Well that wasn’t so bad was it? January is typically the month that Hollywood dumps its stinkers, movies it knows would tank during blockbuster seasons.
Don’t get me wrong, there were still some that stunk up the place (“Den of Thieves,” “Proud Mary,” unfortunately – poor Taraji P. Henson), but overall, January wasn’t too bad with the likes of “Jumanji” and “12 Strong.”
But it’ll only pick up from here, as the spring movie season stretches ever further forward. But there’s still a few weeks of winter left.
Here’s what’s in store in theaters in the next couple of months (as always, release dates are subject to change).
“Fifty Shades Freed” – The third outing in the series based on the wildly popular books has the kinky couple getting married, but of course their relationship gets tested. I hope it’s a pop quiz.
“The 15:17 to Paris” – Clint Eastwood directs this real-life story about three Americans – Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos (who star in the film as themselves) – who thwart a terrorist plot aboard a train while in France.
“Peter Rabbit” – Animated adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.
“Black Panther” – It’s the first superhero movie with a black lead, Chadwick Boseman, who stars as T’Challa, who after the death of his father returns home to his isolated, technologically-advanced African nation to succeed the throne and take his rightful place as king. The film just had its world premiere and early word is absolutely ecstatic (thank goodness).
“Annihilation” – This looks wonderfully trippy, no surprise as its directed by Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”). It follows a biologist (Natalie Portman) who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply. Hey, laws were made to be broken, right?
“Game Night” – Comedy about a group of friends (led by Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman) who meet regularly for game nights and find themselves wrapped up in a real (or is it?) murder mystery. Maybe stick to checkers?
“Red Sparrow” – Jennifer Lawrence goes the action route as a Russian ballerina (oh-kaaay) who is recruited to the Russian intelligence service, where her first mission is to target a CIA agent, which threatens to unravel the security of both nations. Nothing’s ever easy.
“Death Wish” – Remake of the 1974 Charles Bronson actioner, with Bruce Willis as a man who seeks revenge when his wife and daughter are viciously killed in their suburban home. This is an interesting departure for director Eli Roth (“Hostel,” “The Green Inferno” ), but look for it to be giddily violent.
“A Wrinkle in Time” – Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) directs this big-budget adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved children’s novel about a young girl (newcomer Storm Reid) and her brother who are sent to a different dimension in search of their missing scientist father (Chris Pine). Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Zach Galifianakis and Mindy Kaling also star.
“Gringo” – Dark comedy about a mild-mannered American businessman (David Oyelowo) who is tasked with delivering a formula for a new marijuana pill to a lab in Mexico. But because of the shady dealings of his superiors (Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton), he gets kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel and finds himself tangled in a web of drug conspiracies, mercenaries and the DEA. Now that’s a vacation!