As the fall movie season begins, conflict and controversy are the order of the day.
Name an issue, and Hollywood is probably trying to tackle it. We'll see two films about people changing gender, "The Danish Girl," starring Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, and "About Ray," starring Elle Fanning, both of which have already drawn criticism for casting non-transgender leads. "Truth," with Robert Redford as Dan Rather, may reignite old arguments about politics and the media, while "Spotlight," starring Mark Ruffalo as a Boston Globe reporter, will surely open old wounds about the Catholic Church scandal. Things could heat up even further in December, when the football drama "Concussion" and Oliver Stone's "Snowden" are released. It's enough to make a movie like "Black Mass," about murderous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp), sound almost tame.
Hollywood has always loved a story ripped from the headlines -- especially during awards season -- but this year seems jam-packed with them. It could be a response to the popularity of television, which is becoming increasingly topical with shows like "Transparent," "Homeland" and "Mr. Robot." Of course, this fall features some purely escapist entertainment, too, including the latest James Bond film, "Spectre," and the final entry in the "Hunger Games" series.
Here are 29 of the fall's biggest films.
Elle Fanning plays a teenage girl who needs her father's permission to become a boy. With Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon. Out Sept. 18.
The story of Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, played by a nearly unrecognizable Johnny Depp. Directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart"). Out Sept. 18.
An IMAX-size adventure film about mountain climbers battered by a massive snowstorm in 1996. Filmed partly on location. With Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley and Emma Watson. Out Sept. 18.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
In the second chapter of the sci-fi franchise, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) navigates a desolate new landscape. Wes Ball returns to direct. Out Sept. 18.
Hotel Transylvania 2
An animated comedy with Adam Sandler returning as the voice of Vlad, the hotel-managing vampire. Out Sept. 25.
The story of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who in 1974 performed a high-wire walk between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. In IMAX 3-D. Directed by Robert Zemeckis ("Flight"). Out Sept. 30.
In the years before gay marriage, an ailing New Jersey cop (Julianne Moore) attempts to leave her pension to her partner (Ellen Page). Based on Cynthia Wade's short documentary. Out Oct. 2.
Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is lost during a mission to Mars, but a team of NASA staffers is determined to bring him back. With Jessica Chastain. Directed by Ridley Scott. Out Oct. 2.
Tom Hardy does double duty as Reggie and Ronnie Kray, the infamous twin gangsters who cast dark shadows over Swinging London. Written and directed by Brian Helgeland ("42"). Out Oct. 2.
A live-action Peter Pan story. With Hugh Jackman as the pirate Blackbeard and Garrett Hedlund as a friendly Hook. Out Oct. 9.
Michael Fassbender plays the co-founder of Apple Inc. Written by Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network") and directed by Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire"). With Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen. Out Oct. 9.
Bridge of Spies
Director Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks ("Saving Private Ryan") reteam for a Cold War drama about a lawyer negotiating the release of an American captured by Russians. Co- written by the Coen brothers. Out Oct. 16.
A lovesick woman enters a house full of secrets in the latest from Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth"). With Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain. Out Oct. 16.
A teenager (Dylan Minnette) unwittingly moves in next door to young-adult horror writer R.L. Stine (Jack Black). Out Oct. 16.
Robert Redford plays Dan Rather, the legendary newsman brought down by a botched investigation into the military records of George W. Bush. Out Oct. 16.
Bad-boy chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) decides he wants his Michelin stars back. With Sienna Miller and Uma Thurman. Out Oct. 23.
Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep are fighters in Britain's radical women's suffrage movement. Directed by Sarah Gavron. Out Oct. 23.
Our Brand Is Crisis
Two political strategists (Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton) do battle during a Bolivian election. Inspired by Rachael Boynton's 2005 documentary. Out Oct. 30.
The Peanuts Movie
The first theatrical "Peanuts" film in 35 years will use state-of-the-art 3-D animation. Out Nov. 6.
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond; Sam Mendes ("Skyfall") returns to direct. With Léa Seydoux ("Blue Is the Warmest Color"), Monica Bellucci, a villainous Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes replacing Judi Dench as M. Out Nov. 6.
Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams star in a drama about The Boston Globe's investigation into the Catholic Church's child-sex scandal. Out Nov. 6.
The story of the Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped underground. With Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche. Out Nov. 13.
By the Sea
In the 1970s, an American writer and his wife (Brad Pitt and writer-director Angelina Jolie Pitt) face a personal crisis while staying in a French seaside resort. Out Nov. 13.
Two women (Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara) fall in love in 1950s New York. Directed by Todd Haynes ("Happiness"). Out Nov. 20.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2
Jennifer Lawrence takes her final bow as dystopian rebel Katniss Everdeen. With Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Out Nov. 20.
Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) begins training Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), son of the late Apollo Creed. Directed by Ryan Coogler. Out Nov. 25.
The Good Dinosaur
A Disney-Pixar film about Arlo the Apatosaurus and his unlikely human friend. Out Nov. 25.
The Night Before
A holiday comedy from the team that made "50/50." Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen play guys who party hard each Christmas Eve. Jonathan Levine directs. Out Nov. 20.
The Danish Girl
The story of Einar Wegener, a male artist who in 1930 became Lili Elbe, one of the first cases of sex-reassignment surgery. With Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. Directed by Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"). Out Nov. 27.
I Saw the Light
A biopic about country music legend Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston). Based on Colin Escott's book. Out Nov. 27.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are siblings whose childhood home is being sold. Filmed partly on Long Island. Out Dec. 18.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Place your bets now on how quickly this movie will outgross "Avatar." Out Dec. 18.
The Hateful Eight
A Quentin Tarantino Western starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Out Dec. 25.
Jennifer Lawrence plays Long Island entrepreneur Joy Mangano. Out Dec. 25.