January 2 – The Search for General Tso
“General Tso’s chicken is a staple of Chinese-American cooking, and a ubiquitous presence on restaurant menus across the country. But just who was General Tso? And how did his chicken become emblematic of an entire national cuisine? Director Ian Cheney (King Corn) journeys from Shanghai to New York to the American Midwest and beyond to uncover the origins of this iconic dish, turning up surprising revelations and a host of humorous characters along the way.” The Search for General Tso currently has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s available on Amazon Instant and in select theaters.
January 2 – [REC] 4: Apocalypse
“Angela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, sole survivor and witness to the horrific events inside the building. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying the virus? Distrust spreads through the isolated facility while new, even more deadly forms of evil spread even faster.” Read Kiesha’s review of the trailer. [REC] 4: Apocalypse is now available in select theaters.
January 9 – Taken 3
“Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, whose reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his “particular set of skills,” to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now – his daughter.” The Taken movies haven’t been all that great, unfortunately. But if you watched the first two, then you might as well watch the (presumed) final movie to find out how the franchise ends. (It doesn’t seem like anyone actually gets “taken” in Taken 3, however.)
January 9 – Predestination
“A Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) is sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to prevent future killers from committing their crimes. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must stop the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time and prevent a devastating attack in which thousands of lives will be lost.” Predestination is more of a quiet science fiction drama than a thrill-seeking action movie. It’s based on Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “—All You Zombies—”. There are lots of surprising moments in this movie, and the themes resonate deeply. Predestination stars Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook.
January 16 – Blackhat
“Set within the world of global cybercrime, Blackhat follows a furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.” Blackhat, starring Chris Hemsworth, looks like it could be a decent action flick. The supporting cast is international and diverse, too, with Tang Wei, Leehom Wang, Viola Davis, Archie Kao, and Manny Montana.
January 16 – Paddington
“Paddington tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear (voiced by Firth) who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says ‘Please look after this bear. Thank you,’ and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.”
January 16 – The Wedding Ringer
“Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is a loveable but socially awkward groom-to-be with a problem: he has no best man. With less than two weeks to go until he marries the girl of his dreams (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), owner and CEO of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need. What ensues is a hilarious wedding charade as they try to pull off the big con, and an unexpected budding bromance between Doug and his fake best man Jimmy.” Hitch meets I Love You, Man? I mean, how socially awkward can you be if you got someone to agree to marry you? And how lucrative could this Best Man company actually be? None of this seems very believable. But it’s the only comedy coming out in January, so maybe the jokes will make up for this shoddy premise.
January 23 – Black Sea
“A rogue submarine captain (Jude Law) pulls together a misfit crew to go after a sunken treasure rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea. As greed and desperation take control onboard their claustrophobic vessel, the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other to fight for their own survival.” Sounds like a modern version of Das Boot. The trailer makes it seem pretty interesting.