January! O what hath thou wrought? What cruel cinematic monstrosities doth thou unleash upon us this year? Let us partake of thy dry, thorny buffet.
- PROUD MARY – Jan. 12. Always nice to see Tajiri P. Henson toplining a film, and here she’s a badass assassin so, hey, points! Iranian action director Babak Najafi isn’t exactly setting the world on fire with films like LONDON IS FALLING, but this should deliver the goods.
- PADDINGTON 2 – Jan. 12. The first Paddington film was a delight, and this brings more quality British confectionary. Very well reviewed and totally worth your time.
- DEN OF THIEVES – Jan. 19. Another typical January action release. This one really wants to be HEAT 2, but instead of Deniro and Pacino it’s Gerard Butler and Mad Sweeney from AMERICAN GODS, so yeah. Badass bank robbers take on badass cops in the ultimate badass throwdown of badasses. Hard to tell who we’re supposed to root for based on the trailer. But dangit, I’m a sucker for heist films. Fun fact: the director is the son of the guy who plays Victor Newman on Y&R.
- THE COMMUTER – Jan. 12. Liam Neeson and Jaume Collet-Serra team up for one final actioner, this time he’s just a normal business dude caught up in an assassination attempt. It’s dumb fun, so if you enjoyed NON-STOP and UNKNOWN you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for.
- MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE – Jan. 26, IMAX. The final chapter in the series you’ve already forgotten about. The lead actor injured himself on-set leading to an extended delay, and as a result no one remembers what the hell is going on. I assume he’s all that’s keeping WCKD from killing everyone, or saving everyone, or something. The first one was an interesting YA actioner, the second was instantly forgettable. I expect nothing.
- 12 STRONG – Jan. 19. Chris Hemsworth plays soldier in this jingoistic actioner meant to invoke memories of those days immediately following 9/11 when there was a clear enemy. *cough* Oh hey there’s also lots of great actors like William Fichtner, Michael Shannon, and Michael Pena, but unless you’re a hardcore military fanboy it’s probably not worth your time.
- FOREVER MY GIRL – Jan. 19. Country music star heads back to his hometown only to discover that his ex (who he left at the altar) had his kid without telling him. I mean, clearly he’s a dick for leaving her like that, but damn. Obviously not my jam but it’s written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, so it’s nice to see more woman writer/directors in the field.
- INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY – Jan. 5. The seventeenth film in the franchise, I assume. Sure seems like it. I’m certain it’s also BASED ON A TRUE STORY. I dunno. Literally more of the same.
Aaaaand that’s it. Wow, a light release schedule even for January. February has a lot more quality titles though, so sit tight and check out everything you missed from December.