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12 movies to catch for the rest of 2015

With half the year – and most of the superhero blockbusters – behind us, it’s time to get pumped about a new crop of films

Crimson Peak

Fantastic Four

Opens Aug 6

Dir: Josh Trank. 2015. USA. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B Jordan.

You’ve probably already seen one of the two earlier Fantastic Four films, if not out of comic geek curiosity then for good-lookers Jessica Alba and Chris Pine (’fess up). But forget that. They were mediocre, anyway.

This one’s a generational reboot – a modernised version of how the four became fantastic, with fresh faces that will appeal to the superhero lovin’ crowd. Oh, and did we mention The Thing is gloriously, 100 percent CGI? The only part of Jamie Bell you’ll see are his eyes; the rest of him is hulked up to massive proportions. 

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Inside Out

Opens Aug 27

Dir: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen. 2015. USA. 94 mins. Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith.

In the unlikely case you haven’t heard about Inside Out, here’s why you should be excited. Pixar’s latest animation has been pretty much blowing the socks off every moviegoer around the world – well, except us, ’cause it doesn’t arrive here ’til August.

The endearing tale follows a little girl and the emotional characters in her brain control centre that personify feelings of joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust. It’s incredibly charming, heart-meltingly sweet and wonderfully original. What if feelings have feelings? What’s going on in her head? We can’t wait to find out.   

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The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Opens Sep 10

Dir: Wes Ball. 2015. USA. Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario.

The first film in the franchise made us sit up and take notice of this YA dystopian novel adaptation (dat mind-blowing cliffhanger ending!) Needless to say, we’re beside ourselves in anticipation of what happens to Thomas and gang now that they’ve broken out of the intriguing, horrifying maze. Watch the trailer for glimpses of the Scorch, an abandoned wasteland that throws crazy, life-threatening challenges at the group. This will be a twist-turnin’, seat-grippin’, suspense-ridden whirlwind, for sure.

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Everest

Everest

Opens Sep 24

Dir: Baltasar Kormákur. 2015. USA/UK. 150 mins. Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright.

The timing of this true story-turned-disaster flick isn’t ideal, given the recent avalanche on Mount Everest that marked April 25 as the peak’s deadliest day in history. But that’s what makes the film all the more tragic and poignant. Inspired by the real-life events of 1996, and based on books by the survivors, this story chronicles how the summit-scaling journey of two expedition groups turned into a fatal struggle when a blizzard struck.

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The Martian

Opens Oct 1

Dir: Ridley Scott. 2015. USA. Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig.

There’s been plenty of hype surrounding this one-man survival mission on Mars, and for good reason. It’s based on Andy Weir’s fascinating sci-fi novel, in which an expedition to the Red Planet goes awry when a dust storm hits, forcing the crew to abandon one astronaut in their scuttle back to Earth.

This film adaptation is helmed by the one-and-only Ridley Scott, the director who gave us such sci-fi icons as Alien and Blade Runner. Plus, if anyone can go solo in space and tough it out for years on a hostile planet with scant supplies, it’s Matt Damon. Based on what we’ve seen so far, think of this as Gravity with a dash of Interstellar. Which equals downright awesome.

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Bridge of Spies

Opens Oct 15

Dir: Steven Spielberg. 2015. USA. Tom Hanks, Austin Stowell, Alan Alda.

Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks (17 years after Saving Private Ryan) in a Cold War thriller co-written by the Coen brothers. ’Nuff said. But if you need a little more convincing, the film revolves around an American attorney who takes on a formidable case: handling the swap of political prisoners between the US and the Soviet Union in the ’60s. And, because everyone loves a true story, it’s based on one. 

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Crimson Peak

Opens Oct 15

Dir: Guillermo del Toro. 2015. USA. Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston.

Master of horror – hands up if Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth or The Devil’s Backbone haunted your dreams – Guillermo del Toro makes a Gothic picture that’s mysterious, nightmarish and beautifully dark.

Set in 19th century England, in a supernatural mansion populated by the spirits of inhabitants past, an aspiring novelist weds the enigmatic Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston in all his brooding glory) and discovers he’s not the man she thought he was (’cause no one ever is). Expect gore and sex – and heaps of it.

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The Walk

Opens Oct 22

Dir: Robert Zemeckis. 2015. USA. 100 mins. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon.

To balance on a tightrope connecting the two towers of New York City’s former World Trade Centre: madness or genius? Whichever way you swing, you’ll want to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt don a wig and a thick accent to play French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, who did just that in 1974.

Sure, JGL’s not-so-perfect diction laughably brings to mind Steve Martin in The Pink Panther, but the visuals are stunning. You’ll get vertigo yourself watching him embark on what feels like the longest walk ever.  

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Spectre

Opens Nov 6

Dir: Sam Mendes. 2015. USA/UK. Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes.

The dapper MI6 agent returns with a license to kill for his 24th appearance on the big screen. His name? Bond, James Bond.

When an enigmatic message from his past surfaces a criminal organisation called Spectre, he trails the enemy across the globe to uncover a truth that could leave him questioning reality itself. Expect gun-blazing action, layers of deception, and the ever-present martini in hand – shaken, not stirred, of course.

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The Good Dinosaur

Opens Nov 26

Dir: Peter Sohn. 2015. USA. Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn.

What a treat. After Pixar’s 2014 break, we get not one but two adorable animated adventures. Dinos receive the cute and cuddly treatment by first-time director Peter Sohn (you’ll recognize him as the inspiration for Russell from Up). No hissing raptors or hybrid monsters here.

The film’s had its shares of almost-extinct moments, having been in production since 2009 and overhauled in 2013, so we’re glad it gets to see the light of day. The friendship tale is an innocent account of a young Apatosaurus who loses his family and buddies up to a human boy – and it marks a first for the studio’s use of photorealistic environments. Cool stuff.

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The Peanuts Movie

The Peanuts Movie

Opens Dec 10

Dir: Steve Martino. 2015. USA. Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Mariel Sheets.

It’s Snoopy and gang, the beloved comic characters from our childhood – so there’s really no need for introductions. And as the first Peanuts feature film in 35 years, this one’s set to be a real nostalgic walk down memory lane. You’ll be grinning from ear-to-ear as you follow Charlie Brown scrambling for the affections of the new-in-town Little Red-haired Girl, while Snoopy takes flight to chase after his arch nemesis, the Red Baron.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Opens Dec 17

Dir: JJ Abrams. 2015. USA. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac.

This is it. The one we’re all waiting for. The movie whose trailers have been dissected, analysed and critiqued in the way only a Star Wars fan boy can, and whose cast and crew has been subject to more scrutiny than any Jedi can muster.

The seventh film in the franchise purportedly chronicles the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, 30 years after the second Death Star got blown up. From the ashes of the Empire rises a new evil, The First Order, and against them The Resistance picks up from where the Rebel Alliance left off. Part of us wants to know more about the plot, part of us wants no spoilers. It’s a little like a Christmas present, except this is gonna be the best one ever.

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