Metro-East Living

Fall movie preview: Lots of star power, true stories

From left: Amanda Seyfried, Jake Lacy, Olivia Wilde, Maxwell Simkins, Blake Baumgartner, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Alan Arkin, Diane Keaton and Alex Borstein (back to camera) in “Love the Coopers.”
From left: Amanda Seyfried, Jake Lacy, Olivia Wilde, Maxwell Simkins, Blake Baumgartner, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Alan Arkin, Diane Keaton and Alex Borstein (back to camera) in “Love the Coopers.” CBS Films and Lionsgate

Goings-on in a galaxy far, far away must wait until Christmastime, and superheroes are taking a break, but this fall’s movie screens will light up with plenty of star power nonetheless.

Real heroes, incredible true stories and women of substance hope to enthrall you on the silver screen. We won’t be lacking in creepy horror tales and genuinely bad dudes, either. Complicated families and thorny romance show up, too.

The A-list has been busy working on meaty roles to test their mettle: Sandra Bullock is a ruthless political operative in “Our Brand is Crisis,” Johnny Depp physically transforms into feared gangster Whitey Bulger in “Black Mass,” Tom Hanks takes a page from the Cold War in “Bridge of Spies” and Julia Roberts is grief-stricken mother seeking revenge in “Secret in Their Eyes.”

Matt Damon is an astronaut abandoned in space in “The Martian,” Bradley Cooper is a hot-shot chef seeking redemption in “Burnt,” Robert Redford portrays Dan Rather in “Truth,” and Richard Gere is a homeless wreck estranged from his daughter in “Time Out of Mind.”

Critically acclaimed actors likely will further cement their status: Michael Fassbender tackles Steve Jobs, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Phillippe Petit, the man on wire, in “The Walk,” Tom Hardy plays both Kray twins in “Legend,” Bryan Cranston is heralded screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and Michael B. Jordan is Apollo Creed’s boxing son.

The ladies take charge: Emily Blunt as a FBI agent taking on a Mexican cartel in “Sicario,” Elle Fanning is a transgendered student in “About Ray,” and Anne Hathaway is Robert De Niro’s boss in “The Intern.”

Iconic roles return, too. Daniel Craig is back as James Bond in “Spectre” and Jennifer Lawrence closes out the final chapter of Katniss Everdeen’s derring-do in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part II.”

The following list of films are scheduled to be released from Labor Day Weekend to Thanksgiving, but as always, dates are subject to change.

GIRL POWER

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2”

Who: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore; directed by Francis Lawrence.

What: In the final installment of “The Hunger Games,” Katniss Everdeen and her loyal band of rebels battle President Snow in Panem’s seat of power, the Capitol.

When: Nov. 20

“Sicario”

Who: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro; directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Prisoners”).

What: Pronounced “See-CAR-ee-oh,” the title is the Spanish word for hitman. A female FBI agent joins an anti-drug cartel task force in this harrowing morality tale.

When: Sept. 25

“Our Brand is Crisis”

Who: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie; directed by David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express)

What: American political consultants are hired by former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada to help his re-election campaign.

When: Oct. 30

“Suffragette”

Who: Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson

What: The early foot soldiers in the feminist movement in England struggle for equality.

When: Oct. 23

“Freeheld”

Who: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, Josh Charles, Michael Shannon

What: When a police officer is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she and her domestic partner challenge New Jersey’s partner-benefits law.

When: Oct. 2

“Secret in their Eyes”

Who: Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman

What: The quest for justice after a district attorney investigator’s daughter is murdered.

When: Nov. 20

BIOPICS

“Black Mass”

Who: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Corey Stoll, Juno Temple; directed by Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart.”)

What: True story of violent gangster Whitey Bulger, godfather of the Irish mob in South Boston, who turns FBI informant to take down Italian Mafia invading his turf.

When: Sept. 18

“Steve Jobs”

Who: Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels; directed by Danny Boyle.

