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Best Movies in Theaters in January 2017 – Top Movie Releases This Month
The holiday hangover has begun, as the new year’s arrival brings with it a somewhat underwhelming cinema slate. Aside from two high-profile Oscar contenders that are opening wide after limited December qualifying runs, there’s not a lot of A-list work coming to multiplexes in January. Nonetheless, even if moviegoers will spend most of the month continuing to catch up on the critically acclaimed late-2017 efforts that are vying for Golden Globe and Academy Award statuettes, there remain a handful of movies discerning viewers may want to check out—as confirmed by the following rundown.
Molly’s Game (Jan. 5)
After doing stellar work in 2015’s Aaron Sorkin-esque Miss Sloane, Jessica Chastain turns in a great performance in this legitimate Aaron Sorkin-penned (and directed) drama, about the real-life saga of Molly Bloom, who transformed herself from Olympic skiing hopeful to the operator of high-stakes underground poker games.
Insidious: The Last Key (Jan. 5)
There’s no keeping a profitable horror franchise down, which explains the existence of this fourth installment in James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s supernatural series. Following the prior movie’s events, it’ll follow paranormal expert Lin Shaye as she investigates unholy events at her New Mexico childhood home.
The Post (Jan. 12)
No recent film has had an above-the-title trifecta like The Post, which is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. If that weren’t enough to make it an Oscar frontrunner, it’s also a deliberately timely tale about the media standing up to a corrupt presidential administrations—in this case, The Washington Post’s efforts to publish the Vietnam-centric Pentagon Papers.
The Commuter (Jan. 12)
Liam Neeson teams up with The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra for the fourth time—after their prior collaborations Unknown, Non-Stop, and Run All Night—for this predictably action-oriented affair about an insurance salesman who becomes ensnared in a life-or-death conspiracy plot aboard his daily commuter train.
Proud Mary (Jan. 12)
Taraji P. Henson strikes a formidable badass pose in this Blaxploitation-channeling action film, in which she stars as a successful assassin whose life is upended when, during a botched hit, she accidentally leaves a young boy orphaned.
Paddington 2 (Jan. 12)
Two years after the U.S. release of his first (surprisingly charming) original film, anthropomorphic bear Paddington returns for more rollicking escapades in this sequel—starring Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Hugh Grant—which finds the furry protagonist thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
12 Strong (Jan. 19)
Before he participates in May’s Avengers: Infinity War, Chris Hemsworth joins forces with Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, and Trevante Rhodes as an American soldier sent, in the wake of 9/11, to Afghanistan to battle Taliban forces—on horseback!—in this based-on-real-events action drama produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
Small Town Crime (Jan. 19)
John Hawkes is one of American cinema’s most underrated character actors, and he gets a chance to command the spotlight in this neo-noir indie as an alcoholic former cop who finds himself driven to solve a murder—a saga that also features the participation of Octavia Spencer, Anthony Anderson, Robert Forster, and Clifton Collins Jr..
Den of Thieves (Jan. 19)
Gerard Butler goes from saving the world from eco-catastrophe in Geostorm to stopping a trio of L.A. bank robbers (played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Pablo Schreiber, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.) in this no-nonsense heist thriller.