8 January Movies to Help You Start Off 2020 Right

'Dolittle' starring Robert Downey Jr.

2020 is off to a great start, with many exciting films to kick off the New Year. January is particularly rife with stories about the supernatural, with three titles promising to make your hair stand on end. But there is something for everyone: from family films to adult comedy, from stories aimed at teens, to intense action films with thrilling twists and turns, here are ten films you won’t want to miss this month.

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The Grudge
Release Date: Jan. 3

A reboot of the 2004 American remake of the Japanese horror film Ju-On: The Grudge, this installment of the franchise takes us into a nightmare of a haunted house wherein anyone who crosses the threshold is cursed with a horrific death. Guaranteed to keep your heart racing and your nerves jumping, this supernatural thriller stars Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye and Jacki Weaver.

Like A Boss
Release Date: Jan. 9

For those looking for a film that will keep them laughing this January, check-out Like A Boss starring Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne. When a pair of friends decide to go into business for themselves, the polar opposite duo – one practical, the other extravagant – must learn how to survive in the competitive industry of peddling beauty products. Ultimately, the pair must be on the same page to save their business when a cosmetics mogul gains the controlling share of their company.

Release Date: Jan. 17

The Dr. Dolittle film franchise has been around for decades, with Rex Harrison playing the titular veterinarian who “talks to the animals” (and they talk back) in 1967, and Eddie Murphy in 1998. Now, Robert Downey, Jr. will play the “Doc” in a new adventure Dolittle that takes him to a mythical island. A Hollywood “Who’s Who” provide the voices of Doolittle’s menagerie, including Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland and Selena Gomez (to name a few). Dolittle is a great outing for the whole family.

The Gentlemen
Release Date: Jan. 24, 2020

One of the starrier offerings to kick off 2020, The Gentlemen is a thrill ride of bribery, blackmail and moneymaking schemes as they pertain to London’s marijuana trade. When Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) announces he wants to get out of the business, several hopefuls try to step up in an effort fill the void and abscond with his empire. Also in the cast are Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant.

The Last Full Measure
Release Date: Jan. 24

A film that celebrates the true story of Vietnam vet William H. Pitsenbarger, The Last Full Measure is a harrowing look at how this hero, a U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen, saved over 60 soldiers on an April 11, 1966 mission. The film takes us back and forth between the battle itself and the investigation 32 years later into why Pitsenbarger hadn’t been awarded a Medal of Honor. The Last Full Measure stars Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Ed Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irvine and Peter Fonda.

The Turning
Release Date: Jan. 24

A contemporary telling of the classic Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw, The Turning takes us to the Maine countryside, where a nanny is employed to care for two emotionally disturbed orphans. As she settles in at her new job, the nanny soon learns that neither the estate where she now lives, nor the children in her charge, are what they seem. Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, and Brooklynn Prince star in this supernatural thriller.

Gretel & Hansel
Release Date: Jan. 31

This incarnation of the classic Grimm fairytale takes the horrific to chilling new levels. Sophia Lillis, who dazzled audiences in the horror film IT and its sequel, stars as Gretel, a teen girl living in the countryside, who takes her little brother into an enchanted wood looking for food. There they encounter unfathomable evil waiting for them amidst the twisted and gnarled trees. Kidnapped by the sinister witch Holda, Gretel and Hansel must fight for their lives.

The Rhythm Section
Release Date: Jan. 31

For those who like the twists and turns of a thriller, The Rhythm Section will definitely be a film you’ll want to check out this January. Blake Lively stars as Stephanie Patrick, a woman who goes in search of answers to the questions surrounding a mysterious plane crash that killed her entire family. When she learns that it was no accident, she goes undercover, assuming the identity of an assassin, in order to get to the bottom of this tragedy. The Rhythm Section also stars Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown and Max Casella.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, was released on Oct. 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.

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