The 25 Best New Movies to Stream in January 2023

New comedies from Jennifer Lopez and Eddie Murphy as well as the streaming debut of “The Menu” are on tap this month

Why not kick off the new year with a new movie? January can be a bit of a slow month for new releases, but a number of noteworthy titles are newly streaming over the next few weeks to keep you plenty occupied. Below, we’ve put together a curated list of some of the best new movies to stream in January 2023, including brand new films like Prime Video’s Jennifer Lopez rom-com “Shotgun Wedding” and Netflix’s Jonah Hill/Eddie Murphy comedy “You People” to excellent library titles worth watching (or rewatching). There’s a little something for everyone, so take a look and dig in below.

“Minority Report”

20th Century Fox

Netflix – Jan. 1

One of Steven Spielberg’s very best films, 2002’s “Minority Report” offered a more gritty, more dystopian version of a sci-fi future than he had tackled before, as well as finally pairing him with Movie Star with a capital “M” Tom Cruise for the first time. A rip-roaring thriller with some of Janusz Kaminsky’s best cinematography to date, the story concerns a future in which three “pre-cogs” have the ability to predict crimes and police arrest the offenders before the crime has been committed. Cruise plays a dogged detective who finds himself in the crosshairs when a premonition arrives that he is due to commit a murder. Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow, Samantha Morton and Lois Smith round out the impeccable ensemble. – Adam Chitwood

“The ‘burbs”

Universal Pictures

Netflix – Jan. 1

Arguably the best of Tom Hanks’ “goofy ass comedy” phase (“Money Pit” and “Splash” being a close runners-up), “The ‘burbs” was directed by “Gremlins” mastermind Joe Dante, who was intrigued by the script’s central premise of a family of maniacs living on a quiet suburban street. Thanks to Dante’s knowing direction, which deliciously mixes black comedy with out-and-out hororr and pitch-perfect performances from the entire cast (including Bruce Dern, Corey Feldman, ‘80s everyman Rick Ducommun and Carrie Fisher) and an all-timer of a Jerry Goldsmith score, “The ‘burbs” is a hoot. Initially dismissed by critics, over the years “The ‘burbs” has grown in stature, becoming a true cult favorite. If, for some reason, you’ve never watched it, now is the time. You’ll have a blast. – Drew Taylor

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

scott pilgrim vs. the world
Universal Pictures

Netflix – Jan. 1

Filmmaker Edgar Wright’s 2010 graphic novel adaptation was famously a box office bust upon release, but has become a true cult classic over the last decade – to the point that it was re-released in theaters last year to mark its anniversary. And it’s a really fun movie! Michael Cera wants to date a girl (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but first he must defeat her seven evil exes in a series of eye-popping, delightfully over-the-top action battles. This movie is a nerd’s delight, packed with Wright’s signature quick-witted humor and outfitted with a stunning ahead-of-its-time ensemble (Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick all star just to name a few) and rockin’ soundtrack. – Adam Chitwood


United Artists

HBO Max – Jan. 1

One of director William Friedkin’s best and most criminally underappreciated movies, “Cruising” is based on the 1970 novel of the same name by Gerald Walker and stars Al Pacino as an undercover cop looking into a serial killer operating in New York City’s gay underground. If that sounds provocative, that’s it is. And Friedkin made the material even more hot button by adding leather bars and sadomasochism into the mix. (Would you expect any less from the director of “The Exorcist?”) The movie was met with complaints and protests from the LGBTQ+ community, who reacted to what they perceived negative stereotypes about the community. At the same time the movie was nearly slapped with an NC-17 rating thanks to what they felt were extremely graphic sequences. Eventually the movie secured an R-rating and began with a disclaimer, not that it made the movie any less controversial. People still picketed. The movie was poorly received by critics and audiences but in the years since became a favorite of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and the Safdie Brothers. Perhaps most tellingly, the movie inspired (sometimes shot-for-shot) moments in the most recent “American Horror Story” cycle “NYC.” At the very least, it’s an unforgettable experience. – Drew Taylor



