The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (2023)

Epix, MGM's own premium channel, which also offers its service across digital platforms and the standalone Epix Now, has a movie library worthy of its corporate owner. While its original offerings sit squarely in the TV space (although Epix does have its fair share of exclusive stand-up specials, too), it's worth diving into its catalog of films if you have access -- either through the app for $5.99 $/month or as a more traditional cable add-on.

The number of films is more like Starz or Showtime than a giant streamer like Netflix or even the similarly studio-owned Paramount+. At my last count, Epix has a good 250 movies available, and of those movies, most are of a higher quality than the high percentage of filler you'd find on a gargantuan streaming service. It's got a robust selection of horror, action, and drama - not to mention loads of westerns and suchStar TrekFilm.

We've compiled a list of the best of the best, which is updated every month.

Here are the top 20 movies currently available to stream on Epix:

1.The Lost City

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Release date:1. April 2022
Director:Adam no, Aaron no
Sterne:Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Oscar Nuñez, Patti Harrison, Bowen Yang
Duration:112 minutes

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After the death of her husband, Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock), archaeologist-turned-paperback author, is reluctant to leave her house, much less go on a book tour at the behest of her doting but pushy publisher/publicist Beth (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) and the woeful millennial social media executive Allison (Patti Harrison, a star). As Trouper, Loretta slips into her uncomfortable sparkly purple jumpsuit (which is on loan) and reluctantly pulls on a fake smile onstage alongside Alan (Channing Tatum), the well-meaning but dimwitted (and yes, hot) Himbo cover model portraying the handsome Lead actor of Loretta's books, Dash McMahon. The explosive, action-packed sequences are a lot of fun and are an essential element of the adventure genre that startsThe Lost CityAside from newer, more tired blockbuster adventure/comedy fare (looking at you,Unexplored) are the humorous human moments that lead to a real connection between Loretta, Alan and the audience. Rather than resorting to the semi-ironic, "So, that's what happened" style of writing that breaks the fourth wall, directors and co-writers Adam and Aaron Nee take familiar adventure/rom-com cornerstones and repurpose them to express before finding undiscovered gems through these personal moments. They're certainly aware of the tropes being played with here - fool/wise lady romance, the framework story of Loretta's novels, the treasure-hunting villain - but they approach these tropes with a freshness that draws the audience into to deepen his characters.The Lost Citymay follow conventional genre beats, but an expert cast with an outstanding sense of humor and fresh lyrics lead to lots of laughs and a romantic adventure that turns out to be diamond in the rough.—Katarina Dokalowitsch

2.Top-Gun: Maverick

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (2)

Release date:27. May 2022
Director:Josef Kosinsky
Sterne:Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Jay Ellis, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Danny Ramirez, Greg „Tarzan“ Davis
Duration:137 minutes

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Not quite four yearsMission: Impossible - Falloutand much of Tom Cruise's purpose remains the same - when he's not growing in religious fervor. InTop-Gun: Maverick, the sequel to Tony Scott's 1986 original, Cruise is Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a man trapped in the past who refuses to pursue his career as determinedly as he refuses to do much of anything but continuing to prove he's the greatest pilot in the world - a title the film never forgets to remind audiences Maverick earned himself long ago - and mourn the loss of his best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards) , who died 35 years ago in an accident for which Maverick still feels responsible. Tom Cruise is also simply "Tom Cruise," the only notable showbiz scion who put his body in mind-numbing danger to prove it's possible to show a younger generation that movies can be what superstars can be . must do. The more modern action movies are teeming with synthetic bodies bursting apart at the synthetic seams, the more Tom Cruise builds his films as an alter on which he spreads his beautiful sacrificed flesh. To that end, Joseph Kosinski is the perfect director to helm the iconic Cruise sequel. Just like KosinskiTron: Legacy,lonerseems to exist to justify its existence to update an IP that only seems to work in the past. ForTop Gunthat means translating Scott's vision of sweat-soaked beach volleyball and all-out military spectacle into a more sober IMAX adventure that transitions from the halcyon days of Reagan's America to a world where a man like Maverick is no longer needed. "The future is coming and you are not in it," he was told; each of his superiors seems to have run out of patience for him. One can't help but imagine that every new Tom Cruise vehicle is a chance for him to reckon with it. Kosinski's dogfights are flawless, unbelievable feats of filmmaking, sparing and orbiting recognizable space but subject to occasional, inexplicable shocks of pure chaos. Then quickly connected again. If Scott's plot was a mélange of movement that was never intended to be entirely coherent, and retained the American Dream just as much, then Kosinski devotes the audience to a path into the experience. With his permanent cinematographer, Claudio Miranda, he indulges in symmetry to keep the audience engaged. A sweeping view of an overall dogfight, resembling an earlier beach scene, so suddenly appeared silently in the vast theater and unlike anything I'd ever really seen before, I gasped.House of Sinacola time to die

