J-Mart’s Monthly Movie Picks For January 2018

Happy New Year, Exiles! Hope you are having a great start to 2018.

With a new year comes great new movies and 2018 is looking to be a fantastic year for movies!

With that said, welcome to J-Mart’s Monthly Movie Picks for January 2018!

A new monthly series where I will recommend 10 movies you should see and look forward to every month. Every week will have a theme; for example, this week is 2018 films.  January is the perfect month to look forward to films in 2018 and look back at 2017.

Ah January, a month where movie studios dump all the films they think will bomb and flop. They write them off so that they don’t hurt the studio financially and they can push and promote the films they think will be huge successes and start franchises that will make them boatloads of money (because studios care about money). That is Hollywood in a nutshell for you. January is a movie landfill and while there are some awful films there are also some cinematic treasures. I am here to avoid the garbage and instead talk about the films that you should be excited for, along with some big award contenders that will most likely be nominated for a bunch of Oscars. Sure, there have been a ton of bad films released in January like Strange Magic and Norm of the North, but there have also been some surprise hits like Split and Kung Fu Panda 3. There are always some diamonds in the rough that you are going to miss if you underestimate any film released in January.

Today I am listing the top 10 films you should be excited for and should see that are releasing this month both in theaters and on streaming services. Let’s begin!

#10 – Molly’s Game, STX Entertainment

Based on the best selling novel by Molly Bloom (AKA The Lady Who Beat the Casinos).

Here is the plot synopsis:

“MOLLY’S GAME is the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.”

Directed and written by Aaron Sorkin in his directorial debut.

Stars: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Micheal Cera

Here is the trailer for those that are interested in seeing this movie.

This film has received a lot of positive reviews, mostly praising Jessica Chastain’s phenomenal performance as Molly Bloom.

This sounds insane and I love films about casinos (even though I’m not old enough to gamble yet). It also boasts a fantastic cast. It seems like a wild ride and I expect this film to get a lot of Oscar nominations (and maybe some wins).

Take a chance and play your cards right when Molly’s Game goes to a wide release on January 5th.

#9 – Proud Mary, Sony Pictures 

Here is the plot synopsis:

“Taraji P. Henson is Mary, a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.”

Directed by Babak Najafi

Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Danny Glover, Billy Brown

Here is the trailer for those interested in this movie.

I love Empire and Cookie is one of my favorite characters, so to see Taraji P. Henson making a movie that revives the Blaxploitation genre and looks similar to Atomic Blonde (but different at the same time) has me excited. You don’t want to mess with Taraji ever! I love films with badass female protagonists and this film looks like it will be a lot of fun to watch. Expect a ton of epic action, explosions and Taraji continuing to be the badass female we all know and love!

So suit up, grab your weapons and hit the road as Proud Mary kicks into theaters on January 12th.

#8 – 12 Strong, Warner Bros Pictures

Based on the hit book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton and based on a true story

Here is the plot synopsis:

“12 Strong is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.”

Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Pena, Michael Shannon, Elsa Patanky, Trevante Rhodes

Here is the trailer for people that are interested in this movie.

This story really interests me, especially the fact that it is based on a true story of horse soldiers being sent to fight against the Taliban after the tragic 9/11 attacks. It’s nice to see Hemsworth and Pena try to do something different with their careers. It looks like it will be an emotional roller coaster where you don’t know what will happen next. Expect epic war scenes, major consequences, and a gripping, compelling, and intense war drama that will have you hooked and waiting to see what will happen next. It could even be an Oscar contender.

Take a ride with the Horse Soldiers when 12 Strong hits theaters on January 19th.

#7 – Den Of Thieves, STX Entertainment

Here’s the plot synopsis:

“DEN OF THIEVES is a gritty Los Angeles crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles.”

Directed by Christian Gudegast

Stars: Gerald Butler, 50 Cent, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Pablo Schreiber, Evan Jones, Jermaine Rivers

Here is the trailer for those interested in this movie.

I love heist movies so much, from Ocean’s Eleven to Baby Driver, and while I am very excited for Ocean’s Eight, this heist movie looks like a real life version of cops and robbers. Gerald Butler really needs a hit after Gods Of Egypt and Geostorm and this looks like the comeback he needs. Expect explosions, epic action scenes and a very intense robbery and expect to have a ton of fun.