What: The life of visionary Apple founder.

When: Oct. 9

“Legend”

Who: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning and Taron Egerton; written and directed by Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River.”)

What: The story of Reggie and Ronnie Kray, identical twin brothers who were prominent London gangsters in the 1960s.

When: Oct. 2

“Trumbo”

Who: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, John Goodman, Louie C.K., Elle Fanning, and Helen Mirren; directed by Jay Roach.

What: Dalton Trumbo’s illustrious career as a screenwriter hits the skids when he is blacklisted in Hollywood, labeled a Communist.

When: Nov. 6

“Pawn Sacrifice”

Who: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg and Lily Rabe; directed by Edward Zwick.

What: Preparations for the legendary match-up between American chess champion Bobby Fischer and Russian Boris Spassky.

When: Sept. 11

TRUE STORIES

“Truth”

Who: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Elisabeth Moss, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Bruce Greenwood.

What: The “60 Minutes” 2004 investigation into George W. Bush’s National Guard service.

When: Oct. 16

“Bridge of Spies”

Who: Tom Hanks, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Amy Ryan and Eve Hewson; written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and directed by Steven Spielberg.

What: A lawyer negotiates a deal between the Russians during the Cold War to release American pilot Francis Gary Powers.

When: Oct. 16

“Spotlight”

Who: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Live Schreiber, Stanley Tucci and John Slattery; directed by Tom McCarthy.

What: The investigation into pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese by the Boston Globe, which won a Pulitzer Prize for their team efforts.

When: Nov. 6

“The 33”

Who: Anthony Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cote de Pablo, and James Brolin.

What: The plight and rescue efforts of the 33 miners trapped for 69 days captivated the world in 2010. This is their story.

When: Nov. 13

“The Walk”

Who: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley and Charlotte Le Bon; directed by Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future”).

What: French high-wire artist Phillippe Petit attempts to walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

When: Oct. 9

ROMANCE

“Before We Go”

Who: Chris Evans, Alice Eve

What: Two strangers stuck in Manhattan become trusted confidantes during an unexpected evening together.

When: TBD

“Carol”

Who: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson and Jake Lacy; directed by Todd Haynes (“Far from Heaven.”)

What: Based on the book “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”), a department store clerk falls in love with an older, married woman in the 1950s.

When: Nov. 20

“Brooklyn”

Who:Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Julie Walters; written by Nick Hornby (“About a Boy”).

What: An Irish immigrant must choose between her new American beau and the boy back home.

When: Nov. 6

“By the Sea”

Who: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Melanie Laurent; written and directed by Jolie.

What: Set in France during the 1970s, a married couple growing apart linger in a seaside town during their travels.

When: Nov. 13

DRAMA

“Burnt”

Who: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, directed by John Wells (“August: Osage County.”)

What: A chef who ruined his career with drugs and diva behavior returns to a London restaurant kitchen seeking redemption.

When: Oct. 23

“99 Homes”

Who: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern

What: A single dad evicted from his home must inform others of the same plight.

When: Sept. 25

“Creed”

Who: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad; directed by Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station.”)

What: A “Rocky” spinoff featuring Apollo Creed’s son Adonis, who is trained and mentored by Rocky Balboa.

When: Nov. 25.

“About Ray”

Who: Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts, Susan Sarandon, and Tate Donovan.

What: A teenage girl wants to live as a boy, and must track down her father to go through the procedure.

When: TBD

“Mississippi Grind”

Who: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn

What: Two poker players travel the south trying to win back what they have lost.

When: Aug. 13

“Victor Frankenstein”

Who: James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe,

What: A new twist on the gothic horror tale about Dr. Frankenstein’s experiments that go too far, and his colleague’s help.

When: Nov. 25

COMEDY

“Grandma”

Who: Lily Tomlin, Marcia Gay Harden, Julia Garner, Judy Greer, Nat Wolff, Sam Elliot

What: Granddaughter Sage needs $600, so she and her grandma scramble to raise the funds.

