Netflix missed the whole “New Year, New Me” memo for January, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are a few Netflix Original titles coming to the streaming giant this month, including their highly anticipated take on A Series of Unfortunate Events, the reboot of One Day at a Time, Frontier (Season 1), and a few new comedy specials, but by and large, January is all about the classics. Comedies, dramas, sci-fi flicks, and cult-status horror movies abound this month. Here our picks for the best things coming to Netflix this month.
Let us tell you a heartwarming story about a young actor working his way up from the bottom, trying to find success in show business.
Just kidding. Boogie Nights is an epic and ridiculous film set in the mid 1970s about a kid named Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg). While working as a busboy in a popular nightclub, Adams gets scouted by an idealistic porn producer (Burt Reynolds) to work in the adult film industry. Adams’ porn star alter ego, “Dirk Diggler,” takes off, and long story short, the movie is 155 minutes of disco, drugs, and sex. The interesting story is only accentuated by its all-star cast, which includes John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.
When Al Czervik, a new-money charmingly obnoxious fellow, starts showing up at the local snooty country club, tensions rise with some of the regulars. Harold Ramis’ first feature film, Caddyshack is basic course material in American comedy and still considered one of the great cult comedy masterpieces of our time. Starring Michael O’Keefe, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray, Caddyshack isn’t just about golf; it’s about class warfare. And killing gophers. Everyone should know and love this movie. Period.
Over the last ten years or so, we’ve seen a complete resurgence in the superhero film genre—and we’re happy to see it. Some of the newer films have been great, and some have been complete trainwrecks (we’re looking at you, Green Lantern). But few superhero fans and film historians dispute the notion that Superman, the original film, is one of the finest superhero movies to date. Its star-studded cast included Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Marc McClure, and the one and only Christopher Reeve, in what many consider the most brilliant role of his career. Now it’s available for your viewing pleasure on Netflix!
(Editor’s Note: Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV, and Superman Returns will also debut on Netflix in January.)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
We don’t typically feature kids films on here, but we make an exception for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial because it is far and away one of the best American films ever made, and far as we’re concerned, it’s a study on one of the greatest filmmakers of all time—Steven Spielberg. It’s a classic tale about a young boy who finds a friend from an exceptionally unlikely place—another planet. It truly is one of the great classics, and if you’ve never seen it before, now’s the time.
Braveheart makes its triumphant return to Netflix in January. Starring Mel Gibson in one of his most popularized and widely revered roles as patriotic Scotsman William Wallace, Braveheart is a story of love, war, and painted faces. The film tells the tale of William Wallace and the people of Scotland in their fight for independence from England. It’s also filled with plenty of Medieval badassery.
HERE’S JOHNNY! Aw, come on—we had to. Anyway, The Shining is heavily regarded as one of the most chilling horror films ever made, as well as one of Stanley Kubrick’s definitive masterpieces. Made in 1980 and based on Stephen King’s horror novel of the same name, The Shining stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, a homicidal maniac/writer (colorful resume, eh?), as he slowly loses his mind through the corridors of the Overlook Hotel. It’s an oldie, but damn is it a goodie—and its 87-percent RottenTomatoes score probably backs up our claim.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 11)
It wouldn’t really seem possible, but It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is officially gearing up for its 12th season (premiere on Jan. 4, 2017). That said, as Netflix tends to do right before the premiere of a popular show’s newest season, it will officially make Season 11 of the hit FXX comedy available for streaming in January. So, settle on in and prepare for some grade-A comedy from our friends Sweet Dee, Charlie, Mac, Dennis, and Frank. Let the good times roll!
Frontier is a new Netflix Original done in partnership with Discovery Canada, and revolves around the North American fur trade of the 1700s. The series was so well received that it was renewed for a second season before the first even made its debut, so we’re vouching for it before the jump. John Doyle, a critic for The Globe and Mail said it was “an action-packed, uncomplicated and very entertaining yarn about the cutthroats who created this country by plundering it, when they weren’t busy killing each other.”
Yeah, sounds good enough to us!
Bates Motel (Season 4)
Another one of those TV shows that absolutely blew us away, Bates Motel is billed as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho. Although it is admittedly a little removed from the original novel (Bates Motel actually takes place in a totally modern setting in White Pine Bay, Oregon), it’s still a terrifyingly good show that stands perfectly on its own. Starring Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates, Bates Motel has been widely praised by critics and fans alike, and is more than worthy of your binge-time, if you haven’t yet discovered its greatness.
Bill Burr Stand Up Special
Bill Burr is hands-down one of the most controversial and in-your-face comics of our generation, and we thank our lucky stars every single day for his existence. That’s a bit dramatic, but really, his stuff is great. Bill Burr Stand Up Special (was that seriously the best title you could think of, dude?) will be Burr’s fourth stand-up special available for direct stream on Netflix, and if you get tired of watching all of those, you can check out Burr’s hit comedy series F is for Family, which is equally hysterical.
Also an Amazon Prime member? Check out what’s new on Prime Video this month.