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The 12 Best Things Coming to Netflix in January

It’s a whole new year, and the streaming service is ready to go

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka star in the Netflix series Cobra Kai

Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix

Ralph Macchio (left) as Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence in a scene from Season 3 of "Cobra Kai."

En español | Happy 2021, everyone! What’s our top resolution? To bring you the very best films and series, new and vintage, arriving on Netflix this and every month! Use our critic-curated list to make sure you catch the best new arrivals this January.

Coming Jan. 1

Good Hair (2009)

Chris Rock, 55, interviews folks including Maya Angelou, Ice-T and Raven-Symoné on a rich subject, the $9 billion Black hairdressing industry, and reveals that having a “hair relaxer” feels like your scalp is being “stung by a thousand bees.”

Watch it here: Good Hair

Into the Wild (2007)

Sean Penn excellently directs the poignant true story of the rich kid who, disillusioned by his violent polygamous father, gave his money to charity, lived solo in the Alaska wilderness, and died from eating wild potato seeds nobody knew were toxic.

Watch it here: Into the Wild

Mystic Pizza (1988)

Sure, Pretty Woman was fine, but Julia Roberts was far more charming as the pizzeria coworker of a runaway bride (a brilliant Lili Taylor) in a picturesque Connecticut town the summer after high school, when love gets serious.

Watch it here: Mystic Pizza

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Superbad (2007)

Critic Sean Axmaker calls Jonah Hill and Michael Cera’s coming-of-age-on-graduation-night comedy “the love child of American Pie and Dazed and Confused.” Plus, Emma Stone broke out as a real girl in their imaginary boys’ world.

Watch it here: Superbad

Julie & Julia (2009)

You’ll loathe Amy Adams as a modern blogger obsessed with herself and TV chef Julia Child, and love Meryl Streep as Julia — a delectable performance.

Watch it here: Julie & Julia

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Kindly FBI gumshoe Tom Hanks chases teen prodigy bank robber and airline pilot impersonator Leonardo DiCaprio in one of Steven Spielberg’s truly light-on-its-feet films.

Watch it here: Catch Me If You Can

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

Johnny Depp is sweet as a small-town boy with big responsibilities looking after his disabled mom and mentally impaired kid brother (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the indie film that made Leo a star.

Watch it here: What's Eating Gilbert Grape

The Departed (2006)

In a Martin Scorsese masterpiece, cop Leonardo DiCaprio goes undercover in Boston mobster Jack Nicholson’s gang, while innocent-faced gangster Matt Damon infiltrates the cop shop.

Watch it here: The Departed

Cobra Kai, Season 3

What’s new in the latest season of Netflix’s karate drama? More rehearsals, said Ralph Macchio, 59: “Once you’re getting closer to the 60 mark, the more rehearsals for the fight stuff, the better. Everything just takes a lot longer. It’s a lot of stretching, a lot of Advil.”

Watch it here: Cobra Kai

Coming Jan. 5

Nicolas Cage in the Netflix series History of Swear Words

Adam Rose/Netflix

History of Swear Words (2021)

In Nicolas Cage’s six-episode series about the linguistics of dirty words, he interviews a $#*!-load of expert etymologists and celebs like Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman and Patti Harrison.

Watch it here: History of Swear Words

Coming Jan. 7

Pieces of a Woman (2020)

Vanessa Kirby scored best actress at the 2020 Venice Film Festival for playing Martha, whose home birth upends her hopeful life, her marriage to Boston working man Sean (Shia LaBeouf in full Method mode), and her relationship to her I-told-you-so mother (an affecting Ellen Burstyn, 88).

Watch it here: Pieces of a Woman

Coming Jan. 12

Sarah Lancashire, Anne Reid, Derek Jacobi and Nicola Walker in the TV show Last Tango in Halifax

Matt Squire/PBS

Last Tango in Halifax, Season 4

In the new episodes of the wonderful show about teenage sweethearts (I, Claudius’s Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid of Sanditon) who reunite 50 years later, the couple discover love’s still complicated the second time around.

Watch it here: Last Tango in Halifax

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