The prestige-picture season is getting under way with hotly anticipated films. Watch Jake Gyllenhaal climb Everest, hear Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s French accent and say goodbye to Katniss Everdeen.
The fall movie season, full of blockbusters and Oscar bait and Michael Fassbender in a turtleneck, is upon us — and this year, everything seems to be coming in groups of five. Read on for some potential highlights of the season, and note that release dates are tentative and as changeable as Benedict Cumberbatch’s hair.
Five dramas based on true stories
“Black Mass” (Sept. 18). Johnny Depp takes on the role of notorious South Boston criminal Whitey Bulger; Benedict Cumberbatch plays his brother Billy, a state senator. Should be a good brother matchup.
“Everest” (Sept. 18). Based on the same events told in Jon Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air,” this IMAX/3D tale of a deadly Everest summit stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke and Keira Knightley.
“The Walk” (Sept. 30). In 1974, French daredevil Philippe Petit secretly rigged a wire and walked between the World Trade Towers; Robert Zemeckis’ film, long in the making, tells that story, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt donning a French accent as Petit.
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“Steve Jobs” (Oct. 9). Michael Fassbender wears that ubiquitous black turtleneck in the title role of Danny Boyle’s biopic, scripted by Aaron Sorkin and co-starring Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels.
“The 33” (Nov. 13). The title refers to the 33 Chilean miners buried alive in 2010; the film, starring Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche, is based on the nonfiction book “Deep Dark Down” by Héctor Tobar (who happens to appear at Elliott Bay Book Company on Sept. 14).
And for that matter, five more
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“Pawn Sacrifice” (Sept. 18). Not about a pawnshop, but a Cold War biopic starring Tobey Maguire as chess prodigy Bobby Fischer; Edward Zwick directed.
“Stonewall” (Sept. 25). Director Roland Emmerich, usually one to blow things up (“Independence Day,” “White House Down”), takes on a pivotal event in the gay-rights movement: The 1969 Stonewall riots.
“He Named Me Malala” (Oct. 2). This one’s a documentary, but I’m slipping it in here anyway: Davis Guggenheim’s film focuses on a real-life hero, Pakistan schoolgirl and education advocate Malala Yousafzai.
“Freeheld” (Oct. 9). Oscar winner Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) plays a dying police detective fighting for the right to transfer her pension to her domestic partner (Ellen Page) in a true story set in 2000s New Jersey.
“Spotlight” (Nov. 6). In the tradition (or, at least, the filmmakers hope) of “All the President’s Men,” Tom McCarthy’s drama follows the staff at The Boston Globe as they break news on the Catholic Church’s massive cover-up of numerous crimes against children.
Five movies to make you shiver
“The Visit” (Sept. 11). Can M. Night Shyamalan find his way back to the light, or, more accurately, the dark? Perhaps he will with this horror/comedy, about a couple of kids visiting their rather odd grandparents.
“The Perfect Guy” (Sept. 11). The title sounds like a rom-com, but this thriller starring Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy looks closer to “Fatal Attraction.”
“Captive” (Sept. 18). Less scary, perhaps, than suspenseful: The always-compelling David Oyelowo (“Selma”) plays an escaped convict who takes a single mother (Kate Mara) hostage.
“Crimson Peak” (Oct. 16). If you like your horror laced with Victorian outfits, creaky old houses and Guillermo del Toro — well, you might be right next to me in line for this one. Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska star.
“Victor Frankenstein” (Nov. 25). Harry who? Daniel Radcliffe plays Igor to James McAvoy’s Viktor von Frankenstein; I only wonder why it’s not coming out for Halloween.
Five potential acting showcases
“Grandma” (Sept. 18). The great Lily Tomlin, an Oscar nominee 40 years ago for “Nashville,” gets a rare leading role in this well-buzzed comedy.
“Legend” (Oct. 2). If one Tom Hardy isn’t enough, try two of them: The actor, who held a screen all by himself two years ago in “Locke,” plays twin gangsters in Brian Helgeland’s crime thriller.
