This month's top movie releases, reviewed

Ian Sandwell, Gabriella Geisinger
·6-min read

From Digital Spy

Cinemas have closed back down again in the UK, but it's not just at the cinema where new movies are being released right now.

But even with more spare time than ever before, you will want to know that the movie you're spending your time on is worth it. So which one of the new releases should you choose to settle down to?

Here's our handy round-up of reviews for the biggest releases out now.

Films out January 1-31

Wonder Woman 1984 (available to rent from January 13)

There is the usual trumpeting of good vs evil, and plenty of well-choreographed stunts to make Wonder Woman 1984 a solid DC adaptation. But beyond the standard we've come to expect from films in these expansive genres, Wonder Woman 1984 leaves a little more to be desired.

Read our full Wonder Woman 1984 review

Pieces of a Woman (Netflix)

There are moments in Pieces of a Woman where the strength of the performances ensure it hits emotionally. However, for the most part, Pieces of a Woman just can't live up to its unforgettable and powerful opening, despite the best efforts of Vanessa Kirby.

Read our full Pieces of a Woman review

Already released

Soul (Disney+)

As he did with Inside Out, director Pete Docter (along with co-director Kemp Powers) has crafted a world unlike any we've seen before, tackling big questions about what it means to be alive in a family-friendly way.

Soul might not be as successful as Docter's previous Pixar movies, but even with its flaws, the Disney+ move automatically makes it the best Disney+ movie yet – although you will wish you'd seen it on the big screen.

Read our full Soul review

We Can Be Heroes (Netflix)

As ever with superhero origin stories, you're left thinking (or hoping) that a We Can Be Heroes sequel will be better when Robert Rodriguez gets a second go at this world. Best not to wait 15 years this time around though.

Read our full We Can Be Heroes review

The Midnight Sky (Netflix)

The Midnight Sky is a visually striking, emotional and bold sci-fi, telling a bleak, yet oddly hopeful, post-apocalyptic tale of a scientist trying to save a group of astronauts. Just don't go expecting a light festive lark – and do remember to keep the tissues nearby because when Clooney goes for the feels, he doesn't miss.

Read our full The Midnight Sky review

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)

In Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, every performer is at their peak and creates a flawless backdrop against which Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis shine. It proves Boseman was an actor of deep and devastating talent, and that Davis' multifacetedness brings untold layers to every role she takes.

Read our full Ma Rainey's Black Bottom review

The Prom (Netflix)

What is a surprise is that for all the brilliance on display throughout much of The Prom, Murphy made a major error in the casting of James Corden as the musical's gay male lead character – and it's a flaw that undoes a lot of the good work elsewhere.

Read our full The Prom review

I'm Your Woman (Amazon Prime Video)

Could Brosnahan shed the skin of her Mrs Maisel role and disappear into that of Jean? The answer is a resounding yes, and I'm Your Woman is a movie that so wholly subsumes you as a viewer that you forget you're watching a film, let alone Mrs Maisel with a gun.

Read our full I'm Your Woman review

Songbird (available to rent on Prime Video and more)

Songbird won't be the only one to centre on the pandemic and TV shows have already factored it into their shows. However, few feel as cheap and opportunistic as this one and the rushed nature of production has resulted in one of 2020's worst movies.

Read our full Songbird review

Godmothered (Disney+)

Godmothered proves to be a delight that will appeal to any Enchanted fan. As with that Amy Adams classic, the movie gives a cynical, real-world twist to a classic Disney trope – this time, fairy godmothers – and offers well-observed laughs and tons of heart.

Read our full Godmothered review

Mulan (Disney+)

We can say unequivocally that Mulan is not only the best Disney remake yet but perhaps better than the original. A bold statement, but one we stand by.

What makes Mulan so special is, as was promised, the way it hews closer to the original Ballad of Mulan than the Disney original did, and the themes it chooses to explore in a more obvious way.

Read our full Mulan review

Happiest Season (available to rent or buy on Prime Video, iTunes and more)

To make a long review short: watch Happiest Season. It is the best of everything Christmas rom-coms have to offer, and more.

Read our full Happiest Season review

Mosul (Netflix)

It's just a shame that Mosul's storytelling can't match up to the action or the power of the real-life story, because then Netflix might have had another Russo Brothers hit on its hands.

Read our full Mosul review

The Christmas Chronicles 2 (Netflix)

The Christmas Chronicles 2 delivers where it counts with undemanding festive fun and Kurt Russell remaining one of the best on-screen Santas around. You're left with a warm glow and you'd be happy to see more from the chronicles if Netflix brings Santa back.

Read our full The Christmas Chronicles 2 review

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix)

While it may be hard to disassociate the words 'jingle jangle' from the poorly-named drug of choice on Riverdale, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Netflix's latest in Christmas fare, does a spectacular job at reclaiming the festive phrase.

From the get-go, we're promised a diverse, lively, and fast-paced Christmas musical, and what Netflix promises, it delivers.

Read our full Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey review

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (Netflix)

At the best of times, movies can be an escape from the world and if you press play on Sponge on the Run, you'll be guaranteed 90 mins of glorious weirdness to make you forget you're living in 2020.

Read our full The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run review

Relic (available to rent on Prime Video, iTunes and more)

Writer/director Natalie Erika James's feature debut is set to be one of the most-talked about horror movies of the year and for good reason. Relic is not just one of the most terrifying horrors of the year, it's also one of 2020's best movies.

Read our full Relic review

The Witches (available to rent on Prime Video, iTunes and more)

It's hard to imagine any children being shaken by this surprisingly bland and neutered take on Roald Dahl's The Witches, his dark tale of the Grand High Witch and the child out to stop her.

Read our full The Witches review

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Prime Video)

Even when Borat Subsequent Moviefilm doesn't work, you can't fault the effort. It's a comedy sequel that is offensive, frequently shocking and often breathtaking.

Read our full Borat Subsequent Moviefilm review

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