This combo edition of ‘In Theatres’ is the perfect kick-start to your New Year as it features the best new film releases from December and January. See below for the Top 6 films on my radar as well as an extra list of releases for a great mix of sci-fi, drama, animated, thriller, and action films.
1) 'La La Land' - Sunday December 25
La La Land is a romantic musical film starring Emma Stone as aspiring actress Mia Dolan and Ryan Gosling as jazz pianist Sebastian Wilder. The story accompanies the pair as they fall in love while chasing their dreams alongside the rest of today’s Los Angeles hopefuls. Ever since seeing the on-screen romance between Stone and Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad I’ve been anxiously awaiting their third performance. Therefore, I can’t wait to see their chemistry back in action as well as what each of them bring to the musical elements of the film.
2) 'Passengers' - Wednesday December 21
Passengers is a sci-fi drama film starring Chris Pratt as mechanical engineer Jim Preston and Jennifer Lawrence as journalist Aurora Lane. The storyline features a spaceship with roughly 5,000 passengers in induced hibernation as it travels towards the new planet of Homestead II. However, Preston and Lane find themselves awake with 90 years left on their journey and no way of falling back asleep. I’m eager to see how the two will work together to fix whatever is wrong with the ship that most likely caused them to wake up early. Also, if you are a big Jennifer Lawrence fan like me, check out this previous post featuring her top three performances to prepare for going to see Passengers.
3) 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' - Friday December 16
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a sci-fi drama film that is part of the Star Wars world but is the first film of the Star Wars Anthology series. These three films are set to be stand-alone films in order to provide a new perspective for the Star Wars fandom, similar to the creation of Fantastic Beasts for the Harry Potter fandom. Specifically, Rogue One stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, the daughter of the man who designed the Empire’s Death Star. The storyline focuses on Jyn’s journey alongside a small group of rebels as they fight to steal the Death Star’s design plans in order to help the Rebellion destroy it!
4) 'Hidden Figures' - Friday January 6
Hidden Figures is a biographical drama film, based on the book by the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, featuring Taraji P. Henson as African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson. The film highlights Johnson alongside her two colleagues Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) as they fight against segregation to calculate flight trajectories for the first significant NASA missions. I love films that emphasize strong women fighting against the system, so I am eager to see how their accomplishments come to life on the big screen!
5) 'Patriots Day' - Friday January 13
Patriots Day is an action thriller film, based on the book Boston Strong by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, featuring Mark Wahlberg as Boston PD Sergeant Tommy Saunders. The storyline is based on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the ensuing terrorist manhunt by Boston Police. Personally, I really enjoyed Wahlberg’s performance in Deepwater Horizon, so I’m interested to see what he brings to another disaster centric film.
6) 'Split' - Friday January 20
Split is a psychological horror film starring James McAvoy as a man who suffers from dissociative identity disorder named Kevin. The story follows Kevin’s kidnapping of three teenage girls in the middle of the day and his ensuing torment of the trio by his 23 alternate personalities. I would like to note that I absolutely HATE scary movies, but I may have to make an exception for this film as McAvoy’s performance looks incredible as he must transform to match each of Kevin’s personalities.
Extra Movie Releases - December 2016
Collateral Beauty (Fri Dec 16): is a drama film starring Will Smith in the lead role of Howard Inlet who is an advertising executive that falls apart after the death of his daughter. Howard’s friends come together to try and console Howard in an attempt to remind him of the man he used to be. The film features an excellent ensemble cast of Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Naomie Harris, and Michael Pena.
Sing (Wed Dec 21): is an animated film following a group of animals as they enter a singing competition hosted by a koala bear in an attempt to save his theatre. The film features an incredible cast of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, and Scarlett Johansson.
Assassin’s Creed (Wed Dec 21): is an action film based on the video game of the same name. The storyline follows Michael Fassbender in the lead role of assassin Callum Lynch during his adventures through time from the mid-80s to present day and back to the Spanish Inquisition.
Fences (Sun Dec 25): is a dramatic film set in 1950s Pittsburgh featuring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in the roles of married couple Troy and Rose Maxson. The film is directed by Washington and is based on the play of the same name, which follows blue-collar worker Troy Maxson as he attempts to raise his family while coming to terms with the ups and downs of his life.
Extra Movie Releases - January 2017
Live By Night (Fri Jan 13): is a crime drama film written and directed by Ben Affleck who stars in the lead role of bootlegger turned gangster Joe Coughlin. The film focuses on Coughlin’s life during the 1920s-30s and has an exceptional supporting cast of Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, and Elle Fanning.
Sleepless (Fri Jan 13): is an action thriller film featuring Jamie Foxx and T.I. in the roles of corrupt Las Vegas cops Vincent Downs and Derrick Griffin. The storyline follows the pair as they get caught stealing from a drug lord and have to find a way to pay him back before he kills Vincent’s son.
The Founder (Fri Jan 20): is a biographical drama starring Michael Keaton as businessman Ray Kroc. Set in 1950s California, the story follows Kroc as he works to acquire the McDonald’s franchise after meeting Mac and Dick McDonald.
Gold (Fri Jan 27): is a crime adventure film starring Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez as businessman Kenny Wells and geologist Michael Acosta. The film accompanies the pair as they search for gold in the jungles of Indonesia.