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With one of the most successful summers on record, the book on 2015's summer tentpoles has been closed. Normally, this would worry us, as this is a stereotypical dead zone for theatrical releases. However, 2015 looks like it was so stuffed with quality releases that they've actually scheduled some of this year's better efforts in a time when your choices are limited to either a rock or a hard place. We know the multiplex looks barren right now. Better things are coming, though, and soon! Enjoy this list of 10 great-looking films that are slated to drop within the next 30 days.
Pawn Sacrifice – 9/16The story of Bobby Fischer's historic chess match against Soviet champion Boris Spassky in 1972 seems like it would be more fodder for a documentary than a narrative film. But with Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber playing the roles of Fischer and Spassky in Pawn Sacrifice, a story that highlights the Cold War in one of its most unlikely battle grounds becomes something notable on the box office calendar. The film promises to delve into Bobby Fischer's rather interesting and eccentric behavior on, and off, the chess board; and it looks like some top-form acting is going to be the ultimate result if Maguire's performance in the trailer is anything to go by.
Black Mass – 9/18With Mortdecai behind him, Johnny Depp could definitely use some films in his "Win" column. Judging by the advanced word we've been hearing, as well as the killer pair of trailers Warner Bros has released for the film, it looks like the story of Whitey Bulger and his reign of terror was just the ticket. Even better still, the rest of the film's cast looks solid as anything, as Joel Edgerton and Benedict Cumberbatch directly flank Depp in the film's all star cast. Black Mass should be – at the very least – fun to watch; but with everyone's favorite Pirate looking scarier and scarier every time we watch the ads for this one – we won't be surprised if he scares up some Oscar gold come next year.
Everest – 9/18Real-life disasters can make for good drama, but only if those involved remember to keep the subject matter at a reasonable level of spectacle. Baltasar Kormákur's Everest looks like it remembers how to balance the two elements, as well as add in a third factor: heart-stopping fear. One of several entries on this list that manages to use 3D, it looks like if the cast of Everest doesn't impress you, then the visual prowess of the film's use of the third dimension just might pick up the slack.
The Intern – 9/25While The Intern does have the potential to be a lukewarm experience that's being buried in the September doldrums, all signs point to a charming comedy surprise. While the original pairing of Michael Caine and Tina Fey is too delicious to completely forget, the new teaming of Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro is nothing to sneeze at. Especially because from the looks of it, Robert De Niro is in "charming old man" mode, and it looks really good on him.
The Green Inferno – 9/25After a year of being delayed, Eli Roth's controversial horror film The Green Inferno is finally seeing its day in cinemas. How controversial has this film become? Enough that its reputation for grossing audiences out has not only almost landed the film an NC-17 rating, but it also has people supposedly passing out at advanced screenings. Glad to see Eli Roth may not have lost his touch after all this time, though we're intensely curious if this film is as disturbing as folks say it is, or if they just can't handle good horror in a sea of mediocre studio product.
Mississippi Grind - 9/25Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) needs a lot of money, and fast – lest his gambling debts leave him unable to walk, or live for that matter. With a crazy plan of traveling down the Mississippi river and hitting all of the gambling action he can – with fellow gambler Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) by his side – what could possibly go wrong? If the fact that Mississippi Grind is the latest film "from the creators of Half Nelson" has anything to say about that, it's that anything and everything will go wrong – and you'll either laugh or cry accordingly.
Sicario – 9/25Denis Villeneuve 's take on the war on Mexican drug cartels looks to be, at the very least, a star-studded affair – headed up by Emily Blunt's tough FBI agent, Kate Macer. Knowing Villeneuve's pacing and usage of suspense, though (particularly from his work on the highly underrated Prisoners), we're hoping that the action drama Sicario is more of a heart-stopping work of beauty. With Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro joining in on the fun, the odds are looking pretty good that we won't be disappointed.
The Walk – 9/30With Robert Zemeckis making realistic-drama-at-high-altitudes his current thematic obsession (see Flight with Denzel Washington, if you haven't yet), the legendary director has now turned to history to inspire him once more. The Walk tells the true story of Phillipe Petit's wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974, and while we've seen this recounted in the 2008 documentary Man On Wire, we now get to see Joseph Gordon Levitt take on the story in a more narrative form. If you thought Everest was going to trigger your vertigo, then the 3D possibilities on this flick will definitely have you covering your eyes with your popcorn bucket.
The Martian – 10/2Matt Damon is going to science the shit out of Mars, and to do it, he's going to need an assorted cast of actors from various disciplines to help him out. With The Martian casting everyone from Kristen Wiig and Donald Glover to Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jessica Chastain (with mainstays like Jeff Daniels and Sean Bean in between), it looks like Damon will have all the help he needs. Drew Goddard's script and Ridley Scott's direction both look in top form, balancing the humor and the gravitas of a film that puts Damon's Mark Watney in the most dangerous spot in the universe – forcing him to carry almost an entire film on his back.
Legend – 10/2What's better than one Tom Hardy kicking ass and taking names? That's right... TWO Tom Hardys kicking ass and taking names! Take that formula and apply it to the real life story of Ronald and Reginald Kray – the twin kingpins of organized crime in 1960's London – and you've got a concept that doesn't have to try hard to attract viewers. Of course, the overall sweetener is that Legend also boasts a script written and directed by L.A. Confidential scribe Brian Helgeland – and he definitely knows a thing or two about period crime pieces.