Top Films to Look Forward to in January 2018

January 5th - Molly's Game (R)

Based on a true story, Molly Bloom (Academy Award Nominee Jessica Chastain) is an Olympic-class skier by day and high-stakes poker player by night. After being busted by the FBI, she looks to criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) for help. 

Also starring Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner, Academy Award Nominee Graham Greene, and Michael Cera. The film is the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, who won an Oscar as the screenwriter of The Social Network, and was nominated for Moneyball. 

The film received a limited release on Christmas and was nominated for Best Screenplay at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. Chastain was nominated for Best Actress. It holds a 80% critic approval rating and 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

January 5th - Insidious: The Last Key (PG-13)

The fourth installment of the Insidious franchise and second film in story chronology. Following the events of Insidious: Chapter 3, psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) returns to her childhood home to investigate supernatural disturbances reported by the house's current occupants. 

Also starring Academy Award nominee Bruce Davidson. Directed by Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan) in his sophomore release. Written by Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious). 

January 12th - The Post (PG-13)

Based on a true story, Katherine Graham (Academy Award Winner Meryl Streep), the country's first female newspaper publisher, teams up with Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Academy Award Winner Tom Hanks) to back the New York Times in the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. 

Directed by Academy Award Winner Steven Spielberg, written by Academy Award Winner Josh Singer and Liz Hannah in her screenwriting debut, with music by Academy Award Winner John Williams.

The film received a limited release on December 22nd and received six nominations at the 75th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director, Best Actress - Drama (Streep), Best Actor - Drama (Hanks), Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score. It holds a 85% critic approval rating and 66% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

January 12th - The Commuter (PG-13)

Insurance salesman Michael McCauley (Academy Award Nominee Liam Neeson) is contacted by a mysterious stranger and offered $100,000 to identify a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. 

Also starring Academy Award Nominees Vera Farmiga and Elizabeth McGovern. Directed by Jaume Collet Serra (Orphan, Non-Stop, The Shallows). Written by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi in their freshman debut.

January 12th - Paddington 2 (PG)

The followup to the critically acclaimed Paddington (2014), the titular animated bear settles in the Windsor Gardens community and begins an investigation into the theft of a unique pop-up book from a local antique shop.

Starring Academy Award Nominees Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Tom Conti, and Imelda Staunton, and Academy Award Winner Jim Broadbent. Director Paul King writes the sequel alongside Simon Farnaby. The first installment received a 98% critic approval rating and 80% audience score from Rotten Tomatoes. 

January 19th - Den of Thieves (R)

LAPD Officer Nick Flanagan (Gerard Butler) takes on a notorious crew of bank robbers led by Levi Enson (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson). 

Written by Paul Scheuring (Zero Hour) and Christian Gudegast (London Has Fallen), directed by Gudegast in his freshman debut. 

January 19th - 12 Strong (R)

Based on Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton. A team of CIA paramilitary officers and U.S. Special Forces are sent to Afghanistan to combat the Taliban following the September 11 attacks. 

Starring Michael Pena, Chris Hemsworth, and Academy Award Nominee Michael Shannon. Nicolai Fuglsig makes his directorial debut with a screenplay by Academy Award Winner Ted Tally (Silence of the Lambs) and Peter Craig (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay). Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean, Top Gun).

January 26th - Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Not Yet Rated)

Based on The Death Cure by James Dashner. The final installment of the Maze Runner trilogy, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) leads his group of escaped Gladers into the Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth, in a final mission for answers. 

Starring Academy Award Nominee Patricia Clarkson. Directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials). Screenplay by T.S. Nowlin (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials). 

The Maze Runner grossed $348 million worldwide and holds a 65% critic approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes. The Scorch Trials grossed $312 million and holds a 47% approval rating. 

January 26th - Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad (Not Yet Rated)

Swifty the Arctic Fox (Academy Award Nominee Jeremy Renner) takes on the nefarious Doc Walrus (John Cleese) and tries to save the polar ice caps with the help of PB the polar bear (Academy Award Nominee Alec Baldwin), Lemmy the albatross (Academy Award Nominee James Franco), and an assorted gang of animals.

Also starring Academy Award Winner Anjelica Huston. Directed by Aaron Woodley (Spark). Screenplay written by Woodley, Bob Barlen, Cal Brunker, and Bryan Thompson.