Stretch seems more along the lines of Smokin' Aces, hopefully it'll blend the anarchy of that action movie with the emotional weight of his 2011 survival picture.
Opens in theaters September 19th
Kevin Smith made a departure back in 2011 with Red State. The result was a mixed bag. A filmmaker should always be applauded for pushing themselves later in their career, but Smith's first horror movie was more of a warmup than a well-rounded picture. The trailer for [Tusk](movie:1055467) promises a more polished effort, the kind of laughs we expect from Smith, and a pretty deranged story: an imprisoned podcaster (Justin Long) being turned into a walrus. Hopefully the film is as catching as its synopsis. According to the positive early reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival, it is.
Opens in theaters October 24th
Lynn Shelton made one of the most charming films of the past few years: Your Sister's Sister. Shelton's largely improvised movies have always had their appeal, but Your Sister's Sister was a step up for the filmmaker. She's trying her hand at new material now with [Laggies](movie:908876), which she didn't write. The womanchild film, starring Keira Knightley, is less improvised than her past features. With a fun concept and great cast, we should expect another effortlessly delightful movie from Shelton.
Opens in theaters October 17th
Hopefully [Fury](movie:866294) will make up for director David Ayer's Sabotage. Ayer earned respect from audiences and critics with End of Watch, but he followed that hit with the disappointing Schwarzenegger action movie. Fury, based on the buzz and a promising trailer, will be a comeback for the writer behind Training Day. His World War II tank movie also has a strong cast, led by Brad Pitt. This looks be the kind of beautiful, emotional, and raw war epic we don't see often enough.
Opens in theaters October 10th
[Whiplash](movie:1075695) has been earning nothing but high praise since its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. Miles Teller stars as a promising drummer with a complicated relationship with his intense teacher (J.K. Simmons). Andrew (Teller) wants to become a drummer that'll never be forgotten. Obviously, it won't be easy reaching that dream. This suspenseful drama should be another film and performance for Teller to be proud of.
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Opens in theaters November 21st
Gary Ross deserves a lot of credit for how successful The Hunger Games franchise is. His first film in the series nailed the characters and set the right tone. What the first movie lacked in spectacle director Francis Lawrence brought to the series with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Catching Fire didn't only top the first movie by expanding the scope of the series, but also with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Both physically and emotionally her challenges grew. Credit goes to the source material, of course, but everything about the sequel felt more alive than Ross's film. Thankfully Lawrence has stuck around to finish the series, starting with [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1](movie:446261).
8. All is by My Side
Opens in theaters September 26th
A shining example of a bio film done right. Rather than giving an audience a series of cliff notes, writer-director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) has told a real story. All By My Side is a biography that tells a focused story and doesn't sugarcoat or glamorize its subject. What most movies take 20 minutes to show -- a rockstar's childhood, for example -- Ridley conveys with a two minute phone call between Jimi and his distant father that says it all about his upbringing. Ridley's picture packs a quietly powerful punch and electric performances. Imogen Poots, in particular, is stellar as Linda Keith.
7. A Walk Among the Tombstones
Opens in theaters September 19th
Director Scott Frank has written some of your favorite movies: Out of Sight, Get Shorty, and Minority Report, to name a few. Seven years ago he made his directorial debut with The Lookout. You couldn't ask for a tighter and more dramatically compelling thriller than that film. He's finally made his followup with [A Walk Among the Tombstones](movie:400221). The thriller is based on Lawrence Block's series, following an unliscensed private detective (Liam Neeson). From what we've heard, it's another exceptional picture from Scott Frank.
6. Young Ones
Opens in theaters October 17th
Hopefully you'll all know who Jake Paltrow is after [Young Ones](movie:859405) comes out. Yes, he's Gwyneth Paltrow's brother, but he's also a filmmaker we should all keep an eye on. His second feature film is an excellent Western with touches of science-fiction. It's an exciting drama and revenge tale that happens to be set in the future. What year it takes place in doesn't matter. What does matter is Paltrow's great eye for imagery, strong performances, and moral ambiguity.
Opens in theaters November 14th
If the picture above hasn't clued you in, we'll be seeing a new side of Steve Carell in [Foxcatcher](movie:264060). This tragic true story has Carell playing Mark Schultz's (Channing Tatum) unrelenting wrestling coach. The trailers have teased an unsettling atmosphere from director Bennet Miller. Proven by Capote and Moneyball, he's a director who really knows how to get into the head of his characters. Expect an emotional and grueling drama with Foxcatcher.
4. Gone Girl
Opens in theaters October 3rd
If anyone knows how to make a thriller, it's David Fincher. His last addition to the genre, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, isn't quite as successful as his other efforts. Thankfully, Fincher's weakest film is still miles better than most filmmaker's best work. His adaptation of Gillian Flynn's [Gone Girl](movie:833123), which Flynn wrote for the screen, should be another expertly crafted thriller from Fincher.
Opens in theaters October 17th
There are many ways to describe the work of Alejandro González Iñárritu, but "funny" is not one of them. The director behind Babel, Biutiful, and 21 Grams tells often punishing stories. Watch an interview with him, though, and he shows he's got a great sense of humor we haven't seen much of in his work. [Birdman](movie:780317) is also a drama, but expect plenty of laughs from this story about a once-famous actor (Michael Keaton) starring on Broadway and possibly losing his mind.
Opens in theaters October 31st
This character may find his way into your nightmares. Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a frightening protagonist -- the type of guy you imagine spending his nights roaming Los Angeles looking for trouble. That's his job in Dan Gilroy's directorial debut, [Nightcrawler](movie:938302). He tracks down horrific crime scenes, films them, and then sells them to a network. It's not a pleasant job, but Bloom certainly isn't a pleasant person. The script is an incredible character study. If it's brought to life successfully, Nightcrawler and Bloom should give their audience an unforgettable experience.
Opens in theaters November 7th.
A space epic from Christopher Nolan? Sign us up. Nolan has said this is his attempt at 2001: A Space Odyssey. Of course Interstellar will likely be more accessible than Kubrick's classic, but Nolan evoking Kubrick in space is not only a movie but an event. The less known about this film, the better. All we really need to know about [Interstellar](movie:813746) is that it's directed by Nolan, focuses on a mission to save mankind, and, visually speaking, it should be spectacular. Let's hope the movie has the heart the trailer teases to backup its epic scope.
Honorable Mentions: Kill the Messenger, Dumb and Dumber To, The Boxtrolls, and A Most Violent Year.
Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Any I didn't include that you think should be on the list? Let me know in the comments.