From "The Alienist" to 'Insidious': 11 Top Picks for January

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 6 months ago

IMDb Editors highlight the major movies and TV shows we most want to see this month.

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Daniel Brühl in The Alienist (2018)

"The Alienist"

I've been looking for a good early 19th century crime-drama since the brilliant "Ripper Street" came to a close, and if "The Alienist" is anything like the best selling 1994 Caleb Carr novel it was based on, then this one will be a solid replacement. I'm not the only one excited for this period-drama murder mystery, IMDb's users ranked "The Alienist" the most anticipated TV series of 2018. The story revolves around a series of gruesome murders and the newspaper reporter, criminal psychologist, and police secretary who team up to solve the crime in 1890's New York. Can't wait for this one! — Vanessa

"The Alienist" premieres Friday, Jan. 22 on TNT

Paddington 2 (2017)

Paddington 2

It is a rare sequel that can improve on the original but Paddington 2 brings even more laughter, warmth, and tear-jerking moments than the first movie. Great word of mouth and a hugely enjoyable performance from Hugh Grant as the dastardly villain helped secure its position as one of the U.K. box office hits of 2017, ahead of the likes of Thor: Ragnarok. Plus, the film’s message of kindness, civility, and cultural acceptance is wholly appropriate in these troubled times. — Michael

Paddington 2 opens in U.S. theaters Friday, Jan. 12

Max Greenfield and Darren Criss in American Crime Story (2016)

"American Crime Story"

For the second season of anthology series "American Crime Story," viewers will revisit assassination of Gianni Versace, who was gunned down in front of his Miami home in the summer of 1997. But this true-crime series, which helped a nation reconsider the individuals and intrigues ensconced within the O.J. Simpson case in Season 1, will do more than just depict the South-Beach life of Versace, his designer sister, and the fashion empire he created. It will also turn focus on Versace's peculiar and totally preventable murderer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). The series is as much about Cunanan's responsibility for Versace's death as it is about a community's. — Bret

"American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace" premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17, on FX.

Anna Paquin in Bellevue (2017)


Since "True Blood" bowed in 2014, Anna Paquin has tackled some varied and meaty roles, including a part in the 2016 revival of "Roots," which earned her critical acclaim. But the Oscar winner's work in WGN America's "Bellevue" is some of her most interesting and challenging to date. In this crime drama, which actually debuted on CBC in early 2017, Paquin plays Anna Ryder, a complex, hardened cop investigating the disappearance of a transgender teen. Set in a small Canadian town, the series, on which Paquin also serves as executive producer, tackles some large, weighty issues, many of which affect locales everywhere. I'm eager to see Sookie Stackhouse sink her teeth into another memorable dramatic performance. — Bret

"Bellevue" premieres Tuesday, Jan. 23, on WGN America.

Thad Luckinbill, Navid Negahban, and Chris Hemsworth in 12 Strong (2018)

12 Strong

I spent a sandblasted day on the set of this film, and its commitment to being an old-school war movie with limited special effects and a revealing look at how American forces worked with Afghan military forces and civilians in the initial responses to 9/11 are the main reasons I'm not letting it pass by in a quiet month for major releases. A note from behind these scenes: It's easy to respect a film set that serves Afghan food to its cast and crew since that is the production's predominant nationality. — Arno

12 Strong opens in U.S. theaters Friday, Jan. 19

Blue Planet II (2017)

"Planet Earth: Blue Planet II"

Breathtaking visuals and heart-stopping drama made this wildlife series the most-watched show of 2017 in the U.K., amassing around 17 million viewers across TV and online — 5 million more than watched the first "Blue Planet" in 2001. Now U.S. viewers will be given the chance to see fish snatching birds out of mid-air, an octopus that can disguise itself using shells, and crabs making death-defying dashes from moray eels. After spending four years making the series — filming more than 6,000 hours across 39 countries — the results are nothing short of spectacular. — Michael

"Planet Earth: Blue Planet II" premieres Saturday, Jan 20, simulcast across BBC America, AMC, IFC, WE tv and SundanceTV. Remaining episodes will air Saturday's on BBC America.

Lin Shaye and Javier Botet in Insidious: The Last Key (2018)

Insidious: The Last Key

If you're counting down the days to Halloween 2018, you'll get a nice touch of shivers to come with Insidious: The Last Key, the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise. This time, parapsychologist Elise Rainier returns to her childhood home to investigate disturbances therein. Just the thing to shake off those post-holiday blues! — Pam

Insidious: The Last Key opens in U.S. theaters Friday, Jan. 5

J.K. Simmons in Counterpart (2017)


I've been looking forward to this sci-fi, multi-reality, spy-thriller since the intriguing trailer dropped earlier this year in which government worker Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) was introduced to his alternate reality, deadlier version of himself. On the very surface "Counterpart" gives off a "Fringe" meets "Homeland" vibe, two shows that I loved, but I suspect it will be much more. I can't wait to see how the conspiracy unfolds across the mirror universes. — Vanessa

"Counterpart" premieres Thursday, Jan. 21, on STARZ

Taraji P. Henson in Proud Mary (2018)

Proud Mary

Taraji P. Henson has a few projects coming out in 2018 and they all have their unique appeal, such as this genre movie that positions its star as an in control — but not impenetrable — assassin who isn't interested in recycling typical anti-hero tropes. If Proud Mary ultimately plays like Léon meets Sheba, Baby then I will be one satisfied ticket holder. — Arno

Proud Mary opens in U.S. theaters Friday, Jan. 12

America's Next Top Model (2003)

"America's Next Top Model"

"America's Next Top Model" will return for its 24th season and there are plenty of reasons to smize. Tyra is back as host, along with her new crew of judges (minus, of course, Rita Ora). For the 14 models competing this season, there was no age limit (one contestant is 34!), height limit, and bodies range in all sizes. Plus, guest appearances will include "noted fashion photographer" Nigel Barker, Season 3 winner Eva Marcille, as well as "RuPaul’s Drag Race" queens Katya, Valentina, and Manila Luzon for a special crossover episode. Needless to say, this season will be fierce. — Michelle

Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on VH1

Kerry Washington in Scandal (2012)


I will admit that the series has felt off-kilter this season with a power-hungry Olivia, but I am committed to stick with it until the end. As we enter the final stretch to the series finale, I have faith that Shonda will course-correct and give Papa Pope his bones back, hand B613 over to Jake, and somehow get Olivia up to Vermont to make jam with Fitz. — Michelle

Returns Thursday, Jan. 18, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC