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Five must-see movies that aren't 'Star Wars'

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDMovie fans walk to the Cinemark cinema in Gulfport on Friday.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDMovie fans walk to the Cinemark cinema in Gulfport on Friday. SUN HERALD

With intermittent rains and colder temperatures this week, don't forget about the one entertainment venue that always offers a short escape from the daily grind, a date night locale or a fun family outing: the movie theater.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has excited masses of moviegoers, but don't let 2016's first blockbuster keep you from checking out these five films that offer something a little different:

-- "The Revenant," set in the 1800s and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, tells the story of Hugh Glass and his seemingly impossible survival following a bear attack. Already abuzz in Oscar talks, "The Revenant" promises to be a brutal story of endurance and masculinity, so don't miss the chance to see what may -- finally -- be Leo's moment to take home the Best Actor in a Leading Role Award.

-- If horror movies are more your preferred genre, "The Forest," starring Natalie Dormer from "Game of Thrones," is sure to frighten and intrigue those familiar with Japan's infamous Aokigahara Forest.

-- Quentin Tarantino has a loyal and dedicated fanbase, so "The Hateful Eight," his newest release featuring Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, will likely be a success. But even if you're not attracted to Tarantino's frequent use of satire and violence, this post-Civil War tale of a bounty hunter and his prisoner will appeal to those who enjoyed "Django Unchained" and "Inglourious Basterds."

-- Though critics and consumers aren't offering overwhelmingly positive praise for "Joy," starring Jennifer Lawrence in the title role, it's still worth seeing. Unsurprisingly, Lawrence offers a stellar performance, but the movie is a simple rags-to-riches tale about the inventor of the Miracle Mop. You may be surprised by the story of a strong woman with powerful ambitions.

-- Most of the time, you can't go wrong with a Disney and dinosaur combo, so give the little ones an opportunity to experience the excitement of the theater and bring them to catch "The Good Dinosaur." It's a fun, fantastical adventure that explores what life would be like if dinosaurs never became extinct.

Take the weather in stride this week and enjoy a movie date with friends, family or just yourself.

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