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Must-see fall 2015 movies

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Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis star in "Sleeping with Other People." IFC

Lainey (Alison Brie) is a serial cheater. Jake (Jason Sudeikis) is a womanizer. Twelve years after losing their virginity to each other in college, the two bump into each other at a sex addiction support group and reconnect.

They decide that given their tendencies to ruin romantic relationships, they'll just be platonic friends. What can go wrong?

Director Leslye Headland's follow-up to 2012 dark comedy "Bachelorette" is a "'When Harry Met Sally' for a**holes," in Headland's own words. Fittingly, the movie is set in New York City. We'll keep our fingers crossed that these two a**holes take themselves out of the dating pool.

Release date: Sept. 11


"Goodnight Mommy"

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"Goodnight Mommy" follows two twin boys trying to find out who is pretending to be their mother. Radius

Your jaw will drop just watching the trailer for this terrifying-looking horror movie.

"Goodnight Mommy," Austria's bid for this year's foreign-language film Oscar, is about 10-year-old twin boys who are staying in an isolated house in the woods. They are waiting for their mother to come back after her plastic surgery procedures, but when she returns, something seems very off.

"You're not our mother," one of them says to her. The two boys are determined to find out who the frightening woman is and what she did with their mom.

Release date: Sept. 11


"Everest"

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Jason Clarke stars in "Everest." Universal

This 3D movie revisits the catastrophic events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, when eight people died during a blizzard on the mountain.

"Everest" goes back and documents the tale of two different expeditions as they journey through one of the deadliest snowstorms ever experienced. The fanatical climbers face incredible natural obstacles as they struggle to survive.

The film is star-studded, with big names who include Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Release date: Sept. 18

"Black Mass"

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Johnny Depp plays infamous crime leader Whitey Bulger in "Black Mass." Warner Bros.

Yes -- that's Johnny Depp you're looking at. And you thought he couldn't wear more makeup than he did in "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Depp plays infamous mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, but in "Black Mass," viewers will see a different side of Bulger than the indicted murderer they have read about in the news -- they will see him as an ally to the police. The movie will follow Bulger's cooperation with the FBI in 1970s Boston to take down the Italian mob.

Release date: Sept. 18


"Sicario"

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Emily Blunt stars in "Sicario." Richard Foreman, Jr./Lionsgate

Emily Blunt plays successful FBI agent Kate Macer in "Sicario." Macer is recruited to take on a top assignment to respond to escalating cartel activity, and she finds herself under the wing of Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). Alejandro takes the task force back and forth between Mexico and the U.S. as they use one cartel leader to try and nab a bigger one. Expect to see some intense gunfights.

Release date: Sept. 18

"The Walk"

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in "The Walk." Sony

Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets a new hairdo in "The Walk." Gordon-Levitt plays the French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, who walked on a wire between the Twin Towers in 1974. The event inspired the 2008 documentary "Man on Wire." Get your 3D glasses ready.

Release date: Sept. 30


"The Martian"

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Matt Damon plays Mark Watney in"The Martian," directed by Ridley Scott. Toronto International Film Festival/Twentieth Century Fox/AP

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars, in "The Martian."

"This will come as quite a shock to my crewmates, and to NASA and to the entire world. But I'm still alive. Surprise!" Watney says in a trailer.

The movie is set some 20 years in the future, and Damon makes do with his new home, growing food in space and living in his spacesuit.

What does NASA think about the upcoming movie?

"I think 'The Martian' is as close to science fact, as any science fiction I have seen in going to Mars," said Jim Green, NASA's director of planetary sciences.

Whoa ... cool.

Release date: Oct. 2

"Steve Jobs"

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Michael Fassbender stars as the Apple co-founder in "Steve Jobs." Universal

"Steve Jobs," directed by Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network"), is based on the best-selling biography by Walter Isaacson. The movie follows early Apple product launches, including the 1998 launch of the iconic iMac. An unrecognizable Michael Fassbender plays Jobs in the latest film on the revered tech innovator; "Jobs" in 2013 was a flop.

Release date: Oct. 9


"Bridge of Spies"

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Tom Hanks plays Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan in "Bridge of Spies." Dreamworks

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up for this Cold War-era thriller.

Hanks plays James Donovan, a Brooklyn lawyer who gets recruited by the CIA for a near-impossible mission: They want him to fly to Berlin to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot Gary Powers in exchange for KGB agent Rudolf Abel, a man Donovan once defended in court. The story is based on true events.

Release date: Oct. 16

"Beasts of No Nation"

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"Beasts of No Nation" stars Idris Elba as a tyrant. Netflix

We already know that "Beasts of No Nation" is groundbreaking. That's because it will be released on-demand on Netflix and also in cinemas. It's the streaming service's first original movie, and it's already making waves -- the film is already getting Oscar buzz at the Venice Film Festival.

"Beasts of No Nation" stars Idris Elba as an African tyrant who tears an innocent boy away from his family and forces him into his army of youth soldiers. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala.

Elba encountered some serious danger himself while shooting the film in Ghana's jungles. He was leaning against a tree over his waterfall, tripped and nearly fell over the ledge, but got saved by a ridge that kept him from falling 90 feet, reports Variety.

Release date: Oct. 16

"Victor Frankenstein"

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James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in "Victor Frankenstein." 20th Century Fox

It's alive: The tale of Frankenstein is making a comeback.

"Victor Frankenstein" is described as "a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale" by 20th Century Fox. The story follows Frankenstein and Strausman as they research immortality and take experiments too far. Frankenstein's experiment has "horrifying consequences," and Igor must help save him from the monster.

Release date: Nov. 25

"Jem and the Holograms"

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Hayley Kiyoko as Aja, Aubrey Peeples as Jem and Stefanie Scott as Kimber in "Jem and the Holograms." Justina Mintz/Universal Pictures

Talk about a throwback.

Universal is doing a reboot of the classic 1980s cartoon "Jem," but the PG-rated movie should still appeal to modern-day teens with actors from the Disney Channel and "Pretty Little Liars."

The film definitely has a 2015 twist: This time, Jem and the Holograms get their start as underground video stars before ascending to global superstardom.

Juliette Lewis and Molly Ringwald add retro appeal as cast members.

Release date: Oct. 23

"Spotlight"

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Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo star in "Spotlight" as Boston Globe reporters who dig into allegations of sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Open Road

"Spotlight" revisits the Boston Globe's bombshell exposé on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in 2002.

The film follows members of the Globe's news team as they dig into accusations and blow up secrets that have been buried for decades at the highest levels of one of Boston's most important religious and political establishments. The film's cast includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d'Arcy James and John Slattery.

Release date: Nov. 6

"Spectre"

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"Spectre" is Daniel Craig's fourth movie as James Bond. Sony

The last 007 movie, "Skyfall," was the highest-grossing British movie ever. Will "Spectre" top it?

Star Daniel Craig certainly thinks there's a chance.

Craig, who said this may be his last Bond movie, told Esquire: "We did have the conversation: it's got to be bigger and better. The stunts, the action, every department. I'm all jangly at the moment because it's over."

This is Craig's fourth movie as Bond, and in the latest installment, a "cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization," according to the film's description.

Release date: Nov. 6

"By the Sea"

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"By the Sea" is Angelina Jolie's third directorial effort. Universal

This should provide some fodder for celebrity gossip magazines: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are pretty convincing as a seriously dysfunctional couple in "By the Sea."

Pitt plays an American writer named Roland and Jolie stars as his wife, Vanessa. From the trailer, it's obviou that the couple have serious problems and their marriage is in trouble.

The movie is set in a picturesque seaside resort in 1970s France, which was shot while Brad and Angelina were on their honeymoon in the Mediterranean island of Gozo after their surprise wedding at the Chateau Miraval in France on Aug. 23, 2014 -- that's dedication to your work.

Don't worry about real-life trouble in paradise, though. For the first time, Jolie, director and writer of the film, is credited as Angelina Jolie Pitt.

Release date: Nov. 13

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2"

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Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everden in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2." Lionsgate

Jennifer Lawrence's beloved character Katniss returns in the fourth and final installment of the wildly popular franchise,"The Hunger Games."

In "Mockingjay - Part 2," Katniss will confront President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin and Josh Hutcherson are all back as Gale, Finnick and Peeta, respectively, and they will help Katniss as she tries to free the citizens of Panem and take down President Snow.

Release date: Nov. 20

"The Good Dinosaur"

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"The Good Dinosaur" tells the story of Arlo, a lively Apatosaurus with a big heart who sets out on a remarkable journey, gaining an unlikely companion along the way--a human boy. Pixar

"The Good Dinosaur" examines an alternate universe, in which the asteroid that killed dinosaurs missed Earth and giant dinosaurs never became extinct.

Meet Arlo, a leafy-green Apatosaurus who befriends a human boy. The movie follows the young duo's journeys in a harsh, prehistoric land.

The voices behind the animated faces, both dinosaur and human, include Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, John Lithgow, Anna Paquin, Bill Hader and Frances McDormand.

If nothing else, the trailer promises us the movie will be visually stunning.

Release date: Nov. 25

"The Night Before"

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"The Night Before" follows three friends as they embark on a Christmas Eve full of debauchery. Sony

Fans who loved Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt together in "50/50" will be happy to see the pair reunited for Christmas movie "The Night Before."

