Carly Croike writes for Only Good Movies where you can find a great selection of stoner movies and the best action movies.
There’s no denying that January is a downer for most people. The whirlwind of family, presents, and feasting that come with the holidays has passed, a new year is upon us, and you’ve likely headed back to work feeling a little emotionally hung over after the glut of holiday cheer. No more partying; back to the real world (sigh). But it’s not all bad. Now that your family has gone home, you’re probably getting your house back into order, settling in, and enjoying the peace and quiet. And you once again have some free time to do with as you wish. So why not spend this dull and dreary month seeing a few new flicks instead of moping around the house? Here are some that you can’t afford to miss.
1. True Grit. Yes, this actually came out last month, but if you haven’t seen it yet, now is the time. You may recall the classic with John Wayne, but the remake by the Coen brothers could be even better. With an incredible cast featuring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, this drama set in the old west follows a young girl on a quest to find her father’s killer and bring him to justice. More serious than the first iteration, this version of the film is a deadly serious game of cat and mouse in the largely lawless expanse of the unclaimed west.
2. If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle. Romania’s contender for Best Foreign Film in the upcoming Academy Awards could be one of the most intense and moving pictures you see this year. It centers on a young man about to be released from a youth penitentiary where he has spent the last four years. Complicating matters are the return of his erstwhile mother (who wants to take his brother away) and a research student named Ana who catches his eye. But avoiding trouble until his release date is no easy feat, and when things go south and Ana becomes his hostage, he’ll have to decide what’s important, and how he’s going to live his life.
3. The Green Hornet. No movie marathon is complete without an action-packed, comic-book-inspired movie to round out the lineup. Start with Seth Rogan playing party-boy Britt Reid, heir to a famous media mogul father who mysteriously ends up dead. Add Jay Chou as Kato, his father’s car-fixing, kung-fu assistant. Throw in Christoph Waltz (of Inglorious Basterds fame) as underworld kingpin Chudnofsky and you’ve got a great lineup. Suffice it to say, Rogan brings the funny as a bumbling hero (who gets by with Kato’s help) and Waltz is at his finest, as always, in the role of the villain. A fun romp with plenty of explosions and laughable one-liners.
4. The Absent. As the trailer warns, “The town of Liberty has many secrets,” not the least of which centers around high-school science teacher Vincent Anderson. Not only is his criminal brother about to be released from jail after 25 years, he’s also having an affair with a student. After the girl’s disappearance, the number of absent students at the high school begins to rise. If you’re up for a bloody thriller, this might be the best horror flick since Let Me In.
5. No Strings Attached. Hot off her stint as a psychopathic ballerina in Black Swan, Natalie Portman switches it up with this rom-com about the perils of keeping it casual. When Emma hooks up with long-time friend and ladies-man Adam (Ashton Kutcher with less hemming and hawing), both of them mean to keep it strictly friends-with-benefits, at least until they fall in love.
Which ones have you seen or are planning to see?