Monthly preview: Ten films to watch in January

With a new year finally upon us, I have decided to start doing a new piece dedicated to the ten big cinematic releases of each month.

January produces a number of bold and intriguing stories which include an imaginary Adolf Hitler, a foul-mouthed jeweler, a vengeful ghost, two police pals and one of America’s greatest entertainers….

 

JOJO RABBIT

RELEASED: January 1

DIRECTOR: Taika Waititi

CAST: Roman Griffin Davis, Tomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Taiki Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant

SYNOPSIS: Jojo (Davis) is a lonely German boy who discovers that his single mother (Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (McKenzie) in their attic. Aided by his imaginary friend — Adolf Hitler (Waititi) — Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues to rage on.

 

THE GENTLEMEN


RELEASED: January 1

DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie

CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Hugh Grant

SYNOPSIS: Mickey Pearson (McConaughey) is an American expatriate who became rich by building a marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business, it soon triggers an array of plots and schemes from those who want his fortune.

 

1917

RELEASED: January 10

DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes

CAST: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden

SYNOPSIS: During World War I, two British soldiers — Lance Cpl. Schofield (MacKay) and Lance Cpl. Blake (Chapman) — receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades — including Blake’s own brother.

 

UNCUT GEMS

RELEASED: January 10

DIRECTOR: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie

CAST: Adam Sandler, Kevin Garnett, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, Idina Menzel, Keith William Richards, Judd Hirsch

SYNOPSIS: A charismatic jeweler (Sandler) makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. In a precarious high-wire act, he must balance business, family and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win.

 

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

RELEASED: January 17

DIRECTOR: Bilall Fallah, Adil El Arbi

CAST: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Joe Pantoliano, Jacob Scipio

SYNOPSIS: Old-school cops Mike Lowery (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) have to confront new issues, as they join the newly created elite team AMMO of the Miami police department to take down the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel.

 

BOMBSHELL

RELEASED: January 17

DIRECTOR: Jay Roach

CAST: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Malcolm McDowell, Kate McKinnon

SYNOPSIS: A group of women (Theron, Kidman & Robbie) take on Fox News head Roger Ailes (Lithgow) and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.

 

THE GRUDGE

RELEASED: January 24

DIRECTOR: Nicolas Pesce

CAST: Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, William Sadler, Frankie Faison, Tara Westwood, Jackie Weaver

SYNOPSIS: After a young woman (Westwood) murders her family in her own house, a single mother / detective (Riseborough) tries to investigate and solve the case. Later, she discovers the house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.

 

THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD

RELEASED: January 24

DIRECTOR: Armando Iannucci

CAST: Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, Peter Capaldi, Gwendoline Christie, Benedict Wong, Rosalind Eleazar, Sophie McShera, Aneurin Barnard, Darren Boyd, Daisy May Cooper, Paul Whitehouse

SYNOPSIS: The life of David Copperfield (Patel) from childhood to maturity, with his own adventures and the web of friends and enemies he meets along his way.

 

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

RELEASED: January 31

DIRECTOR: Marielle Heller

CAST: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Susan Kelechi Watson

SYNOPSIS: After a jaded magazine writer (Rhys) is assigned to do a profile of Fred Rogers (Hanks), he overcomes his skepticism whilst learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbour.

 

RICHARD JEWELL

RELEASED: January 31

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood

CAST: Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Paul Walter Hauser

SYNOPSIS: American security guard Richard Jewell (Hauser) saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by journalists and the media who falsely reported that he was a terrorist.

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