As we set foot in 2023, all of us are kind of returning to normalcy as last year marked the beginning of the end to the pandemic, and one can hope for a much better situation in all the spheres of one’s life. So, keeping all these things aside, with a new year comes new films and shows waiting to be discovered and devoured by the fellow “cinegoers” and all those who like to have their share of cinematic engagement. Generally, after the major months of the fall season, when the main films tend to release, the month of January tends to be quite a cooldown period and does not have that many big-scale releases, both in terms of commercial and critical appeal. Yet there remain some interesting films that will release in January 2023. So, these are the January 2023 releases that you may add to your watchlist.
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck (4 January) (Theatrical) (Film)
This one is purely on the list due to the sheer popularity of its source material, the 2016 bestselling book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by writer Mark Manson, who interestingly acts in this film too. So, for the fans of the book, this film may be an exciting watch or at least something to keep an eye on. Other than that, the cast and crew of the film is filled with mainly new faces. Hence, we can’t really make any predictions about the pure cinematic aspect but it might be a pleasant surprise. As from the looks of the trailer itself, it was a kind of hit-and-miss thing, with some parts being funny, so we can only have a clear picture post-release.
The Old Way (6 January) (Theatrical) (Film)
Nicholas Cage has always been an interesting actor with quite a unique kind of filmography associated with him, and especially in recent years, he has not backed down or shied away from trying out very unique and one-of-a-kind films with various challenging roles in films like “Mandy” (2018), “Pig” (2021), and the 2022 release “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” So, with this recent track record, this film also looks quite promising as he shifts gears into the old-school Western genre. By the look of it, the film promises to be a very age-old revenge drama and one that can be worthwhile for the viewers. As from the trailer, “The Old Way” showcases snippets of a very well-known and age-old cinematic territory yet seems to have a refreshing quality.
The Pale Blue Eye (6 January) (Netflix Release) (Film)
Although it marked a very limited theatrical release on 23 December 2022, primarily, it is stated to debut on the above-mentioned date on Netflix as its major release worldwide. “The Pale Blue Eye” stars Christian Bale and marks his third collaboration with filmmaker Scott Cooper, who previously made the acclaimed film “Crazy Heart” (2009), along with Harry Melling playing the role of the real-life literary legend Edgar Allen Poe. By the looks of it, “The Pale Blue Eye” seems to be a very eerie and atmospheric murder mystery with very detailed and layered visuals revolving around the detective Augustus Landor (played by Bale), who investigates a series of very gruesome and horrific murders. Fans of whodunnit and detective thrillers, along with those who are well-versed in the literary works of Allen Poe, should specifically check this one out.
The Last Of Us (15 January) (HBO Release) (TV Series)
For the first time, a video-game adaptation is genuinely looking promising, especially with the names associated with the project, especially that of Craig Mazin, who is one of the writers and creators of this series and previously helmed the pathbreaking miniseries “Chernobyl.” Furthermore, it also stars the renowned Pedro Pascal, and based on the looks of the show, the casting seems to be quite impressive. The video game “The Last of Us” is considered to be among the finest games of all time, and hence, it already has quite an eyeball on it, especially from the gaming community. But people who are not aware of this game should also keep an eye on it, as from its trailer, it looks pretty impressive even as a standalone show, and may be one that surprises the viewers as the perfect new-year present.
Kuttey (13 January) (Theatrical) (Film)
This film marks the directorial debut of Aasman Bharadwaj, the son of acclaimed filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj, who is also the writer and music director of the film. “Kuttey” showcases the finest acting talents, ranging from old-school masters such as Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu, and Konkona Sen Sharma to new acting talents like Radhika Madan and Shardul Bharadwaj, along with Kumud Mishra. The main interesting casting choice is Arjun Kapoor, who, though a well-known face, has had his acting chops questioned; from the trailer though, he seems to fit the character. The trailer itself promises a very thrilling ride with glimpses of a premise set around a heist, wacky characters, great dialogue, and a major chunk of dark humor, and at the same time seems to be quite original and refreshing.
Jung_E (20 January) (Netflix Release) (Film)
This Korean-language Netflix original can be the one to watch out for, predominantly due to it being directed by Yeon Sang-ho, who previously made the brilliant zombie flick “Train to Busan” (2016) and the acclaimed Korean Netflix series “Hellbound” (2021–). From the looks of it, “Jung_E” belongs to the science fiction genre and showcases a very dystopic and unhabitable situation on Earth. It takes place in the futuristic setting of the 22nd century and revolves around stuff related to robots and AI. So, with this kind of premise, the film seems to be quite an exciting affair, even though not much is revealed from its very brief teaser, and yet it manages to attract one’s attention.
Pathaan (25 January) (Theatrical) (Film)
After a hiatus of almost 4 years, Superstar Shah Rukh Khan is back with his new large-scale, full massy style action entertainer set in the backdrop of multiple gorgeous locales, “Pathaan.” As far as the teaser is concerned, one can expect a film with larger-than-life action set pieces that can be perfect for a theatrical experience and is also directed by Siddharth Anand, who previously made the blockbuster hit “War” (2009), which had some of the most interesting action sequences as far as Indian cinema is concerned. This can be the perfect popcorn flick that can be one’s perfect dose of escapism. Furthermore, the cast also boasts popular faces like Deepika Padukone and the main antagonist, played by John Abraham.
Close (27 January) (Theatrical) (Film)
In some countries, this film had already been released in 2022, but in many places, especially in the USA, it will get its theatrical release in the first month of 2023, and it is being distributed by none other than the highly acclaimed production house, A24. Having witnessed this film on the big screen at a film festival, it can be said that it is among the best films of the recent past and one that viewers should not miss. With this very powerful film, the director, Lukas Dhont, has showcased a very intimate and delicate handling of love, loss, and friendship while commenting on the patriarchal gender roles and masculinity and perfectly brings out a film that showcases a pure example of cinematic brilliance.
As January is quite a dry spell in terms of films and shows, these are only a handful that the viewers may tend to keep their eyes on or at least seems interesting and exciting. Also, at the same time, it is best to keep one’s fingers crossed, as the actual quality of the film can only be understood after its release and especially after experiencing it.