The Master (R)
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
Perhaps a little too highbrow for some dudes, but those are dudes I don’t want to hang out with. P.T. Anderson’s controversial return to film is a thinly veiled portrait of L. Ron Hubbard, the failed science fiction writer who founded Scientology and Dianetics. Of course it’s going to be much, much deeper than all that, with great performances from its trio of stars, plus the rest of the cast. There’s also a score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. Man, I wish this came out today.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Basically what Total Recall wanted to be but couldn’t. JGL stars as a hitman whose assignments are sent from the future. Trouble is he’s been assigned to kill his future self (Willis). The brilliant Rian Johnson (Brick) directs.
Taken 2 (PG-13)
Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Replace kidnapped daughter with kidnapped ex-wife and you have the same movie over again. Yeah, I can’t wait.
Seven Psychopaths (R)
Starring Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell
Were it not for the dognapping angle, this would be an essential dude movie, recalling ‘90s crime flicks like Pulp Fiction and 2 Days in the Valley. Martin McDonagh, writer-director of the hilarious In Bruges brings together an all-star cast that also includes the one and only Tom Waits.
Cloud Atlas (R)
Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent
The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer tackle an ambitious project, adapting David Mitchell’s complex novel. Shoot for Blade Runner, but just end up better than Southland Tales.
Wreck-it Ralph (PG)
Starring the voices of John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman
Just a cartoon, you say? Well, this is actually a pretty awesome cartoon. It’s not Pixar (few things are), but top-notch Disney nonetheless. Reilly voices a video game bad guy who leaves his post on a quest to become a hero.
Starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench
James Bond returns to erase all the memories of Quantum of Solace with a much more action-packed take as he faces down a menacing Javier Bardem (the best Bardem in my opinion).
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones
The only reason Spielberg’s take on our 16th president isn’t a 10 is because it’s not about the manliest of manly presidents: Teddy Roosevelt.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (PG-13)
Starring Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen
So I guess Peter Jackson is restoring songs and chanteys to The Lord of the Rings now? Doesn’t matter, the epicness is still intact.
Zero Dark Thirty (R)
Starring Kyle Chandler, Jessica Chastian, Chris Pratt
The director and writer of The Hurt Locker are back together to tell the story of SEAL Team Six. Boom!
Jack Reacher (PG-13)
Starring Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall
Tiny Tom Cruise is probably the wrong choice to play the hulking titular character and a PG-13 is probably the wrong rating for this introduction. But after his death-defying stunt work in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, I trust him to pull off just about anything.
Django Unchained (R)
Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Ray Charles and Hans Landa team up to kill plantation owners. This only loses a point for that gigantic bow Jamie Foxx wears.