Here are all the movies to catch in Chinese theaters this January.
Now Playing: Bleeding Steel
Jackie Chan stars in this sci-fi thriller as a special forces agent assigned to protect a young woman from a gang with scientifically modified villains. Directed and written by Leo Zhang and featuring an international cast, the film received lukewarm reception from critics for its old-school-style stunts and slapstick gags.
January 5: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Picking up where 2016’s The Force Awakens left off, this anticipated second installment of the Star Wars ‘sequel trilogy’ continues to explore the mystery behind Rey’s (Daisey Ridley) true identity. The star-studded cast includes the return of Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, plus newcomers Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro. Critics have raved about the film, comparing the strength of its storytelling to that of the original 80s trilogy. The Last Jedi also features Carrie Fisher’s final performance before her passing in 2016, and producers dedicated the film to her.
January 12: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas star in this sequel to the hit 1995 film based on the popular children's book. Taking place 21 years after the original, the film follows four teens who have been transported into the video game world of Jumanji, where they navigate through the jungle as their selected avatars. The family-friendly action comedy has received average approval ratings from critics, who have said it's an entertaining but not too overly nostalgic update on the original.
January 12: Suburbicon
Featuring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac, this satirical crime thriller follows one family after a home invasion unnerves their suburban 1950s neighborhood. Directed by George Clooney and written by the Coen brothers and Grant Heslov, the film was a box office bomb in the US and received mostly negative reviews from disappointed critics.
January 19: Ferdinand
This 3D animated film from 20th Century Fox follows the story of a giant bull with a big heart (voiced by John Cena) who must find his way back home with the help of a group of misfits. Also featuring characters voiced Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale and Gina Rodriguez, this animated adventure flick has been deemed by critics as fun for the whole family.
January 19: Jackie
In this acclaimed biopic centered on the immediate aftermath of JFK’s assassination, Natalie Portman gives a riveting performance as Jackie Kennedy. The film is loosely based on a Life Magazine interview Kennedy gave in 1963 about her husband’s death, and Portman will be a strong Oscar contender thanks to her nuanced and emotionally rich performance. The film is also notable for casting Danish actor Caspar Phillipson as JFK – though he’s onscreen for less than 10 minutes, his portrayal shocked viewers thanks to his uncanny physical resemblance to the former US president.
January 19: Wonder
This film adapation of R.J. Palacio's 2012 bestselling novel of the same name tells the inspiring story of August Pullman (portrayed by Jacob Tremblay), a fifth grade student with a facial deformity who tries to fit in at a mainstream school for the first time. Also starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, this heartwarming drama has received generally positive reactions from critics.
January 26: Maze Runner: The Death Cure
The final installment of the sci-fi dystopian Maze Runner trilogy follows Thomas (played by Dylan O'Brien) as he leads a group of Gladers on their deadliest adventure through the maze. Intially scheduled to be released globally last year, the film was postponed after O'Brien sustained serious injuries during production.
January 30: Happy Death Day
In this slasher film, Jessica Rothe portrays Tree Gelbman, a college student who must relive the day of her murder on loop until she learns the identity of her killer. Critics have given it mostly positive reviews, describing it as "Scream-meets-Groundhog Day."