Grab your masks, get your money bags and set a plan when Den of Thieves robs into theaters on January 19th.

#6 – The Polka King, Netflix

Here is the plot synopsis:

“The rise and fall of Pennsylvania polka sensation Jan Lewan, who ultimately fleeced millions from investors through his polka-related activities.”

Directed by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky

Stars: Jack Back, Vanessa Bayer, Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B Smooth, Willie Garson

Here is the trailer if your interested in this Netflix film.

Jack Black never disappoints and always makes me laugh, especially after seeing Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (which I loved so much). I love doing the polka and love film biopics about frauds and money schemes. They are very interesting – as well as the motives of why they did it really interests me. Jack Black has the accent, personality, charisma, persona and the voice of a polka king.

Ole Ole Ole! when The Polka King dances on Netflix on January 12th.

We are halfway through the list! Which movie will be #1? Stay tuned and find out the answer.

#5 – Insidious: The Last Key, Universal Pictures

This is the 4th film in the hit Insidious series.

Here is the plot synopsis:

“Brilliant parapsychologist Elise Rainier receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. Even more disturbing is the address — 413 Apple Tree Lane in Five Keys, N.M. — the home where Elise grew up as a child. Accompanied by her two investigative partners, Rainier travels to Five Keys to confront and destroy her greatest fear — the demon that she accidentally set free years earlier.”

Directed by Adam Robitel

Produced by James Wan

Stars: Lin Shaye, Leigh, Whannell, Angus Sampson, Spencer Locke, Josh Stewart

Here is the scary trailer for all you horror fans.

I love the Insidious series as I freaking love when horror movies not only scare me to death but give me nightmares for days (sometimes months)! That’s what the Insidious franchise has done to me (except Chapter 3, which was pretty disappointing and not that scary). This, however, looks like a return to form for the franchise. It’s got an interesting and visually scary key demon that Elise unleashed many years ago and isn’t about a demon case that she has to solve; but instead, of her having to defeat her inner demons and figure out the key to finish this horrific demon off. I am very excited for this movie as it looks very scary. The fact that this demon can silence you with her key fingers is terrifying. I would not want to endure what she is going through. The premise for this movie and the great lines is making me really excited and terrified to see this.

Take your last key and unlock the door when Insidious The Last Key screams into theaters on January 5th.

#4 – The Post, 20th Century Fox

Based on a true story of how The Washington Post almost seized to exist.

Here is the plot synopsis:

“Katharine Graham is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper — The Washington Post. With help from editor Ben Bradlee, Graham races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four U.S. presidents. Together, they must overcome their differences as they risk their careers — and very freedom — to help bring long-buried truths to light.”

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Alison Brie, Sarah Paulson, Carrie Coon, Bradley Whitford

Here is the trailer that is hot off the presses.

Here are the stars talking about the importance of The Post.

It’s interesting to see movies about what goes on behind the scenes of making a newspaper. Could this film be the next Spotlight? The cast is very impressive as Streep is one of the best actresses of today’s generation and Tom Hanks knows how to be a dramatic actor from his previous films. You have two fantastic actors and Steven-freaking-Spielberg behind the camera. This is easy Oscar bait, and it is already getting awards while many people have fallen in love with it. So expect a ton of Oscar nominations and wins. The Post could change newspaper movies forever and is the perfect movie we need in today’s world of media, press, fake news, and watching what you post.

Grab your daily paper and get a cup of coffee when The Post prints into theaters on January 12th.

#3 – Paddington 2, Warner Bros Pictures

Based on the hit children’s book series Paddington Bear by Michael Bond

Here is the plot synopsis:

“Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and marmalade wherever he goes. One fine day, he spots a pop-up book in an antique shop — the perfect present for his beloved aunt’s 100th birthday. When a thief steals the prized book, Paddington embarks on an epic quest to unmask the culprit before Aunt Lucy’s big celebration.”

Directed by Paul King

Stars: Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Brendon Gleeson, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville

Here is the trailer that both families and their kids will love. I hope you can bear it.