“The Martian” (Oct. 2). Matt Damon has a potentially thrilling solo role as an astronaut stranded on Mars in Ridley Scott’s screen version of Andy Weir’s best-selling novel.
“Suffragette” (Oct. 30). Every Meryl Streep movie is an acting showcase, right? In this one, co-starring Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter (no slouches, those), La Streep plays early British feminist Emmeline Pankhurst.
“Trumbo” (Nov. 6). Bryan Cranston’s first lead movie role since the end of “Breaking Bad” is the title role here, as the famed screenwriter who found himself blacklisted in 1940s Hollywood.
Five books coming to the big screen
“Going Clear” (Oct. 2). Alec Gibney’s HBO documentary, based on Lawrence Wright’s searing book about Scientology, gets a theatrical release.
“The Dressmaker” (Oct. TBD). Kate Winslet looks chic as a stylish small-town Australian in the film version of Rosalie Ham’s novel.
“Room” (Oct. 30). Emma Donoghue adapted her own novel, a harrowing tale of a woman imprisoned with her child in a small shed, for the screen.
“Brooklyn” (Nov. 6). Saoirse Ronan (“Atonement”) plays a young Irishwoman in 1950s New York in the screen version of Colm Toibin’s novel, adapted by Nick Hornby.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2” (Nov. 20). Oh, you’ve heard of this one. Say goodbye to Jennifer Lawrence’s brave Katniss Everdeen in the final “Hunger Games” installment.
Five romances and/or comedies
“Sleeping with Other People” (Sept. 18). Alison Brie of “Mad Men” (Trudy, we miss you!) stars in Leslye Headland’s modern rom-com.
“The Intern” (Sept. 25). Nancy Meyers’ latest glossy comedy features Robert De Niro as an intern and Anne Hathaway as his corporate boss. And probably some pretty sets.
“By the Sea” (Nov. 13). Angelina Jolie wrote, directed and stars in this romantic Europe-set drama, alongside her husband, of whom you have surely heard.
“Love the Coopers” (Nov. 13). Four generations bond for the holidays in this comedy. Pass the cranberry sauce.
“The Night Before” (Nov. 25). Goofball bro comedy, as three dudes (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie) set out to find an awesome holiday party.
Five movie-star thrillers
“Sicario” (Sept. 25). Denis Villaneuve’s drug-war drama, reminiscent of “Traffic,” stars Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro.
“Spectre” (Nov. 6). Bond. James Bond. Need I say more? (Oh, OK: Christoph Waltz is the villain.)
“Bridge of Spies” (Nov. 16). Steven Spielberg returns with a Cold War drama, starring Tom Hanks and Alan Alda.
“The Secret in Their Eyes” (Nov 20). If the title sounds familiar, you might remember the Oscar-winning Argentine drama from 2009; now this story of murder and justice is back in a U.S. version, starring Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
“Creed” (Nov. 25). Is a sports thriller a thing? I think so. Anyway, Rocky’s back, with Sylvester Stallone coaching the son of Apollo Creed (Michael B. Jordan, of “Fruitvale Station”).
Five family films
“Hotel Transylvania 2” (Sept. 25). Vampire baby-sitting, with an assortment of celebrity voices (among them Adam Sandler, Keegan-Michael Key and Mel Brooks).
“Pan” (Oct. 9). Hugh Jackman gets piratical.
“Goosebumps” (Oct. 16). R.L. Stine’s books come to life.
“The Peanuts Movie” (Nov. 6). Good grief! It’s the Peanuts gang, on the big screen!
“The Good Dinosaur” (Nov. 25). A year with two Pixar flicks is a good year, yes?
And finally, five festive festivals
Women in Cinema, presented by Seattle International Film Festival; Sept. 17-24, siff.net.
Local Sightings, presented by Northwest Film Forum; Sept. 24 — Oct. 3, localsightings.nwfilmforum.org.
Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (20th anniversary year); Oct. 8-18, threedollarbillcinema.org.
Tacoma Film Festival (10th anniversary year); Oct. 8-15, tacomafilmfestival.com.
Seattle South Asian Film Festival (10th anniversary year); Oct 15-25, tasveer.org.