It is a longstanding tradition in the movie industry that all of the best movies of the year are released during the autumn/winter season. Hence, it comes as no surprise that they always dominate Golden Globes and Oscars.
To put it in gastronomy terms, spring is like an appetizer; summer is kind of a salad. Autumn and winter, however, are the main course, and a huge cake dessert with a cherry on top all rolled into one!
For movie buffs all over the world it feels like Santa Clause is indeed coming to town. To celebrate this glorious time of the year we’ve come up with a list of 20 movies you should not miss this season, and believe us it was not an easy task.
The list started out as a top 10 but the sheer amount of movie goodness that’s coming out forced us to give up the idea and just go for 20. So let’s kick this off!
20. Crimson Peak
It’s a Guillermo Del Toro movie! Simple as that. If you need another reason to watch it then you haven’t seen a lot of Guillermo Del Toro movies.
In that case, it’s an old school gothic horror movie set in Victorian England starring Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam.
Still didn’t convince you? Well, if we didn’t this guy certainly will. Stephen King, the king of horror himself, tweeted the following upon seeing the movie:
Was treated to a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s new movie, CRIMSON PEAK, this weekend. Gorgeous and just f****** terrifying.
If that didn’t make you wanna take your jacket and run out to the nearest theater to see this, I don’t know what will. The movie is scheduled for release on October 16, 2015.
19. The Lady in the Van
I bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you? It’s a small British movie written by Alan Bennett, the playwrighting genius behind The History Boys, and The Madness of George III, staring the wonderful Maggie Smith. The helmer of the movie is the legendary film and theatre director Sir Nicholas Hytner.
So, with all the geniuses and legends involved in its making it can’t be a bad movie, right? If this movie is half as good as any of the previous works of Bennett and Hytner it would still be on this list.
The story is based on true events from the screenwriter’s life. The main character is an elderly homeless lady called Mary Shepherd who lives in a van. After befriending her, Alan Bennett allows her to park her van in his driveway and live there for a couple of days. She stays for 15 years! The official release is on November 13, 2015.
18. Secret in Their Eyes
This one is a bit complicated. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Eduardo Sacheri, an Argentinian author. However, that book was already adapted into a movie The Secret in their Eyes in 2009, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Finally we come to the point. The main reason this movie is on the list is because we absolutely loved the original Argentinean version directed by Juan José Campanella.
The authors of the new version have moved the story from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles, so we are very curious to see whether this transition affects the story positively or negatively. I’m expecting the latter in order to not get disappointed.
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the role of an FBI officer who returns to LA with an intention to solve a 13-year-old case he had failed to solve previously. It is scheduled for release on November 10, 2015.
17. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
We don’t need to tell you why you should watch this movie. You already know!
If, however, you haven’t seen the previous 3 installments, this movie is definitely not for you, but do not despair! There is something you can do to rectify the situation… Watch them now! DVD, Blu Ray, streaming… anything! Just watch them.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson for the last time as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, this is the final installment in the series. Release date is November 20, 2015.
Carol is a bit of a mystery. We are not sure how good the film itself will be but based only on what people whose opinion we highly appreciate say about it, it’s going to be one of the surprises of the year. The story is taking place in 1950s New York. Good start already.
Rooney Mara plays a young photographer who falls in love with an older married woman, played by Cate Blanchet.
A lot of people are expecting this movie to get a few Oscar nods, as Mara already won best actress at the Cannes Film Festival. November 20, 2015 is the official release date.
Out of all the things I can think of to tell you why you should watch this movie there is one that is particularly obvious. It stars Bryan Cranston! Now that we got that out of the way let’s talk about why we would recommend this movie even if it didn’t star Walter White.
Dalton Trumbo was one of the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood in the 1940s until he was blacklisted and banned from working because he was a member of the Communist party. Coming from Jay Roach, the director of Meet the Fockers, it seems like a weird pairing but we are all the more excited for it. Release date is November 6, 2015.
This is the second film on the list that takes place in 1950s New York; it almost seems like we have a thing for Big Apple during this period. And who can blame us? It’s the time of Beat Generation, folk revival in the Greenwich Village, the birth of rock’n’roll, etc.
The movie tells the story of a young Irish girl played by Saoirse Ronan who arrives in Brooklyn in search of a new life. If you are worried by the fact that the director of the movie is also the director of True Detective Season 2 don’t be. Everybody makes mistakes! If the visuals are anything to go by, this movie is a potential gem. It’s scheduled for release on November 6, 2015.
This Christmas, the team that brought us the Oscar-winning Silver Lining’s Playbook and American Hustle are bringing us Joy, both literally and metaphorically.
David O. Russell directs his recurrent cast members Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in what seems like, unsurprisingly, one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the year.
Ever since he made The Fighter, David O. Russell has been on fire! He’s been rolling out hit movies year after year, and this year is no exception.
The movie is based on the life Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), a single mother of three trying to become a successful inventor. The film is going to be released on December 25, 2015.
12. The Danish Girl
Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role last year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, and this movie puts him in the running again. The combination of this wonderful actor and Tom Hooper, the director of The King’s Speech, makes us very excited about the upcoming release of this movie (November 27, 2015).
Radmayne plays one the first ever recipients of sex reassignment surgery. Sort of like the original version of Caitlyn Jenner if you will.
Joking aside, Eddie is an actor of limitless potential and anything he plays in is worthy of your undivided attention. Add Alicia Vikander to the mix, and you can’t possibly go wrong.
There’ve been countless movie adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays throughout history, but none have had us tremble with anticipation like this one. Just a mere glimpse at the trailer will make you want to fast forward to December 4, 2015 (the official release date).
If you are a fan of the Bard’s writings you are of course aware of other brilliant adaptations of the Scottish play. Most famous being Orson Welles’s version, Roman Polanski’s version, and, perhaps the most memorable for us, Philip Casson’s version with Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench. But none have had the grandiose quality and ambition of this one.
If the fact that the original story was written by the greatest playwright who ever lived isn’t enough to put this movie on your must see list then take into account the fact that the title roles are played by two of the most exciting talents in world cinema today – Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.
10. My Mother (Mia Madre)
There’s no other way of putting this, we have a soft spot for Nanni Moretti! His movies exude charm, humor and originality rarely found in today’s cinema. It’s very frustrating to see how underrated he is worldwide.
In America, they refer to him as “the Italian Woody Allen” which is horribly reductionist and doesn’t do his talent justice. From Caro Diario, Aprile, and La stanza del Figlio to Il Caimano, and Habemus Papam he has been a major force in European cinema.
His new film My Mother is a bit more serious in tone than his previous works, bar La Stanza del Figlio (The Son’s Room), which won him the Palm d’or in Cannes.
It tells the story of a movie director (Margherita Buy) trying to come to terms with the imminent death of her mother. Her brother is played by Moretti himself.
Stylistically, the movie is more minimalistic than Habemus Papam, but more technically refined than Kiarostami inspired Caro Diario, which is still our favorite film of his.
In any case, prepare yourself for a true emotional experience. Release date varies from country to country.
9. The Martian
Last year we were really looking forward to seeing Interstellar and that proved to be a disappointment of epic proportions.
Therefore, we are hoping …No, we are praying that The Martian is going to be the sci-fi that Interstellar was supposed to be. After all, Matt Damon is once again stranded on an uninhabitable planet (Mars) in what seems to be the space version of Saving Private Ryan.
Also, Ridley Scott knows a thing or two about directing sci-fi, doesn’t he? I mean he only directed two of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, Blade Runner and Alien.
The film is based on Andy Weir’s novel The Martian and, in addition to Matt Damon, stars Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Sean Bean (let’s hope he survives this one). Release date is October 2, 2015.
There’s been so much buzz about this film ever since it was first screened at the Venice Film Festival that you couldn’t help getting excited about it. A lot of critics are already betting on it that this one will be one of the Oscar favorites.
The movie was directed by Thomas McCarthy and it features an ensemble of wonderful actors – Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber etc. Last year Michael Keaton didn’t win the Oscar for Birdman, maybe this is going to be his year. We’ll see!
What’s it about? It’s the story of The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer winning “Spotlight” team, a team of investigative journalists, as they were covering the famous sexual abuse scandal in Boston archdiocese. It’s scheduled for release on November 6, 2015.
Well, this one’s easy! It’s the new James Bond! Moreover, it’s the new James Bond directed by Sam Mendes! Need more incentives? The villain is played by Christoph Waltz! Hans friggin Landa! If that doesn’t get you excited then you clearly haven’t seen Inglorious Basterds.
The sequel to the hugely successful Skyfall has two Bond girls in the form of beautiful Monica Bellucci and “Blue is the Warmest Color” star Léa Seydoux. There is no doubt that this is going to be a thrilling ride.
However, this one’s not going to be winning the Best Song Oscar, that’s for sure. International release is on October 26, 2015.
6. Steve Jobs
No, this is not the one with Ashton Kutcher! God forbid! This one’s directed by Danny Boyle, the visionary genius behind Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and Slumdog Millionaire. It stars Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. The screenplay was written by The Social Network’s Aaron Sorkin.
