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Winter is a season that is very conducive to cuddling up with a friend and watching a good movie. If you’re tired of the repeats on TV and you’ve watched everything on Netflix, go to the movie theater. There are many cool and exciting films ready for release in the next couple of months. I have profiled fourteen films I’m sure you’ll like.

DECEMBER/JANUARY

 

Annie

Winter-Movies_AnnieAn update on the feel-good classic brings the orphan and her friends into the 21st century. Annie, a plucky, self-assured kid, is in the foster care system in New York City and is eventually adopted by a candidate for mayor as a PR move. The politician doesn’t realize it yet but the girl will impact his life more than he knows.

Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Release Date: December 19

 

Mr. Turner

Winter-Movies_MrTurnerThe eccentric painter J.M.W. Turner was both loved and hated by the public and by the British royal family in the final decades of his life. Set in the mid-1800s, this film chronicles his unorthodox approaches to life and art, such as having himself strapped to the mast of a ship so he can paint a snowstorm.

Cast: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Karl Johnson, Ruth Sheen

Release Date: December 19

 

Selma

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a preacher from Atlanta, became the face of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. In this film, King’s march from Montgomery to Selma is profiled, a trek that eventually got the notice of the President, who signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Cast: David Oyelowo, Cedric the Entertainer, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Andre Holland, Omar J. Dorsey, Oprah Winfrey

Release Date: December 25 (limited), January 9 (nationwide)

 

Unbroken

Angelina Jolie directs this epic film about the resilience of the fighters who promised to keep the world free during World War II. An Olympic runner and an Air Force dive bomb pilot become friends when they are both captured by the Japanese and are forced to survive while prisoners in a POW camp.

Cast: John Magaro, Jack O’Connell, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock, Domhnall Gleeson

Release Date: December 25

 

American Sniper

Winter-Movies_AmericanSniperChris Kyle is one of the most famous marksmen in all of the United States military. He has one mission: to protect American lives at all costs. but the enemy will do anything to make sure he doesn’t live another day. Based on a true story. Directed by Clint Eastwood

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Kyle Gallner, Sam Jaeger, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict

Release Date: December 25 (limited), January 16 (nationwide)

 

Blackhat

In this film, a convict and his contacts in the United States and Asia hope to thwart a cyber-crime division as they operate from such exotic locales as Hong Kong and Jakarta. Viola Davis, a recent Golden Globe nominee for her TV show How to Get Away with Murder, co-stars.

Cast: Viola Davis, Chris Hemsworth, Wei Tang, Leehom Wang, Christian Borle, Manny Montana

Release Date: January 16

 

The Boy Next Door

Winter-Movies_BoyNextDoorA teenage boy moves next door to a single mom and her son. While he becomes friends with the son, he quickly becomes more than that to the mother. The older woman ends things quickly, but the boy is not ready for their dalliance to be over, and will stop at nothing to keep it going.

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Chenoweth, John Corbett, Ryan Guzman, Bailey Chase, Ian Nelson

Release Date: January 23

 

Black or White

Winter-Movies_BlackorWhiteA custody battle ensues between two sets of grandparents, both of whom believe that they have the best home possible for their bi-racial granddaughter. The girl’s father, however, is a drug addict, and her grandfather vows that she will never be placed in such a broken home.

Cast: Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Gillian Jacobs, Jennifer Ehle, Anthony Mackie, Bill Burr

Release Date: January 23

 

Project Almanac

Winter-Movies_ProjectAlmanacA high school student and certified genius, along with his friends, finds a machine that can take people back in time so they can fix the past. What the group fails to realize is that by fixing the past, it can alter their future, and they might not be able to return home to the present.

Cast: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Allen Evangelista, Ginny Gardner, Sam Lerner

Release Date: January 30

 

FEBRUARY/MARCH

The Seventh Son

A warrior knight seeks to protect humanity by finding the mystical “seventh son” who will be the next generation to look after the Earth. A sorceress imprisoned by the warrior knight is hell-bent on revenge and the end of humanity might come before the seventh son comes into his own.

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Ben Barnes, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams

Release Date: February 6

 

Fifty Shades of Grey

Winter-Movies_FiftyShadesofGreyThis movie has been the buzz of tabloids and daytime TV for over a year, and now it’s finally here. Based on the book by E.L. James, Anastasia Steele, a college senior, interviews a young, dashing entrepreneur, Christian Grey, who introduces her to the sexy world of BDSM.

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Jamie Dornan, Luke Grimes, Eloise Mumford, Victor Rasuk

Release Date: February 13

 

The Lazarus Effect

Winter-Movies_LazarusEffectThis film is told through “found footage” after the unspeakable tragedy has occurred. A group of medical professionals attempt to play God and bring back the dead, only to realize that what they’ve awakened is from another world completely. They are powerless against this power they’ve summoned, a power they don’t understand.

Cast: Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, Sarah Bolger, Donald Glover

Release Date: February 27

 

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The sequel to the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel finds Sonny (Dev Patel) looking to open up another property as the first one has become so successful. The retirees from the first film are now invested in getting this second property off the ground, all the while preparing for a lavish Indian wedding.

Cast: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Richard Gere, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel, Tena Desae

Release Date: March 6

 

In the Heart of the Sea

Winter-Movies_HeartoftheSeaMost of you have heard the story of Moby Dick, inspired by the true story of the ship Essex and its crew, which almost perished off the coast of New England in 1820. This film shows the horrid aftermath of the whale attack, which causes the entire crew to re-evaluate what they are willing to do to survive.

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Tom Hollander, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson

Release Date: March 13

Be sure to check out our Winter TV Preview and Arts and Entertainment Preview.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.