There are families cluttered on Telegraph Avenue, the bookstore line is out the door, and freshmen are scrambling to find their classes. Even though classes are starting, don’t let the imminent stress of midterms, papers and all-nighters get the best of you. While exploring the city of Berkeley, make sure to catch these movie premieres to help blow off some steam or satisfy your inner movie lover!
1. “Z for Zachariah” (Aug. 28)
Margot Robbie is quickly becoming this year’s “it” girl. In the drama “Z for Zachariah,” she thrives in a post-apocalyptic world but is unable to escape the drama of a love triangle. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s and Robbie’s characters set up a bubble of paradise together in a seemingly empty world, but then Caleb (Chris Pine, a UC Berkeley alumnus) shows up and pops their domestic dreams. At the end of the world, what will win: the need to cohabitate and survive, or basic human emotion?
2. “7 Chinese Brothers” (Aug. 28)
In the official selection from SXSW, Jason Schwartzman is a good-natured, charming slacker who can’t seem to hold a job. This quirky comedy captures the perplexities of someone who’s stuck in life. Schwartzman’s character, Larry, doesn’t know in which direction his life is going, but he has his French bulldog, his grandma and booze. Will Larry find something that will help him turn his life around?
3. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend” (Aug. 28 — limited)
It’s been more than a decade since the release of the first “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” movie, and fans have long awaited the release of its sequel. While it will be available for a limited time in IMAX theaters, it will also stream simultaneously on Netflix, so you and your friends will have the choice of seeing it either on the big screen or in your room, cuddling with your laptop. This movie carries on the legacy of great kung fu films and brings the action as well as the personal drama of the first movie. Nothing beats watching the grace and swiftness of kung-fu before midterms begin. Channel your inner Yu Shu Lien!
4. “A Walk in the Woods” (Sept. 2)
Robert Redford and Nick Nolte play two old friends who have lost touch over the years and want to go on one last adventure before it’s too late. In the face of old age, these two men will attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail — a feat too difficult for most young, able-bodied men. This lighthearted film will remind you to enjoy life while you can and that some adventures outweigh the risks!
5. “Black Mass” (Sept. 18)
Johnny Depp is nearly unrecognizable as the ruthless gangster Whitey Bulger in this true story. Bulger, the most violent criminal of South Boston, is the Irish godfather, and he takes this role very seriously. Depp’s character teams up with the FBI to take out the Italian mob that’s invading his turf, but not without the crime and gore that follow. This fall flick will give you movie lovers your recommended dose of cinema mob violence, hopefully without overdoing it on the cliches.
6. “Sicario” (Sept. 18)
In this gripping crime drama, Emily Blunt is an FBI agent in over her head when she dives deep into the world of drug trafficking in Mexico. Intent on fighting the war on drugs, Blunt is paired with a mysterious, dangerous man played by Benicio Del Toro, who quickly takes her down a violent, unexpected path. Brought to you by the writer of “Sons of Anarchy,” this movie, especially with its all-star cast, is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!
7. “The Martian” (Sept. 30)
Our generation’s form of the Western film craze has moved on to a new frontier. After his role as a lost astronaut in deep space in 2014’s “Interstellar,” Matt Damon stars as an astronaut left for dead on Mars with nothing but his intellect and some left-behind space equipment to keep him alive. In this action-packed drama, his crewmates mutiny, disobeying NASA in order to save his life. This is the perfect film to see with your own crew as you bond, knowing that your group study sessions will never be that extreme!
8. “Steve Jobs” (Oct. 9)
The life of an extraordinary man deserves an extraordinary second attempt, and the film “Steve Jobs,” starring Michael Fassbender as the former Apple CEO himself, aims to soothe any ill feelings of fans who watched the 2013 “Jobs.” Talent from Danny Boyle, the director of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “127 Hours,” and from Aaron Sorkin, the writer of “The Social Network” and “A Few Good Men,” promises a brighter future for this film. Fassbender’s Jobs looks to be one who is rough around the edges, balancing the aspects of the romanticized idol and the historical figure that Jobs has become.
9. “Crimson Peak” (Oct. 16)
Entranced by an enigmatic gentleman (Tom Hiddleston), a beautiful young woman (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself in a mysterious house where the walls tell stories, footsteps pass unseen, and blood runs hot from the tap. Jessica Chastain plays an equally mysterious and creepy sister to Hiddleston. From the mind of the brilliant Guillermo Del Toro comes a chilling horror film that employs a creeping storyline and enchanting visuals that will certainly send a chill down your spine.
10. “Burnt” (Oct. 23)
If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen! “Burnt” is a chronicle of a trodden-down celebrity chef, played by Bradley Cooper, who heads back to his roots in London in the hopes of regaining his former glory. Like any good character study, this film promises emotional turmoil and soul searching, as Cooper’s character becomes involved with drugs and other vices.