Top 10: Movies That Opened in January

Nothing gets a bad rap like a January release date. No, I’m not talking about the Oscar movies that play limited in December and then go to the public in January. I’m talking about the dreck. The cheap horror movie, the cheesy rom-com and the the cheap kids’ movie all meant to make a quick buck off a crummy idea. We are already seeing that happen this weekend with “Underworld: Blood Wars.” Studios tend to put out some of their bottom of the barrel films at this time so the Oscar movies have more time to play and audiences can recover after going to the movies over the holidays. Still, there is nothing wrong with a guilty pleasure. Sometimes, there are some fun hidden gems among the rubble of January.

Without further ado, check out the 10 best movies that were properly released in January.

10. “Last Holiday”

Released: January 13, 2006

There are few things more joyous than watching Queen Latifah ski. That alone is enough of a tagline to get me into a theater with low expectations and a high BAC. The actual film around that set piece is just as fun and flighty. “Last Holiday” centers around Georgia Byrd (Latifah), a mild-mannered department store worker who finds out she is terminally ill. Rather than mope, she takes her life savings and treats herself to the finest vacation in a five star European hotel. Fancy dresses are worn, friends are won and enemies are vanquished with a quick one liner. If this sounds too predictable, add in a splash of Gerard Depardieu as a crass chef who loves Georgia’s appetite. The movie may be ludicrous, but you’d be ludicrous to not fall under Queen Latifah’s spell. The less said about LL Cool J as a love interest, the better.

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About Christopher James

Christopher James has been an Oscar obsessive ever since watching his first ceremony at age 5 when "Titanic" won Best Picture. He is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with degrees in Screenwriting for Film and Television and Marketing. Christopher currently works in media strategy and planning at Liquid Advertising, based out of Los Angeles, CA. You can find Christopher running on the sunny beach, brunching at trendy restaurants or mostly just sitting in a dark room watching movies and TV in sweatpants. Follow me on Twitter @cwj92movieman
  • Luke McGowan

    Taken was January? Wow

  • Rubén González

    The Silence of the Lambs was also released in January and won the Best Picture Oscar.

    • Reece

      february

      • Rubén González

        Sorry, I was confused. It was only released in New York City in Janaury, and then in the whole country in February. I guess that’s what the author means about “proper release”.

  • David Weidner

    Love City of God, but being a little older than most on the site, I can remember 1990. A one-two punch of John Dahl’s Kill Me Again, and Ron Underwood’s Tremors.