By Joey Nolfi
January 12, 2017 at 10:37 AM EST
Paramount Pictures

Temperatures are dropping and the post-holiday blues are beginning to wear off, so you’re probably ready to venture out for another night at the multiplex. Studio offerings can be hit (Hidden Figures!) or miss (here’s looking at you, Monster Trucks) at the top of the year, and there are plenty of strong holdovers fresh from the awards circuit (record-breaking Golden Globe winner La La Land, anyone?) expanding nationwide. EW wants you to make good choices at the movies this weekend, so consult our handy Critical Mass guide below before buying a ticket you might regret later.

Monster Trucks

Opens Jan. 13.

EW’s Christian Holub says:

The most interesting aspect of Monster Trucks is actually not the magical/sci-fi element at all. It’s the fact that this small town is held completely in thrall to Terravex, a private corporation run by a ruthless businessman (Rob Lowe, in a brief but delightfully seedy performance) and enforced by his paid corps of Blackwater-like mercenaries. At one point, the leader of this private security force (Holt McCallany) even brings the town sheriff to heel, reminding him that Terravex employs most people in the town, so local elections won’t go well for him if he tries to interfere. Americans in North Dakota or one of the many small towns left grocery-less by Walmart will probably understand these scenes as the film’s most realistic portions. C+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 24%

Metacritic: 40

Hidden Figures

Now playing.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

Charged with streamlining Figures’ knotty real-life histories, director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) tends to paint too much in the broad, amiable strokes of a triumph-of-the-week TV movie. But even his earthbound execution can’t dim the sheer magnetic pull of an extraordinary story. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Metacritic: 74

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Rogue One would have been a very good stand-alone sci-fi movie if it came out under a different name. But what makes it especially exciting is how it perfectly snaps right into the Star Wars timeline and connects events we already know by heart with ones that we never even considered. It makes you wonder how many other untold stories are waiting in the shadowy corners of Lucas’ galaxy far, far away. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

Metacritic: 65

Sing

Now playing.

EW’s Devan Coggan says:

It’s hard not to compare Sing to another 2016 animated flick about animals learning life lessons in a multispecies metropolis, and the creatures of Sing never seem as introspective or innovative as their Disney cousins in Zootopia. But although the let’s-put-on-a-show story line feels familiar, there’s real heart to the critters’ desperate pursuit of their dreams. The eye-popping performances are meticulously animated, and a crowd-pleasing soundtrack helps keep this show on the road. Sing may be a melody we’ve heard before, but it still sounds sweet. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

Metacritic: 59

Underworld: Blood Wars

Now playing.

EW’s Clark Collis says:

In [Game of Thrones] terms, the movies are all duels and no Dinklage. Underworld: Blood Wars continues in that same vein. While the film may justify its title in terms of the viscera on display, it is badly in need of a funny bone. C-

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 18%

Metacritic: 23

La La Land

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

There have been a handful of lavish, big-studio musicals in recent years. But for the most part, they’ve been bloated Broadway adaptations full of sound and fury. And some moviegoers may, no doubt, feel a little tentative about the genre. But La La Land is the anti-whatever those are. It’s more intimate and personal and affecting…more magical. My advice is to see La La Land and surrender to it. It will make you feel like you’re walking on air too. A

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Metacritic: 93

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