It's a fallow month for movies, but there are still some gems.
Most moviegoers will spend January doing one of two things – catching up with some of December's many award-courting releases, or watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the seventeenth time. But don't miss the handful of new films well worth your attention. From a Benghazi movie helmed by Michael Bay (!) to a martial-arts import co-starring Mike Tyson (!!), viewers will have a variety of choices from which to choose. With our handy guide, you're sure to find the non-Star Wars sequel you're looking for.
The Hateful Eight (January 1 wide-release)
Quentin Tarantino's sprawling, bloody three-hour Western charts the nasty business perpetrated by a group of strangers (including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen) who all converge during a blizzard at a remote cabin.
The Revenant (January 8 wide-release)
Perhaps the most visually stunning film of 2015—now getting a nationwide release —this based-on-real-events survivalist saga by Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a fur trader who, after barely living through a bear attack, seeks revenge against a traitorous comrade (Tom Hardy).
The Forest (January 8)
The forces of evil rise up against a young woman (Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer) after she goes looking for her missing sister in Japan's Aokigahara Forest in this ominous horror effort.
Anesthesia (January 8)
Writer/director/co-star Tim Blake Nelson assembles a sterling cast—including Sam Waterson, Kristen Stewart, Glenn Close and Gretchen Mol—for this drama about the fallout from the violent mugging of a Columbia University professor.
The Benefactor (January 15)
Richard Gere's mysterious philanthropist nudges his way into the life of a newly married couple (Dakota Fanning and Theo James) in this thriller from writer/director Andrew Renzi.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (January 15)
Sure to provoke considerable debate over its depiction of real-life events, this Michael Bay action film follows six American security operators as they try to repel terrorist invaders at the US. State Department's compound in Libya.
Mojave (January 22)
An artist (Garrett Hedlund) faces off against a dangerous drifter (Oscar Isaac) in this two-person-showdown indie from Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed).
IP Man 3 (January 22)
The third entry in the popular Chinese martial-arts saga starring Donnie Yen should deliver more of its trademark ass-kicking action, especially given the presence of Mike Tyson as Yen's adversary.
Jane Got a Gun (January 29)
After a notoriously difficult production (which began back in 2012), this Western—about a woman (Natalie Portman) forced to fight back against a troublesome gang (led by Ewan McGregor)—finally sees the light of the day in late January. Whether it's a train wreck or a masterpiece or something in between, this'll be worth watching.