ByJack Giroux, writer at Creators.co
Jack Giroux

Oscar season has begun, people. After the Toronto Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and Telluride, it's not difficult predicting which movies we'll all be discussing come awards time. Of course there will be plenty of failed oscar bait, like every year, but over these next few months we'll see plenty of talented filmmakers telling true passion stories. We don't often see those personal tales during the summer moviegoing season, so the more passion projects during fall, the better.

We didn't see any major awards contenders last month, but we did get some seriously entertaining movies: The Boxtrolls, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and The Drop, to name a few. This month promises another strong lineup of entertainment.

Here are the films you must see this October:

Gone Girl

Opens in theaters October 3rd

We couldn't ask for a better way to kickoff the month than with David Fincher's adaptation of author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. The dark and satirical look at marriage and media, which recently premiered at the New York Festival, is earning almost nothing but praise from reviews. Critics are calling Rosamund Pike a revelation, praising Ben Affleck for perhaps his best performance to date, and Fincher's haunting filmmaking. We're in for a treat with this potentially dramatic, creepy and funny murder mystery.

Stretch

Available on digital platforms October 7th

Even if Stretch doesn't work, it will still be worth seeing to answer the burning question: why did Universal Pictures drop the film? Is it that far out of the mainstream? Based on the photo of Chris Pine (Star Trek) above, there's a good chance that's the case. Joe Carnahan is coming off his strongest film to date, The Grey, and he's returning to the voice that gave us Smokin' Aces. The story of a chafeur (Patrick Wilson) trying to survive a night full of R-rated weirdness should make for an exhilarating 100 minutes. It's just a shame we won't get to see the night unfold in a theater.

Whiplash

Opens in theaters October 10th

Is there anything Miles Teller can't do? Even when he's cast in an abominable romantic comedy, That Awkward Moment, he comes out unscathed. Thankfully he has the material to support his powerhouse performance in Whiplash. Writer/director Damien Chazelle's tells the story of an aspiring drummer (Miles Teller) driven to his breaking point by his ambition and unrelenting music teacher (J.K. Simmons). Whenever Teller and Simmons are onscreen together Whiplash is magnetic. Those two bring the best out of each other.

Kill the Messenger

Opens in theaters October 10th

Jeremy Renner is more than an action star. He certainly has the swagger and build to dominate in the role of a hero, but Renner is at his most compelling in character-driven stories. 12 and Holding, The Immigrant, American Hustle, and his overlooked performance in 28 Weeks Later shows he's the real deal as an actor. He never does anything showy or has a bag of tricks as a performer, which aren't traits that make an actor standout easily. His performance in this true story of a journalist, Gary Webb, outcasted by his peers and the country has another effortlessly good performance from Renner as a flawed, everyday hero.

Fury

Opens in theaters October 17th

This is David Ayer's chance to join the big leagues. The director behind the wildly entertaining Street Kings and the surprisingly affective End of Watch makes his first epic with Fury. He sold this script for a bundle of cash and pulled together an excellent cast, so the odds of Ayer's WWII tank movie turning out well are high. Brad Pitt has been turning in the finest work of his career over the past few years. We should expect nothing less than another assured, if not great, performance from Pitt.

Birdman

Opens in theaters October 17th

The director behind Babel, Biutiful, and 21 Grams tells grueling stories. Sometimes the drama is forced and a tad too much, but there's always some fine filmmaking on display in all of his films, even if the the result doesn't match the sum of its parts. With Alejandro González Iñárritu's latest, Birdman, he's trying his hand at comedy in this dramedy. The film, which features a long take nearly 40 minutes long, sure is ambitious. On top of that, it's got Michael Keaton -- who is one of the most charming actors ever to grace the screen -- starring in the role of an actor losing his mind.

Young Ones

Opens in theaters October 17th

Don't be surprised if director Jake Platrow draws attention from major studios after Young Ones is released. Platrow's second feature is not only a calling card for a promising filmmaker, but an excellent drama with touches of John Steinbeck, Western tropes, and a sci-fi backdrop. Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hault, and Kodi Smit-McPhee deliver commanding performances in this dramatically complicated story.

Laggies

Opens in theaters October 24th

Lynn Shelton's (Your Sister's Sister) quickly bounces back after Touchy Feely, a film that was an all around disappointing. Shelton's Laggies, thankfully, doesn't disappoint. Screenwriter Andrea Seigel's script is about the struggles of adulthood. It's not about broken dreams or anything, but the simple idea of adulthood not being what you expected. Siegel's characters are immensely lovable. Since the cast features Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, and Jeff Garlin, that's not surprising. Their characters are seriously flawed, often charming, sometimes contradictory, and, best of all, real.

Nightcrawler

Opens in theaters October 31st

This is probably going to go down as the most frightening, intense, and funny character character study of the year. Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an animal, a disturbed self-starter in the world of freelance crime journalism. Gyllenhaal is astonishing in the role. This has been an incredible year for the actor, having given two distinct performances in Enemy and in this instance. Dan Gilroy's (Two for the Money) directorial debut is a movie that has it all: laughs, tension, eye candy, and smarts.

Honorable Mentions: The Horseman, Dear White People, The Overnighters, and Listen Up, Phillip

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