The Birth of a Nation (October 7) Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King. Directed by Nate Parker. This Sundance-winning drama about the Nat Turner slave rebellion, from writer/director/star Parker, was the subject of an intense bidding war, and has been praised for its powerful depiction of historical events.
The Girl on the Train (October 7) Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett. Directed by Tate Taylor. Based on the bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins, this thriller follows a recent divorcee (Blunt) who finds herself involved in the case of a missing woman.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (November 11) Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker. Directed by Ang Lee. Lee used advanced high frame rate and 3D technology to film this Iraq War drama starring newcomer Alwyn, based on the award-winning novel by Ben Fountain.
Loving (November 11) Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Michael Shannon. Directed by Jeff Nichols. Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage in the U.S. in 1967, this drama premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to strong reviews back in May.
ALSO: Sully (September 9); Snowden (September 16); Deepwater Horizon (September 30); The Accountant (October 14); Desierto (October 14); American Pastoral (October 28); Hacksaw Ridge (November 4); Bleed for This (November 23); Nocturnal Animals (November 18); Allied (November 23); Rules Don’t Apply (November 23).
Bridget Jones’s Baby (September 16) Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey. Directed by Sharon Maguire. The flustered rom-com heroine (Zellweger), created by novelist Helen Fielding, is back, this time torn between longtime beau Mark Darcy (Firth) and a handsome American (Dempsey), either of whom could be the father of her unborn child.
Bad Santa 2 (November 23) Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Kathy Bates. Directed by Mark Waters. It’s been 13 years, but Thornton’s foul-mouthed department store Santa Claus is back to insult more children and commit more yuletide crimes, this time joined by Bates as his equally nasty and foul-mouthed mother.
ALSO: Masterminds (September 30); Kevin Hart: What Now? (October 14); Boo! A Madea Halloween (October 21); Keeping Up With the Joneses (October 21); Almost Christmas (November 11); The Edge of Seventeen (November 18).
Doctor Strange (November 4) Benedict Cumberbatch, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton. Directed by Scott Derrickson. The latest Marvel superhero movie features Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, a surgeon who trains in the mystical arts to become the Sorcerer Supreme and defend Earth from supernatural threats.
Arrival (November 11) Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Adams plays a linguist whose job is to make first contact with the mysterious aliens newly arrived on Earth in this heady sci-fi movie, based on a short story by acclaimed author Ted Chiang.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 18) Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler. Directed by David Yates. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and director Yates, who helmed the last four Potter movies, kick off a new trilogy set in the Potter universe, with Redmayne as a wizard tracking down escaped magical creatures in 1920s New York.
ALSO: The Magnificent Seven (September 23); Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (September 30); Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (October 21); Inferno (October 28).
Trolls (November 4) Voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Mike Mitchell. The fad for collecting troll dolls might be long over, but the little creatures with the big fuzzy hair are now the stars of their own animated movie, in which a pair of trolls head off on an adventure to rescue their friends from evil monsters.
Moana (November 23) Voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Disney’s latest animated fable draws from Polynesian folklore for the story of a teenage girl on a quest to find a lost island and save her home.
ALSO: The Wild Life (September 9); Storks (September 23); Queen of Katwe (September 30); Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (October 7).
Blair Witch (September 16) James Allen McCune, Valorie Curry, Callie Hernandez. Directed by Adam Wingard. Filmed in secret under a different title, this sequel to The Blair Witch Project finds the brother of one of the original characters leading a group back to the mysterious woods where his sister disappeared.
ALSO: The Disappointments Room (September 9); Ouija: Origin of Evil (October 21); Rings (October 28); Shut In (November 11).