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Release date:8. October 2021
Director:Cary Joji Fukunaga
Sterne:Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ben Whishaw, Lashana Lynch, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Christoph Waltz
Duration:163 minutes

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It is significant that Craig's swan songno time to dieThe longest Bond ever at 163 superhero-sized minutes is unlikely to garner as much public self-flagellation as the slimmer, meaner time to dieis neither skinny nor mean; it's an arduous attempt to reconcile the Bond rituals with the emotional weight of the series finale these films have built (with mixed success) since 2006. Apparently that reconciliation process will take time: director Cary Joji Fukunaga (or rather Eon Productions, the strict stewards of the Bond franchise) is so unwilling to drop either aspect of this work that it often feels like two films in one, both feature length. The film's two-track approach is so pronounced that many of its story elements feel doubled: the opening sequence is a slightly spooky, horror-colored backstory for Lea Seydoux' Madeleine Swann (first introduced in the semi-lacklusterspook)Anda major Bond action sequence that pushes him out of retirement. It feels like 30 minutes before the opening titles finally roll. Then, after those credits, it's five years later, and the film gives us a wholeOthersBond retirement, this time in Jamaica and not Italy. If it seems like the characters, locations and plot twists keep coming back and that it's impossible not to mention the other Craig Bonds that preceded it, that's very much the experience of watchingno time to die– and not always uncomfortable. If you can accept a Bond saga-fiction, with callbacks and storylines and connections, it's at least less of a Forever franchise than the endlessly self-teasing superhero mythologies (ironic, considering these are themostforever from franchise). This film really wants to tie together the extended Craig era - the longest in years, if not in overall performance. Despite the crafts on displayno time to diePantheon-level Bond action sequences are missing. Kuba is insanely fun, Fukunaga pulls off a solid late-movie one-take stair fight, and the big/delayed opener delivers. But the film is more concerned with the human stuff, a choice that is by turns pretentious, encouraging and unprecedented. (Well, not quite.On Her Majesty's Secret Servicetries something else, and the filmmakers here show their belated appreciation for this once-maligned Bond classic.) The emotional weight it tries to impose on its loyal audience doesn't always feel deserved simply because it's difficult to analyze what , if anything, the film actually tries to talk about a James Bond who spent the bulk of five films beginning and ending, sometimes on a loop. But fans might appreciate the chance to watch the show fight against its conventions: like, are those performances good, or are all the good ones just plain beautiful? Is this movie visually gorgeous or was it just shot on film? Has James Bond been deepened or just weathered? As neat asno time to dieFinally, his certainty is limited to the last line of the credits: James Bond Will Return. How is a completely different question.—Jesse Hassenger

(Video) 15 Epic TV Series and Movies Releasing in January 2023

4.Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (4)

Release date:8. April 2022
Director:Jeff Fowler
Sterne:James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, Lee Majdoub, Idris Elba, Jim Carrey
Duration:122 minutes

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Director Jeff FowlerSonic the Hedgehog 2rushes forward as a sequel that pleases as any sequel should. The momentum continues, fan-favorite characters enter the fray, and the presence of the cinematic universe intensifies. The firstSonic the Hedgehogis an adorable buddy comedy about an alien Blur and his protector Donut Lord.Sonic the Hedgehog 2feels more like Sonic's video game adventures as it teams up with Tails, faces Knuckles and hunts down the Master Emerald. It's a soothing video game adaptation: heartwarming childhood lessons will delight all ages as Sonic transcends his original blueprints to become the next-level hero once projected from black plastic Sega cartridges. Eat your heart out, Mario. Jim Carrey continues his dominance as the mustache-twirling villain Dr. Robotnik, who uses dental floss, gives another master class in physical comedy, and conveys more reach through his facial expressions than entire comedy troupes. Carrey is an unstoppable force, drawing from his glorious '90s catalogue, especially when the action kicks in and his gesticulating stupidity becomes onePacific RimSituation. I don't see shock on my face as I type these words: It's so fulfilling to see Carrey play that kind of insane lunatic again. All this would be nothing without clean animation, andSonic the Hedgehog 2picturesquely impressed. Kudos to the collaboration between Marza Animation Planet, Moving Picture Company and DNEG - the mix of live action and computerized creatures is essentially flawless. The spikes and pelts in bright reds, the deepest blues, and warm yellows are vividly detailed, and the destruction that stretches from Green Hills to Hawaii could rival most blockbuster disaster movies. fans ofSonic the Hedgehogare in good hands withSonic the Hedgehog 2. Fowler quietly raises the bar for video game adaptations by building a cinematic universe that eloquently recounts childhood experiences through Sonic's adrenaline junkie antics. The addition of Tails and Knuckles is a dynamic level-up that will leave fans wanting more, not to mention the pop in my theater during the film's mid-credits scene.Sonic the Hedgehog 2might momentarily lose itself in kid craziness, which certainly frays some storylines, but the reasons we're here - Knuckles, Tails, Sonic, more Eggman - are all enthusiastically respected. I am happySchallFan after Fowler's high-speed sequel.—Matt Donato

