New movie releases for January 23

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

New in theaters:

“Mortdecai”

Johnny Depp stars as a debonair art dealer trying to chase down a stolen painting in this action-comedy thingy. The all-star cast looks good (Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow). The January release and Depp’s recent track record does not.

“The Boy Next Door”

Jennifer Lopez stars as a woman who falls (dangerously) for a younger neighbor in this sexy thriller directed by (I am not making this up) the director of “The Fast and the Furious.”

“Strange Magic”

This animated fantasy boasts that it’s “from the mind of George Lucas.” Now that “Star Wars” is in presumably more capable hands, Lucas can exorcise his Jar-Jar urges here.

“The Humbling”

Al Pacino stars as an aging actor (what a stretch!) who has an affair with a lesbian (Greta Gerwig) in this adaptation of a Phillip Roth novel. Pacino-Gerwig is the weirdest pairing of the week.

“Song One”

Anne Hathaway stars in “a romantic drama set against the backdrop of Brooklyn's vibrant modern-folk music scene.” If that description doesn’t make you want to tear your eyeballs out, this one may be for you.

Limited screenings:

“Jaws”

Living late-night TV legend Fritz the Nite Owl will be introducing Steven Spielberg’s original blockbuster — still a master class in tension. For the young people in the audience, it was like the original “Sharknado”!

Alive recommends:

“Whiplash”

The Oscar nominations always bring movies back to theaters, but I’ll go with “Whiplash” (returning for another run at the Drexel). That J.K. Simmons performance is as good as you’ve heard.

“Selma”

Speaking of Oscar nominations, more people need to see “Selma,” as it’s relatively slow box-office take may have contributed to some of its snubs. The Central Ohio Film Critics Association, on the other hand, tapped it as Best Film.