Without many new theatrical releases (and even fewer good ones) February is often a bleak month for movie lovers. Despite an unusually strong slate of January movies, this month could be quiet until “Cocaine Bear” and the Oscars come around to inject a shot of adrenaline into the film landscape. But anyone who can still log into Netflix after the latest password-sharing crackdown should have plenty of great films to watch.
Netflix’s latest slate of additions to its film library includes a mix of 21st-century films that have gone on to be revisited as modern classics. From Luca Guadagnino and Damien Chazelle films to high-quality action epics like “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Woman King,” there’s something for every cinephile to enjoy this month.
Keep reading for our seven favorite films hitting Netflix this month.
“La La Land” (Now Streaming)
Damien Chazelle’s tribute to musicals and the fools who dream remains one of the most spectacular pieces of movie magic released this century. The film combines Chazelle’s Old Hollywood sensibilities with a modern story about two artists (Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling) who struggle to make it in a Los Angeles that’s equal parts magical and soul-crushing.
“La La Land” is a bittersweet love story that should resonate with everyone who has tried to balance romance with professional ambitions — and you can almost watch it twice in the time it would take to watch “Babylon.”
“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy (Now Streaming)
Two decades after their initial release, Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movies remain the gold standard of fantasy filmmaking. The sprawling adaptations brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers,” and “The Return of the King” to life on an unprecedented scale, and their stunning visuals are matched only by their epic storylines. Longtime fans were able to get their Middle Earth fix with Season 1 of “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” streaming on Prime Video last year, but nothing compares to the real thing.
“Call Me By Your Name” (Now Streaming)
Few films in recent memory have captured the delicate unfolding of a new romance — and the pain when it inevitably ends — better than “Call Me By Your Name.” The final entry in Luca Guadagnino’s Desire Trilogy stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer as two men who engage in a forbidden romance in the Italian countryside over the course of a beautiful summer. The lush film is stunning to look at while leaving audiences with a sense of melancholy that haunts you long after the credits roll.
“It” (Now Streaming)
Film adaptations of Stephen King books are famously hit-or-miss. The prolific novelist’s lesser works are often turned into iconic movies (see: “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Shining,” and “Stand By Me”), but Hollywood takes on his most popular bestsellers can be quite forgettable. Andy Muschietti’s “It” finds a happy middle ground between the two extremes, turning King’s 1,100-page novel about a shape-shifting evil that often takes the form of a murderous clown into a crowd-pleasing horror flick that left everyone relatively satisfied. Bill Skarsgård gives a chilling performance as Pennywise the Clown in a film that balances ’80s nostalgia and modern scares with ease.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” (Now Streaming)
2006 was a simpler time at the movies. Will Smith was still a universally beloved movie star who had never been involved in an awards show altercation. And his son Jaden Smith was still a cute little kid who didn’t have a Twitter account. Those variables collided to make this wholesome little movie about a father attempting to take care of his son while he battles homelessness. Smith picked up his second Oscar nomination for his warm performance, and the film still holds up as one of this century’s better father-son stories.
“Julie & Julia” (Now Streaming)
Fluffier than a good soufflé, Nora Ephron’s final film as a director is a tribute to the legacy of French cooking legend Julia Child (Meryl Streep). The film tells two intertwining stories, cutting between Child’s rise to prominence and a food blogger (Amy Adams) who decides to recreate all of her recipes decades later. It’s not exactly Shakespeare, but it’s a delightful food movie and a fun reminder of just how good Streep continues to be.
“The Woman King” (Streaming February 16)
One of the most unique blockbusters of 2022, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical epic gives West African history the “Braveheart” treatment. Following the all-female warriors tasked with protecting the kingdom of Dahomey, “The Woman King” manages to shine a light on a little-known segment of African history while being a crowd-pleasing action movie that would have been just as thrilling if it was fictional. Anchored by a stellar Viola Davis performance, “The Woman King” was a welcome diversion from Hollywood’s standard blockbuster fare.
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