New movies out this month are light, to say the least. January releases often are, as studios give Oscar-hopefuls wider releases and hope to get stinkers off the shelves. This is for the best, in light of the omicron variant and unceasing pandemic we are continuing to live through. It would be nice, however, if the studios would walk back their insistence on depending on the box office in 2022, so we can see films at home safely!
Streaming on Netflix
Four to Dinner: Here’s what I submitted for our What to Watch feature: “This Spanish-language romcom follows four close friends through ‘parallel storylines as they pair up in different couple combinations.’ Like Friends, if Phoebe dated Ross, Chandler, and Joey (and maybe Rachel and Monica, too).”
Streaming January 6:
The Wasteland: Here’s what I submitted for our What to Watch feature: “Alternately titled The Beast, this Spanish-language horror film is set in a remote cabin in the 1800s. A “crazed mother” and her young son watch in trepidation as an otherworldly force approaches from the horizon.”
New in theaters January 7:
The 355 is an action film. It stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, and Fan Bingbing. I want to believe this is the result of The Heat.
See for Me is a Canadian thriller. A visually impaired tennager uses an app (See for Me) as her only defense when criminal break into the home she is house sitting.
Streaming that day on Amazon:
The Tender Bar, a George Clooney-directed drama, is an adaptation of J. R. Moehringer’s memoir, which is an account of growing up on Long Island. The film stars Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Daniel Ranieri, Lily Rabe, and Christopher Lloyd. The reviews are not good!
Coming to Netflix January 11:
Dear Mother is a French comedy: “When Jean-Louis’ heart stops beating, he must confront his Oedipal issues — and ask his mother a delicate question — or he’ll be dead in three days.”
And the next day:
How I Fell in Love with a Gangster, which lacks a trailer: “A mysterious woman recounts the rise and fall of Nikodem “Nikoś” Skotarczak, one of the biggest gangsters in Poland’s history. Inspired by a true story.”
Streaming January 13:
Brazen is a thriller. Adapted from a Nora Roberts novel, it stars Alyssa Milano as a woman trying to solve her sister’s murder.
Photocopier is an Indonesian drama. It also lacks a trailer. A student struggles to uncover the events that led to a drunk selfie, which resulted in her expulsion.
New in theaters January 14:
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America is a documentary that blends lecture with interviews and anecdotes to “draw a stark timeline” of anti-Black racism in America. The film follows lawyer Jeffrey Robinson and is directed by Sarah and Emily Kunstler.
Belle is a Japanese animated film. It is an adaptation of Beauty & the Beast. Tale as old as time, am I right?
A Cops and Robbers Story is a documentary about Corey Pegues, a former New York City gang member (of the “infamous” Supreme Team) who flees the city, only to return and become a rising star of the NYPD–which he eventually advocated for its reform. This looks great but complicated, and it should be, after a scroll through Pegues’s Twitter feed.
The Pink Cloud is a Brazilian science fiction film. Filmed in 2019 and oddly prescient, the film takes place in a world where humanity must shelter-in-place for years after a mysterious pink cloud appears. The reviews for this film are very good.
Scream, the fifth in the franchise, reunites the original (surviving) cast 25 years after the events of the first film. They must band together as Ghostface targets Woodsboro teenagers, and this time, the kids are related to the original killers.
New that day on Netflix:
This Is Not a Comedy, which lacks a trailer and a synopsis.
And coming January 20:
The Royal Treatment appears insufferable. It reminds me of that True Life episode where the girl’s Staten Island accent was too strong to get her booked on sitcoms. This rom-com was filmed in New Zealand. I think Netflix hates New York.
New in theaters January 21:
The Tiger Rising stars Queen Latifah as a magical Black woman who helps a little boy understand grief. It is an adaptation of the 2001 children’s novel by Kate DiCamillo.
The King’s Daughter, based on the 1997 novel The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre, was filmed in 2014. It stars Pierce Brosnan as King Louis XIV, Kaya Scodelario, Benjamin Walker, William Hurt, Rachel Griffiths, and Fan Bingbing as a mermaid.
Compartment Number 6 is a Finnish drama directed by Juho Kuosmanen. A Finnish student forms a friendship with a Russian miner while traveling by train to Murmansk in an effort to ditch her boyfriend. It is adapted from the 2011 novel by Rosa Liksom. If I were seeing movies in-person, I’d see this. The film shared the Cannes Grand Prix with Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero and is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes.
New on Netflix that day:
Munich – The Edge of War is a war drama adapted from the Robert Harris bestseller.
My Father’s Violin, which lacks a trailer, is a drama about an orphaned girl who “bonds with her emotionally aloof, successful violinist uncle.”
New in theaters January 28:
Charli XCX: Alone Together is a documentary about the pop star’s effort to make an album in 40 days while in quarantine.
Cyrano, directed by Joe Wright and with a screenplay by Erica Schmidt, based on her 2018 stage adaptation of the classic work, stars Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bashir Salahuddin, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Clean, a crime drama, stars Adrien Brody, who also wrote the film. We were all wondering why he suddenly showed up on the late night circuit.
Morbius is a Marvel movie that looks so bad that it won’t do well in Asia (which Venom did!), stars Jared Leto as “the living vampire,” a man who inflicts himself with vampirism while in search for a cure for a rare blood disease. Matt Smith also stars.
New to Netflix that day:
Home Team stars Kevin James as the coach of the New Orleans Saints. And a bad dad. But it’s Kevin James, so you’re not surprised, either.