HBO Max – Jan. 1

If you’re looking to get absolutely messed up, watch “Hereditary”! Filmmaker Ari Aster’s breakout 2018 horror film stars Toni Collette as the matriarch of a family who finds themselves haunted (both literally and figuratively) after the death of her mother. It’s hard to explain why “Hereditary” is worth watching without spoiling its twists and turns, but Collette delivers an astoundingly good performance and Aster brings a patient command of the screen that makes the horrors within all the more unsettling. – Adam Chitwood

“Piranha 3D”

Dimension Films

HBO Max – Jan. 1

From an actual Joe Dante movie to a remake of a Joe Dante movie, here comes “Piranha 3D!” A very loose remake of Dante’s Roger Corman-produced 1978 “Jaws” rip-off (a very good “Jaws” rip-off, but a “Jaws” rip-off just the same), this new version of the story is set in an Arizona lake, where an underwater earthquake has unleashed a school of primordial piranha. While that all sounds well and good, the concept is elevated by a very game cast (including Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott and Jerry O’Connell, plus cameos by Christopher Lloyd and Richard Dreyfuss) and the direction of Alexandre Aja, a cheeky French filmmaker who turns what could have been a run-of-the-mill monster movie into a scathing condemnation of American culture and consumer excess. Also, there’s a sequence where the piranha attack a bunch of spring breakers that is arguably more violent than the D-Day sequence in “Saving Private Ryan.” The only downside to watching it on HBO Max is that you are robbed of the perfectly gimmicky 3D effects which included, among other things, a nude underwater ballet and a scene where O’Connell’s disembodied penis floats towards the camera/audience. Seeing it with a packed house was a transcendent experience. Watching it at home is still fun. – Drew Taylor

“Strange Days”

20th Century Fox

HBO Max – Jan. 1

Since we’ve all got James Cameron fever following the release of his excellent “Avatar: The Way of Water,” why not dip back into the catalog, to a movie that is infrequently talked about (and even-more-infrequently available on streaming), “Strange Days?” Produced, edited  by Cameron, as well as being based on a story Cameron concocted (he has a co-writing credit but he only provided a loose outline, Jay Cocks wrote it), “Strange Days” takes place in a dystopian future – Los Angeles in 1999. On the eve of the millennia, a sleazy tech dealer named Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) trades in VR experiences recorded by real people. (You could go surfing or rob a bank, whatever you want.) When a rapper and outspoken critic of the LAPD winds up dead, Lenny obtains incriminating evidence, leading him on a wild, out-of-control New Year’s race against time. Stocked with a uniformly excellent cast (including Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott and Glenn Plummer) and staged, beautifully, by director Kathryn Bigelow (Cameron’s ex-wife), “Strange Days” is arguably the best paranoid techno thriller of that era (there were a lot back then). It also forms an insanely interesting dialogue with Cameron’s “Terminator 2,” since the Rodney King beating was captured on video by some goofballs who were trying to get footage of Cameron shooting the highly anticipated sequel. (There’s also the whole dimension of the T-1000 disguising himself as an LAPD officer.) Chances are you’ve never seen “Strange Days,” but it’s never too late. It’s a trip. – Drew Taylor

“The Taking of Pelham 123” (1974)

