The Watch List: 10 Irresistible January Movies
10 new releases worth watching this month.
1. Smooth criminals
Originally set for a September release, Ruben Fleischer’s film-noir throwback finally sees the light of day. With a stacked cast that includes Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone, Gangster Squad has positioned itself to be the next L.A. Confidential. In theatres Jan. 11.
2. Buzz kill
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D
Following the Hollywood formula of taking something people like, remaking it, then adding an extra dimension (in this case, literally), Tobe Hooper’s classic, still-scary backwater thriller returns to theatres in another update. In theatres Jan. 4.
3. Keeping the faith
Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master makes the second-run rounds in time for Oscar season. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as a shell-shocked WWII naval officer and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a charismatic cult leader, it’s one of the most affecting, most beautifully acted American films in recent memory. Atlantic Cinemas, Woodstock, N.B., Jan. 9.
4. Sweet and lowdown
Searching for Sugar Man
This terrific doc tracks down the elusive musician Rodriguez, an American singer-songwriter whose music became immensely popular in South Africa in the 1970s, unbeknownst to him. Searching for Sugar Man follows two South African fans as they track down their icon, whom many presumed dead. Festival Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., Jan. 11.
5. He’s baaaaack…
The Last Stand
After his expanded cameo in last summer’s The Expendables 2, it seemed clear that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be making an official return to action duty. The Governator tries to revive his career playing a border-town sheriff defending his sleepy burg from Mexican drug cartels. In theatres Jan. 18.
7. Cold War chill
The latest from acclaimed German director Christian Petzold follows an East German doctor booted to a rural post after trying to procure an exit visa. As the titular physician, Nina Hoss superbly conveys the chilly paranoia of a woman who can’t trust anyone around her-even the colleague she’s falling for. Galaxy Cinemas, Peterborough Square, Peterborough, Ont., Jan. 20.
8. Funny people
It’s been a while since an anthology comedy of this scale hit theatres (and no, films of the Not Another [insert genre] Movie variety do not count). The enormous cast includes Chris Pratt, Naomi Watts, Halle Berry and dozens more; the list of directors, from Elizabeth Banks to Griffin Dunne, is almost as long. In theatres Jan. 25.
9. Like crazy
The latest from Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) casts Colin Farrell as a struggling, alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter whose latest project-also called Seven Psychopaths-is influenced by the screwballs in his life. Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville, N.S., Jan. 27.
10. High Gere
Salt-and-pepper sexpot Richard Gere frees himself from rom-com purgatory in this tight thriller about a family man millionaire trying to maintain his façade of normality. When he gets wrapped up in a hit-and-run, his personal and professional empires come tumbling down. O’Brien Theatre, Arnprior, Ont., Jan. 27.