August brought a number of 2015's most anticipated films to the big screen, wrapping up the summer with some incredible highs and lows. As the controversy surrounding the box office failure of Fantastic Four unfolded, Straight Outta Compton blew away expectations, more than doubling its $28 million production budget in its first weekend. Moreover, the film - which chronicles the rise and fall of pioneering hip hop group N.W.A. - earned overwhelmingly positive reviews and developed into one of the month's only true success stories.
With summer 2015 now in the history books, however, the fall movie season kicks off with several high-profile thrillers and, yes, more reboots and sequels. More high-profile releases will inevitably follow, but there's bound to be a breakout hit among this month's offerings.
Here are the 6 films to check out in September 2015:
6 The Transporter Refueled (Release Date: September 4)
No one expected a reboot to the Transporter series, let alone one without Jason Statham behind the wheel. Still, The Transporter Refueled looks like it could prove to be a worthwhile revisit of the action franchise. This time, Ed Skrein - who's also set to play Ajax in next year's Deadpool - plays Frank Martin, a skilled fighter and driver with a very specific set of rules.
Whereas the previous films kept Martin's history largely wrapped up in mystery, The Transporter Refueled is taking a more personal approach. The plot revolves around the titular badass caught up in an underworld squable, but it's the addition of Ray Stevenson as Martin's father that could elevate the narrative elements of the film. Expect the franchise's signature blend of high-octane car chases and hand-to-hand battles as well.
Check out the latest trailer for The Transporter Refueled.
5 The Visit (Release Date: September 11)
After breaking out with The Sixth Sense, it's fair to say that M. Night Shyamalan's career has been more erratic than most. Many of his films - including 2013 sci-fi adventure After Earth - have been subject of some harsh criticism and middling box office. However, The Visit could be the film to finally get the writer/director back on track.
The film stars Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould as two children who get more than they bargained for when they stay over at their grandparents' house. Of course, like many previous Shyamalan films, details about The Visit remain largely under wraps, but what we've seen thus far has us intrigued and more than a little creeped out.
Check out the latest trailer for The Visit.
4 Everest (Release Date: September 18)
Often, nature itself is the fiercest antagonist big-screen heroes can dare go up against. Everest is the latest film to illustrate the awesome power of the great outdoors, as a snow storm wreaks unexpected havoc on an expedition to climb the eponymous mountain.
Featuring a stark color palette and a startling 3D visual scope, the movie features an ensemble cast that includes Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Worthington, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and Emily Watson. At this point, it remains to be seen if the film does justice to its stars and the epic adventure it portrays, but for fans of old-school adventure films centering on man versus the elements, Everest will certainly be one to watch.
Check out the latest trailer for Everest.
3 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Release Date: September 18)
The Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series have proved that young-adult book adaptations are ripe source material for big-screen sagas. Last year's The Maze Runner continued that trend, capturing the spirit of James Dashner's novels and bringing them to a greater audience.
Now director Wes Ball returns for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and if anything, the sequel promises to significantly raise the stakes for Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and the rest of the returning cast. The mystery of the series' central organization WCKD will begin to come to light, no doubt building up to an epic conclusion in the trilogy-capping Maze Runner: The Death Cure, already in development for a 2017 release.
Check out the latest trailer for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
2 Black Mass (Release Date: September 18)
Johnny Depp's career has been experiencing a bit of a rough patch lately. The actor's last four headlining films - Mortdecai, Transcendence, The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows - were savaged by critics and failed to connect with audiences. However, Depp's turn as notorious crime lord Whitey Bulger in Black Mass could be just the juicy role he needs to get back on top.
The film centers on Bulger's time as an informant for the FBI, and the shaky alliance that resulted from that relationship. Depp has long been connected to playing Bulger, who was the real-life inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in Martin Scorsese's The Departed. Whether Black Mass earns similar acclaim remains to be seen, but regardless, the film's extraordinary supporting cast - which includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Corey Stoll, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple and Adam Scott - doesn't hurt its chances of becoming a hit.
Check out the latest trailer for Black Mass.
1 Sicario (Release Date: September 25)
In recent years, Emily Blunt has made a career of playing tough-as-nails female leads rising to the top in a male-dominated world. That trend continues with Sicario, the new crime thriller from director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) that sees Blunt play an idealistic FBI agent recruited for a task force at the U.S./Mexico border.
Set for limited release a week earlier, Sicario could become another winner for both its stars - including what may be a standout performance by Benicio del Toro - and its filmmaker. Villeneuve has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to explore the dark side of human nature with moral complexity and heaps of style, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats. With any luck, Sicario will become one of the sleeper hits of the season.
Check out the latest trailer for Sicario.
With all the buzzed-about films hitting theaters this month, there's certainly something for all tastes. From dystopian action-adventures to crime thrillers, September looks to start the fall movie season with a bang and kickstart speculation about which movies will triumph with fans and critics alike.
Once again, here are the 6 films to check out in September:
September 4: The Transporter Refueled
September 11: The Visit
September 18: Everest, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Black Mass
September 25: Sicario