New to DVD in January


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Jan. 7

It's been a slow couple of weeks for DVD/Blu-ray releases, but it speeds up in January with a lots of action and a healthy crop of acclaimed films.

"Runner Runner": Crime-drama thriller starring Justin Timberlake as a Princeton grad student who believes he's been swindled and heads to Costa Rica to confront an online gambling tycoon portrayed by Ben Affleck. There, he's caught between promises of immense wealth and an FBI sting.

"Thanks for Sharing": From Stuart Blumberg, who shared an Oscar nomination for writing "The Kids Are All Right," a look at a new kind of modern family, as friends in recovery learn to face life together. Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the stars.

"Closed Circuit": Ex-lovers, played by Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, find their loyalties tested and lives at risk when they are thrown together on the defense team in a terrorism trial.

"Inequality for All": Robert Reich, professor, best-selling author and Clinton Cabinet member, demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy in this documentary.

Jan. 14

"Lee Daniels' The Butler": Fictional story, although inspired by a real man, about a butler who serves U.S. presidents from 1957-86. Forest Whitaker stars along with Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz and other famous faces.

"You're Next": When a gang of masked ax-wielding murderers descend upon a family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped -- until an unlikely guest proves to be the most talented killer of all. Reunites principal cast from "A Horrible Way to Die."

"Fruitvale Station": Michael B. Jordan plays Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay-area resident shot to death by BART officers in this story inspired by actual events.

"Riddick": Vin Diesel reprises his role as a dangerous escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the galaxy. When he's left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless, he battles alien predators and alerts mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.

"Blue Caprice": Real-life snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who terrorized the Washington, D.C., area with a three-week shooting spree in 2002, inspired this drama starring Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond.

"Carrie": Move over, Sissy Spacek, and don't slip on the blood. Chloe Grace Moretz plays the title role, an outcast sheltered by her deeply religious mother (Julianne Moore), who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

"Enough Said": Romantic comedy from Nicole Holofcener about a divorcee who finds herself making a new friend and dating that pal's former husband at the same time. James Gandolfini, in one of his final screen roles, appears with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener.

"20 Feet From Stardom": Documentary about the backup singers who brought shape and style to popular music and the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. A look at Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, Claudia Lennear, Darlene Love and Tata Vega along with interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting, plus rare archival footage.

"The Spectacular Now": Miles Teller is a partying charmer and high school senior who unexpectedly falls for a good girl, played by Shailene Woodley. R for alcohol use, language and some sexuality -- all involving teens.

"Short Term 12": A 20-something supervising staff member of a foster care facility navigates troubled waters.

Jan. 21

"Captain Phillips": Tom Hanks plays the title role of Captain Richard Phillips in this thriller about the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates.

"Blue Jasmine": Woody Allen's latest, starring Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Alec Baldwin and Andrew "Dice" Clay. Ms. Blanchett Cate Blanchett is an elegant New York socialite who moves into her sister's modest apartment in San Francisco to try to pull herself together after her world falls apart.

"Machete Kills": Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent Machete, recruited by the president of the United States to take down a billionaire madman and arms dealer who plans to spread war and anarchy across the planet.

"In a World": Writer-director Lake Bell stars in a comedy about a struggling voice coach who strikes it big in movie-trailer voiceovers, only to find herself in competition with the industry's reigning king who happens to be her father.

Jan. 28

"Last Vegas": When a sworn bachelor (Michael Douglas) proposes to his 30-something girlfriend, he and his boyhood pals (Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) head to Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and relive their glory days.

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2": Sequel to the 2009 animated adaptation of Judi and Ron Barrett's popular children's book. Inventor Flint Lockwood learns his invention has survived and is creating "foodimals" like tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses and cheespiders.

"Rush": Ron Howard re-creates the 1970s rivalry between charismatic Englishman James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Their clashes on the Grand Prix racetrack epitomized the contrast between them in this story set during the golden age of Formula 1 racing.

"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa": Johnny Knoxville returns but in the guise of 86-year-old Irving Zisman alongside Jackson Nicoll as Billy, his 8-year-old grandson, in this comedy about their comic cross-country journey.

"The Fifth Estate": Dramatic thriller, based on real events surrounding WikiLeaks, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Bruhl as colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg. They create a platform for anonymous whistle-blowers but find themselves battling each other amid questions about secrets and a free society.


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