The cute bear with the red hat and blue trenchcoat who loves marmalade sandwiches and took the world by storm in 2014 is back and better than ever! The first Paddington was a genuine surprise as I was expecting a generic kids film of a bear going on wacky adventures in London, but instead was surprised and given a film with heart and laughter that had me smiling the whole time. I overly enjoyed the film. The sequel looks to improve from the original with a really heart warming story with a fun chase scene of Paddington riding a dog (which is so adorable). It’s going to be fun to see how Paddington escapes jail. Paddington 2 is going to be funnier and reviews have been very positive, so I can’t wait to see what adventures Paddington has in London in this sequel.

Grab a bear and a suitcase when Paddington 2 travels to theaters on January 12th.

#2- The Commuter, Lionsgate 

Here is the plot synopsis:

“Insurance salesman Michael is on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on the train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding, and he is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy that carries life and death stakes for everyone on the train.”

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Stars: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Sam Neil, Elizabeth McGovern, Killian Scott

Here is the insane trailer

We have seen Liam Neeson finding his kidnapped daughter, running from the law, and trying to save people on a plane. Now he is saving people from dying on a train. Any action movie with Liam Neeson is a great action movie full of suspense and epic fight scenes. I wonder who’s not supposed to be on the train and can’t wait to see this movie. Hopefully, after I see it I’ll still be able to ride on a train.

Grab your suitcase and have your ticket when The Commuter arrives in theaters on January 12th.

Now it’s time to see which movie topped the list! Which movie do you think topped my list?

#1 – Maze Runner: The Death Cure, 20th Century Fox

Based on The Death Cure by James Dasher

Here is the plot synopsis:

“Thomas leads some escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions that the Gladers have been asking since they arrived in the maze.”

Directed by Wes Ball

Stars: Dylan O’ Brian, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosa Salazar, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillian, Barry Pepper, Walton Goggins

Here is the trailer that Maze Runner fans will love

I absolutely loved the first Maze Runner. However, it left me with a lot of questions and now we’re finally getting the answers. After being delayed a year due to Dylan O’ Brian’s on-set injury (so glad he is better now and decided to finish the franchise he started) the final showdown between the Gladers and WCKD is almost here! This movie should be pretty dark as I’ve read the books and it gets really really dark in the third one. The movie is also full of twists and turns, and you’re not going to see all the twists coming. I guarantee it!

I won’t spoil it for anyone but you should read the Maze Runner books. They’re freaking amazing and one of the best YA series out there. While the second movie was kind of a letdown it still had some good parts, unlike Allegiant (sorry not sorry)! However, The Death Cure is a great ending for the series. It’s dark, emotional, action-packed with epic scenes (and a massive war), and gives fans the answers they’ve been wanting to know.

I will leave you with this to sit in your brain until the film releases. However, it could be considered slightly spoilerific so tread lightly.


When Newt is saying to Tommy “Please Tommy Please!” expect the unexpected of what happens next that’s all I am going to say but when you see this film and that specific scene in theaters you will be relieved and will get more of an impact of what happens than you would have had if I ruined it for you. I don’t spoil and ruin movies as that’s not the kind of person I am or ever want to be. I never would ever ruin a persons movie going experience and want everyone to enjoy the movies. I am telling you right now don’t read the comment on the trailer as they spoil everything. Avoid at all costs if you want to go in this movie not knowing what happens and go with an open mind which I suggest you to do.


Maze Runner fans, expect a fantastic adaptation of the phenomenal end to the series. I can’t wait to see this and these reasons are why it is my most anticipated movie to see this month. I know it will be an ending us fans deserve.

Every maze has an end.

The world is ending, and a plague is spreading, when Maze Runner: The Death Cure runs into theaters on January 26th.

That is my monthly list for January. Which films are you most anticipated to see in January? Let me know down below.

February is looking great with films like Black Panther, Annihilation, Early Man and The 15:17 to Paris. Can’t wait to cover the various films throughout 2018!

Hope you can join us through the whole month!

Good night or Good Morning whenever your reading this.

New J-Mart Out 🙂