What to watch on Netflix in January 2021

From Nicolas Cage’s History of Swear Words to an old British crime caper starring Bill Nighy, here’s what to watch this month…

Thank goodness for Netflix, eh? How else would we have passed the time over Christmas? Locked down and stuck inside over the festive season, we’ve spent more time plugged into the streaming service that eating pigs-in-blankets. And that’s saying something.

Of course, as we run out of new, shiny productions to keep us entertained (thanks very much, Coronavirus), it’s up to Netflix to collect and curate the best existing content to keep us watching. Thankfully, if January’s anything to go by, we’re in for a treat of a year. Take a look at what’s new n Netflix this month…

Wild Target, January 1st

Because we’ll never say no to a Bill Nighy action caper. Originally released over a decade ago, this British black comedy is based on a French film — and sees the Gentleman’s Journal cover star play an experienced and efficient assassin. His world is upended when he fails to kill Emily Blunt’s cunning thief, and instead the two of them — along with Nighy’s new protégé Rupert Grint — pile into an old Mini to confront Rupert Everett’s big bad. A lot of fun.

Lupin, January 8th

Inspired by the adventures of fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise Arsène Lupin, Omar Sy — he of X-Men, Jurassic World and Transformers — plays Assane Diop, a burglar set out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family. Louis Leterrier, the man behind the camera on films including Now You See Me and The Transporter, directs. Expect great things.

Headspace Guide to Meditation, January 1st

We’re surprised it took this long. After partnering with various dieting doyens and tidy-queen Marie Kondo, Netflix has followed the path of self-help to the door of Headspace. And the streaming giant has gone all-out to calm us down — with this new animated series helping us acquire the tools to build our very own meditation regime. Narrated by Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe, there’s no better option if you’re feeling apprehensive about the year ahead.

Saving Private Ryan, January 1st

Even if you haven’t got the time (or inclination) to sit through Spielberg’s war epic in full, it’s worth watching the first 23 minutes alone. The opening of this Oscar-winning classic (it scooped five Academy Awards, including Best Director) is a blood-stained, bullet-riddled masterpiece — following the slaughter of American soldiers as they land at Omaha Beach.

Nicolas Cage’s History of Swear Words, January 5th

Nicolas Cage in an unscripted series diving into the origins, usage and cultural impact of specific swear words? F**k yes. Featuring genuine experts, linguists and professors, Cage will enigmatically (and profanely) guide us through the barbed, bombastic histories of words we use every day — but to which we have probably never given a second thought.

Tag, January 6th

When Gentleman’s Journal featured Jeremy Renner, the actor was fresh off filming the latest Avengers double bill — and this little-known comedy. Ironically, Renner did more damage to himself on the set of Tag than he ever has serving his superhero duties (breaking both arms when a stunt went wrong). Based on a true story, the film follows five adult men who spend one entire month every year playing the titular schoolyard game.

The Dig, January 29th

Another film starring a past Gentleman’s Journal cover star, The Dig features Ralph Fiennes — and reimagines the events of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo; a Suffolk area where two early medieval cemeteries were uncovered. Fiennes plays self-taught archaeologist and astronomer Basil Brown alongside Carey Mulligan’s landowner Edith Pretty. Expect bucolic drama — with a dash of angst and some shovels thrown in.

The Wolf of Wall Street, January 3rd

Martin Scorsese’s 2013 parade of drugs, nudity and money comes and goes on Netflix. But, such is the calibre of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance and riotous fun of the film, we’ll always shout when it once again rears its debaucherous head. Things you may have missed during past viewings? Jonah Hill’s ‘Donnie’ wears false teeth. There are 681 expletives during the runtime (count them). And Matthew McConaughey’s iconic chest thumping? That’s the actor’s real-life acting warm-up.

The Blues Brothers, January 1st

There’s a couple of Blues Brothers films coming to Netflix this month. But we’d steer clear of the frankly disastrous 2000 remake/reboot/sequel. Instead, as is always the case, the original is the best. Chock full of catchy, foot-tapping tunes, ludicrous chase sequences and lots and lots of cameos (James Brown! Aretha Franklin! Ray Charles!), this is the ideal antidote if 2021 has you feeling a little (forgive us) blue.

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, January 13th

And, finally, something to scratch that true crime itch. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer tells the grim, twisty tale of two LA detectives chasing a relentlessly evil serial killer beneath the sunlit glamour of 1985 California. Time to grab a cushion, push the snacks to one side and watch the first-person interviews, archival footage and original photography that gripped the media over three decades ago.

Thinking of turning off the TV altogether? Here are the best books of 2020 instead…

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