As Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, et al. add more content, it can be difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the new titles. Every month, I compile a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues.
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Based on the Tony-winning play, and directed by Norman Jewison, Fiddler on the Roof follows the trials and tribulations of a Jewish family in Tsarist Russia. Village milkman Tevye (played with gusto by Topol) is doing his best to provide for his family, but he faces constant challenges in the form of rising pogroms and the Russian government’s interference. Meanwhile, his five daughters are challenging his precious traditions. Fiddler on the Roof has since come to be regarded as one of the finest movie musicals of all time, filled with heart, humor, and pathos.
Given his work with Keegan-Michael Key on the beloved sketch show Key & Peele, it would only make sense to expect Jordan Peele’s directorial debut to be a work of comedy. Instead, he delivered one of the most acclaimed horror films in recent memory. After a young Black man meets his white girlfriend’s upper-class family, he begins to notice strange behavior and soon finds himself caught up in a nefarious conspiracy. Get Out was a commercial and critical success, winning a “Best Original Screenplay” Oscar for Peele.
Based on Daniel Clowes acclaimed comic, Ghost World is an acerbic film following two best friends — played by Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson — who’ve just graduated from high school and are trying to figure out what’s next in life. The film’s humor is as dry and bleak as the Sahara, and yet it’s hard not to feel compassion for its disaffected characters. The film also stars Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, and David Cross.
Nicholas Angel is London’s best cop. He’s so good, in fact, that he makes all of the other cops look bad. Which is why he gets transferred to the sleepy town of Sandford, where the crime rate is zero and nothing bad ever happens. But when locals start disappearing, Angel’s convinced something’s going on. Has Sandford gotten to him, or has he cracked the biggest case of his career? Inspired by classic buddy cop films like Lethal Weapon, Hot Fuzz is action comedy of the highest sort (read my review).
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine star in this new TV series — based on the 2005 film of the same name that starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie — about a couple of spies who go undercover as a married couple. But their mission gets complicated when they actually begin to develop feelings for each other. The original Amazon series also stars Paul Dano, Parker Posey, Ron Perlman, Alexander Skarsgård, and John Turturro.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was writer/director Christopher McQuarrie’s first effort in the franchise, and it turns out that his work with lead star Tom Cruise was a match made in heaven. (The two had previously worked together on 2012’s Jack Reacher.) This time around, Ethan Hunt and his IMF cohorts square off against The Syndicate, an international terrorist group consisting of rogue government agents. As you might expect, Rogue Nation is filled with jawdropping stunts, starting with a scene of Cruise literally hanging onto the side of an airplane as it takes off.
The iconic “heroes in a half shell” return in this animated feature that explores their origins, their youthful hjinks, and their desire to fit in with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, their plans hit a snag when an army of mutants emerges with plans to take over New York City. Much like the Spider-Verse movies, Mutant Mayhem is filled with dazzling visuals that help to push the medium even further (read my review).
Here’s everything arriving on Amazon Prime Video in February 2024.
Noomi Rapace and Jonathan Banks star in this Apple original series about an astronaut who returns home after surviving a bizarre accident in space, only to find that her home is not quite what she remembered. Or, as the official synopsis puts it, “an exploration of the dark edges of human psychology, and one woman’s desperate quest to expose the truth about the hidden history of space travel and recover all that she has lost.” Consider me intrigued.
Here’s everything arriving on Apple TV+ in February 2024.
Sure, superhero fatigue is a real thing, and the MCU feels increasingly directionless. But I really enjoyed Ms. Marvel when it aired back in 2022, so I’m excited to see Iman Vellani back in action. This time around, she finally meets her idol, the real Captain Marvel, only for them to begin swapping places every time they use their powers. The 33rd(!) MCU movie also stars Teyonah Parris, who reprises her role as Monica Rambeau from WandaVision, as well as Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.
Clone Force 99 returns for their third and final season, as they embark on one final mission to rescue one of their own. The Bad Batch’s third season also features the return of fan favorite Asajj Ventress, a former apprentice of Count Dooku turned bounty hunter.
Here’s everything arriving on Disney+ in February 2024.
It’s a tale as old as the horror movie genre: a group of teens set off for weekend of fun, frivolity, and debauchery in a remote cabin, only to find themselves beset by all kinds of horrors. But The Cabin in the Woods turns that premise on its ear, paying homage to all manner of horror movie tropes and clichés.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie star as a suburban couple whose marriage is on the rocks. But given that they’re rival assassins tasked with killing each other, it’s going to take more than just a few sessions of couple’s therapy. Directed by Doug Liman, Mr. & Mrs. Smith was one of 2005’s highest grossing films thanks to its blend of action, humor, romance, and of course, Pitt and Jolie’s star power.
When Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer leads his elite military rescue team into the South American jungle, their mission quickly gets complicated when it becomes clear that something’s hunting them. Something that’s not from this world. Predator is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic ’80s film roles, and it still totally holds up thanks to some charismatic performances, Stan Winston’s awesome creature effects, and John McTiernan’s taut direction.
