In Hollywood, the word January has historically meant one thing: take out the trash early. The beginning of the year is generally a dumping ground for low-budget horror, clichéd romantic comedies and zany (read: unfunny) spoofs and satires.

With the December deadline to submit movies for Academy Award consideration now history, studios typically unload the detritus in January so that when the year is over, they can deny ever making the film. (That's our assessment, anyway.)

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. This month's irreverent comedy 'Youth in Revolt' and the vampire sci-fi 'Daybreakers' have both gotten impressively positive reviews, prompting us to look back on a few other January Surprises in recent years.
categories Features