The first week of March brings with it a whole new host of things to look forward to: the slow and certain thawing of winter, the launch of a major new streaming platform in the form of Paramount Plus, and a breadth of new streaming titles to choose from.
March sees the exclusive streaming premiere of experimental filmmaker Matthew Rankin’s 2019 feature-length debut The Twentieth Century, the arrival of major new releases in the form of Raya and the last Dragon on Disney Plus, along with the return of several cult favorites in the form of Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.
Read on for 11 of the best movies new to streaming services in January. There’s something for everyone.
Attack the Block
Joe Cornish’s 2011 sci-fi horror comedy Attack the Block stars pre-Star Wars fame John Boyega as Moses, the leader of a gang of ne’er-do-wells from a South London council estate who is forced to ward off a ravenous hoard of extraterrestrial monsters from seizing his home. With terrific supporting performances courtesy of future Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and Shaun of the Dead’s Nick Frost, Attack the Block is wild ride and the definition of a must-watch. —Toussaint Egan
Back to the Future
Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future is one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever created, full stop. While the trilogy as a whole is widely lauded as one of the greatest of all time (yes, that includes the third one!), you can never go wrong with a rewatch of the original. Michael J. Fox stars in his career-defining role as Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student who is accidentally sent 30 years into the past using a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his eccentric scientist friend Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). —TE
Back to the Future is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Keanu Reeves stars in Francis Lawrence’s 2005 paranormal action horror film as John Constantine, an expert demonologist and exorcist caught in the middle of a proxy war between heaven and hell on Earth. When police officer Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) comes to Constantine to assist her in proving that her sister’s mysterious death was not a suicide, the pair become entangled in a century-long conspiracy to unleash Lucifer’s Mammon using the the Spear of Destiny. —TE
Constantine is streaming on HBO Max.
Tim Burton’s 2005 stop-motion animated musical Corpse Bride follows Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp), the son of wealth fish merchants. On the eve of the arranged wedding to his bethrothed Victoria (Emily Watson), Victor accidentally weds Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), the partially exhumed corpse of woman murdered on her own wedding. It’s hilarious, impressively well animated, and an often overlooked entry in the canon of Tim Burton. —TE
Corpse Bride is streaming on HBO Max.
Marco Brambilla’s 1993 sci-fi action film Demolition Man stars Sylvester Stallone as LAPD Sergeant John Spartan, a risk-taking cop with a reputation for highly unorthodox methods and excessive collateral damage. Early on, Spartan’s framed by his criminal nemesis Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) and sentenced to cryogenically frozen incarceration for over 30 years. Awakening into the strange new world of 2036, where Taco Bell reigns Nacho Supreme and toilet paper has been inexplicably replaced with uh, three seashells, Spartan must rally the San Angeles Police Department to thwart the newly-escaped Phoenix and bring him to justice. —TE
Demolition Man is streaming on Hulu.
Raya and the Last Dragon
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ newest computer-animated action fantasy adventure Raya and the Last Dragon follows the titular warrior princess, voiced by Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran, as she embarks on a journey to find the mythical last dragon Sisu ( Awkwafina) and rescue her shattered homeland of Kumandra from a dark malevolent threat. Co-directed by Don Hall (Big Hero 6) and Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting), the film is the first of Disney’s major animated features to premiere simultaneously in theaters and via streaming on Disney Plus’ Premier Access service. —TE
Raya and the Last Dragon is streaming on Disney Plus.
Starring and written by Brea Grant, this SXSW-approved thriller finds a self-help writer, who preaches the word of independence and resilience, struggling to keep up with the violent actions of a man breaks into her home each night with intention of killing her. Surreal and potent, director Natasha Kermani brings a nightmare world out of everyday misogyny — where the words “that’s just how it is” cut nearly as deep as a knife — without letting the message interfere with the creeping dread of the situation. —Matt Patches
Lucky is streaming on Shudder
The Social Network
David Fincher’s chilly direction and brisk, choppy pace give a nervy edge to this story about the founding of Facebook, but the real winner is Aaron Sorkin’s script, based on Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires. Sorkin heavily fictionalized the facts to serve his purposes in telling a story about greed, betrayal, and the profound pettiness and neediness of Mark Zuckerberg (played with surprising fervor by Jesse Eisenberg), so the film shouldn’t be taken as anything like a historical document. But as a fictional account of a young man violating all moral boundaries, coming away at the top of a bold new social-media empire, and still not being satisfied, it’s unbeatable. Simultaneously entertaining and tragic, it’s polished on every level, from the whipcrack dialogue to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ propulsive score. —Tasha Robinson
Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day is one of the most iconic crime thriller films of the early 20th century. Ethan Hawke stars as Jake Hoyt, an idealistic LAPD narcotics officer tasked with shadowing Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris, played by Denzel Washington in his first Academy Award winning performance. If you’ve somehow never seen Training Day, and Denzel’s quote-worthy final speech, drop everything and make plans to watch this one. —TE
Training Day is streaming on Netflix.
The Twentieth Century
Matthew Rankin’s comedic biopic of William Lyon Mackenzie King (Dan Beirne), the real-life politician who served three non-consecutive terms as during the 10th prime minister of Canada, is avowedly ahistorical Dadaist fever dream channeled through the prismatic lens of German Expressionist cinema and mock mid-century war propaganda. Buckle up for this one, it gets weird. —TE
The Twentieth Century is streaming on Criterion Channel.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s Gene Wilder stars in Mel Brooks’ cult comedy horror spoof film Young Frankenstein as the mad scientist Frankenstein (er, Fronk-en-steen) in his dogged pursuit to reanimate his misbegotten creation (Peter Boyle) from the dead. —TE
Young Frankenstein is streaming on Hulu.
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