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January 6 

Certificate R   -   Action | Horror

Metascore: 23/100 (17 reviews)
Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.
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The Buzz: Sony has linked both Underworld and Resident Evil finales so closely, we're surprised they aren't releasing them as some sort of special double feature. So as we say farewell to both the death dealer Selene and her sister from another franchise, the rebellious Umbrella Corporation experiment, Alice, we hope to see more action heroines who can live up to their respective successes. Though we also expect either story to be spun off or rebooted within the next few years as well.

Certificate PG-13   -   Drama | Fantasy

Metascore: 76/100 (40 reviews)
A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother's terminal illness.
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The Buzz: With the holidays behind us, this is a time when some of the most heralded movies of the past year start to look for some breathing room and find their respective audiences. Director J.A. Bayona's escapist fantasy has enraptured audiences since its festival run commenced back in the fall, and with no real direct competition at the box office this month, it could become the top pick for a family night out.

Certificate R   -   Drama

Metascore: 78/100 (23 reviews)
A middle aged carpenter who requires state welfare after injuring himself is joined by a single mother in a similar scenario.
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The Buzz: At this point in his career it seems as though Ken Loach has little use for subtlety or gesture when it comes to his films; instead, his broad statements have bolstered his profile as one of the most politically minded directors in the world. I, Daniel Blake uses a relatable storytelling device, the neurotic relationship we tend to have with personal health care benefits, to take aim at Britain's ruling Conservative party. To help melt your heart, there's a three-legged dog named Shae at the center of the story, too.

Certificate Unrated   -   Drama

Metascore: 47/100 (14 reviews)
A brutal home-jacking goes hopelessly wrong. Dave, one of the two robbers, manages to run off, leaving his brother Kenneth behind. Four years later, Kenneth is released from prison and much has changed. Dave has his life back on track and is trying to help Kenneth however possible, but is witnessing how the highly strung Kenneth tries to win back his ex-girlfriend Sylvie.
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The Buzz: I've heard mixed reviews for the story itself but most everyone who has seen this coal-black family drama says it's a promising feature debut from director Robin Pront. The script was more than enough to entice Bullhead producer Bart Van Langendonck into backing the project, which will be a selling point for U.S. audiences. - Arno

PG   -   Action | Comedy | War

Metascore: 47/100 (12 reviews)
A railroad worker in China in 1941 leads a team of freedom fighters against the Japanese in order to get food for the poor.
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The Buzz: As Jackie Chan's loyal U.S. fan base already knows, just because we don't see him in English-language buddy movies these days doesn't mean he's not keeping incredibly busy; in fact, Railroad Tigers marks his third film with director Ding Sheng in the last six years. Meanwhile, another Chan movie, Skiptrace, enjoyed a $60 million dollar opening weekend in China last spring, on its way to a $135 million worldwide haul despite registering as a mere blip in the U.S. Railroad Tigers didn't perform as well in China but it was certainly a hit, and we credit Chan with being way ahead of the game when it comes to career longevity.

January 13 

Certificate R   -   Drama | History | Thriller

Metascore: 69/100 (40 reviews)
The story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible.
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The Buzz: Critics and initial audiences alike are impressed with Peter Berg's recreation of the 2013 tragedy that killed three people and injured hundreds more. With a release pattern that resembles an awards contender, we expect Patriots Day to be one of the true box office winners of the season.

Certificate PG   -   Animation | Action | Adventure | Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi

