Films to Beat First Semester Blues

Even though the summer is coming to an end, there are tons of great movies that are coming out in the fall, such as “The Magnificent Seven” which comes out on September 23.

If you’re feeling some summertime sadness as September rears its head, don’t: fall movies are around the corner. After the desolate cinematic wasteland known as summer 2016, there should be plenty of excitement for the typical awards fodder and other more serious, creative fare that usually gets released between now and the new year.

Kicking things off is Derek Cianfrance’s “The Light Between Oceans,” a tearjerker about a couple living in an isolated lighthouse who, after having trouble conceiving a child, adopt a baby that magically washes ashore. Sadly, it’s discovered years later that the couple may know the baby’s mothers. Cianfrance is no rookie when it comes to getting the waterworks flowing — his past features include “Blue Valentine” and “The Place Beyond the Pines.” Powered by the incredible acting duo of Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, “Oceans” is in theaters now.

You only need to wait a few more weeks for another heavy hitter, as Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the classic “The Magnificent Seven” comes out Sept. 23. With an incredible cast headlined by Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, the film follows a group of hired guns brought in to defend a town from an oppressive gang. Amidst an onslaught of superhero movies, a western almost seems refreshing.

Coming on Oct. 7 is Nate Parker’s controversial film “The Birth of a Nation,” which became all the more controversial in light of the news that Parker was accused of rape during his time at Penn State. The Sundance hit reclaims the name from DW Griffith’s 1915 racist opus and recounts the true story of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion. While its status as an Oscar frontrunner is in question, expect to hear a lot of talk around the film and whether or not it should be seen.

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Slightly less contentious is NYU alum Ang Lee’s upcoming feature “Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk,” out Nov. 11. Based on the bestselling book of the same name, it details the often unjust treatment of soldiers by the military and looks to be an Oscar contender.

Also out the same day is Denis Villeneuve’s alien thriller “Arrival,” starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner as scientists who try to communicate with mysterious aliens that landed worldwide. Some have compared the film to Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” undoubtedly a good sign.

For serious Oscar bait, meet John Lee Hancock’s “The Founder,” a Michael Keaton-starring biopic about Ray Kroc, the man who hijacked McDonald’s and made it the powerhouse that it is today. Knowing Keaton’s track record and prowess, anticipation is high for the film. The film hits theaters Dec. 16.

Finally, how else to end the year than with a “Star Wars” film? “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” directed by Gareth Edwards and out Dec. 16th, is rumored to be a more grim entry in the series, following the pilots who helped steal the Death Star’s layout. Starring Felicity Jones, “Rogue One” is likely to impress, and will hopefully cap off a fall that reminds moviegoers of the power of film.

A version of this story appeared in the Sept. 9 print edition. Email Ethan at [email protected]

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