Straat Picks: 5 Movies to Watch in January 2014

Straat Picks: 5 Movies to Watch in January 2014

Here are our 5 movie picks for the new year! You know the drill: no spoilers included.

By Daniel Loy

Scheduled release: 9 January
Director: Eric Heisserer
Cast: Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriguez


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With Fast & Furious 7 still in production, this was Paul Walker’s last completed film before his untimely death nearly two months ago in an automobile accident. Although known more for his street racer role alongside Vin Diesel in the Fast & Furious franchise, Walker ventures into deeper characters in movies such as these.

In Hours, he plays Nolan Hayes, a would-be father whose wife goes into early labor and meets complications. At the same time, Hurricane Katrina sweeps through the hospital area and everyone is forced to evacuate. Hayes’ newborn baby is on a ventilator and awaits transfer by ambulance, so he has to no choice but to stay and fend for both their lives while dealing with power outages and impending disaster.

The Wolf of Wall Street
Scheduled release: 9 January
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie


This is Leonardo DiCaprio’s fifth time working with award-winning director Martin Scorsese, and if their past work is anything to go by, this upcoming film is bound for success.

Based on a true story, DiCaprio takes on the role of Jordan Belfort, a rich stockbroker who lives the high life. Belfort soon descends into a life of crime and corruption, cheating investors and doing drugs. Though the movie is nearly three hours long, it promises to be anything but mundane thanks to the comedic bits thrown in by Scorsese.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Scheduled release: 16 January
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner


Fans of bestselling author Tom Clancy would recognize the character Jack Ryan in which this movie is based on. No stranger to the action genre, Chris Pine steps into the shoes of the titular character, who works as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. When he uncovers a plot by the Russians to crash the United States economy through a terrorist attack, Ryan must work his way through thick and thin to prevent the world from falling into peril.

Scheduled release: 16 January
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara


A romance movie of a different kind, Her is set in the future and examines love between human and machine. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a writer who’s just experienced heartbreak, buys an advanced operating system that tailors itself to each individual user. Through that, he “meets” Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the voice of the system that strikes up a friendship and later a romance with him. How does this unique relationship pan out? You just have to watch to find out.

Scheduled release: 30 January
Director: José Padilha
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton


A remake of the 1987 original, RoboCop largely follows the same plot but with modern-day special effects. Set in 2028, Detroit police officer and family man Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is mortally wounded, allowing OmniCorp to fuse their robotic technology with what’s left of him. This turns him into a man-machine capable of dealing out punishment to those who defy justice.

It’s refreshing to see how RoboCop has been turned from an 80s clunky robot to a sleek modern fighting machine. Fanboys of the original series will be eagerly anticipating this release.

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