How good as 2015 been for moviegoers?  This past year audiences have witnessed an opening act that included blockbusters such as “Cinderella,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Furious 7.”  Hollywood followed that string up with summer goods such as “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Trainwreck,” “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World” (currently no. 3 all-time at the U.S. box office).  And while we’re currently experiencing the annual cycle of late August dumps you won't even watch on an airplane, the movie gods may have saved the best for last.

The upcoming fall movie season has a little bit of something for everyone.  Comedy fans can look forward to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reuniting on screen in “Sisters,” Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell are also back together in “Daddy’s Home” and Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie look to party in “The Night Before” (assuming North Korea doesn’t intervene).  Horror fans supposedly have a new “Rings”  to look forward to, another “Paranormal Activity” promises answers and the dark comedy "Krampus is already either an instant cult classic or a potential sleeper hit. 

There is also a ton of family fare with another Pixar flick, “The Good Dinosaur,” “The Peanuts Movie," "Goosebumps" and an origin story for Peter Pan with “Pan.”  Action fans probably have less to choose from than usual, but Vin Diesel’s “The Last Witch Hunter” and the return of 007 in “SPECTRE” will have to do.   It doesn’t hurt that movie fans can also get their kicks with adventure tales such as “Everest,” “The Martian” and “In the Heart of the Sea.”

And, par the course, there are a ton of prestige flicks vying for awards attention.  Expect to see talent from “Steve Jobs,” “The Danish Girl,” “Carol,” “Brooklyn,” “Youth,” “Truth,” “Spotlight,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Suffragette,” “Room” and “I Saw the Light” making headlines and walking read carpets for weeks to come as part of the always profitable Oscar machine.

We’ll also sadly say goodbye to one franchise, “The Hunger Games,” and welcome back another, “Star Wars,” with very open arms.  And while you wait patiently for the return of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, there are a ton of other movies to see over the next four months vying for your attention.  (We’re not kidding.  There are over 100 new films either in wide or limited release from Sept. 1 until Dec. 18).

Knowing your time is valuable and distractions are plentiful (hey there Netflix!) we’ve chosen the 31 movies that should be on your must-see list for the rest of the year (we wanted to pick 30 but it was just too hard).  Find out who made the cut and who didn’t in the embedded story gallery below.

What movie besides “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” are you most looking forward to this year?


With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.