The summer movie season may have been littered with just as many misses as hits, but August brought at least one huge blockbuster in Suicide Squad. While the latest entry in the DC Extended Universe was met with divisive reactions across the board, Laika Animation’s Kubo and the Two Strings and director Fede Alvarez’s home invasion thriller Don’t Breathe managed to bring the season to a close with a pair of releases that critics and fans alike could largely band together to root for. Now that fall is upon us, the regular crop of Oscar hopefuls are starting to hit theaters, along with appropriately dark fare as we inch closer to Halloween. Let’s take a look at what the weeks ahead have to offer.
Here are 10 films to check out in September 2016:
The Light Between Oceans (Release Date: September 2)
Following her Oscar win earlier this year for The Danish Girl, Alicia Vikander — who has already been slated to headline the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot — returns to Oscar voters’ radar with The Light Between Oceans, the anticipated new drama from writer/director Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine) that premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 1.
Based on the 2012 novel by M.L. Stedman, the film centers on a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Vikander) who decide to raise a baby they find on the shoreline. Both actors are destined for awards contention, and the film’s heady subject matter (as well as a key supporting performance by Oscar winner Rachel Weisz) could help it to emerge as one of the first attention-grabbing dramas of the season.
Check out the latest trailer for The Light Between Oceans.
Yoga Hosers (Release Date: September 2)
Writer/director Kevin Smith may not be a favorite with critics. To be fair, his last film — 2014 horror/comedy release Tusk — features the most bizarre premise of any of the filmmaker’s efforts to date, easily eclipsing the crass but stylized dialogue that has become his trademark. So no wonder his Canadian-set “True North Trilogy” has proven divisive with both longtime fans and casual moviegoers alike.
Expect that trend to continue with Yoga Hosers, the Tusk spinoff that hits limited release this month. Lily Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith — daughters of co-stars Johnny Depp and Smith himself — reprise their roles as a pair of sarcastic teenage girls who, this time, get wrapped up in a outlandish plot involving Canadian Nazis and their foot-tall creatures known as “Bratzis.” The film’s sheer weirdness certainly won’t work for everyone, but Smith devotees should enjoy this throwback to classic monster movies.
Check out the latest trailer for Yoga Hosers.
Sully (Release Date: September 9)
Whenever Clint Eastwood steps behind the camera, the two-time Oscar-winning director (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby) never fails to stir up awards talk. So Sully — his upcoming collaboration with Tom Hanks — has fast emerged one of the most talked-about new films coming this fall. After all, it isn’t everyday that two such massive Hollywood icons come together to tell a story.
This one recounts the real-life drama behind the 2009 incident in which Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger crash-landed an airliner with 155 people onboard in the Hudson River. The film delves deep into the investigation behind the event as well as its effects on Sully’s personal and professional lives. With a plum lead role for Hanks and a supporting cast that includes Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney, Sully could be one of this year’s most celebrated hits.
Check out the latest trailer for Sully.
Blair Witch (Release Date: September 16)
Until recently, no one even knew that another sequel to 1999 phenomenon The Blair Witch Project was even on the way. In fact, until its premiere at San Diego Comic-Con this summer , the new film from director Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) was known simply as The Woods. Now that Blair Witch is nearly here, we’re excited to see if the film lives up to the strong buzz that has circulated since that initial screening.
Wisely ignoring the events of the disastrous 2000 sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Wingard’s film follows a group of college students setting off to investigate the disappearance of the original film’s heroine. With the director’s knack for infusing high-energy thrills with genuine scares, he could very well be just the right fit to revitalize the franchise – and considering the current wave of 1990s nostalgia, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
Check out the latest trailer for Blair Witch.
Snowden (Release Date: September 16)
Over the years, films like Natural Born Killers and 2012 crime thriller Savages have helped Oliver Stone earn a reputation as one of the most controversial filmmakers working today. So the fact that he’s bringing the story of an equally controversial figure like Edward Snowden to the screen seems like a perfect match and one that is sure to garner some attention when Snowden arrives in theaters this fall.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt steps into the title role as the computer professional who leaked classified National Security Agency information to the media in 2013. Based on the a pair of books about Snowden’s actions, the film is likely to stir up conversation regarding how accurately it captures the truth. Regardless, Snowden has the potential to join the ranks of acclaimed Stone films like Wall Street and JFK – and could offer another compelling performance by Gordon-Levitt, too.
