A new year is upon us, and that means new movies. Following delayed releases due to the pandemic, anticipated franchise favorites and original stories are finally making their way to audiences.
Whether you’ve been craving that big screen experience at the theater, or just want something new to watch while cozied up on the couch at home, there are plenty of new releases to choose from. Slasher fans will look forward to the next chapter of Scream, debuting Jan. 14, while admirers of foreign cinema may want to put A Hero, Belle and Brighton 4th on their watch lists.
From suspenseful spy films to rom-coms, superhero origin stories and animated adventures, here are a few films premiering this January.
Star Jessica Chastain pitched the idea for a female-led spy film to her Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg while in production on that film, and years later, The 355 is hitting theaters. The action movie centers on CIA agent Mason "Mace" Brown (Chastain) as she joins forces with other top agents from around the globe to stop a secret weapon in the wrong hands from destroying the world – while staying one step ahead of a mysterious figure who's tracking their every move. The 355 also stars Lupita Nyong'o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan, and Édgar Ramírez.
The 355 hits theaters on Jan. 7.
Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi (A Separation), A Hero tells the story of Rahim (Amir Jadidi), a man in prison for debt who tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint during a two-day leave – but things don't go as planned. Twists and turns in the Iranian film only add to the complex story, which dives deep into half-truths and lies that can eat away at society. A Hero won the Grand Prix at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and was selected as the Iranian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the upcoming 94th Academy Awards.
A Hero premieres in limited theaters on Jan. 7. It will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video on Jan. 21.
The fifth installment in the slasher series aims to relaunch the series, while still serving as a sequel to 2011's Scream 4. Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega and Jack Quaid join Scream stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Marley Shelton and Roger L. Jackson in this new installment, set 25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked Woodsboro. This time, a new killer is wearing the Ghostface mask, and targets a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past. Scream is the first film in the franchise not to be directed by Wes Craven, who died in 2015. The movie is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Original Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson serves as an executive producer.
Scream hits theaters on Jan. 14.
The Japanese animated fantasy film, inspired by Beauty and the Beast, follows a high school student, Suzu, who becomes a globally beloved singer in a virtual world known as “U.” After one of her concerts is crashed by “The Dragon,” Suzu finds herself on an emotional quest to uncover the identity behind the mysterious avatar, who's on the run from ruthless vigilantes. Belle premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and was theatrically released in Japan in July; viewers in North America will finally get their chance to see the acclaimed movie this month.
Belle hits theaters on Jan. 14.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
The Hotel Transylvania series will come to a close with this fourth installment in the franchise, Transformania. This time around, Drac (Brian Hull) and his crew of monsters are all transformed into humans, with Johnny (Andy Samberg) becoming a monster. In their new mismatched bodies, Drac and Johnny must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it's too late and their transformations become permanent. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania also stars Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Brian Hull, Fran Drescher, Brad Abrell and Asher Blinkoff in voice roles.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video starting Jan. 14.
The Royal Treatment
This feel-good romantic comedy stars Laura Marano as Izzy, a New York-based hairdresser with a chance to work at the royal wedding of a charming prince, Thomas (Mena Massoud). While Thomas is betrothed to another and about to say “I do” to a marriage arranged by his parents, it doesn’t take long for sparks to fly between him and Izzy, leading the pair to make a difficult decision between love and duty.
The Royal Treatment is available to stream on Netflix starting Jan. 20.
The King's Daughter
Based on the 1997 novel The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre, The King’s Daughter sees the consequences of King Louis XIV’s (Pierce Brosnan) quest for immortality, as the royal’s attempt to steal a mermaid’s life force is complicated by his illegitimate daughter’s (Kaya Scodelario) discovery of the creature. Filming of the Sean McNamara-directed movie wrapped in 2014, and eight years later, The King’s Daughter is finally getting a theatrical release.
The King’s Daughter hits theaters on Jan. 21.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s Megan Park makes her feature directorial debut with The Fallout, a film she wrote about the aftermath of teen trauma. The drama stars Jenna Ortega as Vada, a high school student forced to navigate her emotions after a school shooting, with Maddie Ziegler, Shailene Woodley, Julie Bowen, John Ortiz, Niles Fitch, and Will Ropp in supporting roles. The Fallout premiered at South by Southwest last March, where it won the Grand Jury Prize in the Narrative Feature Film Competition, the Audience Choice Award in the Narrative Feature Competition and the Brightcove Illumination Award.
The Fallout is available to stream on HBO Max starting Jan. 27.
A story of a parent’s devotion to their child, Brighton 4th follows a former Olympic wrestler (Levan Tediashvili, himself a former wrestler) as he travels from Georgia to Brooklyn, New York, to visit his son. He soon does everything in his power to help him get out of debt to a local mob boss and get his life back on track. The Levan Koguashvili-directed film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June and was selected as the Georgian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the upcoming 94th Academy Awards.
Brighton 4th premieres in limited theaters on Jan. 28.