5.candy man

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (5)

Release date:27. August 2021
Director:Nia DaCosta
Sterne:Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Tony Todd, Vanessa Estelle Williams
Duration:91 minutes

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The problem with writingcandy manis that you must inevitably write "Candyman" five times. What if my monitor suddenly goes blank and I see a paranormal entity rocking a long shearling skirt behind my dark reflection? Unlike many of the white Chicagoans in writer/director Nia DaCosta's slasher sequel, I'm not stupid enough to tempt the Near North Side's Bloody Mary. However, I'm still drawn to their update of the legend, which manages to take the original film's bits and pieces and put them back together in a compelling, reclamative collage. Ignore the restcandy manSeries in favor of a direct sequel to Bernard Rose's allegorically rich 1992 slasher, DaCosta introduces fancy pants artist Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) to the same urban legend who consumed Lookie Loo student Helen Lyle. Clive Barker adapted the original story to racism and wealth inequality in the United States—especially Chicago and even more specifically Chicago's Cabrini-Green projects. Now its houses and skyscrapers have been demolished or abandoned. A huge Target overlooks the northwest border, where you can shop for sporting goods and grab an on-site Starbucks before heading to Panera Bread. Gentrification may have plastered history neatly, but that history cannot be erased so easily. "A story like that -- such a pain -- takes forever," says Colman Domingo's longtime scrubber, Burke. "This is Candyman." DaCosta makes it clear that Anthony is more drawn to the legend, to the story, than Helen ever was, and in turn actualizes her fears. The nightmarish apartments and rotten bathrooms that Helen had crawled through and photographed accurately reflected the creature that haunted her; but the projects have been paved, and Candyman insists. DaCosta photographs the city accordingly, either in dividing straight lines or completely distorted: you never notice how Marina City's spiers look like beehives until they're turned upside down. Spurred on by Anthony's interest, Candyman is now an inevitable part of any reflective surface. You can't take your eyes off DaCosta's inspired compositions and layouts, your eyes are drawn from one dark corner to the nextinvisible man-like mastery of negative space. One day you think she'll run out of ideas on how to shoot a mirror kill. Not so, especially in her world of pervasive, physically and mentally painful self-reflection. While the killings, committed by a being mostly only seen in mirrors, are sometimes a little too obscured by their shenanigans to be viscerally satisfying, they fit the film's themes and aesthetic perfectly, even if they are do not drain cascades of blood. The power of martyrdom, the cycles of economic exploitation, the blood price expected of progress—even when these ideas are imperfectly treated, they are introduced so convincingly that they solidifycandy manas a horror to be seen and a tragedy to be discussed.—Jakob Oller

6.Paranormal Activity

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (6)

Director:ore game

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Here is a statement:Paranormal Activityis the most unfairly derided horror film of the last decade, especially by horror fans. Here's what happens after a massive overnight success and immediately derived, inferior sequels: the original being dragged down by its descendants. The originalParanormal Activityis a masterful piece of budget filmmaking. For $15,000, Oren Peli made and surpassed what is probably the most effective "for the price" horror film ever releasedThe Blair Witchin terms of suspense and narrative while delivering incredibly unnerving minimalist effects. Yes, there are some silly "I'm in a horror movie" character choices, and yes, Micah Sloat's "Get out so I can hit you, demon!" attitude is unnerving, but so calculated. Sloat reflects the toxic attitude of the "man of the house," a guy who would rather be terrorized than accept outside help. Meanwhile, Katie Featherston's realistic portrayal as a young woman slowly disintegrating is a thing of beauty. But beyond performances or effects,Paranormal Activityis a brilliant case study of how to slowly build tension and raise an audience's blood pressure. I know: I saw this film in theaters when it was still a limited release and I can honestly say I've never been in a cinema audience that was more scared. How could I say that? Because they wereseain those moments of calm from any terror (the most surefire sign of all: when a young man turns to his friends to assure them how not nervous he is). This was just such an event - there were actually ushers at the entrance ramps throughout the film, onlyWatching the audience watch the film. I've never experienced that again. Mock all you want but the arrival ofParanormal Activityscared us to death.– Jim Vorel

