As Netflix et al. add more content, it’s difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the newly added titles. So at the start of every month, I publish a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues.
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Blade Runner: The Final Cut (February 1)
What else can I say about Blade Runner that hasn’t already been said? Without a doubt one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, its sense of atmosphere and gritty vision of the future has influenced countless films since its release in 1982. The “Final Cut” was released in 2007 with additional footage (including a complete version of the unicorn dream scene), and is considered by Ridley Scott to be the definitive version of the film.
Police Academy (February 1)
When a crime-ridden city is faced with a shortage of police officers, the police department opens itself to all incoming applicants — with hilarious results. A comedy classic, Police Academy stars Steve Guttenberg (when he was at the height of his box office powers), Kim Cattrall, Bubba Smith, and Michael Winslow. (All of the Police Academy sequels also arrive on Netflix, but your mileage may vary.)
Purple Rain (February 1)
Based in part on Prince’s own life and featuring a slew of the singer’s greatest songs (e.g., “When Doves Cry,” the titular epic), Purple Rain was a smash success when it arrived in theaters in 1984. It would be the last film win the Oscar for “Best Original Song Score” and was added to the National Film Registry in 2019.
Locke & Key (February 7)
Based on Joe Hill’s acclaimed graphic novels, this Netflix original follows three siblings who move to their ancestral home after their father’s death, and discover magical keys that grant them incredible powers — and threaten to unleash a terrible evil.
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (February 14)
Aardman Animation’s beloved Shaun the Sheep is back, and this time, he must help a lost alien, E.T. style. As is the case with all Aardman films, expect plenty of delightful, whimsical cleverness.
Starship Troopers (February 15)
While it’s entirely possible to watch Starship Troopers as a parody of military fascism, you can also just enjoy it for the over-the-top violence as a bunch of clean-cut, attractive teenagers join the military in order to fight an alien insect race. Despite receiving quite the critical drubbing at the box office, it has since inspired four sequels and two TV series.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Netflix in February 2020.
The Fugitive (February 1)
Based on the ’60s-era TV show of the same name, The Fugitive follows a man (Harrison Ford) who is wrongly accused of killing his wife, and goes on the run to prove his innocence. The film was a critical and commercial success, thanks to strong performances by Ford and Tommy Lee Jones as the U.S. Marshal trying to bring him in, some impressive action sequences, and a suspenseful plot. Trivia: The Fugitive was the first American film screened in China in decades.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (February 1)
Christmas may have passed, but it’s always a good time to reunite with Clark Griswold, Cousin Eddie, and the rest of the family. Clark is determined to have a “fun old-fashioned family Christmas,” and goes to extremes, such as covering his house in thousands of lights. But when he fails to get his promised Christmas bonus, will it ruin Christmas for everyone?
Say Anything (February 1)
Say Anything features John Cusack in one of his signature roles as Lloyd Dobler, an underachiever who falls for his class’ valedictorian (Ione Skye) and begins an unorthodox relationship with her. But when her father rejects their relationship because of Lloyd’s social status, cue the melodrama. And the Peter Gabriel.
When Harry Met Sally (February 1)
One of the all-time great romantic comedies, When Harry Met Sally follows its titular couple over the course of several years as they grow up, get careers, fall in and out of love, and make terrible mistakes. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan give classic performances as the two leads, a pair of unlikely friends in a “will they or won’t they” relationship. The film also stars Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, and was written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner.
The Cabin in the Woods (February 3)
Joss Whedon knows a thing or two about turning horror movie conventions on their head, and he takes that to a new level with The Cabin in the Woods. Originally described as a “loving hate letter” to the horror genre, The Cabin in the Woods features all of the usual horror movie tropes, albeit turned sideways and upside down.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 7 Mid-Season Premiere (February 7)
The crew of New York’s zaniest police precinct is back after a nice, long break. Last season, the Nine-Nine uncovered a vast political conspiracy involving illegal surveillance. So what will they do for this season? Who knows, but whatever the case, it’s going to be hilarious.
Super 8 (February 18)
I know I seemed a bit harsh on J. J. Abrams in my review of The Rise of Skywalker, but if you want an example of where his nostalgia-driven approach to filmmaking does work, then check out Super 8. An obvious love letter to classic Spielberg films — it was even produced by Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment — Super 8 is nevertheless a fun sci-fi action romp as a group of teenage filmmakers find themselves caught between an alien life form and the military trying to capture it.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Hulu in February 2020.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Amazon in February 2020. As usual, there’s a lot of overlap between Hulu and Amazon Prime’s offerings.