January’s Top Movies

January 1

  • Night School

    photo for Night School Successful salesman Teddy Walker’s (Kevin Hart) life turns around after getting fired for accidentally destroying his workplace. Forced to attend night school so he can finally get his GED and find another job, Teddy soon finds himself amongst a group of misfit students, a teacher with no patience for grown up class clowns named Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) and his high school nemesis-turned-principal Stewart (Taran Killam) who will strive to make sure he fails the course. With every rule in the book about to be broken, Teddy and his new friends find themselves in a battle of pranks and wit that you can’t simply learn in the classroom. Vitals: Director: Malcolm D. Lee. Stars: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 116 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $76.600 million, Universal. Extras: Extended cut, alternate opening, deleted scenes, feature commentary with director Malcom D. Lee. Blu-ray adds Gag reel; “Night School’s In Session” band of misfits; “Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher?” featurette on the friendship between Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish; “Prom Night Revisited” featurette; “Cap ‘n Gown ‘n Giggles” behind-the-scenes of Teddy’s heartfelt graduation speech that turned into a full blown standup comedy show; “Making of the Dance Battle”; “Christian Chicken” commercial; “Game Over” featurette that discusses the complicated relationship between Maya and Teddy; extended performance “El Sueno.” 3 stars

  • Bad Times at the El Royale

    photo for Bad Times at the El Royale The El Royale is run-down hotel that sits on the border between California and Nevada. It soon becomes a seedy battleground when seven strangers — a cleric, a soul singer, a traveling salesman, two sisters, the manager and the mysterious Billy Lee — converge on a fateful night for one last shot at redemption before everything goes wrong. Vitals: Director: Drew Goddard. Stars: Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, Nick Offerman. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 141 min., Crime Drama, Box office gross: $17.839 million, Fox. Extras: “Making Bad Times at the El Royale,” gallery. 2 stars


January 8

  • Mid90s

    photo for Mid90s In 1990s Los Angeles, 13-year-old Stevie escapes his turbulent home life by hanging out with a new group of friends he meets at a local skate shop, plunging him into a world of fun, danger and excitement. Written and directed by Jonah Hill. Vitals: Director: Jonah Hill. Stars: Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, Katherine Waterston. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 85 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $7.341 million, Lionsgate. Extras: Deleted scenes, audio commentary with writer-director Jonah Hill and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt. 2 stars


January 15

  • Halloween

    photo for Halloween Forty years after the events of 1978’s “Halloween,” Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she’s spent decades preparing for Michael’s potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family — but this time, she’s ready for him. Vitals: Director: David Gordon Green. Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Horror Thriller, Box office gross: 159.211 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted/extended scenes, “Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween,” “The Original Scream Queen,” “The Sound of Fear,” “Journey of the Mask,” “The Legacy of Halloween.” 3 stars

  • The Old man and the Gun

    photo for The Old man and the Gun Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman (Sissy Spacek), who loves him in spite of his chosen profession. Vitals: Director: David Lowery. Stars: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpte, Keith Carradine, Elisabeth Moss. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 93 min., Crime Comedy, Box office gross: $11.050 million, Fox. Extras: “Everything Else We Shot,” “Prison Cats”,” On Filmmaking,” “31 Wake-Ups,” “Joining the Hunt,” audio commentary by writer/director David Lowery, gallery. 2 stars

  • Goosebumps 2

    photo for Goosebumps 2 Slappy the devious ventriloquist dummy returns to run amuck, in this second installment of the family-friendly franchise based on R.L. Stine’s beloved book series. Be careful what you wish for. With their after school junk business, best friends Sonny and Sam hope to find treasure in other people’s trash. But when cleaning out the old Stine house, they open a locked book that frees a supernatural nightmare — Slappy! Now, with the help of Sonny’s sister Sarah, they’re in a race against time to get the sinister dummy and all the creatures he’s brought to life back into the pages before he unleashes total pandemonium. Vitals: Director: Ari Sandel. Stars: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 120 min., Adventure, Box office gross: $46.682 million, Sony. Extras: Gag reel; three deleted scenes; five featurettes: “Thrills & Chills – The Making of Goosebumps 2,” “Meet the Monsters,” “Science With Slappy,” “Junk Brothers – Call Now” and “Slappy’s Audition”; three Slappy-Oke sing alongs. 2 stars


January 22

  • First Man

    photo for First Man The riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight on July 20, 1969. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history. Vitals: Director: Damien Chazelle. Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Pablo Schreiber, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Shea Whigham, Corey Stoll, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 141 min., Drama, Box office gross: $44.790 million, Universal. Extras: “Shooting for the Moon”; “Preparing to Launch”; “Giant Leap in One Small Step”; “Mission Gone Wrong”; “Putting You in the Seat”; “Recreating the Moon Landing”; “Shooting at NASA”; “Astronaut Training”; commentary with director Damien Chazelle, screenwriter Josh Singer and editor Tom Cross. 2 stars