The comedy comes from "50/50" director Jonathan Levine, and follows the story of Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie), who have been friends since childhood. The three have gotten together every year for a decade to get drunk and act silly every Christmas Eve. Now, they're getting old for their holiday antics, so they decide to go out with a bang and find the legendary debauchery-filled holiday party called the Nutcracka Ball.

Release date: Nov. 25

"The Danish Girl"

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Eddie Redmayne in "The Danish Girl." Focus Features

Eddie Redmayne plays Einar Wegener, one of the first recipients of gender reassignment surgery in the 1930s. "The Danish Girl" follows Wegener transforming into Lili Elbe.

A trailer shows Redmayne's character married to Gerda, played by Alicia Vikander. They seem happily married until a scene in which Gerda has her husband pose with a dress for a portrait she's working on.

Release date: Nov. 27

"In the Heart of the Sea"

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Learn the full story behind "Moby Dick" in the upcoming Ron Howard film "In the Heart of the Sea." Warner Bros.

"In the Heart of the Sea" isn't inspired by book "Moby Dick": In fact, the movie's plotline is the story that inspired the famous novel.

Now that tale is coming to the big screen thanks to director Ron Howard. "In the Heart of the Sea" is based on Nathaniel Philbrick's best-selling book about the dramatic true journey of the New England whaling ship Essex.

In the winter of 1820, the Essex was hit by a gigantic whale that seemed to have a vindictive streak. The true story of man vs. whale is at the center of "Moby Dick," but "In the Heart of the Sea" also examines the aftermath of the conflict, as the shipmen endure starvation, storms and panic. Chris Hemsworth stars at the boat's first mate.

Release date: Dec. 11

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

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Harrison Ford returns to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Lucasfilm

The Force is back with a new Star Wars. Original stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles in the latest installment of the beloved, timeless series.

"The Force Awakens" also stars Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver and Lupita Nyong'o. It is set approximately 30 years after "Return of the Jedi" and includes new characters Finn, Rey and Poe Dameron.

Release date: Dec. 18

"Sisters"

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play reunited siblings in their upcoming film "Sisters." Universal

Comedy powerhouses and buds Amy Poehler and Tina Fey star in "Sisters," from "Pitch Perfect" director Jason Moore.

The movie is about two sisters who have been out of touch -- Poehler plays the "perfect" sister, and Fey plays the "other" sister -- who reunite to clean out their childhood bedroom as their parents prepare to move out.

The two decide to throw one big bash at their home for their old classmates. That's one party we'd love to go to.

Release date: Dec. 18

"Joy"

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Jennifer Lawrence stars in "Joy." 20th Century Fox

Jennifer Lawrence stars as the matriarch and title character in "Joy," which comes out Christmas Day. 'Tis the season, right?

The movie follows four generations of a family, centered around Joy, who viewers see grow from a child to a single mother of three. Joy builds a business empire and the comedy shows the family boss as she battles rivals in her entrepreneurial endeavors.

Release date: Dec. 25

"The Hateful Eight"

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Samuel L. Jackson in "The Hateful Eight." The Weinstein Company

Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" is set in the snow-covered western landscapes of Wyoming a little after the Civil War.

Kurt Russell stars as bounty hunter John Ruth, also known as the "Hangman," who is trying to take fugitive Daisy Domergue, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, to the town of Red Rock to bring her to justice in the midst of a blizzard.

On their way, they get stuck at Minnie's Haberdashery, with six other people, and they learn that it may not be possible for them to get to Red Rock.

Release date: Dec. 25

"The Revenant"

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Leonardo DiCaprio stars as explorer Hugh Glass in "The Revenant." 20th Century Fox

"The Revenant" is another movie based on true events, and it comes from "Birdman" director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

The film is inspired by the life of mythical explorer Hugh Glass and is based on Michael Punke's novel, "The Revenant." The movie shows one man's will to survive in the wilderness in the early 19th century after he is left for dead when a bear attacks him.

Glass moves through the movie, powered by love for his family and willpower.

Release date: Dec. 25

"Crimson Peak"

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"Crimson Peak" Legendary/Universal

Jessica Chastain takes on the horror genre with the supernatural film "Crimson Peak, which co-stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the movie centers on an aspiring author who is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. In this Victorian drama, she gets swept up in her new husband's mysterious, supernatural past.

Release date: Oct. 16

"Carol"

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Rooney Mara in "Carol." Number 9 Films

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara fall in love in "Carol." Set in 1952 in New York City, the film tells the story of a young female clerk and her relationship with an older, married woman. Mara's performance has already received some buzz; she received an acting honor earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival. "Carol" is based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 semi-autobiographical novel "The Price of Salt."

Release date: Nov. 20