It’s difficult to believe 2013 has already kicked off and while the cinematic outlook in this cold winter month may be bleak, there’s always a few pleasant surprises. We already ran down the best of 2012 and one can check out our most-anticipated titles of 2013 in the coming weeks, after we get through the first few rough weeks of the new year, but for now we’ve selected ten titles to look forward to. As a reminder, one should also be on the look out for recommended films like Amour, Zero Dark Thirty and Promised Land getting expansions, but check out ten new releases below.
Matinees: Quartet (1/11), I Am Not a Hipster (1/11), Hors Satan (1/18), LUV (1/18)
10. Mama (Andres Muschietti; Jan. 18th)
Synopsis: Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?
Why You Should See It: While Guillermo del Toro-produced horror projects have a varied quality, from the stellar The Orphanage to the oddity Splice to the not-so-great Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, hopefully Mama falls on the worthwhile side. Most likely worth seeing for the ultra-talented Jessica Chastain alone, the trailers have displayed some genuinely terrifying imagery and response out of last month’s BNAT was strong.
9. John Dies at the End (Don Coscarelli; Jan. 25th)
Synopsis: A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?
Why You Should See It: If you’ve seen a film from Bubba Ho-Tep director Don Coscarelli, then you know the mindtrip that will unfold in front of your eyes. Certainly not for everyone, John Dies at the End is a mixed bag of wild special effects, deranged ideas and much more and with the film already available on VOD, there’s little chance you’ll see another movie like this one during the next 12 months.
8. Broken City (Allen Hughes; Jan. 18th)
Synopsis: An ex-cop trailing the wife of New York City’s mayor finds himself immersed in a larger scandal.
Why You Should See It: It wouldn’t be January without a generic-looking Mark Wahlberg-led crime drama. Considering last year surprised us with the decent Contraband, hopefully the same is in store Broken City. Marking the first time Allen Hughes has helmed a film without his brother by his side, this drama sees Wahlberg and Russell Crowe go head-to-head in a power struggle amidst government corruption, something that should be just entertaining enough.
7. Supporting Characters (Daniel Schechter; Jan. 25th)
Synopsis: Two New York film editors balance their personal relationships while reworking a movie in crisis.
Why You Should See It: As we said in our Tribeca review, “as films about film go, Daniel Schechter‘s Supporting Characters is relatively low-fi stuff,” but despite the no-frills approach, the emerging filmmaker has crafted a relatable, personal story of friendship. Starring Girls actor Alex Karpovsky (and even including a brief appearance by Lena Dunham), this small drama is a reminder of how low-budget films can succeed with the right chemistry.
6. Gangster Squad (Ruben Fleischer; Jan. 11th)
Synopsis: A chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.
Why You Should See It: Delayed from last fall, Ruben Fleischer‘s first drama, after the comedies Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less, is finally landing in theaters. Although it features an early pick for one of the best ensembles of the year with Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Anthony Mackie, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone and more, my hope is it provides a bit more substance than what the glossy trailers have been selling.
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