United Artists

HBO Max – Jan. 1

One of the best films of the 1970’s (which is saying something considering how unparalleled that decade was for movies), “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3” is based on the novel by Morton Freedgood (writing under his pen name John Godey) and directed with precision by journeyman filmmaker Joseph Sargent. You might have seen the pretty-good 2009 remake by Tony Scott (or the also above-average 1998 TV movie version) but nothing compares to the original. Walter Matthau plays a New York City Transit Police detective who is dealing with the apparent hostage situation involving a New York City subway. A band of goons, led by Robert Shaw and including Martin Balsam and Héctor Elizondo (told you this movie is ‘70s AF), who address each other by codenames associated with colors (something that Quentin Tarantino would borrow for “Reservoir Dogs”), have taken the hostages and are demanding $1 million. Matthau has to defuse the situation, get the hostages out alive and figure out who the kidnappers really are. It’s a non-stop thrill ride from beginning to end, filled with lovely flourishes (like the Japanese train-makers who are touring Matthau’s office while he’s trying to work), great character work (like Lee Wallace’s turn as a mayor who is sick in bed) and a propulsive, jazzy score by the unsung genius David Shire. Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch this one. It’ll be one of your favorites too. – Drew Taylor

“Paper Moon”

Paramount Pictures

Paramount+ – Jan. 1

If you’re in the mood for a classic, 1973’s road trip comedy “Paper Moon” holds up tremendously well. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, the film takes place during the Great Depression and stars real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal as a con man and orphan who team up when the con man agrees to take the young girl from Gotham, Kansas to St. Joseph, Missouri. Heartwarming, hilarious and rich in character, “Paper Moon” is a classic for a reason. – Adam Chitwood


Buena Vista Pictures

Paramount+ – Jan. 1

“Arachnophobia” was marked by Disney as the first (and so far only) “thrillomedy;” a thriller that wasn’t afraid to also bring the laughs. But really, it’s a horror comedy – a killer bug movie set in California wine country with a great cast led by Jeff Daniels and some legitimate scares, courtesy of director Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg’s longtime producer. (Spielberg returned the favor by producing “Arachnophobia” alongside Marshall’s wife, Kathleen Kennedy.) Daniels plays a small town doctor whose arrival in Canaima (actually Cambria, California) coincides with the arrival of a deadly South American arachnid, who mates with a common house spider to produce a lethal new breed. As far as ‘90s horror movies go, “Arachnophobia” is downright quaint – a version of the same story could have been produced during the 1950s. Even the performances, from Daniels’ harried doctor to Julian Sands’ slick spider expert to John Goodman’s goofball exterminator, have the heightened quality of an old drive-in movie. And honestly, it’s all the better for it. There’s something timeless about “Arachnophobia,” our most prized “thrillomedy.” – Drew Taylor

“A.I. Artificial Intelligence”

DreamWorks Pictures

Prime Video – Jan. 1

If it’s been awhile since you saw Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” it’s well worth giving another shot – especially in the wake of the revelations within his deeply personal 2022 drama “The Fabelmans”. Originally conceived by Stanley Kubrick, Spielberg revived the project after Kubrick’s death and wrote and directed this tale of a young boy A.I. who is programmed to love and then abandoned by his adopted family. One part fairy tale and one part nightmare, this is one of Spielberg’s darkest films, with the director maintaining a heartbreaking emotional core throughout the young boy’s journey. Fair warning: If you’re a parent, have tissues at the ready. – Adam Chitwood


Magnolia Pictures

Prime Video – Jan. 1

Before “The Florida Project” or “Red Rocket,” filmmaker Sean Baker burst onto the scene with his 2015 comedy “Tangerine” – shot entirely on an iPhone. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez stars as a trans sex worker living in Los Angeles who finds out that her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her. While it looks like an indie and tackles some heavy material at times, the film has the tone and pacing of a raucous comedy, and is all the better for it. – Adam Chitwood

The “Indiana Jones” Franchise

Harrison Ford in a scene from the film ‘Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom’, 1984. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)

Prime Video – Jan. 1

With “Indiana Jones 5” on tap for release this summer, there’s never been a better time to binge-watch the entire “Indy” franchise so far. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is one of the best films ever made; “Temple of Doom” is an underrated gem that also happens to be one of the darkest films of Steven Spielberg’s career; and “Last Crusade” is a rip-roaring delight. “Crystal Skull,” well, we won’t blame you if you skip that one. – Adam Chitwood

