Whether it’s a film from the previous year whose full theatrical release carries over into January, or the average, beginning of the year movie that tends to be forgotten as the next year goes on, this month is usually a curious one for going to the theater. If you’re not headed to see the leading box office hit, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”, then check out one of these newly released or upcoming January films from the list below. If there’s one thing for sure, then there’s likely a film out there for just about any audience.
“Phantom Thread” - Set in 1950’s London, Reynolds Woodcock resides at the center of British fashion with his distinct style of dressmaking, but his meticulous nature is disrupted when a new young lover comes into his life. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis in his supposedly last role, this historical drama may be a bit slow for some viewers but features solid humor, romance, and an outstanding performance from Daniel Day-Lewis. The film has received multiple award nominations such as Best Actor, among others. Fully released on January 19 with limited showings beginning in December 2017. Rated R.
“Hostiles” - Set in 1892, this film tells the story of Army Captain Joseph Blocker, who is tasked to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family through dangerous Indian territory back to their tribal lands in Montana. Starring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Ben Foster, Jesse Plemons and Timothee Chalamet, this violent western drama was one of my favorites of 2017, with a limited release in December and a full release on January 26, 2018. Rated R.
“12 Strong” - Following the attacks on 9/11, a Special Forces team that included CIA paramilitary officers and US Army Green Berets were deployed into Afghanistan to assist General Abdul Rashid Dostum of the Northern Alliance in fighting the Taliban. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena and more,”12 Strong” is an average film that tells a compelling true story of our military’s first response to the vicious September attacks. Released on January 19. Rated PG-13.
“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” - In the finale to “The Maze Runner” trilogy, Thomas and his companions go on a dangerous mission to rescue their friends and ultimately find a cure for the deadly disease that is sweeping the world. Based on “The Maze Runner” book series, the film stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen and Walton Goggins. While the first film in a series is generally the best, this third installment offers more action, adventure, and enough entertainment to make the film worth seeing for fans. Released on January 26. Rated PG-13.
“The Commuter” - Michael MacCauley rides the same train to work everyday and suddenly finds himself caught in a criminal conspiracy when a mysterious woman persuades him to locate someone on the train in return for $100,000. Starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks and Sam Neill, “The Commuter” marks the fourth collaboration between director Jaume Collet-Serra and actor Liam Neeson (“Non-Stop”, “Unknown”, “Run All Night”). While this action thriller isn’t a total loss, it feels awfully familiar to the previously mentioned films and has received mixed reviews. Released on January 12. Rated PG-13.
“Den of Thieves” - An action crime drama that follows a special unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who attempts to stop one of California’s most successful bank robbery crews as they plan a heist on the Federal Reserve Bank. Starring Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, and 50 Cent, the film is filled with action and surprises that appear to be hit and miss at best. Released on January 19. Rated R.
“Forever My Girl” - Country music superstar Liam Page chose fame and fortune over his bride to be, but when he returns home after a long time, he is once again faced with the love he left behind. Based on the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, the film stars Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe in a romantic drama that is receiving mixed to negative reviews. Released January 19. Rated PG.
“The Final Year” - A unique insiders’ account of the Barack Obama administration’s foreign policy team and the events of the President’s last year in office. Starring Barack Obama, John Kerry and more, “The Final Year” is an interesting and educational documentary that features unheard of access into the White House and State Department, as well as the inner workings of the administration. Released January 19. This film is not rated.