While our knee-jerk reaction to January 1st is to say 'Booooo, no more Christmas for a WHOLE YEAR?!', what we mustn't forget is that January is a time for new beginnings. Whether you commit to shedding those few festive inches, attempt to stick to your resolutions for about three minutes before giving up and finishing off the mouldy remainder of your Roses' tin or decide to give your wardrobe a spring clean, January isn't all bad. It's also a time for chilling out and watching movies while your empty bank account echoes wistfully til payday. One thing that won't let you down is the cinema. Jam packed with movies to lift you out of the post Christmas blues, here's our must sees for January.
1. Gangster Squad 11th Jan
Ruben Fleischer, director of Zombieland and 30 Minutes Or Less, is trying his hand at something hugely more serious and epic here, but not necessarily any less fun. He’s also got a fantastically impressive cast (Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena and more) to help tell his story right; set in the late 1940’s/early 1950’s, the LAPD are doing their best to keep the east coast mobs and gangsters out of their city, particularly big bad Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), so Captain Parker (Nick Nolte) creates an off-the-books task-force who will do what normal, law-abiding police officers cannot. What follows is a city on the brink of chaos, in a movie that calls to mind classic movie The Untouchables and hit video game L.A. Noire.
2. Les Miserables 11th Jan
Les Miserables is an upcoming British musical film based on the musical of the same name, which is in turn based on an 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo.
The film is directed by Tom Hooper, and stars an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Samantha Barks and Aaron Tveit complete the cast. The film tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine, and must avoid being captured again by Javert, a police inspector.
3. Zero Dark Thirty 25th Jan
From Academy Award winning director, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurtlocker) comes Zero Dark Thirty, a film that tells the tale of the long gestating hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Starring Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton - to name but a few - Zero Dark Thirty promises to be quite the edge-of-your-seat nail biter, centering on the actions of Navy S.E.A.L Team 6 in their quest to pin down the man responsible for 9/11. Not to be missed.
4. The Last Stand 25th Jan
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back doing what Arnold Schwarzenegger does best; toting guns 'n shit. In this testosterone fuelled movie, the leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff (that's where Mr. I'll Be Back comes in) and his inexperienced staff. Manly stuff indeed. Bit of fun, if not matching the callibre of movie also released on this day (see Zero Dark Thirty above).
5. Lincoln 11th Jan
From director Steven Spielberg, starring the peerless Daniel Day-Lewis, award winning Sally Field and a chunk more A-listers, Lincoln is based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. As the Civil War nears its end, President Abraham Lincoln clashes with members of his cabinet over the issue of abolishing slavery. As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. Not be missed, on account of the amount of Golden Globe nods it's already received.
6. Django Unchained 18th Jan
Gloriously violent, impeccably scripted, darkly hilarious and a sensational soundtrack; these are compliments given to every Tarantino movie, and the same compliments apply here. Starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz, this is not to be missed. Read the rest of our review here.
7. Movie 43 25th Jan
From the twisted minds of producers Peter Farrelly (Hall Pass, Shallow Hal) and Charles Wessler (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb & Dumber), comes Movie 43 - the outrageous new ensemble comedy starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Hugh Jackman is one of them, so that's us in. Movie 43 is not for the easily-offended and contains jaw-dropping, sometimes shockingly disturbing, but always entertaining intertwined storylines you’ll have to see to believe.
9. Playing for Keeps 1st Jan
Helmed by The Pursuit of Happiness director, Playing for Keeps tells the story of a former sports star played by Gerard Butler who, upon falling on hard times, starts coaching his son's soccer team in an attempt to get his life together. Also starring Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta Jones. Stellar cast. Stellar movie? We'll have to wait and see. UPDATE: We've since seen Playing For Keeps and would suggest you skip passed it. Read our review here.
10. The Impossible 1st Jan
Disaster Porn. If The Raid is Action Porn and Twilight is Romance Porn, then The Impossible is Disaster Porn. A no-bones-about-it disaster movie, Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) delivers one of the most impressive action sequences you'll see this year. Read more in our review here.
11. The Paperboy 11th Jan
The Paperboy directed by Lee Daniels (Precious) is the story of a young man who returns to his hometown to help his brother investigate a man on death row who might have been wrongly convicted. However things start to get complicated when he falls for the convict's wife. The all star cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron and John Cusack and is set for release next year.