7.Liquorice Pizza

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (7)

Release date:26. November 2021
Director:Paul Thomas Anderson
Sterne:Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie
Duration:133 minutes

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Liquorice Pizzais writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's second ode to Los Angeles in the early 1970s: a city fresh in the shadow of the Manson Family murders and the end of the Vietnam War. But while in his first tribute,Inherent Vice, curious counterculture enthusiast Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) takes a serious look at his surroundings, following threads from societal paranoia to vampiric drug smuggling operations and FBI conspiracies.Liquorice PizzaThe protagonist of , 25-year-old Alana Kane (Alana Haim), refuses to follow such a thread. A bored, disoriented photographer's assistant, Alana nonchalantly rejects any simple plot point that might help us understand her character. What are your ambitions? She doesn't know, she tells successful 15-year-old actor Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman, son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) over dinner at a restaurant called Tail o' the Cock. What interests and excites you? It's difficult to say. When Gary first approaches Alana while she's working on photo day at his high school, it's hard to imagineLiquorice Pizzawill not follow the playful design of a sunny Southern California love story. Alana is instantly weird and eye-catching, and when Anderson pictures her in a languid dolly shot with a mini skirt, kitten heels, slumped shoulders and a delightfully pissed-off expression, we have to fall in love with Gary, at first sight, as Gary does. Of course, Anderson is quick to dismiss the notionLiquorice Pizzabecomes a simple romance. Anderson knows that this ambling, disjointed structure reflects what it's like to be young, awkward, and in love. Each shot, filled with dreamy pastels, exudes youthful nostalgia. Anderson and cinematographer Michael Bauman balance this blur with unique camera control, implementing long takes, slow dollies and lots of contemplative panning. How does Alana benefit from being friends with someone ten years her junior? And why does Gary always come back to Alana, even when she's trying her best to finish him off? It's like gliding happily through the streets of L.A. in the midst of a city-wide crisis, it's a madness that can only truly be understood by living it.—Aurora Amidon

(Video) Top TV Shows Premiering in January 2023 | Rotten Tomatoes TV

8.Once upon a time in the west

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (8)

Director:Sergio Leone
Sterne:Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, Frank Wolff
Duration:165 minutes

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Let's get that out of the way:Once upon a time in the westis as great as they come and one of the most influential westerns of its time. But after the movie is about 20 minutes over, it's hard not to wonder how the remaining 150 will fit them. Sergio Leone's film is so deliberately fast paced and unhurried that by the time we meet Charles Bronson's harmonica-playing gunman for the first time, we feel like we've sat through an entire feature film. That doesn't sound like much of a compliment, but Leone's talent for stretching seconds into minutes and minutes into hours is made all the more amazing because we feel so little of the passage of time.Once upon a time in the westis really cinematic, a wormhole that slowly takes us into its world of killers and tycoons, bandits and landowners, revenge and righteousness. There's a reason Leone's masterpiece is considered one of the greatest films of all time and not just one of the great Westerns:Once upon a time in the westis an enduring monument to its era, its genre, and filmmaking itself.– Andy Crump

9.donkey forever

Director:Jeff Tremaine
Sterne:Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Danger Ehren, Wee Man, Preston Lacy, Zach Holmes, Jasper Dolphin, Rachel Wolfson, Sean McInerney
Duration:96 minutes

