From the heights of Mt. Everest to the outer reaches of space, here are 20 movies we can’t wait to see this fall. Note that release dates are subject to change.
1. 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN
PG-13 for intense accident and injury images | In Theaters 9/11 | Ok for Kids 12+ | Giving Films | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | 90 Minutes in Heaven
Based on the incredible true story and New York Times bestseller, this movie follows the life of Don Piper (Hayden Christensen), who died Jan. 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes.
His soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love and joy like he’d never known before – in Heaven. When a pastor’s prayer helps bring Don back to life, he becomes a living miracle, but also experiences pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva (Kate Bosworth), their three kids and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life. Directed by Michael Polish, this inspirational movie also stars Dwight Yoakam, Elizabeth Hunter and Fred Thompson.
PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images | In Theaters 9/18 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Everest
Inspired by the incredible events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, “Everest” documents the journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms in history. Their mettle tested by the harsh elements, the climbers face impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, this movie features an all-star cast, including Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington.
3. MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 9/18 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D | Ok for Kids 12+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | The Maze Runner
This sequel to the 2014 hit movie follows Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers as they face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all. Directed by Wes Ball (who also helmed the first movie), this movie is based on the book by James Dashner and also stars Patricia Clarkson, Giancarlo Esposito, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario and Aidan Gillen.
4. THE INTERN
PG-13 for some suggestive content and brief strong language | In Theaters 9/25 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | The Intern
In this cute comedy from director Nancy Meyers — a favorite of mine who also helmed “It’s Complicated” and “Something’s Gotta Give” — Robert De Niro plays Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower who’s discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). This movie also stars Anders Holm, Rene Russo, Nat Wolff and Linda Lavin.
5. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 9/25 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Sony Pictures Animation | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Welcome To Hotel T
The Drac pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure! Everything is changing at Hotel Transylvania. Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny – and in for a major cultural shock of her own – “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and old-school dad is about to pay a visit to the hotel. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (who also directed the first movie), this cute family film features the voice talent of Mel Brooks, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Steve Buscemi and Selena Gomez.
6. THE WALK
PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking | In Theaters 9/30 (2D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 11+ | TriStar, Sony | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | The Walk
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man has ever walked the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his crew overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this thrilling movie also stars James Badge Dale and Charlotte Le Bon.
7. THE MARTIAN
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 10/2 (2D/3D) | Ok for Kids 13+ | 29th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | The Martian
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney survives and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he draws on his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he’s indeed alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. Based on the book by Andy Weir and directed by Ridley Scott, this movie also stars Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
8. STEVE JOBS
R for language | In Theaters 10/9 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Steve Jobs
Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, “Steve Jobs” takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.
Directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, and based on the book by Walter Isaacson, this movie stars Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, the pioneering founder of Apple; Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, former marketing chief of Macintosh; Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple; Jeff Daniels as former Apple CEO John Sculley; Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girlfriend; and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, a member of Apple Macintosh’s original development team.
PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, some language and violence | In Theaters 10/9 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Relativity | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Masterminds
Directed by Jared Hess (“Napoleon Dynamite”), this action comedy stars Zach Galifianakis as David Ghantt, an uncomplicated man stuck in a monotonous life. Day after day he drives an armored vehicle, transporting millions of other people’s money with no escape in sight. The only glimmer of excitement is his flirtatious work crush Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig) who soon lures him into the scheme of a lifetime. Along with a group of half-brained criminals led by Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson) and an absurd heist plan, David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million in cash. The only problem? He foolishly hands the money over to the double crossers, who set him up to take the fall. With the bandits blowing the millions on lavish luxuries, David must dodge the authorities, evade a hilarious hit man (Jason Sudeikis), and try to turn the tables on the ones he trusted most.
PG for fantasy action violence, language and some thematic material | In Theaters 10/9 | Ok for Kids 9+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Pan
Those classic childhood characters created by J.M. Barrie get a fresh take in this movie directed by Joe Wright. “Pan” follows the story of an orphan boy (Levi Miller) who is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland. There, he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero known as Peter Pan. Also stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Amanda Seyfried as Mary, Cara Delevingne as Mermaid, and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.
PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor | In Theaters 10/16 | Ok for Kids 10+ | Columbia/Sony | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Goosebumps
Based on the popular book series by R.L. Stine, this movie centers on teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette), who’s upset about moving from the big city to a small town, but finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful Hannah (Odeya Rush) living next door. But Zach’s silver lining reveals a cloud when he learns that Hannah’s mysterious dad is R. L. Stine (Jack Black), author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. And those monsters from his books are indeed real; Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts, they begin to terrorize the town, and it’s up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get them all back into the books where they belong. Directed by Rob Letterman, this movie also stars Amy Ryan and Ken Marino.
