Just because a film gains big strides on opening weekend or smashes box office competitors after running for a few weekends doesn’t mean that it is a great movie choice for everyone. Almost everyone has sat down to a popular movie only to wonder what everyone was thinking. Dozens of movies played in theaters throughout the month of January 2013, and here is a look at eight top films that may be worth watching.
January was a good month for horror flicks. For those who like classics with a twist, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” takes advantage of modern film technology to deliver on a favorite story among horror fans. “Texas Chainsaw 3D” is a sequel to the cult classic and takes place a number of years after the original. A young woman finds out she has inherited land and returns home to claim it only to find herself trapped in the secrets of her past.
With a completely different take on horror, “Mama” was one of the highest-grossing films in January. The movie features two young girls who are abandoned in the woods after tragedy strikes their family. When they are found five years later, it is unclear how they survived and who was taking care of them. The creepy film moves forward as adults in the girls’ lives come to believe in the existence of a ghost named Mama. Mama’s plans are questionable, and the narrative comes to a climax as spirit-guardian and physical guardians conflict.
For something a little less creepy, moviegoers flocked to see “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.” This film seeks to answer the question, “What happened after that day in the candy cottage?” Filmmakers answer this with an action-packed movie about a pair of witch hunters and the secrets buried in their past. Another action-packed thriller that is more realistic is “Zero Dark Thirty.” This film follows the story of CIA operative Maya. Maya trains in interrogation tactics and spends years trying to locate Osama bin Laden. When she finally catches a break, not everyone is sure the information is accurate, even if a Navy team is dispatched to check it out.
Those looking for a drama with a deep message might want to consider “Silver Linings Playback.” The film received several Oscar nods and wins, including a memorable acceptance by Jennifer Lawrence. “Silver Linings Playback” is the story of Pat Solano, Jr., who is discharged from a mental hospital with a bipolar diagnosis. The film tells the story of his endeavors to return to daily life while he deals with his diagnosis. One interesting aspect of the film is that Pat is not alone in his quirkiness, although the broken people around him have never been officially diagnosed.
Viewers who like music mixed with drama would probably find “Les Miserables” worth the time. The film, which is based on the musical that was based on Victor Hugo’s book, features a number of popular actors, including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway. The performers do their own singing, which may or may not endear this film to viewers. Although this is not a film that everyone will enjoy, it is a must-see for those who love classic literature or musicals.
The seventh movie on the list is a guy’s flick about policemen in Los Angeles in 1949. “Gangster Squad” stars Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn. Penn stars as Mickey Cohen, a mob boss in the city. The story deals with the efforts of a group of secret police as they try to catch Cohen.
A final movie that might be worth the time, especially for those who like to follow all the Oscar-nominated films, is “Django Unchained.” The movie features a dentist-turned-bounty-hunter who buys a slave named Django. The bounty hunter intends to make Django his sidekick, but the plot takes a turn for even darker waters when Django leads the man to where his wife is being held captive.
Whether or not any of these films is worth watching is up to an individual. Someone who loves musicals and dramas may not find “Texas Chainsaw 3D” a worthy film. However, all of these films do have a few things in common. They all made millions at the box office during January 2013, and they all feature some good acting within their respective fields. Those who are looking for the best of the best, based on the results of various movie-related awards, may want to consider seeing “Django Unchained,” “Silver Linings Playback,” and “Les Miserable.”