New year, new Netflix! January 2023’s slate can keep viewers entertained amidst all the gray skies and rainstorms, with new original films like “Dog Gone” starring Rob Lowe to classics like “Forrest Gump” starring Tom Hanks. Those who can’t get enough of the adrenaline of “Top Gun: Maverick” can stream the original film on Netflix now, too.
Other genres well-represented in the batch of new titles on Netflix in January include the whodunnit and rom-com, with several options like “The Pale Blue Eye” and “You People” landing as Netflix originals. For those in a more serious mood, “Brokeback Mountain” is now available. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” promises fun for the whole family with Illumination animation, child-favorite characters and a throwback to songs of the seventies for parents.
Here are some of the best new movies to watch on Netflix in January 2023:
The Oscar-winning “Brokeback Mountain” is available on Netflix this month, and takes place in the summer of 1963 when Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, two shepherds in need of work, meet on Joe Aguirre’s sheep farm. The late Heath Ledger portrays Del Mar while Jake Gyllenhaal plays Twist. Their bond moves past friendship as they spend more and more time together, but complications arise when each man marries their respective girlfriends — Michelle Williams for Del Mar and Anne Hathaway for Twist — despite their romantic love for each other. Randy Quaid plays Joe Aguirre. An emotional film about the undeniable force of love in the Western genre doesn’t come around too often!
With “Top Gun: Maverick” now available to stream on Paramount+, avid aviation fans or just fans of Tom Cruise or the franchise in general can now have a movie marathon at home. Before the eagerly awaited sequel, which stars a whole host of handsome new pilots including Glen Powell, Miles Teller, Lewis Pullman, Greg Tarzan Davis, Manny Jacinto, Danny Ramirez and Jay Ellis, there was just “Top Gun.” Before Jennifer Connelly’s Penny Benjamin, there was Kelly McGillis as Charlie. Goose (Anthony Edwards) made it possible for Rooster (Miles Teller) to enter the “Top Gun” universe. And all that sunset lighting, oil and electric atmosphere came about in the original film in 1986 thanks to director Tony Scott.
“The Pale Blue Eye”
From Scott Cooper comes a moody murder mystery drama starring Harry Melling (“Please Baby Please,” “Harry Potter”) as a young Edgar Allen Poe who teams up with a retired detective August Landor (Christian Bale) to solve a mysterious murder at West Point, the famous military academy where Poe was once a cadet. A stunning ensemble cast backs up this dynamic pair from Toby Jones who plays patriarch Dr. Marquis to Gillian Anderson as Mrs. Marquis to Lucy Boynton (“Chevalier”) as a love interest for Poe, as well as Charlotte Gainsbourg and Robert Duvall. Those having a hard time finding something to immerse themselves in after watching “Wednesday” might enjoy the Edgar Allan Poe of it all.
Fans of “Old Yeller,” “My Dog Skip” and “Marley & Me” must check out “Dog Gone,” which tells the true story of John Marshall (Rob Lowe) as he embarks on the Appalachian Trail to find Gonker, the four-legged best friend to his son Fielding (Johnny Berchtold). Based on Pauls Toutonghi’s book, titled “Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home,” the film is written by Nick Santora, who produces alongside Jeremy Kipp Walker. An earnest Lowe (who also executive produced the film) promises Berchtold that they will find the missing mutt. And when wife and mother Virginia (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) asks John how he can make such a big promise, he simply assures her, “Because I believe it.” The heartwarming story launched on the streamer Jan. 13.
If case you head to the theater to see Hanks in “A Man Called Otto,” adapted from the best-selling book “A Man Called Ove,” you might get the hankering to watch more of his work, which you can do now on Netflix with his Oscar-winning “Forrest Gump” (1994). The Southern charm of Robert Zemeckis’ feel good film, which won the Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars, makes for the perfect movie night. Pop culture references abound as the film follows the slow-witted Forrest on his journey through American touchstones like the Vietnam War, incorporating real historical footage with Hanks’ performance.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru”
The latest minions movie promises a blast from the past in terms of its nostalgic 1970s soundtrack. Gru still centers the story, but as a child and teen who wants nothing more than to join The Sinister Six — a band of iconic bad guys who he worships. He really looked up to the leader of the six in particular, Wild Knuckles. Upon applying to become a member and getting accepted for an interview, Gru ventures to the Six’s headquarters beneath Criminal Records, where Dr. Nefario used to work. When Gru gets separated from the minions, four of them set out to save him, one getting separated from the pack to have an adventure up the coast of California. Meanwhile, the minions have an adventure of their own with Master Chow, voiced by Golden Globe winner and “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star Michelle Yeoh herself! For many laughs, warm moments and great re-imagined ’70s songs, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is your jam.
Jonah Hill returns to the big screen alongside Lauren London, Eddie Murphy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in this romantic comedy headed to Netflix on Jan. 26. Ezra (Jonah Hill) and Amira (Lauren London) meet by chance when Ezra thinks Amira is his Uber driver. They click surprisingly quickly after Ezra has been pining for a romantic relationship, and once he proposes to her, they begin the journey of navigating their very different cultural backgrounds. Ezra, who is white, consults Amira’s parents (Eddie Murphy and Nia Long) in a two-for-one visit where he also meets them for the first time at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. Amira meets Ezra’s parents (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny), who are Jewish don’t quite know what to say around her. Amira’s parents are Muslim, which brings about more potential family conflict. The “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”-inspired rom-com highlights other well-known Los Angeles spots as the biracial couple navigates their family differences. Jonah Hill and Kenya Harris wrote the script that Karris directs.