ByPeter DiDonato, writer at
A night owl that writes what comes to mind. You can follow me on Twitter at @didonatope or visit my blog at
Peter DiDonato

This summer was certainly a big one for movies. In the past few months, we've gotten smash hits like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Inside Out, Jurassic World, Minions, and much more. While this summer is drawing to a close, the upcoming early fall movie season is nevertheless still exciting. While there won't be nearly as many blockbusters, the amount of promising features coming out in September and October is still worth getting excited about. The hype train is still going strong as we get into awards season.

5. The Martian

Sure, Ridley Scott hasn't had a good track record recently, but that doesn't mean he still can't make a good movie. I know it's kind of an unpopular opinion online, but I actually liked Prometheus. I admired that wasn't afraid to introduce new elements while bringing back the underrated fusion of sci-fi horror that the first Alien film was famous for.

I'm hoping that after the failure of Exodus, Scott will bring his sci-fi prowess back to The Martian to give audiences a hypnotically beautiful sci-fi drama. Plus, with Drew Goddard of Cabin in the Woods and the Daredevil TV series writing, things are certainly looking up for The Martian.

4. Everest

In the past few years, movies like Gravity and Interstellar have delivered visually outstanding Imax experiences with their outer-space settings. While Everest indeed takes place on Earth, it looks no less stunning.

With beautiful establishing shots the Himalayan mountains, I'm anticipating Everest to remind me of those field trips I used to take to the Aquarium to see immersive nature documentaries in Imax. On the other hand, with the involvement of Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy and A-list talent like Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin, Everest looks to be much more than just a film about nature.

How the characters interact with each other in the face of disaster and survival could lead to an excellent and heart-wrenching story. Such a story would blend perfectly with the awe-inspiring cinematography this film is sure to give us. Here's hoping that Everest not only delivers a film that's beautiful to look at, but also ties in a story that truly makes an impact.

3. Crimson Peak

The last time Guillermo Del Toro directed a fantasy-horror film was 2006's Pan's Labyrinth, a film which I consider to be one of the most creative and ambitious films of all time. After something as insanely entertaining as Pacific Rim and his hit series The Strain, it's clear that Guillermo Del Toro hasn't lost his touch since then. With Crimson Peak, it is possible that Guillermo Del Toro could breathe some new life into the hit-or-miss library of modern horror films.

Horror films such as The Gallows and Sinister 2 have failed to do the horror genre justice, relying on cheap jump scares and lazy writing, While great horror movies like Oculus and It Follows have made it to the big screen recently, they are few and far between. From what I've seen so far, Guillermo Del Toro seems to be delivering a horror film that focuses on atmosphere instead of lazy scare tactics. Crimson Peak boasts gothic imagery and atmosphere, and its Victorian era setting only adds to how potentially unsettling and dream-like this movie could be.

2. Black Mass

So Johnny Depp has not had a good past few years. That doesn't mean he can't still make a comeback. With the help of the director of Crazy Heart (and the underrated Out of The Furnace), Johnny Depp looks to finally make that comeback.

In Black Mass, it looks like Depp is going to trade in his recent shtick of playing eccentric, quirky characters to play a sadistic, menacing villain. Based on several documentaries I've watched on the subject, the story of Whitey Bulger is ripe for a film adaptation. Whitey Bulger was a violent, sociopathic individual, and yet had a soft side for his family. Getting to see how the violent and peaceful aspects of his life affected him as a person is sure to be fascinating to watch on screen.

The last time I remember a mainstream movie focusing on a villain was 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street. It was a fascinating character study bolstered by excellent direction by Martin Scorsese and featured a stellar lead performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm optimistic that director Scott Cooper and Johnny Depp can deliver a film that's just as captivating. September 18th seems like a long way away.

1. Sicario

Emily Blunt is perhaps the most underrated actress in Hollywood. She may not have legions of fangirls like Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Stone, but her sheer talent and likability make her just as enjoyable to watch on screen. Having previously showcased her acting prowess in Edge of Tomorrow and Into the Woods, Blunt plays the lead character in Sicario. Sicario is a crime thriller centered around an FBI agent (Blunt) sent by the government to aid a task force on the hunt for a drug lord in Mexico.

In the wrong hands, this plot could easily succumb to cartoonish stereotypes and generic setpieces. However, with Prisoners' Denis Villeneuve directing and the excellent Roger Deakins on cinematography, I expect a beautifully shot and ominously suspenseful film that will keep me guessing throughout. The always welcome presence of Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro just adds to the hype, and I'll be checking this one out on opening night.


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