FOR THE SUPERSTITIOUS folks out there, 13 is an unlucky number. But for the more rational Netflix viewer, it’s a very fortuitous figure indeed: It’s the total number of must-watch movies and TV shows coming to the streaming service this month.
So what good fortune hath Netflix brought? Well, we’ve got President-Trump-approved movies about forgetful fish, a wonderful documentary about drag culture in 1980s New York, and a charming Channing Tatum dancing for his dinner. Are you trying to tell us you don’t want to get lucky with Magic Mike? No, of course you’re not. Here’s everything you should plan on watching on Netflix in February.
Based on the work of Carl Sagan, Contact is about what happens when a young scientist (Jodie Foster) picks up an alien message and then has to be the voice of reason once all the government suits get involved. It’s like Arrival, but without all the arriving. Want to see a differentwoman stress the importance of communication and diplomacy in the face of paranoia? This movie is for you.
Finding Dory (2016)
OK, so the sequel wasn’t quite as good as Finding Nemo, but dammit Ellen DeGeneres wanted to make one and you all owe it to her to watch it. Whereas forgetful fish Dory (DeGeneres) helped Nemo get home in the first installment, it’s Nemo and his dad who help Dory find her missing parents in this chapter. Same story (pretty much), same amnesia jokes, same tears. Watch this with a loved one close by.
Magic Mike (2012)
If you can get past Alex Pettyfer looking as lost on a movie set as the n00b male stripper he’s playing does on stage, this hazy-hued Steven Soderbergh flick about an exotic dancer (Channing Tatum) trying to get his furniture business off the ground is gold. It’s also a lot smarter than most people give it credit for. If you’ve never seen it, watch it ASAP—you’ll never hear “Pony” the same way again.
Paris Is Burning (1990)
If your ears were functioning in 1990, then you’ve heard “Vogue” by Madonna. What you might not know, though, is where voguing comes from. Brush up with this Jennie Livingston documentary about ball culture in New York in the 1980s. Not only will you learn the real meaning behind “reading” and “throwing shade,” you’ll also get a harrowing glimpse into a drag scene being deeply impacted by the AIDS epidemic.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Granted, this movie will never be as horrifying as it was when we still didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t, but it’s still pretty damn scary. Plus it’s got all the snot-faced crying close-ups you can handle.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Some are Halloween people; others are Christmas folk. Very few are both. Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, would like to change that. Can he succeed? You’ll have to watch to find out, but rest assured anyone armed with direction from 1990s Tim Burton and music from Danny Elfman has a better shot than most.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016)
Easily one of the best miniseries of last year, Ryan Murphy’s dramatic recreation of the O.J. Simpson murder trial is just really damn good TV. From Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark to Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran, the cast is flawless. Sure, you know how this one ends, but watch it anyway.
Santa Clarita Diet (2017)
Drew Barrymore is a zombie. If you’re not already sold on Netflix’s new show, we really don’t know what to say to you.
Abstract: The Art of Design
What can we say? We’re fans of this one.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 2
Rachel Bloom’s occasionally musical, always hilarious comedy got even better in its second season. Catch up now.
Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
Want to know why people say Kristen Stewart is a great actress? Skip Twilight, which also hits Netflix this month, and watch this instead. Up against Juliette Binoche in this Olivier Assayas film, she is measured, confident, and vulnerable all at once. She’s even a little funny. Love, jealousy, and emotional hand-wringing has never looked so inviting.
Sausage Party (2016)
If you want to get stoned, but don’t want to get the munchies, watch this. It has all the humor you’re looking for and it’ll make snacking feel like murder. (How could you possibly eat a hot dog when one is smiling at you right there?)
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
This flick about a young woman (Melanie Lynskey) who gets robbed and decides she’s not going to put up with any more crap was one of our favorites at the Sundance Film Festival this year. And now that Netflix rules Sundance, you can stream it just a month after its debut. Whee!