Coming Soon… January Movie Releases

Still getting over that post-holiday food coma and hangover? Use the beginning of 2014 to relax and reset while catching some of the latest movies.

The theaters hit a bit of a slump in January after all the major holiday releases but there are still a few to look forward to this month. Is a Zac Efron-brofest Oscar-worthy? Ehhh, probably not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing.

For the inspiring documentary fan: “If You Build It”

I’m a firm believer that if you want to learn something, you actually need to get out of the classroom, really experience it and learn firsthand, which sounds like the teaching style of designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller. According to the official movie site, this documentary follows the two to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives. Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: It shows 10 teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what’s possible.

In New York tonight? Check out a screening with the filmmakers at the IFC Center.

Release Date: January 10

For the Jack Ryan cult following: “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

Even if you haven’t read Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, you’re probably familiar with some of the movies they’ve spawned in the past—“Patriot Games,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “The Sum of All Fears,” and “Clear and Present Danger.” Chris Pine now joins a list of other leading men that have played Jack Ryan including Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck, but with one major difference. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” isn’t an adaptation of a novel but rather a new take on Clancy’s most famous character. If the action-packed trailer for this CIA storyline isn’t enough to convince you, the film is also directed (and villained…is that a word?) by the wonderful, multi-talented Kenneth Branagh.

Release Date: January 17

For the “Bros before hoes?”: “That Awkward Moment”

Looking for some laughs and uncomfortable situations? “That Awkward Moment” appears to be the bromantic comedy we’ve been waiting for. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron are three buds that decide to do the single-guy thing together when one of them gets dumped. Some drinking, clubbing and a few Viagra later, two of the guys find themselves breaking the man pact with serious relationships. It has the potential to be funny as long as the trio’s story doesn’t turn into something sappy and unrealistic. These are twenty-something guys we’re watching after all.

Release Date: January 31

So what’s your pick? Tweet @litdarling with the movie you plan on checking out this month.

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