NEW YORK - Though the fall movie season is traditionally the time of year when Hollywood gets serious, this fall is stuffed with spectacles.
Alongside the seasonal biopics, true-life tales and period dramas that will surely contend for Oscars, some of the biggest franchises around are set to add a whiff of popcorn to awards season.
James Bond returns in "Spectre" (Nov. 6), "The Hunger Games" comes to a close with "Mockingjay, Part 2" (Nov. 20) and a little movie called "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" lands Dec. 18.
Here's a monthly rundown of a few highlights to the upcoming movie season:
"Sicario" (Sept. 18) - Emily Blunt stars in Denis Villeneuve's grim and muscular drug war thriller on the U.S.-Mexican border.
"Black Mass" (Sept. 18) - Johnny Depp takes on the role of Whitey Bulger, the Boston mobster who inspired Jack Nicholson's gangster in "The Departed," in an engrossing true-life crime story.
"The Walk" (Sept. 30) - The French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, whose walk between the Twin Towers in 1974 inspired the 2008 documentary "Man on Wire," gets Robert Zemeckis' 3-D treatment, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring.
"Steve Jobs" (Oct. 9) - Danny Boyle directs Aaron Sorkin's script abut the Apple co-founder, played by Michael Fassbender.
"Truth" (Oct. 16) - A starry cast including Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford dive back into the CBS News scandal over the network's report on President George W. Bush's Vietnam service.
"Bridge of Spies" (Oct. 16) - Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks reunite for their fourth film together, in a Cold War spy thriller about the negotiated release of a U.S. pilot shot down in the Soviet Union.
"Spotlight" (Nov. 6) - Thomas McCarthy dramatizes the reporting of the Boston Globe's "Spotlight" investigative reporting team and their Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Catholic sex abuse scandal.
"By the Sea" (Nov. 13) - Angelina Jolie Pitt stars with husband Brad Pitt in her third directorial effort, a marital drama set in 1970s France.
"The Good Dinosaur" (Nov. 25) - Pixar returns with its second film of the year, a dino-and-boy tale that imagines Earth had the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs never struck.
"Joy" (Dec. 25) - David O. Russell's latest is a family drama across generations that reteams him with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
"The Hateful Eight" (Dec. 25) - Quentin Tarantino initially bagged this wintery Western after his script leaked online. He eventually capitulated and will release the movie first only in theaters projecting it in 70mm film.
"The Revenant" (Dec. 25) - A year after his Oscar triumph, Alejandro G. Inarritu is back with this gritty frontier Western starring Leonardo DiCaprio.