What we love about it is that it’s not a mere glorification of the late Apple CEO, it is a warts and all depiction. The story revolves around the events surrounding three major product launches – the original Macintosh, the neXT Cube, and the first Apple iMac.
Kutcher’s Jobs never got nominated for an Oscar. If you want to know why, you only need to see that film. But this one’s got Oscar for Best Leading Actor written all over it. Released on October 9, 2015.
5. Youth (La Giovinezza)
This is the one we’ve been restlessly looking forward to for more than a year now. The all-star cast includes such giants as Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Jane Fonda, the lovely Rachel Weisz, and Paul Dano.
It takes place in the Swiss Alps where two friends, a composer (Caine) and a movie director (Keitel) come on holiday. The story itself is reminiscent of Thomas Mann’s famous novel The Magic Mountain, although the authors insist that the similarity is purely accidental.
Now to the important part, the main reason this movie has us feeling like a teenage girl about to meet Justin Bieber is the fact that it was written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, the maestro behind The Great Beauty and Il Divo.
His visual flair, sense of rhythm, elegant camera moves, editing, choice of music, and pure Italian charm undoubtedly make him one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. He is a one-man movie revolution. If Federico Fellini, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino had a child it would be Paolo Sorrentino. He really is that good! The movie is scheduled for release on December 4, 2015.
Make sure you see the teaser, it’s absolutely hypnotic!
4. Bridge of Spies
A Steven Spielberg film starring Tom Hanks. Cinematography by Janusz Kamiński. Written by the Coen Brothers! Yes, you read that right! THE COEN BROTHERS! I mean, you only need to read the credits for this film and that alone would be enough to make you want to see it.
The undisputed master of traditional Hollywood style of filmmaking, Steven Spielberg brings us a Cold War story about a lawyer trying to negotiate the release of an American pilot captured by the Soviet Union.
To be honest, when you hear the names of Spielberg, Hanks, Coen brothers, and Kaminski attached to a project it doesn’t even matter what the movie is about. You just wanna run like Forrest Gump until you find a theater that’s playing it.
So, what are you waiting for?! Run Forest! RUN!
Release date is October 16, 2015
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(Star Wars theme tune playing in the background.) Are you sensing the disturbance in the force? It’s the moment we have been waiting for since 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back! (Let’s pretend that the second trilogy never happened.) It’s finally here! The sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy, directed by the master behind the Star Trek reboot – JJ Abrams.
The moment we heard that Abrams was going to be the one responsible for bringing the new Star Wars to the silver screen we knew this was going to be a special film. As if you needed more reasons to want to see it, it marks the return of the original cast with Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and stars Ex Machina and Frank star Domhnall Gleeson. Also starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver.
Official release date is December 14, 2015!
May the force be with you!
There are so many reasons you should get excited about this movie we don’t even know where to begin. When people talk about movies the starting point of conversation is almost never the cinematographer, unless they are cinematographers. But in this case we just have to start from there because the cinematographer of this movie is one of the greatest visual geniuses today – Emmanuel Lubezki!
Last year he won the Oscar for Birdman, and the year before that he got it for Gravity. He also shot Children of Men, and The Tree of Life. One hell of a resume, right? This movie is the first one to be shot on the new 65mm Arri Alexa camera that is set to raise image quality to a new level.
The director of the The Revenant is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the Oscar winning helmer of Birdman. It stars Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy as frontiersmen during the westward expansion of the USA.
If you are still unconvinced, watching the trailer will certainly change that.
It will be released on Christmas Day 2015.
1. The Hateful Eight
Be still my beating heart! It’s the new Quentin Tarantino movie! And it’s a western! There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding this movie, primarily because Tarantino couldn’t make up his mind whether to make it or not.
When the original script was leaked on the internet, he got so angry and in a babyish fit declared that he would not make it! Luckily for all of us though, he changed his mind.
The cast includes a lot of the old Tarantino favorites like Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and some new inhabitants of Quentinland like Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Shot by Robert Richardson on 70mm film it’s bound to be a feast for all the senses.
Talking about senses, your ears are particularly going to enjoy this one because the music was written by the legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone.
Coming to you on Christmas Day! Thank you Santa! Ho hoho!
The movies released before September 25, 2015 were not considered for this list, and that’s why Black Mass and The Assassin are absent.
If you don’t agree with the list and think that we’ve missed something please let us know in the comment section below.
And lastly, don’t spend all your money on movie tickets, save some for Christmas! Oh, what the heck! Spend it all!