Metascore: 41/100 (23 reviews)
In a small town, an oil company is drilling for oil. The geologist, Dowd, informs his boss, Tenneson that they detected what could be an ecosystem which could affect their drilling rights. But Tenneson tells them to go on and something happens. Something came out and Tenneson wants to keep it quiet by keeping what came out on ice. In the town, something's been taking the fuel tanks off vehicles, leaving a big hole. Tripp, who lives in the town is frustrated at his life, specifically not having a vehicle of his own. He works at a scrap yard and he's been working on restoring an old truck. One day he thinks he hears something and traps it in the storage pit. He calls the Sheriff who's his step-father, whom he doesn't like. And when he gets there, it's gone. Later he sets a trap for it and sees it's a slug like creature who feeds on oil. He would bond with it. Later a ma from the oil company shows up at the yard and asks him about the thing he reported earlier. Tripp feigns it was mistaken but the guy doesn't believe him. The creature enters the chassis of the truck he was working on and makes it move. He then gets in the truck and it goes off on it's own and he tries to figure out what to do.
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The Buzz: If you haven't heard this movie's origin story, it's a doozy. A guy named Adam Goldman, who was once the president of Paramount Pictures, was inspired to make this film after conversations with his 4-year-old son. Conceived as a tribute to beloved family films from the 80s, Monster Trucks was shot in 2014 and it's spent the last three years being remolded into something that could possibly pass for a wide theatrical release.

Certificate PG-13   -   Horror | Thriller

Metascore: 37/100 (22 reviews)
Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind unspeakable acts.
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The Buzz: Here's hoping this horror movie has a sense of humor about itself. It certainly has a potential catchphrase in "Don't Say It, Don't Think It!" though someone is going to have to explain how you can consciously stop thinking about a killer boogeyman with the silly name once he's set his sights on you. We'd love to hear how Faye Dunaway, who has made a return to acting, was lured into the project.

Certificate R   -   Action | Crime | Thriller

Metascore: 33/100 (13 reviews)
A cop with a connection to the criminal underworld scours a nightclub in search of his kidnapped son.
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The Buzz: Nice to see Jamie Foxx back in action; we feel like he hasn't been properly handled by a director since Django Unchained. Feels like he could have made this movie back in the 90s (not meant as an insult), and we wish it was receiving a bigger marketing push. We think Foxx's chief mission here will be trying to distinguish this movie from all the others that are making awards noise as they expand into wide release this month.

PG   -   Drama | Romance

Adi and Tara move to Mumbai to pursue their dreams. A chance meeting sparks off a heady, no strings attached romance until their careers pull them apart. Will ambition prevail over matters of the heart?
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The Buzz: in Ok Jaanu, Adi and Tara dismiss traditional relationship norms and build their own modern love story. The movie is a remake of the Tamil movie OK Kanmani. We're looking forward to seeing Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor's chemistry on-screen after their performance in Aashiqui 2.

Certificate R   -   Crime | Drama

Metascore: 49/100 (43 reviews)
A group of Boston-bred gangsters set up shop in balmy Florida during the Prohibition era, facing off against the competition and the Ku Klux Klan.
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The Buzz: Looks like we'll need to press pause momentarily on Ben Affleck's hot streak as an actor/director as the general talk about his Prohibition Era crime drama is a bloated and relatively lifeless affair -- especially when you consider what he achieved as a filmmaker up until this point. We're most interested in seeing how audiences react, however, since this genre can be critic-proof at times.

Certificate R   -   Comedy

Metascore: 40/100 (37 reviews)
A look at the life of an aging insult comic named Jack Burke.
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The Buzz: From the thought of Robert De Niro in custom-fit role to the supporting cast, all the components are here for a potential sleeper hit, but this comedy from Taylor Hackford has received some of the most brutal reviews this side of Monster Trucks, another one of this week's releases. It's a De Niro passion project that was guided by the hands of serious Hollywood vets, but it seems a barrage of crass jokes undermines fine acting and direction.

Certificate PG-13   -   Drama

Metascore: 27/100 (6 reviews)
Henry is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie, a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic.
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The Buzz: This drama with wonderful intentions and questionable accents (get an earful of Maisie Williams and her Southern drawl in the trailer) is flying way under the indie radar but we imagine it'll stand out amongst your steaming options soon enough since the cast is so appealing.