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On paper,donkey foreverworks perfectly in sync with any other long gap nostalgia sequel/revival used to shore up various streaming services or the weak theatrical experience. It comes 11 years and changes after a second sequel to a film based on (and very similar to) a TV series, bringing back as much of its core cast as possible to have more of it, and even circles in some cases rewatch certain sequences from previous installments. Just like previous versions,donkey foreveropens with a more staged action sequence that seems designed to blow the remaining budget money into a larger expression of the project's grody mood. It isDonkey, again again. Two factors helpdonkey forevertemper that trendy sameness and then transcend it. One is the durability ofDonkeyhimself, which - in case you somehow missed it - consists of ringleader Johnny Knoxville and various skater-neighboring gits who pull off a variety of stunts and pranks that blur the line between primitive sketch comedy and sophisticated geek show. The second factor also has to do with this longevity. Let any movie or TV series run long enough and it will at least partially live past its own age and timeDonkeydoesn't get too cutesy sentimental about how long these boys have been in each other's lives and ours, it's inescapably aware of that fact. In some sequences, Knoxville's hair is a distinguished, tousled gray; On more than one occasion, Steve-O swings and/or fetches his fake front tooth ("They're falling like flies," he grins, half ruefully). In an early sequence, Knoxville jokes about the camera having to avoid capturing his bald spot. Spike Jonze, a longtime colleague who only appears occasionally on camera, rushes on with some spray paint to cover it up. Well into their 40s, these guys still surprise each other with taser zaps, enter slapstick contests where everyone loses, and use each other to prop up bike ramps. This is, as the saying goes, a feature, not a bug. That friendliness goes a long way: casual viewers' mileage can vary depending on which stunts are laugh-out-loud fun and which are terrifying, and the rickety carnival rollercoaster ride works better when the other passengers -- whether other bystanders or the on-camera talent -- scream and laugh at the same time. Feeling more like a host than ever, Knoxville himself jumps into the fray for select parts, including a curtain call from hell for his closer. He was good at feature films, but he's never quite as comfortable on screen as he is overseeing this particular kind of chaos. He moderates everyoneDonkeyFilm like he might never get the chance to do it again -- an unspoken threat that looms over this one like never before. Finally, running this series as Richard Linklater or Richard Linklater may not be physically feasible7 bis-like chronicle of slapstick performance art. Then again,Foreveris right in the title.—Jesse Hassenger

10.Rosmarins Baby

Director:Roman Polansky
Sterne:Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer
Duration:136 minutes

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The banality of evil isn't a new concept to the horror genre, but in the restless hands of Roman Polanski, this banality is a pristine expression of the institutionalized horror so ingrained in our society it becomes practically organic. WithRosmarins Baby, the body of young Rosemary (Mia Farrow) is the institution through which Satan's wickedness spreads, a body over which everyone but Rosemary herself seems to have every control. At the mercy of her overbearing neighbors (played by the absolutely perfect Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer), her great-Dudebro husband Guy (John Cassavetes), and the doctor (Ralph Bellamy) recommended by her high-society cadre of new friends, Rosemary is treated as if she is the last person who knows what is best for her and her fetus - a position she naturally accepts. She's just a woman, and a housewife at that, so that's her lot. The worse she feels and the more strained her pregnancy gets - and the recurring flashes of a horrid dream she can't quite shake off, in which a bearpig climbs onto her, whose bright yellow eyes are the talismans of her trauma - the clearer Rosemary becomes suspect that she is an unwilling pawn in something cosmically insidious. SheIs, is the absurd truth: She is the mother of Satan's offspring, the victim of a coven's will to worship her Dark Lord much more fruitfully. More than the director's bold Hollywood debut, not to mention an omen of what New Hollywood would be willing to do to tear down tradition,Rosmarins Babyis a groundbreaking horror film because it's as ordinary as it issimply, crushing a woman's spirit and taking her life is for everyone else in Rosemary's life. The baby is said to have "his father's eyes"; What did he get from his mother?– House Sinacola

11.The quiet man

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Director:John Ford
Sterne:John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara
Duration:129 minutes

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(Video) What's New on Hulu in January 2023

In contemporary terms, John Ford's 1952 comedy/drama/romance, set in Ireland, is both straight out of its time and charmingly outside of it. On the minus side, there's its thorny gender politics. Though female love interest, Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara), displays a vivacity and will for agency that might be considered proto-feminist to modern eyes, she is ultimately at the mercy of the hyper-masculine ex-boxer Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who is finally forced to use the violent side he so desperately wants to escape to consummate their marriage. The fact that Sean is an American - although he is of Irish descent and was born in Innisfree, the village he returns to in the film - and Mary Kate is a lifelong Irishman also lends a slightly imperialist edge to their dynamic. And yet, for the most part, Ford disarms criticism simply by his lyrical sensibility, reserves of deep emotion, and human attention to character detail. The Technicolor Ireland fromThe quiet manis clearly a lush dreamscape: a time-lapsed haven of warm romance and even warmer community. Not that it's necessarily paradise, as Sean feels to some extent handicapped by Irish traditions that run counter to his much more direct American upbringing. But this isn't the dark and brutal vision of Ford's eventual 1956 masterpieceThe Seekers, featuring an outlaw who finds himself constantly unable to fit into an established order. Here, in the looser and lighter heartsThe quiet man, Sean and the Irish locals eventually find common ground, albeit through a pervertedly extended brawl that plays like a cleansing male bonding session.– Kenji Fujishima