James Cameron’s The Abyss is one of those rare movies that I can watch almost any time. Some of that’s due to the groundbreaking special effects and incredible production design. Some of that’s due to the colorful cast of characters. And some of that’s due due to Cameron’s ambitious storyline about a deep sea exploration crew and the bizarre phenomena they begin to encounter far beneath the waves.
Based on James Clavell’s acclaimed 1975 novel, this ten-episode miniseries tells the story of an English sailor who’s shipwrecked in Japan, and finds himself caught up the machinations of a powerful warlord. Previously adapted for TV in 1980 with Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune, the 2024 version of Shōgun stars Cosmo Jarvis, Hiroyuki Sanada, Anna Sawai, and Tadanobu Asano.
Here’s everything arriving on Hulu in February 2024.
Widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane delves into the life of Charles Foster Kane (played by Welles himself), a powerful newspaper publisher and the meaning of his mysterious final words. In addition to Welles’ powerful story, Citizen Kane is noteworthy for its innovative and influential cinematography, editing, and narrative approach.
In Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel, a young man (played by Malcolm McDowell) obsessed with sex, violence, and Beethoven is subjected to a controversial treatment to cure his anti-social desires, but it all goes wrong. The film was originally rated “X” and stirred up considerable controversy due to its graphic content. It wasn’t even widely available in the UK until after Kubrick’s death, nearly 30 years after its initial release.
Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War epic is two films in one, the first a brutal examination of dehumanization in boot camp and the second takes place in the chaos of Vietnam itself. Both parts are chilling and masterful in their own right (read my review), though the first half has the added bonus of R. Lee Ermey as a sadistic drill instructor with a real gift for inventive swearing.
I’ll admit, I had very low expectations for The Lego Movie when it was originally announced. But I need not have worried: The Lego Movie turned out to be way more delightful, inventive, and affecting than I could’ve expected. When a lowly Lego guy named Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt) finds himself in possession of a powerful relic, he’s drawn into a conflict between freedom fighters and an evil overlord that will completely change his view of the world. The Lego Movie also features the voice talents of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Will Ferrell, and Morgan Freeman (to name a few).
Here’s everything arriving on Max in February 2024.
In the near future, humanity lives under constant threat of attacks by colossal alien monsters called Kaiju. Humanity’s only hope lies in the form of giant robots called Jaegers, but even they might not be enough to stave off the waves of Kaiju. Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim is clearly indebted not just to classic kaijū movies like the Godzilla franchise, but also anime titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion.
I was inititally tempted to pass this one by, but then I noticed that it was written by none other than Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich). That only is enough to pique my curiosity concerning this animated film about a young boy who’s terrified of everything, but especially the dark. Orion and the Dark features the voices of Jacob Tremblay, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, and Werner Herzog as the Narrator.
Adrian Monk is a brilliant detective, perhaps the finest in all of San Francisco. But he’s also a walking mess of OCD, depression, and numerous phobias. And unfortunately for him, working his cases requires him to constantly confront his fears and anxieties, often with humorous results. Tony Shalhoub won numerous awards, including several Primetime Emmys, for his performance as Monk, and when Monk’s series finale aired in 2009, it set the record for the most-watched scripted drama episode in cable TV history. (A record subsequently broken in 2012 by The Walking Dead.)
I know what you’re thinking: We’ve already had a live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the less said about it, the better. But Netflix is throwing their considerable budget behind a new live-action adaptation. The original animated series is, of course, an absolute classic, but so far, Netflix’s live-action version is looking very promising. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Asian and Indigenous cast includes the likes of Daniel Dae Kim, Ken Leung, Amber Midthunder, and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.
One of 2022’s most acclaimed films, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a riotous journey through the multiverse as a Chinese woman (played by Michelle Yeoh) tries to file her taxes. Oh, and prevent the collapse of all of existence. Riffing on everything from Wong Kar-wai films to Ratatouille, with a heady dose of martial arts and existentialism and fantastic performances from Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a truly unique cinematic experience (read my review).
In this blend of stop-motion animation and mockumentary, a documentary filmmaker discovers a tiny talking shell named Marcel living in his Airbnb, and begins chronicling his life and efforts to reunite with his family. One of 2021’s most critically acclaimed films, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On was nominated for a “Best Animated Feature” Oscar.
Brooklyn’s 99th precinct is filled with unorthodox cops, and none more so than the immature, Die Hard-obsessed Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg). But the arrival of the taciturn and always-serious Captain Raymond Holt (played to the hilt by the late, great Andre Braugher), threatens to undermine their unique chemistry… and ruin all of their fun. Originally on Fox, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the best sitcoms in recent memory, filled with memorable characters, crazy scenarios (like their annual Halloween heists), and hilarious dialog.
Here’s everything arriving on Netflix in February 2024.