Certificate R   -   Action | Comedy | Thriller

Metascore: 22/100 (4 reviews)
DETENTION SUCKS BUT IT'S KILLER FUN: It's four years later, and a new group of students has been placed in Saturday detention at the infamous and prestigious Crestview Academy. When Siouxsie, sophomore 'undercrust,' crashes the party to avenge her sister's death, a Saturday detention reserved for the privileged seniors of Crestview Academy turns into a date in hell. It's not long before a naïve pussycat lover, gay drug dealer, smokin' hot preacher's daughter, squeaky-clean senator's son, and the uninvited younger outsider find themselves locked-up in school with no way out, wondering who (or what) has set them up. Hilarity and suspense ensue while each 'bad kid' pits one against the other, and one by one each falls victim to absurdly gruesome 'accidents' while trying to escape. (Based on the best-selling graphic novel sequel 'Bad Kids Go 2 Hell.')
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The Buzz: The idea of Gina Gershon working covertly to pick off a group of entitled private school kids is all we need to know about this Bad Kids sequel that finds Ben Browder, who had a role in the first movie, seated in the director's chair. Something tells us this won't be the last we see of Crestview Academy.

January 20 

Certificate PG-13   -   Action | Adventure | Thriller

Metascore: 42/100 (25 reviews)
Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.
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The Buzz: I skipped the 2005 sequel, but now that Vin's back, I'm back. Vin Diesel action films of late have pulled together this chaotic mix of things I love: massive and outrageous stunt/fight/car chase sequences, a diverse roster of heroes (Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose), and in xXx films in particular, Vin Diesel taking names in that crazy fur coat. Although it looks like xXx: Return of Xander Cage is set in the tropics, I really hope they find a way to bring that coat back... - Vanessa

Certificate PG-13   -   Horror | Thriller

Metascore: 62/100 (47 reviews)
Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.
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The Buzz: Every time I watch Split's trailers, I get super creeped out! Even though this story line seems familiar, I'm interested to see how McAvoy's various characters will be introduced throughout the thriller. Will there be a surprise M. Night Shyamalan plot twist? Find out Kevin's 24th personality on January 20. - Akimi

Certificate PG-13   -   Biography | Drama | History

Metascore: 66/100 (47 reviews)
The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
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The Buzz: This time of year studios drop off movies that displayed early signs of awards fever but have since been eclipsed by mightier productions (or more spendy For Your Consideration campaigns). The phrase "Michael Keaton as McDonald's founder Ray Kroc" was all some people needed to hear in order get talking about a first trip to the Oscars podium for Keaton, and it's more than enough to get me in a theater -- even if The Founder's bedrock is entirely made up of Keaton's performance. - Arno

Certificate Unrated   -   Comedy | Drama

Metascore: 65/100 (17 reviews)
A film maker has to raise a child by himself whilst looking for an inspiration for his new film.
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The Buzz: Stranger by the Lake director Alain Guiraudie is back with a comedy of sorts that steeps itself in magic, sex, birth, and death. Eclipsed ever so slightly by Elle in his native France this past year, I have a feeling that someday soon Guiraudie will enjoy a breakthrough in the U.S. since he has one of the most open and frank perspectives on filmmaking and storytelling of any director working today. - Arno

  -   Documentary

Metascore: 68/100 (6 reviews)
The story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture.
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The Buzz: When I was young I remember references to Orange Sunshine, the most revered variety of LSD ever made, from Apocalypse Now and "SNL" (remember the "Ask President Carter" sketch?), so I'm looking forward to catching up with the drug's creators and evangelists, two guys who now probably look like one of your relatives. - Arno

Certificate PG   -   Animation | Fantasy

Metascore: 86/100 (27 reviews)
The dialogue-less film follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds.
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The Buzz: Studio Ghibli is a badge of quality on any film. So when the renowned Japanese studio embarked on its first international co-production with Oscar-winning Dutch animator Michaël Dudok De Wit, it was always going to be worth seeking out. The film, which won a top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, embodies Ghibli's trademark of magical realism to tell of the unlikely friendship between a castaway on a deserted island and an enormous sea turtle. Opens in limited release on Friday, Jan. 20

