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New in Theaters January 26: Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Hostiles

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By Chris Kavan - 01/25/18 at 06:45 AM CT

It has been the Jumanji show for the last three weekends, but there is a good chance a tween franchise will finally be able to dethrone it. While Maze Runner hasn't been Harry Potter or Hunger Games huge, it has enough of a following that is should be able to top a six-week old film, no matter how good it is. The only other film is the expansion of a western drama with Christian Bale in the lead. We'll see if Maze Runner is enough to breath decent life to close out January.

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE While I never read the books, I have watched the first two Maze Runner films. Fans of the books were apparently quite disappointed with the sequel, which deviated greatly from those books. As it stands, with Dylan O'Brien leading the charge, Maze Runner has been a decent series. As stated, it's not among the greatest of YA adaptations, but unlike Divergent (which fell apart) at least this one is getting a proper send-off. The film would have probably been released a bit earlier, but O'Brien was involved in a serious accident which had him recovering for several months. The show did go on, however, and this third film has Thomas (O'Brien) and the gang rushing to find a cure for the "Flare", the deadly disease ravaging the dystopian future. This leads to a showdown with WCKD and Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson), as they traverse another labyrinth, which will hopefully lead to all the answers they've been seeking. Fellow Gladers and rebels return - Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Will Poulter, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Jacob Lofland, Barry Pepper and Aidan Gillen all reprise their roles from the first two films. The cast is one of the saving graces of the series, both young and old, and if there is a reason to experience the end, it's to how these characters turn out. Maze Runner has enough of a following that it should easily win the weekend.

HOSTILES Hostiles looks to follow in the footsteps of films like The Revenant, True Grit and even Dances with Wolves - mixing drama with adventure in a western setting. It also helps when you have a good cast and Hostiles looks like it has that in the bag as well with Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Stephen Lang, Wes Studi and Rory Cochrane.. Bale plays Capt. Joseph J. Blocker, a legend in his own right, who accepts the task to transport a Cheyenne chief (Studi), along with his family, across hostile territory. It will probably be a bit historically loose, but it also looks to be compelling. It has flown under the radar a bit, but has 71% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Maze Runner is going to draw the crowds, but Hostiles is clearly the superior film.

Maze Runner should be able to edge out Jumanji, though the weekend in general doesn't look to set the world on fire. I'll be back on Sunday with all the details.


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