The New Year brings with it plenty of choices at your local theater. Those looking to keep up with all of those Best of 2011 lists and potential Oscar nominees can choose from several films that are expanding to more screens following limited release.
That includes titles like Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” which looks at World War I through the eyes of a steed; “The Artist,” a tribute to the silent film era; “The Descendants,” a Hawaii-set drama that is earning George Clooney some serious Best Actor buzz; “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” a 9/11 movie featuring Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks in supporting roles; and “The Iron Lady,” featuring Meryl Streep’s take on Margaret Thatcher.
There are also plenty of new movies opening each week in January. Here is a week-by-week breakdown, complete with links to watch the trailers:
Mark Wahlberg stars in this thriller, as a reformed criminal who is forced back into the world of international smuggling in an effort to rescue his brother-in-law.
Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah play competing choir directors in this story about a group of small town singers looking to win a national competition.
After sitting the last movie out, Kate Beckinsale returns in the fourth installment of the popular “Underworld” franchise. In this 3D sequel, humans have discovered the existence of Vampires and Lycans, and declared war on both species.
A black ops soldier is out for revenge after she is betrayed during a mission in this action flick. MMA fighter Gina Carano leads an all-star cast, including Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Bill Paxton.
Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut and plays the titular role in this modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s tragedy. Fiennes’ co-stars include Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and Jessica Chastain, this year’s breakout actress.
This non-“Star Wars” Lucasfilm release chronicles the African-American pilots involved in World War II’s Tuskegee training program. Fans of HBO’s classic drama “The Wire” should recognize several cast members, including Michael B. Jordan, Tristan Wilds, Andre Royo and Method Man. Other stars include Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bryan Cranston and Gerald McRaney.
Liam Neeson stars in this tale of an oil drilling team who survives a plane crash in Alaska, only to be stranded in the wilderness and hunted by wolves that see them as intruders.
“One for the Money”
Katherine Heigl plays Stephanie Plum, the heroine of Janet Evanovich’s popular series of novels. In this installment, Plum takes a job at her cousin’s bail-bond business, where her first assignment involves tracking down someone from her past.
“Man on a Ledge”
Sam Worthington stars as an ex-cop turned con who is threatening to jump from a Manhattan high- rise, but things aren’t as they appear. Elizabeth Banks plays the police psychologist trying to talk him down. Ed Harris, Edward Burns and Anthony Mackie co-star.