The Complete Guide to Hollywood Movies Opening in January 2019

January: The start of the year, and usually a quiet month for movies with the holidays over, students back in school, and studios offering and cinemas programming adult-skewing films. In addition, the rest of the awards-nominated films (and some unlucky wannabes that weren’t nominated) that haven’t come out in previous months are usually packed into January and February, in order to ride on awards buzz for publicity and box office before audiences lose interest.

Many people are looking forward to Glass (opening 17 Jan), after M. Night Shyamalan redeemed himself from his string of terrible flops by making Split which by all accounts, was pretty good. (I wouldn’t know cause it looked terrifying and I don’t watch such thrillers.) Personally, I prefer Oscar nominee and potential Best Picture winner Green Book (24 Jan) instead. It’s heartwarming, funny and touching, and the actors are great. Hard to believe that Viggo Mortensen is already 60. It seems like only yesterday he was spry and young(-ish) as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings!

Movies coming out in January 2019

(Click on the movie titles in the bullets to jump to that section if you don’t want to scroll through the entire list. You can also click on each movie’s heading to go to their IMDb pages. Release dates below are for Singapore, but if you’re outside Singapore, IMDb can tell you fairly accurately what’s the release date in your country.)

Opening on the week of 3 January

Second Act (3 Jan)

Director: Peter Segal (“50 First Dates”, “Get Smart”, “Grudge Match”)

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini, Milo Ventimiglia, Treat Williams, Charlyne Yi, Alan Aisenberg, Freddie Stroma, Annaleigh Ashford

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Synopsis: SECOND ACT is a comedy in the vein of “Working Girl” and “Maid In Manhattan”. Jennifer Lopez stars as Maya, a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations from unfulfilled dreams. Until, that is, she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and that it is never too late for a Second Act.

Opening on the week of 10 January

Instant Family (10 Jan)

Director: Sean Anders (“Daddy’s Home” series, “Horrible Bosses 2”, “Sex Drive”)

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Margo Martindale

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family

Synopsis: When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. INSTANT FAMILY is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director Sean Anders and also stars Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro and Margo Martindale.

On the Basis of Sex (10 Jan)

Director: Mimi Leder (“Deep Impact”, “Pay It Forward”, “The Peacemaker”)

Cast: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor

Genre: Biography, Drama

Synopsis: The film tells an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination. The feature will premiere in 2018 in line with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court.

The Mule (10 Jan)

Director: Clint Eastwood (“American Sniper”, “Sully”, “Gran Torino”, “Invictus”, “Changeling”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Letters from Iwo Jima”, “Flags of Our Fathers”, “Mystic River”, “Unforgiven”)

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest, Andy Garcia, Alison Eastwood, Taissa Farmiga, Ignacio Serricchio, Loren Dean, Eugene Cordero

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Synopsis: Clint Eastwood stars as Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well—so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.

Escape Room (10 Jan)

Director: Adam Robitel (“Insidious: The Last Key”)

Cast: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, Yorick van Wageningen

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Synopsis: ESCAPE ROOM is a psychological thriller about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues or die.

Opening on the week of 17 January

Glass (17 Jan)

Director: M. Night Shyamalan (“Split”, “Unbreakable”, “The Sixth Sense”, “Signs”)

Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Synopsis: M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000’s “Unbreakable”, from Touchstone, and 2016’s “Split”, from Universal—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: GLASS. From “Unbreakable”, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from “Split” are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast. Following the conclusion of “Split”, GLASS finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

The Upside (17 Jan)

Director: Neil Burger (“Limitless”, “Divergent”, “The Illusionist”)

Cast: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies, Aja Naomi King, Tate Donovan

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: An English remake of 2011’s French film “Les Intouchables”, THE UPSIDE is director Neil Burger’s heartfelt comedy about a recently paroled ex-convict (Kevin Hart) who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a paralyzed billionaire (Bryan Cranston).

The Old Man & the Gun (17 Jan)

Director: David Lowery (“Pete’s Dragon”, “A Ghost Story”, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”)

Cast: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpter

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Crime

Synopsis: THE OLD MAN & THE GUN is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman (Sissy Spacek), who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.

The Vanishing (17 Jan)

Director: Kristoffer Nyholm (TV’s “Taboo”)

Cast: Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Synopsis: On an uninhabited island 20 miles from the rugged Scottish coast, three lighthouse keepers arrive for their 6 week shift. As they settle into their normal quiet routine, something unexpected, potentially life-changing occurs – they stumble upon gold. What follows is a tense battle for survival, fed by isolation, paranoia and greed, leading three honest men down a path to destruction.

Opening on the week of 24 January

Green Book (24 Jan)

Director: Peter Farrelly (“Dumb and Dumber”, “Shallow Hal”, “There’s Something About Mary”, “Stuck on You”)

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger—as well as unexpected humanity and humour—they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.

Schindler’s List 25th Anniversary Re-release (24 Jan)

Director: Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan”, “Lincoln”, “Indiana Jones” series, “Jurassic Park”, “Jaws”)

Cast: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan, Sagalle, Embeth Davidtz

Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Synopsis: In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Opening on the week of 31 January

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (31 Jan)

Director: Dean DeBlois (“How to Train Your Dragon” series, “Lilo & Stitch”)

Voice Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harrington, Craig Ferguson, F. Murray Abraham

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Synopsis: Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

A Private War (31 Jan)

Director: Matthew Heineman (“Cartel Land”)

Cast: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Tom Hollander

Genre: Biography, Drama, War

Synopsis: In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin (Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time. Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontlines of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado. After being hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Colvin sacrifices loving relationships, and over time, her personal life starts to unravel as the trauma she’s witnessed takes its toll. Yet, her mission to show the true cost of war leads her — along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) — to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Based on the extraordinary life of Marie Colvin, A PRIVATE WAR is brought to the screen by Academy Award nominee and critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman in his pulse-pounding narrative feature debut.