11 Movies to See This Fall + 9 More

Studies have shown that just over 60% of the American population go to the movies each year, but what that probably means is that the average person maybe goes to see one or two movies in theaters a year–at most. Even more diehard movie fans may only go to the theater a couple times in any given month.

This is hard for me to fathom, considering I often see two to three movies in theaters a week.

While I considered reducing this list to just two movies per month, I couldn’t bring myself to do it–there are too many interesting (or at least water cooler) movies coming out this fall. Instead, I restricted myself to this rule: if you were going to see one movie each weekend, what should it be? And then I cheated by adding alternatives.

Not every weekend has an alternative, and some weekends don’t even have anything of interest being released, but without further ado, here are the 11 movies you should see this fall (September through Thanksgiving), plus nine more.

Weekend of September 11: The Visit

Do I dare recommend an M. Night Shyamalan movie? Odds are against this one, but at least the director has returned to his roots with this creepy looking horror thriller about grandparents who have apparently become possessed.

Weekend of September 18: Black Mass

Wait, wut? A Johnny Depp movie I actually want to see? In this drama-thriller, Depp goes full-on creepy to play gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, who in real life used his status as FBI informant to bring down the Italian mafia in New England and rise to power.

Alternative: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
If you want action instead, this sequel to the surprisingly fun action-thriller that was good up until the wait-that’s-the-end ending will have plenty of it.

Weekend of September 25: Everest

Based loosely on the events depicted in the Jon Krakauer book Into Thin Air, which is about a deadly quest to climb the world’s tallest mountain, this action-adventure stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and a slew of other talented actors. It comes to IMAX a week early on September 18.

Alternative: Sicario
If heights aren’t your thing, Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro take on Mexican drug cartels in this violent and bloody thriller.

The Martian

Weekend of October 2: The Martian

Last year, Matt Damon got stuck on some weird ice planet and went batshit crazy. This year, he’s stuck on Mars, all alone save for his ability to grow potatoes and MacGuyver his way back to Earth. Based on the awesome book, this Ridley Scott-directed film has all the makings of being top notch–but only time will tell.

Alternative: Legend
If watching Matt Damon talk to himself for two hours doesn’t sound appealing, you can watch Tom Hardy talk to himself–he plays twins–in this movie about the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters.

Weekend of October 9: Steve Jobs

Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directs, Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) writes and Michael Fassbender stars as the title character in this early Oscar favorite. Rather than serve as a biopic, the movie will follow the Apple founder as he prepares for three key product launches in the 80’s and 90’s.

Alternative: The Walk
If a movie about a businessman isn’t up your alley, and you’re not afraid of heights, you can watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in this Robert Zemeckis drama. Or you can just watch the terrific documentary Man on Wire instead.

Weekend of October 16: Bridge of Spies

Tom Hanks finds himself stuck between a rock and the Soviet Union in this spy thriller from Steven Spielberg, in which a businessman attempts to negotiate the exchange of captured spies and prevent World War III.

Alternative: Room
Opening in limited release, Brie Larson stars as a mother who has been held captive with her five-year-old son for years in a room. At least she has a roof over her head.

Weekend of October 23: Rock the Kasbah

Bill Murray plays a washed-up music manager who finds himself stranded in war-torn Afghanistan, because apparently these things happen.

Alternative: Burnt
If you’d prefer watching food get made, Burnt has Bradley Cooper playing an intense chef who must rebound after making one too many mistakes.


Weekend of November 6: Spectre

Bond. James Bond. Let’s move on.

Weekend of November 13: The 33

Remember when those Chilean miners got stuck underground for 69 days, and then were miraculously rescued? This is a movie about that.

Alternative: By the Sea
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie share the screen for the first time since Mr. and Mrs. Smith. That may be enough for you.

Weekend of November 20: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Katniss is back to spend another two hours complaining about how she’s being used for propaganda in this action-packed finale to The Hunger Games franchise, which is hopefully better than the book it’s based on.

Alternative: Secret in Their Eyes
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts star in this thriller about obsession and revenge. You could watch it, or you could just watch the Argentinian original, which is probably better.

Weekend of November 25: The Good Dinosaur

Two Pixar movies in one year? Yes, please. In this one, humans and dinosaurs share the planet–because dinosaurs never went extinct.

Alternative: Creed
This Rocky spin-off has Rocky (Sylvestor Stallone) training the son of late friend Apollo Creed. Laugh you may, but expect this boxing drama to still land a few blows.

View a full list of movies being released in fall 2015.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Drama Movies, Featured, Horror Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists