Top 10: Movies That Opened in January

  1. “City of God”

Released: January 17, 2003

It is incredibly unusual for an eventual Oscar contender to debut in January. Still, it is a testament to the unparalleled skill of the Brazilian crime drama that it stuck around a full calendar year. The film chronicles three decades in the life of street gangs in Brazil starting from childhood. What begins as a rivalry between children evolves into a sprawling battle. There are few characters as simultaneously frightening and heartbreaking as Li’l Ze. Played as an adult by Leandro Firmino, the self-conscious boss is a live wire ready to erupt at any moment. Fernando Meirelles’ direction is something to behold. The scenes move at rapid fire, but the emotional linchpins of the story are always potent. The cinematography is something else, as the camera captures the vibrant and haunting City of God.

Are there any January movies that you love? Share with us in the comments.

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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


      • 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.