I won’t deny it. I love January. For a guy like me who has the most fun ripping into sh*tty films, January is cinematic manna, Hollywood’s dumping grounds either for films that the studio once had higher hopes for, or for other films whose only chance at finding an audience is during a month when there’s little competition.
This January seems a little more star-power driven than most: Mark Wahlberg, Katherine Heigl, the quickly fading Sam Worthington, and a Steven Soderbergh directed film. The trailer for some of these movies actually look decent, but if there’s anything I know from 8 years of reviewing January flicks, it’s that when it comes to ultimately sucking, they never disappoint. In fact, the only movie I expect to do well in January is the re-issue of Beauty and the Beast. Nothing else will break $40 million at the box office.
Here are January’s 10 wide releases, ranked in order from Must Miss to Maybe?
10. Red Tails: Starring the current King of Redbox (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and the future King of Redbox (Terrence Howard).
9. Joyful Noise: This feel-good train wreck stars two actress/singers so likable, Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, that I may actually feel bad about trashing it.
8. Man on a Ledge: Ledge stars Sam Worthington, a star so forgettable that — despite seeing at least five of his films in the last two years — I had to look up his name to remember him. Twice.
7. Underworld Awakening: I actually have a soft-spot for this series (before you judge, check yourself if you like the Resident Evil series), but that’s in large part because of Michael Sheen, who is not returning.
6. Contraband This one stars Mark Wahlberg and the unofficial Queen of January films, Kate Beckinsale (see also Whiteout) and if you’ve seen the trailer, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the movie, although Giovanni Ribisi’s voice is good for a laugh or three.
5. The Grey: Taken pretty much ruined Liam Neeson, and I’m not sure how the Taken formula fits into this movie, but I’m pretty sure it must. I think it’s in Neeson’s contract now.
4. The Devil Inside: Oh, I know this movie is ultimately going to blow Satan chunks, but the semi-terrifying trailer gives me a glimmer of hope. I mean, COME ON: The possessed woman blows menses out of her hoo ha!
3. One for the Money: I know I shouldn’t be ranking a Katherine Heigl movie this high, and I know the trailer looks like a cat just puked on your windshield, but y’all be raving about the source material so much that I’m actually a little intrigued. Plus, Heigl looks pretty good as a brunette. WHAT? Shut up.
2. Beauty and the Beast: I have never seen Beauty and the Beast, In fact, I’ve seen very few of the Disney classics, but that’s because I grew up wrong. Until I had a child of my own, the only nursery rhymes I knew were Andrew Dice Clay’s.
1. Haywire: I’m not sure what to think of this, or why it’s been moved to January. The trailer kind of kicks ass, and it has a pretty solid cast, including Michael Fasschlong, plus it was directed by Soderbergh. I feel like it was probably bumped to January less because it’s a bad movie and more because the studio didn’t know how to sell it without a major star in the lead role.