When: Sept. 18

“The Intern”

Who: Anne Hathaway, Robert DeNiro, Rene Russo, Nat Wolff, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine

What: Retired widower wants something to do.

When: Sept. 25

“Sleeping with Other People”

Who: Alison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Scott.

What: Tangled romance.

When: Oct. 2

“The Night Before”

Who: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Anthony Mackie, and Michael Shannon.

What: Three lifelong friends look for a Christmas party.

When: Nov. 25

“Rock the Casbah”

Who: Bill Murray, Zooey Deschanel, Bruce Willis Kate Hudson, and Scott Caan.

What: A burnt out rock manager seeks talent in an unlikely place – Afghanistan.

When: Oct. 23

“Love the Coopers”

Who: Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde, and Amanda Seyfried.

What: A mother wants a Norman Rockwell-type Christmas when her grown children come home for the holidays.

When: Nov. 13

THRILLERS

“The Visit”

Who: Kathryn Hahn, Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, and Deanna Dunagan, directed by M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”).

What: Something is very strange after a single mom’s two kids visit their grandparents.

When: Sept. 11

“Captive”

Who: David Oyelowo, Kate Mara

What: Based on a true story, an escaped convict takes a troubled woman hostage.

When: Sept. 18

“Crimson Peak”

Who: Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam; directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).

What: Aspiring author of ghost stories moves into creepy haunted house owned by aristocrats. Shudder.

When: Oct. 16

“Goosebumps”

Who: Jack Black, Odeya Rush, Ken Marino, Amy Ryan, and Dylan Minnette; directed by Rob Letterman (“Monsters vs. Aliens”).

What: Author R.L. Stine’s demons are set loose in a Maryland town, with his niece and company coming to the rescue.

When: Oct. 16

“Knock Knock”

Who: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas; directed and co-written by Eli Roth (“Hostel”).

What: Devoted husband and father left home alone helps out two stranded young women. Bad idea.

When: Oct. 9

“The Perfect Guy”

Who: Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan and Morris Chestnut.

What: Woman must figure out if new beau or ex-boyfriend can be trusted.

When: Sept. 11

“The Green Inferno”

Who: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy and Aaron Burns; directed and co-written by Eli Roth (“Hostel.”)

What: Young activists intent on saving the Rainforest get the shock of their lives.

When: Sept. 25

ACTION-ADVENTURE

“Beasts of No Nation”

Who: Idris Elba, Ama K. Abebrese and Abraham Attah; written and directed by Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective.”)

What: The experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an African country.

When: Oct. 16

“The Martian”

Who: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean and Sebastian Stan; directed by Ridley Scott (“Alien”).

What: An astronaut presumed dead is actually alive and stranded on Mars. He must find a way to signal Earth that he is still in space.

When: Oct. 2

“Spectre”

Who: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux and Ben Wishaw; directed by Sam Mendes (“Skyfall”).

What: Bond is out to uncover a sinister organization while M tries to keep the secret service alive.

When: Nov. 6.

“Everest”

Who: Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and Emily Watson; directed by Baltasar Kormákur (“Two Guns”).

What: A climbing expedition is devastated by a snowstorm on Mount Everest.

When: Sept. 18

“Wolf Totem”

Who: Chinese film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud (“Seven Years in Tibet”).

What: Based on book by Jjang Rong, a young herdsman sent to live in Inner Mongolia in 1967, and the humans and animals trying to find their place in the world.

When: TBD

“The Last Witch Hunter”

Who: Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood, Rose Leslie, and Michael Caine.

What: Fantasy about fighting witches.

When: Oct. 23

KID-FRIENDLY

“Hotel Transylvania 2”

When: Sept. 25

“The Peanuts Movie”

When: Nov. 6

“The Good Dinosaur”

When: Nov. 25

When: Oct. 9

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