“Mission: Impossible” 1-4

Paramount Pictures

Prime Video – Jan. 1

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One,” the seventh installment in the franchise, is right around the corner (this summer!) so you might as well start your re-watch. And thankfully Prime Video can get you almost halfway there. Everything started with Brian De Palma’s “Mission: Impossible,” which cast Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, a young super-spy whose entire team is murdered. And he’s the main suspect. This causes Ethan to go on the run in an effort to clear his name and find out who really did. De Palma’s slick, suspenseful direction makes this something of an outlier in the franchise, which would put a greater emphasis on stunts as the sequels went along. It’s hard to top the original. For the sequel, John Woo did less of a “Mission: Impossible” entry than a typically over-the-top (but damnably PG-13-rated) John Woo movie. Arguably the weakest entry, “Mission: Impossible 2” is still a lot of fun. For the third film, co-writer/director J.J. Abrams took a different approach, focusing on Ethan Hunt the man (you get to see his home life!) and pitting him against a sneering arms dealer played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. For the fourth movie, dubbed “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” Cruise recruited Brad Bird, who had only directed animation up until that point, giving us a more playful installment and one with maybe the greatest stunt of the entire series – Cruise climbing on the outside of the world’s tallest building. What fun. – Drew Taylor


20th Century Fox

Hulu – Jan. 1

Once upon a time, Ridley Scott made a long-awaited return to the sci-fi genre and his “Alien” franchise and ended up making one of the weirdest movies of his career. While 2012’s “Prometheus” got a bit of a bad rap upon release, it’s a fascinating and bold film that’s far more interested in the philosophical questions about humanity’s hubris than it is in xenomorph fights. The basic setup here is that this is a prequel/origin story to “Alien,” and follows a spaceship full of humans who stumble upon what may or may not be the birthplace of what would eventually become the xenomorphs. Oh, and Michael Fassbender plays an android who’s also a cinephile. – Adam Chitwood

“The Menu”

Anya Taylor-Joy in "The Menu"
Anya Taylor-Joy in THE MENU. Photo by Eric Zachanowich. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

HBO Max – Jan. 3

“The Menu” is a delicious horror comedy set in the world of upscale dining. Ralph Fiennes plays a talented (but insanely pretentious) chef who brings together an assortment of clientele, including a fanboy (Nicholas Hoult) and his date (Anya Taylor-Joy), a movie star (John Leguizamo), a critic (Janet McTeer) and a regular customer (Judith Light) to his remote destination restaurant. And then people start to die. To give away any more would be downright criminal, but “The Menu” luxuriates in both the satire and the scares, sending up the world of fine dining and those who give it too much oxygen. (Fun fact: the lovely little interludes with the plated food were shot by the team behind “Chef’s Table!”) While “The Menu” was a real theater experience (hearing the roar of the crowd was everything), it’s still utterly scrumptious on streaming (best enjoyed with a nice bottle of wine). – Drew Taylor


Paramount Pictures

Paramount+ – Jan. 1

See, there were a lot of stylish techno thrillers made in the ‘90s! But while “Strange Days” (above) is a genuine masterpiece, “Virtuosity” is more of a guilty pleasure. In the future policemen like Denzel Washington train using a VR program that approximates the worst of the worst, embodied by a program called SID 6.7 (Russell Crowe). The acronym stands for Sadistic Intelligent Dangerous which probably speaks to the level of sophistication of this script. Anyway, it was directed by Brett Leonard, a man who is weirdly obsessed with VR (he also directed “The Lawnmower Man”), who has fun with the ridiculousness of the movie’s conceit and who coaxes genuinely fun performances out of Washington (who is still saddled with an overwrought backstory) and, in particular, Crowe. (Kelly Lynch, William Forsythe and William Fichtner also star.) He also makes the most out of the admittedly chintzy visual effects, which are just this side of a Windows 95 screensaver. 10/10. No notes. – Drew Taylor

“The Pale Blue Eye”