12.Star Trek Into Darkness

Director:JJ Abrams
Sterne:Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Alice Eve
Duration:132 minutes

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After a well-received re-Whatever the Kelvin Universe Is,Star Trek Into Darknessmay seem like a ready-made blockbuster and classic, but while it was considered the former, it's hard to give it the latter. Too often, director J.J. Abrams relies on awkward dialogue that doubles as directorial subtitles for character arcs and plot developments. (A second insertion/reminder of what will be the deus ex machina for one of these developments is particularly poorly executed.) And while it's loaded with enough plot points, it serves as a powerful meditation on the dangers of getting caught up in the name stray counteracting the threat of another,Star Trek Into Darknessdoesn't wrestle with such problems so much as slaps them on the butt in passing. Granted, that's not necessarily inconsistent with Roddenberry's universe, where humanity's better angels rule in the end (alternate timeline or not). With all the photon torpedoes, warp drives, and matter transmitters, this optimism about human nature is perhaps the most fantastic element of all.– Michael Burgin

13.The Wolf of Snow Hollow

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (10)

Director:Jim Cummings
Sterne:Jim Cummings, Robert Forster, Riki Lindhome, Chloe East, Jimmy Tatro, Kevin Changaris, Skyler Bible, Demetrius Daniels
Duration:83 minutes

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Snow Hollow Police Officer John Marshall (Cummings) balances AA meetings with the struggles of raising his teenage daughter Jenna (Chloe East), caring for his ailing father Hadley (Forster), and maintaining diplomatic ties with his ex and to conduct an affair Lid on his Vulcan temper. When a woman (Annie Hamilton) is blown to pieces on a weekend visit to John's home town, a ski resort, just moments before her boyfriend (Jimmy Tatro) is about to propose to her, John pushes his limits and beyond in his pursuit of the killer out. which everyone concludes with amazing rapidity is more werewolf than human. The tripping nature of his peers and subordinates and the ass backwardness of Snow Hollow himself seem like gasoline the way it is. The consensus that the town is being attacked by a mythical creature is the straw that causes the vein in John's throat to tighten with anger.The Wolf of Snow Hollowlands in the space where horror and humor meet, bringing laughter to grief and custody battles. Cumming's laugh is the kind that signals uneasiness: his punchlines are razor sharp, making the awkwardness surrounding the film easier to drown. Seeing a cop get physical with someone who pushes their buttons enough triggers convolutions. When his colleague Bo (Kevin Changaris) accidentally says too much about the murders in front of reporters, John calls him to a snowdrift and starts punching the poor sucker around, a moment that would tip over into pure obscurity without the help of a merry soundtrack and the slapstick of their melee. Regardless, the point is clear: John is nervous, and his nervousness is surprisingly amusing. The ironic, biting banter thereThe Wolf of Snow Hollowskin tingles, and the restrained use of FX gives it excitement. At just under 80 minutes, that economy is key. It's not so much that the horror is increased as it is controlled. But rather than jingling with the innate ferocity of the werewolf niche, Cummings' control over his material lends the film a certain freshness. He tames the monster in man so that man is all that's left, for better or for worse. John isn't perfect, but an imperfect man doesn't have to be an animal.– Andy Crump


Director:Parker Finn
Sterne:Sauce Bacon, Kyle Gallner
Duration:116 minutes

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SmileTrue students of the horror genre, devotees of the dark tradition, might not be impressed, but for novices and those easily frightened or sensitive, it's a gruesome and macabre thriller that attempts to talk about trauma while its characters struggle to cope unpack. The film moves between and draws on the traditions of recent "sublime" horror and the sensational exploitation films of the late 20th century. Its main direction is a curse film reminiscent of films from the mid '00s to the 2010s, such asThe resentmentAndIt follows, while also sharing some of its mood and structure with psychological-supernatural horrorDaniel is not real, another film about trauma that triggers a supernatural violent streak.Smileis largely a film about fear, hopelessness and the inability to escape the inevitable. It manages to build up those feelings while thriving on jump scares, of which there are many. Of course, to build up maximum suspense, the camera and the music sometimes make us believe that someone is coming who isn't. For some viewers, however, this may tire his welcomeSmilehad me on the ropes all the time. Despite some stupiditiesSmilesuccessfully builds and reproduces fear. While it uses trauma as a narrative theme, it doesn't feel entirely exploitative or superficial. Because the haunting is clearly taking place, the trauma talk doesn't feel like a red herring, but more like a parallel conversation. While genre veterans can effectively point out what and where to lean,Smilewill terrify casual horror fans. It's creepy, terrifying and edgy.—Kevin Fox jr.