12. CRIMSON PEAK
R for bloody violence, some sexual content and brief strong language | In Theaters 10/16 (2D/IMAX | Ok for Kids 17+ | Universal/Legendary | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Crimson Peak
Directed by the master of dark fairy tales, Giullermo del Toro, “Crimson Peak” is a haunting gothic horror story written by del Toro and Matthew Robbins and starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam. In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds, and … remembers. Just in time for Halloween!
13. BRIDGE OF SPIES
PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language | In Theaters 10/16 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Disney/DreamWorks | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels | Bridge of Spies
This dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of historic events tells the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Screenwriters Matt Charman and the Coen Brothers have woven this remarkable story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie also stars Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, Mark Rylance and Sebastian Koch.
14. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION
Not yet rated; likely R | In Theaters 10/23 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Paramount | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Paranormal Movie
This sixth and last movie in the franchise (rest assured there will likely be more) follows the supernatural occurrences that take place in a home in Palo Alto, California. Newly moved into the home, the family of four includes game developer Ryan, his stay-at-home wife Emily; their 6-year-old daughter Leila; and Ryan’s younger brother. The brothers find 20-year-old video tapes of young Katie and Kristi being taught supernatural abilities by their grandmother — and Katie breaks the fourth wall by noticing the brothers’ presence. They also find a camera that can “see” paranormal phenomena unseen by the human eye. With Leila being targeted by supernatural forces, Ryan must find a way to protect his daughter before it’s too late. Directed by Gregory Plotkin and produced by Jason Blum and Oren Peli, this movie stars Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, and Katie Featherston.
15. THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
Not yet rated; likely R | In Theaters 10/23 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Summit/Lionsgate | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | The Last Witch Hunter
Did you know that witches live among us? Yes, it’s true! At least according to this movie centered on armies of witch hunters battling the unnatural enemy for centuries. Kaulder (Vin Diesel) is one of those hunters, a valiant warrior who manages to slay the all-powerful Witch Queen, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments before her death, the Queen curses Kaulder with her own immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Today Kaulder is the only one of his kind remaining. He’s spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones. However, unbeknownst to Kaulder, the Queen is resurrected and seeks revenge on her killer, causing an epic battle that will determine the survival of the human race. Directed by Breck Eisner, this movie stars Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine and Rose Leslie.
PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity | In Theaters 10/23 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels | Suffragette
This powerful drama centers on the women who were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality in early 20th Century Britain. Carey Mulligan plays Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she’s secretly recruited to join the U.K.’s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life. Inspired by true events, this movie explores the passion and heartbreak of those who risked all they had for women’s right to vote – their jobs, their homes, their children, even their lives. Directed by Sarah Gavron, this movie also stars Helena Bonham Carter and Brendan Gleeson.
17. JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS
PG for thematic material, including reckless behavior, brief suggestive content and some language | In Theaters 10/23 | Ok for Kids 10+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Jem Movie
Based on the 1980s TV series, this movie follows a small-town girl (Aubrey Peeples) who catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar. Jem and her three sisters take the world by storm when they learn that the key to creating your own destiny lies in finding your own voice. Directed by Jon Chu (“Step Up 3D”), this movie also stars Hayley Kiyoko, Stefanie Scott, Samantha Newark, Juliette Lewis, Molly Ringwald, and Ryan Guzman.
18. ROCK THE KASBAH
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 10/23 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Open Road Films | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Rock the Kasbah
A has-been rock manager from Van Nuys, California stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in a remote Afghan cave in “Rock the Kasbah,” a dramatic comedy inspired by stranger-than-fiction, real-life events and directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson. Richie Lanz (Bill Murray), dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel), discovers Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on national television in Afghanistan’s version of “American Idol.” Braving dangerous cultural prejudices, Richie partners with a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiteers (Danny McBride, Scott Caan) and a hair-trigger mercenary (Bruce Willis) to turn his new protégée into the “Afghan Star.”
Not yet rated; likely R | In Theaters 10/23 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Weinstein | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Burnt
Chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a two-star Michelin rockstar chef who’s burned every bridge he’s ever crossed. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive Michelin star, he’ll need the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). This funny and emotional story is all about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances. Directed by John Wells, this movie also stars Omar Sy, Daniel Bruhl and Emma Thompson.
20. SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
R for zombie violence and gore, sexual material, graphic nudity, and language throughout | In Theaters 10/30 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Paramount | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Scouts Movie
Three scouts and lifelong friends join forces with a cocktail waitress to become the world’s most unlikely team of heroes. When their peaceful town is ravaged by a zombie invasion, they’ll fight for the badge of a lifetime and put their scouting skills to the test to save mankind from the undead. Directed by Christopher Landon (Michael Landon’s son), this movie stars Cloris Leachman, David Koechner, Logan Miller, Sarah Dumont and Patrick Schwarzenegger.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.