Top 5 Movies to Watch in Theaters in February 2016

By  · Published on February 5th, 2016

You have a lot of choices when it comes not only to which movies you’re going to watch each month but also where and how you’re going to watch them. Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, cable, Laser disc – the future is now, and the options are endless. All of this variety is great, but the best way to see a film remains on the big screen in a quality theater.

With that in mind we’re going to offer up our suggestions for the five films each month that you should seek out at the movie-house near you. Some we’ve already seen and loved, others we simply suspect and hope will be worth the trip. Keep reading to see our picks for the top five movies to watch in theaters this month.

5. A War

Release Date: February 12

Writer/Director: Tobias Lindholm

Cast: Pilou Asbaek, Tuva Novotny, Dar Salim

Why is it a must-see?

Director Tobias Lindholm’s last feature, 2012’s A Hijacking, was a tense and compelling thriller, and while that alone makes his latest a must-see this month the film is also currently nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Academy Awards. It’s destined to lose to the perfectly adequate Son of Saul, but its status as a nominee bodes well for its quality.

4. Hail, Caesar!

Release Date: February 5

Writer/Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, etc.

Why is it a must-see?

I don’t hold the Coen Brothers in quite as high regard as many of you do, but they’ve delivered enough winners to make me pay attention when a new film of theirs is heading my way. Inside Llewyn Davis is actually my favorite of their filmography with The Hudsucker Proxy sitting in second place, so this broadly comic-looking Hollywood romp can probably go either way. Early word has been mostly positive, and with a cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, and Channing Tatum that shouldn’t be a surprise.

3. Triple 9

Release Date: February 26

Director: John Hillcoat

Writer: Matt Cook

Cast: Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Casey Affleck, Norman Reedus, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams

Why is it a must-see?

Director John Hillcoat delivered a stunningly effective and atmospheric Western with his film, The Proposition, and that alone makes him a talent to watch. Of course, that was over a decade ago, and in the ten years since he’s only made two other feature films (The Road, Lawless), neither of which lived up to that promise. His latest is a rarity for him in that it’s an action film set in modern-day, and between that terrifically hardcore first trailer and the incredible cast he’s assembled I’m thinking that this might just have been worth the decade wait.

2. Deadpool

Release Date: February 12

Director: Tim Miller

Writers: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller and Gina Carano

Why is it a must-see?

Expectations can be a bitch, and sometimes it’s best to walk into a theater entirely free of them. Case in point? I had no prior knowledge of this red-suited, kitana-wielding, unicorn-humping potty mouth before seeing the film, but now I’m already looking forward to a sequel. Think Kick-Ass meets Captain America and you’ll have the slightest idea what to expect here as the film is a ridiculously meta and pop-minded mix of sophomoric humor, high-energy action scenes, and the sweetest superhero romance since Steve Rogers wooed Peggy Carter. (Keep in mind that “sweetest” is a relative term.)

1. The Witch

Release Date: February 19

Writer/Director: Robert Eggers

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie

Why is it a must-see?

We’ve been talking up writer/director Robert Eggers’ Puritan nightmare since it premiered at Sundance over a year ago, and now it’s finally to terrify audiences nationwide. It’s a chillingly atmospheric horror film that champions mood and setting as it slowly drags you downward to hell, but don’t let its methodical pacing fool you. Your heart will be racing before it stops completely.

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Other releases of note this month: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – Sword of Destiny, Embrace of the Serpent, Southbound, Tumbledown.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.