Entertainment Movies Now showing: The movies to see and skip this January
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Now showing: The movies to see and skip this January

Entertainment Editor Susannah Guthrie on the movies worth your time and money this month. Video: TND
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Considering a day out at the movies? Be careful – there are a couple of turkeys hitting cinemas in January.

From a film based on a video game (rarely a promising premise) to a star-studded mess, it’s not hard to accidentally pick a dud from the “now showing” list.

Watch the video at the top of this article for a summary of January’s best and worst films.

However, there are some serious gems in amongst the drivel that shouldn’t be missed, including a moving new Australian film based on a fascinating true story.

Here, we break down the new release films to see and skip this month.

Assassin’s Creed  (January 1)

Assassin’s Creed is boring, even if you love seeing Michael Fassbender shirtless.

That’s the problem: Creed all visuals and no story. It’s so slick, the audience slides right off.

It’s the game’s fault. This is what happens when a video game script makes it to Hollywood. The hero beats death, gets superpowers, wins the day. Whatever happened to conflict resolution?

If you do watch it, count all the flying eagles. It might be more entertaining.

Verdict: Skip it

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Passengers (January 1)

This big-budget sci-fi movie might look like an intergalactic love story based on its trailers, but there’s a creepy unspoken plot twist that robs it of any romance.

A lack of chemistry between leads Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt and a failure to explore some of the movie’s more interesting themes make Passengers a movie to miss.

Read the full review here.

Verdict: Skip it

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The Edge of Seventeen (January 5)

Strong performances anchor this coming-of-age comedy that captures the turbulence of adolescence in the 21st century.

Sexting, body image, divorce and young love are all explored in what might be the most accurate portrayal of a modern teenager in recent years.

The back-and-forth banter between grouchy lead actress Hailee Steinfeld and her teacher, played by Woody Harrelson, is a real highlight.

Verdict: See it

edge of seventeen

Jackie (January 12)

A visually stunning film that paints a harrowing and highly realistic portrait of grief, as experienced by former First Lady Jackie Kennedy after the murder of her husband, President John F Kennedy.

Stunning cinematography and an engrossing lead performance by Natalie Portman transport you into the White House in the hours following the assassination that rocked the world.

Read the full review here.

Verdict: See it

jackie bedroom

Collateral Beauty (January 12)

With a plot that needs to be seen to be believed, this star-studded turkey isn’t just bad, it’s ridiculous.

All movies rely somewhat on the suspension of disbelief but Collateral Beauty requires you to have a lobotomy prior to seeing it in order to find any of its characters, plot twists or themes plausible.

Overly obvious metaphors – including repeated references to the movie’s title – are cringeworthy and why high profile stars like Will Smith, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet got involved is a mystery.

Verdict: Skip it

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Lion (January 19)

Starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, this touching Australian film tells the story of Saroo Brierley, who as a five-year-old boy in India was tragically lost separated from his family.

Ending up at an orphanage, Brierley was adopted by a couple from Tasmania and grew up in Hobart, before deciding he would attempt to locate the small Indian village he was born in and return to his birth mother.

An incredible story told exceptionally well, Lion is a must-see.

Verdict: See it

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Split (January 18)

To its credit, this new horror film from M Night Shyamalan is anything but ordinary.

Part-scary film and part-psychological case study, it’s a surprisingly compelling story about a man with 24 different personalities, based on the true story of American criminal Billy Milligan.

Although it’s meant to be a scary movie, it doesn’t really get hair-raising until the second half and instead spends time setting up its bizarre – but surprisingly compelling – premise.

Verdict: Skip it, unless you enjoy a whacky horror film.

split movie james mcavoy

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