As a new year begins, a bevy of new titles are now available to stream on Netflix. It can be daunting trying to figure out what to watch on the streaming service, and narrowing the selection down to what’s been newly added is an easy way way ensure you’re finding something you haven’t seen before (or haven’t seen in a long time).
Below, we’ve assembled a list of the best new movies on Netflix in January 2022. They range from neo-Westerns to romantic comedies to Oscar-winning dramas, and all are worth checking out for one reason or another.
Hell or High Water
If you’re a fan of “Yellowstone,” you’ll want to check out creator Taylor Sheridan’s 2016 neo-Western crime film “Hell or High Water.” The film stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster as a pair of brothers who carry out a series of bank robberies to save their family ranch, and are put on the radar of two Texas Rangers played by Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham. Sheridan wrote the script that was then directed by David Mackenzie, and the film is a slow-burn crime thriller with complex characters that builds tension, inch-by-inch, until its explosive finale. The film picked up Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Screenplay and Supporting Actor for Bridges.
I Love You, Man
The 2009 comedy “I Love You, Man” scratches the buddy comedy itch, with Paul Rudd playing a friendless man looking for a best man for his wedding and Jason Segel playing the charismatic, free-wheeling companion on whom he sets his sights. Rashida Jones co-stars as Rudd’s wife, while the film also features memorable comedic turns from the likes of Jane Curtain, J.K. Simmons, Jon Favreau and Andy Samberg. While the film isn’t quite as funny as other 2000s comedies in the same vein, the chemistry of Rudd and Segel make this one enjoyable nonetheless.
Going the classic route? Check out Martin Scorsese’s seminal 1976 film “Taxi Driver.” Often imitated but never replicated, this noir-inspired drama stars Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a taxi driver living in New York City who decides to take matters into his own hands to clean up the streets. Paul Schrader’s script puts this anti-hero front and center, while Scorsese’s direction at times feels almost dreamlike. This one’s worth another watch if you haven’t seen it in a while, as its rich themes still offer much to chew on.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
A blockbuster masterpiece, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” thrills just as much today as it did when it was released in 1991. James Cameron returned to helm the sequel to his 1984 film, but this time Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator is the good guy. Sent back in time from an adult John Connor to protect a young John Connor (played by Edward Furlong) from a new Terminator (the T-1000, played by Robert Patrick), Schwarzenegger excels at mining comedy from his character’s dry reaction to, well, everything. But Linda Hamilton is the real star of this thing as a beefed up and battle-ready Sarah Connor.
Sometimes you just want to watch a cheesy romantic comedy, and “Runaway Bride” is exactly that. Released in 1999, the film reunited Julia Roberts with her “Pretty Woman” co-star Richard Gere and director Garry Marshall for the story of a woman who has been dubbed “The Runaway Bride” for her tendency to leave her fiancés at the altar. Gere plays a columnist who writes an error-filled article on the woman, only to be fired and given one last shot at restoring his reputation – writing an in-depth piece about this Runaway Bride. A surprising romance ensues.
One of the best films from the Coen Brothers is surely 2010’s “True Grit,” an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Charles Portis. This is the Coens making a straight Western, as they tell the story of a 14-year-old girl (Hailee Steinfeld) who hires a drunken lawman (Jeff Bridges) to help her find the man who has murdered her father. Matt Damon is along for the ride as an uppity Texas Ranger, and Josh Brolin plays the murderer in question. This is a quest-type Western boasting incredible cinematography from Roger Deakins and a beautiful score by Carter Burwell that puts a twist on classic hymns.
Available starting Jan. 16 is filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s acerbic romance “Phantom Thread,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis in his final onscreen role before his retirement. Set in 1954 London, Day-Lewis stars as a famous fashion designer who takes his meticulous process seriously. But when he strikes up a relationship with a waitress, his routine starts to get shaken up, and he must consider the impact said relationship will have on his work. This is Paul Thomas Anderson’s version of a twisted romantic drama, and the film is surprisingly funny. It scored Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress and Original Score and won for Best Costume Design.