IMDb Picks: "Portlandia" Returns and 'The Boy' Disturbs

by IMDb-Editors | created - 11 Dec 2015 | updated - 31 Dec 2015 | Public
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1. Portlandia (2011–2018)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

A sketch-comedy series that parodies life in Portland, Oregon.

Stars: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Kyle MacLachlan, Sam Adams

Votes: 17,313

The on-screen chemistry is real between stars and real-life friends Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen — which may help to explain why this IFC comedy remains fresh after five seasons. The sixth season will welcome guest stars Louis C.K., Glenn Danzig, Bitsie Tulloch, and Mitchell Hurwitz, among others, to go along with some returning players: Steve Buscemi, Kumail Nanjiani, Natasha Lyonne, and Kyle MacLachlan. Here's some sweet, observational comedy and great ensemble acting worth putting a bird on. — Bret

Season 6 Premieres: Saturday, Jan. 2

2. The Forest (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

34 Metascore

A woman goes into Japan's Suicide Forest to find her twin sister, and confronts supernatural terror.

Director: Jason Zada | Stars: Natalie Dormer, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt, Osamu Tanpopo

Votes: 38,202 | Gross: $26.58M

The Aokigahara forest is an unsettling environment worthy of a psychological horror movie, and I’m looking forward to watching Natalie Dormer navigate a terrain worlds away from Westeros. Here’s hoping the screenplay will have some humanity. — Arno

Opens in limited release on Friday, Jan. 8.

3. Shameless (2011– )

TV-MA | 46 min | Comedy, Drama

A scrappy, feisty, fiercely loyal Chicago family makes no apologies.

Stars: Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky, Jeremy Allen White

Votes: 187,408

"Shameless" has been through some serious drama the past few years, with Fiona's jail stint, Frank's failing liver, Ian's struggle with his bipolar disorder, and Lip trying to keep the family together. From the look of the upcoming previews, this season will get back to some of the lighthearted shenanigans of the Gallagher family that we love, perfectly timed with Carl's release from juvie. I have to say, as much as I loved Justin Chatwin, I'm glad the Jimmy/Steve storyline has been resolved and she can focus on one beau (although I was Team Gus). — Michelle

Season 6 Premieres: Sunday, Jan. 10

4. Younger (2015– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

After being mistaken for younger than she really is, a single mother decides to take the chance to reboot her career and her love life as a 26-year old.

Stars: Sutton Foster, Miriam Shor, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar

Votes: 15,766

This comedy about a 40 year-old woman who pretends she's 26 so that she can land an entry-level job in publishing combines is a smart satire of the differences between Millennials and Generation X. It's also an updated version of the fantasy New York of "Sex and the City." Both shows were created by Darren Star. He still has a knack for blending romance, strong female friendships, and humor. The strong cast includes Sutton Foster, Debi Mazar and Hilary Duff, who sheds the last vestiges of her Disney Kid persona with her role as a worldly junior editor. — Sara

Season 2 Premieres: Tuesday, Jan. 12

5. The Boy (2016)

PG-13 | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

42 Metascore

An American nanny is shocked that her new English family's boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.

Director: William Brent Bell | Stars: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell, Jim Norton

Votes: 74,108 | Gross: $35.82M

Those who want to kick off the new year with a pee-your-pants scare can join me in anticipation of STX's third release, horror film The Boy. "The Walking Dead" star Lauren Cohan takes on the ridiculous job of nannying a freaky life-sized porcelain doll with a list of strict rules she can't seem to follow — and this definitely has its consequences. Cue the fright fest!

We're excited to see Cohan take on a new nightmare (especially while we're on hiatus from "TWD"), and are looking forward to STX flipping the creepy doll trope on its head. Fellow British actor and "Man in the High Castle" star Rupert Evans joins Cohan in the supernatural thriller. — Chako

WATCH the trailer here.

Opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 22.

6. Mad Dogs (2015–2016)

M | 56 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A group of guys travel to Belize to see an old friend, when things take an unexpectedly dark turn.

Stars: Ben Chaplin, Michael Imperioli, Romany Malco, Steve Zahn

Votes: 7,512

Welcome to Belize, where a group of middle-aged buddies come together on the occasion of the early retirement of an old friend. But this isn't any old guys-only weekend: A series of zany, unpredictable, and unbelievable events conspire to make this an unforgettable experience for Michael Imperioli, Billy Zane, Steve Zahn, Romany Malco, and Ben Chaplin. This latest offering from Amazon Original Series is an adaptation of the popular British black comedy of the same name that first aired in 2011. — Bret

Season 1 Premieres: Friday, Jan. 22

Watch the trailer here

7. The X-Files (1993–2018)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two F.B.I. Agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.

Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis

Votes: 190,018

When I first heard the news that "The X-Files" was returning, it was the equivalent of hearing that your favorite band is getting back together. It's not a reboot or a remake, but the original creator and lead stars, including the Smoking Man! It's been years since I have even watched the series but I have so many questions. Does Scully's baby still have powers? Will this be alien-focused or also cover the creepy crawly monsters that still give me nightmares? Whatever the format, I am ready for The Truth. — Michelle

Series Premiere: Sunday, Jan. 24

8. Jane Got a Gun (2015)

R | 98 min | Action, Drama, Western

49 Metascore

A woman asks her ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him.

Director: Gavin O'Connor | Stars: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro

Votes: 19,912 | Gross: $1.51M

In this Western, Natalie Portman plays the titular Jane, who is a butt-kicking, sharp-shooting heroine. It's a refreshing change from the genre's typical damsel-in-distress. Jane is determined to save her husband from a gang that wants to kill him. She asks her ex for help, because she wants to launch the most emotionally complicated rescue mission ever. As a fan of the 1954 Western Johnny Guitar, which starred Joan Crawford as a tough saloon owner, I am excited that there is another Western that reverses the genre's traditional gender roles. — Sara

Opens in limited release on Friday, Jan. 29.

9. Banshee (2013–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An ex-con assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff in the small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania, where he has some unfinished business.

Stars: Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen, Frankie Faison

Votes: 80,109

A friend who was an assistant director on the program has spoken so fondly of the cast, crew, and city of Pittsburgh that my interest has been piqued, finally, as I’m planning on watching the cult hit from the beginning as its fourth and final season airs. — Arno

Season 4 Premieres: Friday, Jan. 29

10. The Bachelor (2002– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Game-Show, Reality-TV

A single bachelor dates multiple women over several weeks, narrowing them down to hopefully find his true love.

Stars: Chris Harrison, Brad Womack, Sean Lowe, Becca Tilley

Votes: 5,938

Ben Higgins is back and so is "The Bachelor" for its 20th season! Does that make anyone else feel old? The 26-year-old software salesman didn't make the cut on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of "The Bachelorette," but the fans clearly wanted more of him because he's returning as the main star this time around and vying for the love of one of 28 women. — Shara

Season 20 Premieres: Monday, Jan. 4



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