The Pale Blue Eye
Scott Garfield/Netflix

Netflix – Jan. 6

Christian Bale plays an old timey detective in this fog-filled adaptation of Louis Bayard’s terrific 2003 novel “The Pale Blue Eye.” The year is 1830 and a series of mysterious, perhaps Satanic murders have occurred at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Bale’s veteran detective Augustus Landor is recruited to help solve the case and Landor, in turn, recruits one of the students – a darkly humored young man named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling). Of course, they stumble upon something more vast and unsettling than they possibly could have imagined. Writer/director Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart,” “Antlers”) gives everything the right amount of atmosphere and the supporting cast (including Gillian Anderson as an overprotective mother and Robert Duvall as an occult expert) give their sometimes-brief roles both humor and depth. (The creepy score by regular Cronenberg collaborator Howard Shore also helps set the mood.) Whether or not you buy the movie’s big twist remains to be seen, but “The Pale Blue Eye” should at least be applauded for being a stylish, grown-up, rated-R thriller that doesn’t take the viewer’s intelligence for granted. More please. – Drew Taylor

“Jurassic World Dominion”

Universal Pictures

Prime Video – Jan. 6

The sixth and (so far) final entry in the “Jurassic Park” saga is forced to cover a lot of ground, as it concludes the more recent “Jurassic World” trilogy and the series of films that began with Steven Spielberg’s original (still unparalleled) in 1993. Given all of that, the movie is divided into two halves – the first half sees Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and the gang attempting to stop illegal dinosaur trading and corral some of the animals that got out after the events of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” The second half follows our original heroes (played once again by Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Sam Neill) as they investigate a cover-up by Biosyn, the tech company that hired Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) to betray the park in the first movie. The two storylines converge at a kind of nature preserve (a park, if you will) for the dinosaurs that has been set up by Biosyn and, somewhat predictably, malfunctions, allowing for all sorts of primeval creatures to run amok. (New characters played by DeWanda Wise, Dichen Lachman and Mamoudou Athie leave an impression even if they aren’t given that much to do.) Full of wacky dinosaur action and the two sets of characters having to work together to survive, “Jurassic World: Dominion” might be exactly what you want from this kind of conclusion. Or you might be ready, by the end, for the whole franchise to be extinct for a little while. It won’t be for long, though. Life finds a way. – Drew Taylor

“License to Kill”

Eon Productions

Paramount+ – Jan. 15

Justice for Timothy Dalton’s darkly dangerous 1980s James Bond! “License to Kill,” which was only the second (and final) Dalton Bond movie is an underrated gem in the 007 canon. It was the final Bond film directed by journeyman English filmmaker John Glen, who had directed the previous four movies (and several more before that), and one of his more stylish entries, a tonally adventurous installment that combines some of the darkest stuff in the franchise with some of the goofiest. In less assured hands, it wouldn’t work, but under Glen’s direction, it sings. Speaking of singing, Gladys Knight’s Pip-free song is a sultry banger and Michael Kamen’s score is perfect, period-appropriate thrill. The plot is pure nonsense and sees Bond going rogue to kill the drug dealer that raped and murdered Felix’s (David Hedison) wife. The politics are dicey, as was the decision to hire extremely Italian actor Robert Davi to play a Hispanic drug kingpin. But as an offbeat entry in a franchise that, especially then, was suffering from an overwhelming feeling of sameness, “License to Kill” rules – Bond girl Carey Lowell is a total babe, there are plenty of exciting action set pieces and Dalton-as-Bond is one of the richer versions of the character. This entry is definitely shaken (not stirred). – Drew Taylor



