February will offer more critically acclaimed films

Oscar nominations are out and people in the industry are focused on whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio is going to finally win or if the #OscarsSoWhite boycott will affect the awards. But back in the theaters, movies are still rolling out. Normally, post-Oscar eligibility wintertime is where films go to die. Generally, studios release the projects that they have the least amount of faith in because most people aren’t going to the theater anyway. A surprise hit is really the a best case scenario and horror flicks permeate theater screens during this time.

The sad yet predictable truth is that 2016 is not off to a good start in breaking this tradition. January releases have already been a big disappointment (though knowing that nothing good is released anyway makes it less of a disappointment.) Robert De Niro and Zac Efron’s raunchy comedy Dirty Grandpa has already gathered scathing reviews. The promising adaptation of the popular YA dystopian series, The Fifth Wave has critics’ and audiences’ stamp of disapproval after a few days of showing.

But there is good news in all of this. February is not going to let a bad start in January drag it down. A surprising amount of highly anticipated movies are being released next month.

Perhaps the most surprising one in the February bunch is from filmmaking legends Ethan and Joel Coen. A February release is a guaranteed death wish for any film hoping for awards success in the next year, but apparently, the Oscar-winning brothers could care less. Their first directorial film since 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis is Hail, Caesar! and will be released Feb. 5. Hail, Caesar! is a comedic love letter to postwar filmmaking, with the screening at USC selling out in a matter of minutes. The Coen Brothers have assembled an all-star cast including Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill and George Clooney to take the audience back in time to a 1950s Hollywood film studio.

Opening on the same day is Burr Steers’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, based on  the parody novel by Seth Grahame-Smith of the same name. While the idea of mashing up one of the most beloved British love stories from the 19th century with zombies sounds ludicrous, audiences have already embraced it. Several critics praised the novel when first published and it shot to number three on The New York Times bestseller list. Producers had faith in the project because they found reputable filmmakers to bring the story to life. The film will also star Lily James and Douglas Booth.

Marvel is hoping to capitalize on the weaker competition to rule the box office this winter with another comic book hero coming to life. Deadpool is slated to open Feb. 12. This will be another courageous attempt for Ryan Reynolds to make a positive impression in the comic book world since his infamous performance in The Green Lantern. Things are already looking up this time around, though. In 2014, footage was released to the public and it immediately was embraced by fans of the stories, which prompted a faster development for the project. Deadpool will tell the origins of the superhero and a sequel is already in the works to keep the narrative going.

February is exciting for Ben Stiller fans because after 15 years, there will finally be a sequel to Zoolander. Everyone’s favorite model is back in Zoolander 2 along with dynamite stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson.

Valentine’s Day will see the opening of How to Be Single starring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson. The NYC-located film follows a group of singletons learning to embrace their relationship status in a world with ever-evolving definitions of love. The film is the result of collaboration between chick-flick writers Dana Fox, Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who adapted Liz Tuccillo’s novel of the same name.

President’s Day brings a much needed film based on the life of track and field legend Jesse Owens entitled Race. The film will star Jason Sudeikis and Stephan James. Owens fought against every barrier to race at the 1936 Olympics.

More information regarding February’s film releases can be found online.