Here are 10 movies on the horizon (though dates can change) worth looking for. I can vouch for the first on the list, having seen its award-winning premiere a few months ago at the Cannes Film Festival.
The White Ribbon
Opened nationally Jan. 15
In a northern German village in 1913, unexplained acts of violence plague both the upper crust and working class of this uncomfortably tight-knit community. It's narrated by a schoolteacher, whose romance with a baron's nanny offers a ray of sunlight amid sinister darkness. Writer-director Michael Haneke offers mystery without facile solution, as well as a meticulous sense of oppression on the brink of war.
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Book of Eli
In post-apocalypse America - wait, the world has ended? Again? - Denzel Washington must protect a sacred text holding the key to humanity's survival. From the Hughes brothers, who gave us "From Hell" and "Menace II Society."
Opens Jan. 22
Based on the nonfiction book "The Cure," the drama stars Harrison Ford as a biotech researcher desperate to crack the code of a rare degenerative condition known as "Pompe disease." Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell co-star.
35 Shots of Rum
Opens elsewhere Jan. 22
The latest from filmmaker Claire Denis concerns a train engineer, his university-student daughter and their life together on the Paris outskirts.
Edge of Darkness
Opens Jan. 29
Mel Gibson stars as a homicide detective investigating the death of his daughter. There's a conspiracy, there's dialogue co-authored by the wordsmith who wrote "The Departed" and, this being a Gibson film perched on the edge of darkness, there's an R rating for "strong bloody violence."
Opens Feb. 12
Lawrence Talbot returns! If you don't know that character name, you'll be approaching this remake of the hirsute Lon Chaney Jr. original with fresh eyes and an open heart, a heart just waiting for someone to tear it clean out of your chest. Benicio Del Toro stars.
Opens nationally Feb. 19
Martin Scorsese's version of the Dennis Lehane mystery stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo as U.S. marshals investigating a missing-person case at a remote treatment center for the criminally insane.
Alice in Wonderland
Opens March 5
Tim Burton falls into Lewis Carroll's rabbit hole. Johnny Depp portrays the Mad Hatter.
Opens March 12
Coming off "United 93" and the second and third "Bourne" thrillers, director Paul Greengrass turns his camera to pre-surge Baghdad in this drama starring Matt Damon.
How to Train Your Dragon
Opens nationally March 26
DreamWorks Animation hopes it has another hit on its mitts with this 3-D effort.