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It’s that time of year again when our cinemas become swamped with meaty dramas, inventive character comedies and the occasional big crowd-pleaser, as the movie industry rushes to embrace ‘Oscar season’.

2016’s ceremony may be a way off yet, but the first wave of serious contenders are hurtling to a screen near you as we speak – bringing a whole load of intrigue and entertainment with them.

From tense crime dramas to Cold War thrillers, from indie breakthroughs to a family-friendly animation: here are seven Oscar-tipped movies to check out in UK cinemas this month.


Out November 6


Saoirse Ronan plays an Irish immigrant negotiating her way through ’50s New York in a classy, upbeat literary adaptation that has been lavished with acclaim, and sparked a bidding war at Sundance between several movie companies with serious Academy Award pedigree. Ronan herself has come in for some of the most excitable buzz, in a tale that explores both love and crisis of identity, but with uplifting exuberance rather than dark brooding.

Steve Jobs

Out November 13

steve jobs

It may have flopped at the US box office, but Danny Boyle’s biopic of the fascinating Apple ace has received plenty of critical plaudits for its fiery performances, searing dialogue courtesy of Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, The Social Network), and assured grappling with the personality and actions of a thoroughly complex man. Michael Fassbender, electric here, remains a strong bet for a Best Actor nod.


Out November 13


This Sundance sensation – about a transgender prostitute scouring Hollywood on Christmas Eve to find the pimp who broke her heart – was entirely shot on an iPhone 5S using an $8 app. Its innovative, low-budget approach and rich cocktail of emotions help make it a fascinating and infinitely creative watch, while Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor have been widely acclaimed for their performances.

Black Mass

Out November 27

Black Mass

Yes, that is a near-unrecognisable Johnny Depp as notorious gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in a moody, considered crime drama revolving around the murky, brutal 1970s Boston underworld. Depp gets his teeth into a genuinely frightening role – as anyone who’s seen the dinner party scene will be able to attest – while the classy cast also includes Benedict Cumberbatch and Joel Edgerton.

Bridge Of Spies

Out November 27

bridge of spies

Co-written by the Coen Brothers and directed by Steven Spielberg, that alone should tell you to expect serious quality. And so it seems, as the movie – starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer tasked with negotiating a Cold War prison exchange – is being saluted as Speilberg’s best since Munich. Wolf Hall’s Mark Rylance is said to be formidable as a Soviet spy, while the film, appropriately for the period in which it is set, wages its nail-biting battles with words rather than guns.


Out November 27

Carol Cate Blanchett

Like Brooklyn, this is another ’50s set New York drama. But the subject-matter is very different. The ever-impressive Cate Blanchett plays a struggling single mother who befriends Rooney Mara’s photographer, and the women’s relationship grows ever more intense. It dazzled at Cannes – where Mara was crowned Best Actress.

The Good Dinosaur

Out November 27

Good Dinosaur

While Pixar’s other original release of the year, Inside/Out, is in pole position to snag ‘Best Animated Picture’, there’s every chance this could also be in the running. The tale of a plucky young dino and his caveboy companion certainly has our interest piqued, with an early dialogue-free trailer suggesting it to be a charming, emotive and visually-spectacular story of overcoming peril and defying the odds.

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