Every year, Hollywood eases into its post-holiday, pre-Oscars session with a pit stop to Park City, Utah for the annual Sundance Film Festival. It's here where we begin to acquire tat valuable "buzz" on arthouse, indie and possible awards-worthy features that will be making their way down the mountain over the course of the year, and into our local movie theaters. The thing about Sundance, however, is that you never really know how strong a beloved film's legs are going to be. The altitude often plays with expectations, and movies like last year's The Birth of a Nation or the previous year's Me, Earl and the Dying Girl don't always connect with mainstream crowds once they finally are screened for the non-Sundance throngs.

This year's Sundance Film Festival kicked off on Thursday, January 19, meaning we have had nearly a week to process the hype on several of the films that have screened since opening night. Here, then, are the five movies we think you need to seek out when they finally play in a theater near you.

The Big Sick

The Big Sick

To best understand The Big Sick, you need only know that it is directed by Michael Showalter (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and produced by Judd Apatow, so it will blend humor and heart in a package that probably lasts too long and will need a decent trim before reaching mainstream theaters. Still, reviews for the personal comedy have been overwhelmingly positive, as screenwriter and star Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The X-Files) recounts a brush with a mysterious illness his wife, Emily V. Gordon (Zoe Kazan) faced during their courtship.

From SlashFilm's Review: "A sincere romantic comedy that will give you hearty laughs over and over again and then squeezes tears from your eyes moments later. ... I don't remember the last time a movie was able to have this much hilarity one moment and pure emotion from me, back and forth throughout the entire film."

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