  • The Hate U Give

    photo for The Hate U Give Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. Vitals: Director: George Tillman, Jr. Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russel Hornsby, K.J. Apa, Lamar Johnson, Issa Rae, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, Anthony Mackie. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 133 min., Crime, Box office gross: $29.441 million, Fox. Extras: Commentary by George Tillman, Jr., Amandla Stenberg, Russell Hornsby, Angie Thomas and Craig Hayes; extended scenes; five featurettes: “Starting a Conversation,” “The Talk,” “Code Switching,” “The Heart of Georgia,” “Thank U Georgia.” Blu-ray adds “Starr: Shine Your Light” featurette. 2 stars

  • Johnny English Strikes Again

    photo for Johnny English Strikes Again The much-loved accidental secret agent is back in the third installment of the hilarious, action-packed comedy spy mission. When a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, the country’s only hope is called out of retirement: Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson — Mr. Bean). English’s new mission is his most critical to date: Dive head first into action to find the mastermind hacker. A man with few skills and analog methods, English must overcome the challenges of modern technology—or his newest mission will become the Secret Service’s last. Vitals: Director: David Kerr. Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Jake Lacy and Emma Thompson. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 88 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $4.285 million, Universal. Extras: “The Comedy Genius Of Rowan Atkinson,” “The Johnny English Legacy,” “Virtual Reality Johnny English Style,” “The Gadgets,” “The Cars,” “Locations and Design,” “A Cast Of Characters,” feature commentary with director David Kerr. 2 stars


January 29

  • Hunter Killer

    photo for Hunter Killer Deep under the Arctic Ocean, American submarine Captain Joe Glass (Butler) is on the hunt for a U.S. sub in distress when he uncovers a secret Russian coup threatening to dismantle the world order. With crew and country on the line, Captain Glass must now assemble an elite group of Navy SEALs to rescue the kidnapped Russian president and sneak through enemy waters to stop WWIII. Vitals: Director: Donovan Marsh. Stars: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, Linda Cardellini, Toby Stephens. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 121 min., Action Thriller, Box office gross: $15.767 million, Lionsgate. Extras: Audio commentary with director Donovan Marsh, “Surface Tension: Declassifying Hunter Killer” (two-part featurette). 2 stars

  • Suspiria

    photo for Suspiria Twisted re-imagining of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror cult classic. Young American dancer Susie Bannion arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Company, stunning the troupe’s famed choreographer, Madame Blanc, with her raw talent. When she vaults to the role of lead dancer, Olga, the previous lead, breaks down and accuses the company’s female directors of being witches. As rehearsals intensify for the final performance of the company’s signature piece, Susie and Madame Blanc grow strangely close, suggesting that Susie’s purpose in the company goes beyond merely dancing. Meanwhile, an inquisitive psychotherapist trying to uncover the company’s dark secrets enlists the help of another dancer, who probes the depths of the studio’s hidden underground chambers, where horriffic discoveries await. Vitals: Director: Luca Gudagnino. Stars: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Chloë Grace Moretz. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 152 min., Horror, Box office gross: $2.474 million, Lionsgate. Extras: “The Making of Suspiria” featurette, “The Secret Language of Dance” featurette, “The Transformations of Suspiria” featurette. 3 stars

  • Boy Erased

    photo for Boy Erased The story of Jared (Lucas Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program — or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. This s the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity. Vitals: Director: Joel Edgerton. Stars: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Russell Crowe, Xavier Dolan, Troye Sivan, Jesse LaTourette. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 115 min., Drama, Box office gross: $6.659 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; “Jared Revealed” discussion with actor Lucas Hedges and Garrard Conley, upon which the story is based; “Becoming the Eamons” with Nicole Kidman Russell Crowe; “Man Consumed: Joel Edgerton” production featurette. 2 stars

  • The Wife

    photo for The Wife Adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s critically acclaimed novel. After nearly 40 years of marriage, Joan and Joe Castleman (Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce) are complements. Where Joe is casual, Joan is elegant. Where Joe is vain, Joan is self-effacing. And where Joe enjoys his very public role as Great American Novelist, Joan pours her considerable intellect, grace, charm, and diplomacy into the private role of Great Man’s Wife. Joe is about to be awarded the Nobel Prize for his acclaimed and prolific body of work. Joe’s literary star has blazed since he and Joan first met in the late 1950. The film interweaves the story of the couple’s youthful passion and ambition with a portrait of a marriage, 30-plus years later — a lifetime’s shared compromises, secrets, betrayals, and mutual love. The film introduces Annie Starke, daughter of Glenn Close, who plays the younger Joan Castleman. Vitals: Director: Björn Runge. Stars: Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Max Irons, Annie Starke. 2018, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Drama, Box office gross: $8.152 million, Sony. Extras: “Keeping Secrets: Glenn Close on The Wife.” “In Conversation With the Cast of The Wife”: Q&A featuring Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Annie Starke, Christian Slater and Björn Runge; Q&A with author Meg Wolitzer and Glenn Close. 2 stars


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