Certificate Unrated   -   Documentary

Metascore: 81/100 (16 reviews)
A profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat.
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The Buzz: This Turkish documentary, the debut feature for director Ceyda Torun, turns the cameras on a group of stray cats as they amble around their customary haunts in Istanbul. While the film indeed exposes the day-to-day goings-on of felines, each with a distinct character, what ultimately ends up on screen appears to be a rich portrait of a very ancient city full of equally interesting and distinct individuals. I'm looking forward to exploring Istanbul in a different way - with some stray cats as my guide. - Bret

Certificate R   -   Thriller

Metascore: 46/100 (7 reviews)
A young law student blindly enters into a pact with a man who offers to kill his stepfather, whom he feels is responsible for the accident that sent his mother into a coma.
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The Buzz: Despite a cast that includes Tye Sheridan and Bel Powley, w freely admit to almost skipping over this indie thriller until we saw the name Christopher Smith, the director who is responsible for a couple of our late night B-movie pleasures: Severance and Black Death. The movie employs a split screen structure to show us just how far Sheridan derails, apparently. Could be good!

January 27 

Certificate R   -   Action | Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Metascore: 49/100 (19 reviews)
Alice returns to where the nightmare began: The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.
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The Buzz: Alice's big screen swan song brings her five-movie franchise to a close, though unless the video game series ceases production entirely, we have to imagine that a movie reboot will be proposed soon enough (if it isn't until consideration already). As casual fans of the series, the movies became a bit indistinguishable over the years, though we found them all enjoyable, due to the always welcome presence of Milla Jovovich in snarling action heroine mode.

Certificate PG   -   Adventure | Comedy | Drama | Family | Fantasy

Metascore: 43/100 (29 reviews)
A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.
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The Buzz: Will the controversy that was recently unearthed -- footage of a dog nearly drowning during production -- negatively impact this family movie's box-office chances? Before the news was revealed, we had this to say: "Dog-centered tearjerker" is not a movie genre I find myself searching very often. But good golly, this trailer had me wanting to see more -- and it wasn't just the warm, empathic voiceover (Josh Gad) for the lovable Golden Retriever (frankly, I think we are all fascinated by what animals actually think when we talk to them in our stupid pet-owner voices). Rather, this movie reminds us how dogs are more than just pets to be walked and fed and massaged; they fill crucial roles in the lives of their owners. - Bret

Certificate R   -   Adventure | Drama | Thriller

Metascore: 49/100 (40 reviews)
Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.
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The Buzz: It feels like Matthew McConaughey patiently chose his next projects after the bonkers run he had with Interstellar, "True Detective," and Dallas Buyers Club. We're interested in this particular adventure not because of its faux awards sheen - it's more about the chance to see how far McConaughey and the equally talented Edgar Ramirez detach from their hunk selves to bring this true story to life. - Arno

Certificate PG-13   -   Drama | Thriller

Metascore: 86/100 (33 reviews)
Forushande (The Salesman) is the story of a couple whose relationship begins to turn sour during their performance of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.
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The Buzz: As a fan of Asghar Farhadi's A Separation and The Past, I have been looking forward to seeing his latest film. Starring Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini (who won Best Actor for his performance at Cannes) an follows a couple whose relationship begins to turn sour during their performance of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. A favorite on the festival circuit, The Salesman has already earned 6 wins and 13 nominations, and is on the Academy shortlist for foreign films. This is definitely a must-see for me. - Michelle

Certificate PG-13   -   Comedy

When Don Servando Villegas gets expelled from his retirement home, his younger son Francisco takes him in. Don Servando is about to find out the truth about his son and his way of living.
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PG   -   Action | Adventure | Comedy | Mystery

Metascore: 50/100 (9 reviews)
Two professors team up to locate a lost treasure and embark on an adventure that takes them from a Tibetan ice cave to Dubai to a mountain temple in India.
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  -   Documentary

Metascore: 66/100 (6 reviews)
Midsummer in Newtown is a testament to the transformative force of artistic expression to pierce through the shadow cast by trauma. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, one grieving couple honors their daughter through music, while community children find their voice through a rock-pop version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
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