I don’t want to say that January 2014 was a bad month for cinema, but the last time I saw something that rotten, I was arrested for desecrating 13 cemeteries. Luckily, I got out on good behavior just long enough to celebrate with readers how superlative February’s theatrical releases will be in comparison. No matter how many of them end up falling short of their potential, at least all of them have potential to begin with.

But we put that snarky hindsight behind us in anticipation for the shortest month of the year, which will feature baffling remakes, hilarious animation, novel adaptations, a volcanic Paul W.S. Anderson movie and an all-star historical drama getting an early jump on the next awards season. Plus, February is the month that practically requires you to watch Groundhog Day again, so everyone wins.

The LEGO Movie
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller only have two features behind them, but their personalities are so profoundly strong that the negative stigma attached to "toy brand films" immediately washed away once they took over Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie. Ordinary Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) finds himself mistaken as the LEGO world’s Master Builder savior and teams up with Batman (Will Arnett), a street tough hero (Elizabeth Banks), a wizard (Morgan Freeman) and more to take down the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), who plans for redecoration include taking apart the entire universe and recreating it in his vision. The cast is filled out by Liam Neeson, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Charlie Day and Alison Brie. The previews are fun, the imagination is boundless, and everyone involved is a winner, which is the recipe for two plastic thumbs up.

Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Stars: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks
Release Date: February 7

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