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10 Films to See in January

Written by on January 2, 2019 

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While you catch up on the best films of 2018, it’s time to turn to the handful of highlights as we enter the first month of the new year. Along with a handful of festival favorites finally getting U.S. releases, there are a few promising studio features amongst Hollywood’s dumping ground.

Matinees to See: Communion (1/4), Rust Creek (1/4), Buffalo Boys (1/11), The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (1/18), Girl (1/18), Adult Life Skills (1/18)

10. State Like Sleep (Meredith Danluck; Jan. 1)

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Starring Katherine Waterston and Michael Shannon, State Like Sleep follows a widow who must dig up a dark past a year after her husband died. A premiere at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year where it received favorable reviews, it looks like a strong showcase for the Inherent Vice star as she goes down the rabbit hole of a criminal underworld.

9. Touch Me Not (Adina Pintilie; Jan. 11)

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After winning Berlinale nearly a year ago, Touch Me Not is now getting a theatrical run. Ed Frankl said in his review, “A blend of documentary, fiction, staged therapy, and biography–with considerable full-frontal nudity and sex–the surprise winner of the Berlinale’s Golden Bear is a film not easily summed up in an elevator pitch. It is, however, a studious, intelligent, if flawed and scattershot, work with an open mind about modern sexuality and intimacy. That open mind will need to be replicated in the audience too.”

8. Genesis 2.0 (Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev; Jan. 2)

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A more terrifyingly realistic Jurassic Park sequel than any we’ve gotten this decade, Genesis 2.0 is a two-fold look at both scientists who aim to resurrect extinct species as well as mammoth tusk hunters in northern Siberia. While it can feel like two separate documentaries at times, they do eventually gel well enough to make this Sundance documentary a fascinating, perhaps scarily prescient watch.

7. The Heiresses (Marcelo Martinessi; Jan. 16)

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Premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, Marcelo Martinessi’s debut film The Heiresses went on to win both the Best Actress prize (for Ana Brun’s lead performance) and the Alfred Bauer Prize. The drama, which is getting a limited theatrical run this month, follows an upper-class couple in Paraguay who hit financial troubles as they adjust to the hardships of their new situation.

6. Tito and the Birds (Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar, and André Catoto; Jan. 25)

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One of the works shortlisted for Best Animated Film at this year’s Oscars, we were big fans of this Brazilian animation. Jared Mobarak said in his review, “Just like Issa López did in Mexico with Tigers Are Not Afraid, Brazilians Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto, and Gustavo Steinberg have crafted Tito and the Birds as a powerful metaphor utilizing reality’s horrors to drive home a point too many have resigned themselves into ignoring.”

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