Check out the latest trailer for Snowden.
The Magnificent Seven (Release Date: September 23)
Sure, The Magnificent Seven might be only the latest in a seemingly interminable line of major Hollywood remakes, but we have reason to be confident in this one. Director Antoine Fuqua re-teams with Denzel Washington for this revisit of the 1960 Western (itself a Americanized take on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film Seven Samurai), centering on team of outlaws recruited to protect a small town.
Although Westerns aren’t necessarily proven money-makers, the compelling cast of this action/thriller — which also includes Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio — should entice mainstream moviegoers to give the film a shot. Moreover, Fuqua has a solid track record of delivering hits, especially with his Training Day and The Equalizer star Washington in the lead. Expect it to easily win its weekend.
Check out the latest trailer for The Magnificent Seven.
Storks (Release Date: September 23)
This year has been one of the most crowded for animated films in recent memory, thanks to films like Zootopia, Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets and Kubo and the Two Strings. However, there are still a few more major additions to that list, starting with Warner Bros.’ Storks. Co-directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and newcomer Doug Sweetland, the film could be another family-friendly smash hit.
Storks is set in a world wherein the titular birds are retired from the baby delivery business. However, when Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg) accidentally fires up the unused machine and creates a baby girl, he must figure out what to do with the child. Featuring a wry sense of humor that could appeal to children and adults alike (as well as a cast that also includes Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell), Storks has the chance to reach family audiences with relatively little competition this month.
Check out the latest trailer for Storks.
Masterminds (Release Date: September 30)
This summer’s Ghostbusters may not have been the re-introduction the franchise needed, but nevertheless, fans of Paul Feig’s reboot will have the chance to see three of its four leading ladies reunite onscreen for Masterminds. The latest film director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), the heist comedy features an ensemble cast that includes not only Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones but Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis.
The film is based on the real-life conspiracy behind the Loomis Fargo bank robbery that took place in North Carolina back in 1997. Centering on a total of $17.3 million, the incident was the second-largest cash robbery in U.S. history at the time and certainly has tons of comedic potential, especially with the gifted cast of actors that Hess has assembled to tell the story.
Check out the latest trailer for Masterminds.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Release Date: September 30)
Once a beloved filmmaker, Tim Burton’s popularity has waned in recent years, with many longtime fans and critics decrying films like Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows as unworthy of his particular brand of visual style. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — based on the first novel in Ransom Riggs’ popular series — presents the chance for the filmmaker behind Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands to return to form and introduce audiences to an entirely new fantastical world.
The story follows young Jake (Asa Butterfield) who is sent to the eponymous orphanage run by a mysterious headmistress (Eva Green), but he soon discovers a far greater destiny once he arrives – one that pits him against supernatural dark forces. The film has the potential to be the next young adult book series to successfully make the leap to theaters, and we’re excited to see if Burton and company can deliver the goods with this first installment.
American Honey (Release Date: September 30)
Just as the fall season brings a flood of big Hollywood films vying for awards attention, it is similarly ripe terrain for smaller releases as well. Enter American Honey, the latest project to be distributed by A24 (Room, Ex Machina). Hitting limited release this month, the film — written and directed by Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank) — could wind up being one of the films we’ll all be talking about by year’s end.
Sasha Lane makes her film debut as a teenage girl who joins a traveling magazine sales team on the road and gets caught up in all kinds of misadventures along the way. The comedy/drama made its premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or. American Honey ultimately wound up winning the festival’s Jury Prize and received positive critical notices, boding well for its chances this awards season.
Check out the latest trailer for American Honey.
As the season continues, many more high-profile films are on the way this fall (most notably, fresh spinoffs for the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises). However, September looks like it’ll bring plenty of intriguing new releases, injecting some life into what is typically considered one of the slowest months of the year at the box office. Of this month’s releases, we’re especially curious to see if the buzz-heavy Blair Witch can put the franchise back on top and if Tim Burton can recapture the audience goodwill he’s lost in recent years. The likeliest blockbuster of the bunch is probably Antoine Fuqua’s star-studded remake of The Magnificent Seven, but we’re curious to hear which September release(s) you’re most looking forward to checking out in theaters. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Once again, here are the 10 films to check out in September:
September 2: The Light Between Oceans, Yoga Hosers
September 9: Sully
September 16: Blair Witch, Snowden
September 23: The Magnificent Seven, Storks
September 30: Masterminds, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, American Honey