January Movie Previews

The New Year is here with a decade behind us and expectations and resolutions still new and being honored. The temperatures are frigid, NFL playoffs have begun and the stores haven’t missed a beat with Valentine hearts adorning every shelf. January is also known in the movie industry as a “dump month,” when studios release dozens of films they feel won’t do well and are surely not Oscar contenders. Throughout the years, this has proven true with some exceptions such as The Silence of the Lambs and Get Out. The following are a few releases that also may be the exception. You decide.

The Grudge (R)

On Jan. 3, The Grudge premiered in theaters, written by Nicholas Pesce and starring Tara Westwood, Junko Bailey, David Lawrence Brown, Zoe Fish and Andrea Riseborough. The Grudge originated in Japan and in 2004, it was released in America as a remake. This film’s setting is the same time of that 2004 film. A house is afflicted by a merciless ghost who curses those who enter with a brutal death. This is a great horror movie to start off your new year. Please don’t hold a “grudge” if you don’t like it.

The Informer (NR)

The Informer debuts on Jan. 10 and is directed by Andrea Di Stefano. Starring Ana de Armas, Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman, Clove Owen and Common, this British thriller is based on the novel Three Seconds by Roslund/Hellstrom. An ex-convict and former special operations soldier is newly released from jail when he is forced to go back inside by crooked FBI handlers to act as a snitch to penetrate the mob’s drug trade in New York.

When his cover is intentionally blown and his family is threatened, he must do everything he can to get out and save them. This is a nice, if not predicable thriller to help you escape the cold for a couple of hours.

Like A Boss (R)

Also on Jan. 10, Like a Boss opens in theaters, directed by Miguel Arteta and starring an all lead female cast of Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek and Tiffany Haddish. Two friends develop a successful beauty business with two very different personalities. When they succumb to an insurmountable amount of debt, they reach out to a rich patron to save their company. Unbeknownst to them, the benefactor steals their ideas for her own benefit. These three ladies are hilarious in this nice comedy to start the year off right.

Dolittle (PG)

Dolittle debuts in theaters on Jan. 17. Directed and written by Stephen Gaghan, this film stars none other than the fabulous Robert Downey Jr. in the title role, along with Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley and features the voices of Tom Holland, Emma Thompson and Ralph Fiennes. Based on the character created by Hugh Lofting, this movie follows the eccentrically brilliant Dr. Dolittle approximately seven years after the death of his beloved wife. Now a recluse with only his animals to keep him company, he must leave the safety of his compound to find a cure for a gravely ill Queen Victoria. What happens next will keep you smiling all day. This is a great family movie.

The Gentlemen (R)

On Jan. 24, The Gentlemen opens in theaters and is directed and written by Guy Ritchie. Starring Mathew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant and Henry Golding, this film has McConaughey playing an American businessman who has accumulated a highly lucrative marijuana empire, but decides he wants to cash in. Upon hearing this, enemies, mobs and other drug lords plot to steal his domain rather than pay him for it. An all-star cast leads this crime film.

The Rhythm Section (NR)

Finally, on Jan. 31, The Rhythm Section debuts in theaters. Directed by Reed Morano, this film stars Blake Lively, Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown. This marvelous thriller follows Stephanie Patrick (Lively) who goes undercover as an assassin after she discovers that the plane crash that killed her family years prior was not accidental. This will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

So grab your snacks and a drink, and get out of the cold and head to the movies. See you there.

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Cheryl Wadsworth
Cheryl Wadsworth is a writer for Long Island Weekly, specializing in movie previews.

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