Going to the movies is a great fallback plan when you’d rather not freeze to death during an outdoor date. But what happens when your fallback plan experiences some setbacks, say you and your lady can’t decide on a movie? You want action-packed explosions or a murder mystery and she, well, she wants Nicholas Sparks or 50 Shades of Grey.
If you tend to be on the losing side of arguments or take the gentlemanly route and let her choose, then take solace in this roundup. Here’s a list of eight movies you’re probably going to be dragged to—tomorrow, next week, in the next few months—and their redeeming qualities. These flicks may surprise you, your chick will adore you, and you, my friend, might even enjoy yourself!
See, there's always a bright side—even in a dark movie theater.
Secondly, the movie is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the government forces children from each of 12 districts to quite literally fight to the death in a competition for valuable resources. And aside from the action involved in killing one another, there are a slew of elements to contend with, like acid clouds and mutant dogs. An action movie topped off with an ass-kicking, insanely gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence. What more could you ask for?
In theaters now
Adapted from the memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, this film depicts the author's journey across the Pacific Crest Trail, a 1,100-mile solo hike from California to Oregon, taken as a way to recover from the death of her mother and a recent divorce. Now before you start complaining how this is melodramatic and weepy, know that Reese Witherspoon portrays Strayed, who at 26 had a run of reckless behavior, including a threesome. And before you ask, yes, she bares it all and yes, you can tell your friends that you saw Reese Witherspoon in a Wild threesome.
In select theaters now
Alright, if you're going to be forced to watch a chick flick, then be happy it's this one. Set in a parallel universe (stay with me), Comet bounces back and forth over Justin Long and Emmy Rossum's six-year relationship. It unfolds like a puzzle (think, 500 Days of Summer) and though you may not care about cinematography or how a beautifully rendered story is unfolding in front of you, you may appreciate Long's character, Dell, who's a true cynic. Not a Ryan Gostling-esque archetype who kisses girls in the rain and takes them to bed after re-creating Dirty Dancing's famous lift scene. Did I lose you? If I did, don't ask your girlfriend, because The Notebook and Crazy, Stupid, Love will definitely be queued up next.
In theaters now
Free the Nipple
The right to bare chest is what we're looking at.
You heard me. Free the Nipple tells the semi-fictional story of a group of women who go topless in New York City to fight the censorship of women's bodies and the fines levied against women who don't follow the rules. Is it feminist? You betchya. But don't let that trip you up. This film challenges the censorship standards: why is a nipple more offensive than murder? We certainly can't see why it's illegal to go topless in 35 states. And we're more than happy to join the initiative to free the nipple. Are you?
In theaters December 12
The Boy Next Door
When you think of a thriller, Jennifer Lopez probably doesn't come to mind. But man will you be thrilled that she was cast in The Boy Next Door. Lopez, a divorced teacher, falls for her son's new friend, experiences a moment of weakness (a very steamy moment of weakness), and has to deal with the subsequent aftermath that this 'boy' is a obviously disturbed, obsessive, and blackmailing Lopez up the wazoo. Watch the trailer. A half naked JLo is all the persuasion you need.
In theaters January 23, 2015
This won't be as enticing as Black Swan, mostly since Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis aren't in it "together" (you know what scene I'm talking about.) This is a different kind of ballet movie. Ballet 422 takes us from the first rehearsal to the world premier of a New York City Ballet. You'll see how painstaking it is to craft a ballet, and how painful it is to be a ballerina. Not as riveting as some of the action flicks, but hey, there are girls in leotards and that counts for something, right?
In theaters February 6
50 Shades of Grey
You're sick of every woman talking about 50 Shades of Grey, but look at it this way: The book is single-handedly responsible for freeing the inhibitions of many, many women (your girlfriend included). If she got hot from the book, then imagine what the movie will spark in her. Use this as the warm-up to your night. Don't get ice cream after. Don't go for pizza. Go home and channel your inner Christian Grey. There's a reason it premiers on Valentine's Day....
In theaters February 13
Rejoice in this upcoming sports drama. Yes, it's rated PG and it comes from Disney, but it's nonetheless an incredible true story about a Latino high school cross country team from McFarland, California. Kevin Costner's stars as coach Jim White, who leads the underdog team through several social issues of the 80's to win a championship—and create a legacy, of course.