Play Hard

6 new TV series and films to watch in January

Dark days, cold nights, Christmas decs down… time to hibernate.

Written by Chris Kingston
Published 07.01.2023

By Christopher Kingston

FILM

A Man called Otto 

Out now in cinemas 

Tom Hanks plays a grumpy 60-year-old in this new release, based on the best-selling novel A Man Called Oveby Fredrik Backman.

When he’s forced to retire from his job after his wife dies, Otto soon decides that he doesn’t have much to live for. But his life takes a different turn when he meets his new neighbours, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world upside down.

You can always count on a superb performance from Tom Hanks. This comedy drama could be the perfect pick-me-up to beat those January blues.

Till

Out now in cinemas

This historical drama is based on a true story. Danielle Deadwyler stars as Mamie Till: an African American woman who became a civil rights activist after her 14-year-old son Emmett Till was brutally murdered by racists, because he supposedly whistled at a white girl.

Set in Mississippi in 1955, this heart-breaking story is seen through the eyes of his mother, who insisted that the casket containing her son’s brutalized body be left open to show the nation what they had done to him.

Stark reminders of the atrocities against George Floyd and Manuel Ellis make Till an important watch.

Empire Of Light

From 9th January in cinemas  

Sam Mendes, the visionary director behind Skyfall, Spectre and 1917, has brought a charming love story to the big screen, set in a once grand seaside cinema in the 1980s.

British actors Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Toby Jones and Colin Firth star in this engaging drama following Hilary, a depressed cinema manager in the seaside town of Margate, who has an affair with the new ticket seller.

With stunning cinematography, we would be very surprised if this one isn’t nominated come awards season.

TV

The Rig

Out now on Amazon Prime

This series follows a group of workers on a remote Scottish oil rig who are due to return to the mainland when a mysterious fog enshrouds them and supernatural forces take hold.

With all communication with the outside world cut off, the crew try to discover what is driving this unknown force. But a major accident forces the crew to ask questions about who amongst them they can really trust.

Starring Martin Compston, Iain Glen, Rochenda Sandall, Owen Teale, Mark Addy and Mark Bonnar, this one has a surprising twist.

 

The Last Of Us

From 16th January on Sky Atlantic 

Based on the bestselling video game, The Last of Us is a nine-episode series following a smuggler named Joel who is tasked with getting 14-year-old Ellie across a post-apocalyptic America.

Unfortunately for them, there’s a horde of infected zombies in the way.

Fans of the video game can expect the same brutal and heart-breaking story of survival that made it one of the most iconic releases of recent times.

Extraordinary

From 25th January on Disney+

Extraordinary is already being touted as the must-watch new comedy of 2023, written by new writer Emma Moran and the team behind Killing Eve.

Mairead Tyers stars as Jen, a normal girl who lives in a world where everyone over the age of 18 has a superpower. Well, everyone apart from her.

Also starring Siobhan McSweeney of Derry Girls fame and Robbie Gee from Motherland, this fresh new comedy is about being young and struggling to find your place in the world, when all you’ll ever be is ‘ordinary’.

Christopher Kingston
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