The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (11)

Director:Alexander Payne
Sterne:Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein
Duration:102 minutes

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Tom Perrotta writes novels that strip the veneer of polite and "civilized" Central American suburban life to expose it for the Starbucks jungle it is: the most reptilian impulses of human nature can strike at any moment to dismantle the weak within the pack , or at least flirting with purely narcissistic and hedonistic behavior. In fact, two great films based on his work outline this thematic connection - in Todd FieldsSmall children, the sexual indiscretions of small-town characters are told like an old-school National Geographic documentary, and Alexander PaynesWahl, the soundtrack blares with a screeching, angry tribal chant whenever a character feels offended and prepares to attack to socially destroy an enemy. Perrotta and Payne's tale explores a rift between a high school teacher, Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), who lacks the confidence to realize how much of a selfish jerk he is, and a student, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon). . , the embodiment of blind and ruthless ambition, in the election to appoint the new student body president. Behind this simple tale lies a precise and nimble exploration of the efforts anyone can make on the road to success to protect their fragile ego while stabbing many backs. Witherspoon's now iconic version of Tracy Flick is the embodiment of that person we've all encountered, who will do and say literally anything to get ahead in life. However, Broderick's seemingly caring and guiding teacher also succumbs to his own lowest desires. Who goes down and who comes on top does not depend on some preconceived cosmic hierarchy of good morals (or ethics - what's the difference?), but on who can be the brightest and smartest animal in the pack.—Oktay Ege Kozak

16.Orphan: First kill

Director:William Brent Bell
Sterne:Isabelle Fuhrman, Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland
Duration:99 minutes

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William Brent Bell, the director ofOrphan: First kill(and not the first film), knows a thing or two about squirming out of a tight spot to boldly push forward with a horror sequel: He's continued his ownThe young, another well-twisted horror film, with a sequel that attempted to take a newly minted gimmick-slasher in a different, franchise-sustaining direction. What Bell wins is a neo-scream queen in Isabelle Fuhrman, the in-betweenOrphanedMovies explored psychological depthsThe noviceand was cut out of oneescape room 2Subplot (Restored in an extended version of the home video). She returns to take a look at Esther's early years; The film begins with her locked up in an asylum in Eastern Europe before escaping and posing as the long-missing daughter of Tricia (Julia Stiles) and Allen (Rossif Sutherland). This means that where a 12-year-old Fuhrman once played a secretive 33-year-old, here she's trying to pass for a 10-year-old at her real age of 25. This isn't exactly a plot twist, but it offers a bold new definition of the circle of life and an acting challenge that's in its own way as boldly bold as the original film's twist. Perhaps more so considering it needs to be dealt with in the beginning and not in an over-the-top climax. Bell and screenwriter David Coggeshall, working from a story from the originalOrphanedScreenwriters David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Alex Mace build on the gothic aggression of the first film. They wrestle knowing laughter from the bizarre sense of routine while deftly exploiting the fact that while the family may sound familiar, it is Esther that audiences now know better. Fuhrman has great fun breaking them inBeginnerdetermination into a less contradictory character, and Stiles is almost as delightful in performing a different kind of time warp: Known for her seeming sophistication as a teen star, her obligatory buttoned-up horror mom role turns out to be something of a hoot. The whole movie really is, as it distorts a decidedly modern franchise expansion through a hall of haunted house mirrors and shatters their silliness over decades. Accordingly,Orphan: First killisn't a particularly scary film, nor is its class warfare commentary particularly subtle or insightful. However, by the sheer power of personality, these elements are rendered immaterial. Like Esther, the film has a keen sense of how to weaponize its own boldness.—Jesse Hassenger

17.Night of the Living Dead

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (12)

Director:George A. Romero
Sterne:Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Ridley, Keith Wayne
Evaluation:N / A
Duration:96 minutes

