To that end, here's the best of what January had to offer for me, arranged in order of viewing.
Dir. J.C. Chandor
Dir. Azazel Jacobs
Azazel Jacobs directed this sensitive drama about a lonely teen (Jacob Wysocki, an assured debut) who suddenly finds himself in the company of three very different people. The first is his school principal, played with such low-key brilliance by John C. Reilly. Sometimes I feel like Reilly phones it in during crappy movies, but when he has strong material to work with, the guy can hit it out of the park. Reilly sees Terri as a good-hearted kid who could use some guidance. At the same time, Terri befriends a fellow outcast named Chad and forges a connection with the pretty Heather Miles. Terri is a sweet film. Worth seeing not for its somewhat predictable story, but the performances by the two leads.
Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur
I love the additions of Adam Scott (Ben) and Rob Lowe (Chris) -- they add so much delirium and obsessive-compulsive humor to the show. I love how Jerry Gergich gets so much abuse. I love the pairing of Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate, he with the abundance of optimism and she of the deadpan sarcasm. I love that Tom Haverford dreams big. I love that Ron Fucking Swanson is terrified of his ex-wives but takes no bullshit from anyone else. And most especially, I love Leslie Knope and her incredible passion for what she does. She doesn't do anything halfheartedly. Modern Family may have more laughs per minute, but Parks and Recreation has depth and soul. It's a strong character-driven sitcom and that is as rare and special as a tiny horse named Lil' Sebastian.
Dir. Will Gluck
Dir. George Clooney
Dir. John Madden
Dir. Bennett Miller
Dir. Shawn Levy
Dir. Deborah Chow