Jan. 20 – Netflix

Well this looks insane (in the best possible way). A science fiction epic from South Korea, “Jung_E” … you know what, we’re just going to share the official synopsis: “Set in the year 2194, ‘Jung_E’ portrays a desolated Earth in the 22nd century that is no longer habitable due to climate change where humans are forced to live in a man-made shelter built for survival. Amid the chaos, an internal war breaks out in the shelter. Victory – meaning the end of the war – now hinges on finding a way to clone the legendary mercenary Jung_E into a scalable robot.” Nuts right? The trailer seems to suggest that the warrior is also the main character’s monter, which adds an entirely separate level of complexity (and madness). The movie is directed by Yeon Sang-ho, one of the more exciting voices in contemporary Korean genre cinema (he was behind “Train to Busan” and the Netflix series “Hellbound”) and we are sufficiently pumped for whatever “Jung_E” wants to give us. – Drew Taylor

“Minions: The Rise of Gru”

Minions The Rise of Gru
Universal Pictures

Jan. 23 – Netflix

You can’t keep a good minion down! What have become, arguably, the marquee character not just for the constantly expanding “Despicable Me” franchise or even animation studio Illumination but for Universal Studios as a whole, are back for more wacky nonsense. This time we visit Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell) in 1976; he has yet to become the serious villain we all know and love. But he does have the support of the largely nonverbal minions, those weird, pill-shaped yellow weirdos (their strange language is provided by Pierre Coffin). The unintelligible plot has something to do with a group of super-villains called the Vicious 6 (Alan Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Lucy Lawless and Danny Trejo) who eventually turn into monsters and Michelle Yeoh as a Chinese master who teaches the minions various kung-fu techniques. It doesn’t make a lick of sense. But it’s brightly colored, energetically animated and runs a cool 87 minutes. What more do you want? – Drew Taylor

“You People”


Netflix – Jan. 27

Eddie Murphy’s latest streaming release, after “Coming 2 America” (for Prime Video) and the very brilliant “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix) doubles as Kenya Barris’ debut as a feature writer/director (he created “black•ish” for ABC). In “You People,” a sort of 2022 take on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?,” Jonah Hill plays a young man who falls in love with a Black woman (Lauren London), who then seeks approval from her parents (played by Murphy and Nia Long). Of course, she also seeks the approval of his parents (played by David Duchovny and Julia Louis-Dreyfus). As you can imagine, much hilariousness ensues. The trailer for this movie is absolutely killer and with that kind of comedic talent in front of (and behind) the camera, this one should be a real side-splitter. Let the Murphy renaissance continue! – Drew Taylor

“Shotgun Wedding”

Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel in “Shotgun Wedding” (Prime Video)

Jan. 27 – Prime Video

Honestly, this looks like more fun than it has any right to be. The logline makes it sound like a mixture of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Die Hard,” as Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel (in a role originally meant for Armie Hammer, yikes!) unite their families for a destination wedding in a beautiful tropical location. Of course, their dream day turns into a nightmare when everyone is taken hostage and the beautiful couple has to fight their way out of an impossible situation. The starry cast for “Shotgun Wedding” includes Sonia Braga, Jennifer Coolidge, Lenny Kravitz and Cheech Marin, and director Jason Moore previously helmed the first (and still the best) “Pitch Perfect.” It’s exciting to see what he does with an R-rated comedic action extravaganza. We’re getting “The Lost City” vibes from this one. – Drew Taylor

“Orphan: First Kill”

“Orphan: First Kill” (Paramount Pictures)

Jan. 31 – Prime Video

One of last year’s very best horror movies, “Orphan: First Kill” was initially released as a Paramount+ exclusive. But, times being what they are, it has escaped to other platforms! A prequel to the 2009 film “Orphan” and explores the mysterious origins of Esther Albright (once again played by Isabelle Fuhrman), a psychotic adult woman who looks like a little kid. The first 20 minutes or so of “Orphan: First Kill” are fine but perfunctory. Then the movie takes a turn and the rest of the running time is a total, out-of-control joy. The new film was directed by William Brent Bell, who knows a thing or two about creepy skittering things (he directed “The Boy” and its sequel); it’s less stylish than the original but maybe more effective. Like a blunt instrument. To the skull. – Drew Taylor