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What is there else to sayNight of the Living Dead? It's quite obviously the most important zombie movie ever made, and hugely influential as an independent film as well. George Romero's cheap but significant film was a quantum leap in the meaning of the word "zombie" in pop culture, although the word "zombie" is never actually pronounced in it. More importantly, all the genre rules have been laid: zombies are reanimated corpses. Zombies are forced to eat the flesh of the living. Zombies are thoughtless, tireless, and impervious to injury. The only way to kill a zombie is to destroy the brain. These rules essentially categorize every single zombie movie from now on -- either the movie features "zombies Romero-style," or it adapts the formula and ultimately is known for how it differs from the standard Romero. It's essentially the horror equivalent of what Tolkien did for the idea of ​​high fantasy "races". AfterLord of the Ringsit became almost impossible to write opposing concepts about what elves, dwarves or orcs could be like. Romero's impact on zombies is of exactly the same caliber. Not a zombie movie has been made in 50+ years that hasn't been influenced in some way by it, and you can hardly talk about anything involving zombies unless you've seen it - so get out there and watch if you haven't have. The film still holds up well, especially in its moody cinematography and stark black-and-white imagery of zombie arms reaching through the windows of a rural farmhouse. Oh and by the way—NOTLDis in the public domain so don't be fooled into buying it on a shoddy DVD.– Jim Vorel


Director:Alexander Payne

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The first question at the press conference in Cannes forNebraskaAlexander Payne's film explored why the director chose to shoot his comedy-drama in black and white. It's an understandable request. Studios don't like black-and-white films from a commercial perspective, and because Payne's films emphasize character and dialogue, they aren't necessarily considered to have great cinematic qualities, which might call for such a flashy look. But after seeing the movie, the choice makes more than a little sense. Payne doesn't use black and white to make his film great. On the contrary, he uses colorlessness to illustrate the tiny, still existence of his characters. To paraphrase a line from Paul Simon: Your life is so mundane it practically disappears.—Tim Grierson

19.The Phantom of the Opera

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Director:Rupert Julian
Sterne:Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin
Duration:79 minutes

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BeforeDraculaand the official birth of Universal Horror was herePhantom of the Opera. (By the way, it's a shame none of the major streamers, including Netflix and Shudder, have the rights to show all the classic Universal Monster series. I want to be able to watchFrankensteins SohnorThe wolf manstream on demand one day folks! Get those license deals!) Regardless, it's nice that Shudder has at least one of those old classics since it's in the public domain. This is the original version ofPhantom, starring Lon Chaney Sr., the "Man of a Thousand Faces." The pacing is slow, the style of acting on display is rather foreign to today — overdramatic holdovers from the vaudeville era — and you know how the classic story goes, but man: Chaney's face. He's one of horror's truly iconic faces alongside Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Chaney's own son, Lon Chaney Jr., who would go on to play The Wolf Man.Phantom of the Operais essential to Chaney's self-designed makeup that reportedly had theatergoers swooning in the aisles in 1925.– Jim Vorel

20.The Wolf of Wall Street

The 20 Best Movies on Epix Right Now (January 2023) (14)

Director:Martin Scorsese

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The decade has been both nice and not so nice to good old Marty, ten years full of bad times that question his directorial credentialsBe silentfor denying Marvel films the honor of “movies” because he had to shower audiences en masse after screenings ofThe Wolf of Wall Street. And yet it is impossible to keep him down; Immune to controversy and thriving on lively debate, his chronicle of the life, times, and crimes of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) at age 70 — a stockbroker and inveterate con man who has bilked over 1,000 schlemiels, dorks and Losing billions (and getting away easily) - feels like something directed by an artist half his age.The Wolf of Wall Streetis a sour film. It's also a horny, perverted, brutal, impeccably made and basically hideous film. With each passing image, Scorsese's white-hot rage burns at the edges of the frame. The director has his own issues and conflicts with his Christian faith, but here his presence is felt as an angry deity judging the fun Belfort has as he pranks his clients, fucks his first wife, jerks off and makes his second wife more punch in three hours than Scorsese himself did in the 1970s and 80s. The slight slap to this film is that it supports the financial bro culture it navigates throughout its run, because at no point does Scorsese impose fabricated morals on what is happening before us; Instead, he plays the hits the way Belfort wrote them, showing audiences exactly what Belfort was doing running his Stratton Oakmont company and running on his spouses. That the film finally ends with Belfort on the prowl again is the ultimate indictment: being rich let this man get away with financial murder, because in the end, being rich makes everything better. "Being rich makes everything better" is the lived philosophy of the film for some, butThe Wolf of Wall Streetdoes not appreciate the display of wealth out of hand. It insults her. Scorsese puts energy into the film, a source in his every greedy step; one could call such debauchery a "good time" without consequences. ButThe Wolf of Wall Streetdoesn't care so much about that kind of time as hanging Belfort out to dry.– Andy Crump


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