It’s that time of the month again when you take stock of what’s coming and going from each of the major streaming services and adjust your queue accordingly. When it comes to originals and 2018 releases, there are only a handful of new movies to watch in February 2019—or at least only a handful that I feel confident recommending. Here’s what you can look forward to.
New movies to stream in February 2019: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime
Available now on Netflix
Nightcrawler writer and director Dan Gilroy teams up again with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo in this savage and supernatural satire of the modern art world. Gyllenhaal and Russo play an art critic and curator, respectively, who capitalize on the recently discovered paintings of a dead, unknown artist—until the works start taking on a life of their own. The film also stars John Malkovich, Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer, and Daveed Diggs. “At its best,” our critic wrote, “Velvet Buzzsaw blends its disparate elements together with scenes that can make you jump, laugh, and cringe all at once.”
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2) Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Available Feb. 9 on HBO
The feel-good documentary of 2018, Won’t You Be My Neighbor examines the unlikely success, creative genius, and radical kindness of Fred Rogers, the iconic children’s show host whose long-running program inspired generations. He’s the neighbor America needs right now. Just be warned: I don’t think there’s anyone who’s managed to watch this doc without crying at least once.
3) Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
Feb. 8 on Amazon Prime
Based on the memoir of John Callahan and directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk), Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is a biopic of sorts about the late Portland, Oregon-based cartoonist, but true to its subject, it avoids the inspirational, glossy trap of similar films. Joaquin Phoenix absorbs the role of Callahan, a struggling alcoholic who was paralyzed in a late-night bender. He finds support on his path to recovery from his sponsor (Jonah Hill) and girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and fresh inspiration in the form of crude and deeply funny newspaper comics.
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4) Deadpool 2 (Super Duper Cut Unrated Version), 2018
Available Feb. 16 on HBO
Ryan Reynolds returns for another rather basic superhero spinoff, garnished with dick jokes, pop culture references, and an ironic soundtrack of Celine Dion and Dolly Parton. This time he’s joined by time-traveling cyborg Cable (Josh Brolin) and mutant mercenary Domino (Zazie Beetz), who arguably outshine the lead character. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw
5) What They Had
Available Feb. 16 on Amazon Prime
If you’ve seen The Notebook more than once, you’ll want to check out What They Had. It’s a gut-wrenching family drama about love and the long shadows parents cast on their children. It has a stacked cast, with Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon playing a sister and brother dealing with their mother’s (Blythe Danner) Alzheimer’s and their father’s (Robert Forster) unwillingness to let go. For what it’s worth, it’s Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Available now on Hulu and Amazon Prime
In Alex Garland’s adaptation of Annihilation, we still get to explore Area X, a quarantined area of land besieged by mysterious environmental changes. That’s about where the similarities to the book end. The film uses author Jeff VanderMeer’s spectral setting to get in its characters’ heads. Natalie Portman plays Lena, a biologist and former soldier who is grieving the loss of her husband, Kane (Oscar Isaac). He was sent into Area X on a secret mission and feared dead, but he suddenly returns home—altered. Lena’s mission there is one of truth and redemption, but Portman plays her with appropriate detachment. We don’t really know her true motives, and fellow travelers Anya (Gina Rodriguez), Cass (Tuva Novotny), Josie (Tessa Thompson), and Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) have their own reasons for going on an apparent suicide mission. —Audra Schroeder
Still not sure what to watch or what service to choose? Here are the 60 best movies on Amazon Prime, 35 best movies on HBO, 50 best movies on Hulu, 105 best movies on Netflix, 15 best movies on Showtime, 25 best movies on Starz, and 45 free movies on YouTube.