February is here! It may be a short month, but there’s no shortage of terrific movies new to streaming. From outlandish comedies to fresh action, we have a whole slate of terrific options for you to watch at home this month. And if you’re looking for a chilly tale this winter, worry not, because we have the perfect ice-cold horror selection for you, too.
Below, enjoy some best-of-the-best options from the many fine offerings new to HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount Plus, Shudder, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. It wasn’t easy, with all the great options available, but we pulled through just for you.
Got something else you’re excited to check out this month? Planning to check one of these out? Already did and loved it? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
Michael Jai White is one of the great under-appreciated actors of our time, and his blaxploitation parody Black Dynamite is one of the funniest movies of the century. White stars in the movie as Black Dynamite, a former CIA agent whose quest for vengeance for his brother’s death leads him all the way to the Nixon White House. White also co-wrote the hilarious, biting screenplay, filled with silly gags and cultural commentary alike. —Pete Volk
Black Dynamite is available to stream on HBO Max.
It’s not often a movie inspired by a board game goes on to become cult classic, but that’s exactly what happened when Jonathan Lynn took on the task of directing Clue, the 1985 dark comedy mystery film starring Colleen Camp, Tim Curry, Michael McKean, and Madeline Kahn. Co-written by John Landis (The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London), Lynn’s adaptation is as hilarious as it was subversively innovative, featuring three different endings that were screened separately during its initial theatrical run, with audiences arguing over the “true” ending in a Rashomon-like viewing experience. While subsequent home releases of the film include all three of the alternate endings, Clue remains as sharp and comical of a murder mystery parody as the day it premiered. —Toussaint Egan
Clue is available to stream on Paramount Plus.
An all-time classic for a reason, The Exorcist is just as terrifying now as when it caused a mild national panic on release in 1973. When a young girl (Linda Blair) starts behaving very strangely, her mother tries anything and everything to get her help, leading to … well, you know the title of the film. The realism of a mother’s desire to keep her daughter safe in an uncontrollable world set against a supernatural conflict pulls you right in from the very beginning, and keeps its hold on you far beyond the end of its two hour run-time. —PV
The Exorcist is available to stream on Netflix.
Jeff Goldblum stars in David Cronenberg’s 1986 sci-fi horror drama The Fly as Seth Brundle, a brilliant and ambitious scientist who undergoes a metamorphosis that would chill Gregor Samsa to the bone. The Fly is a tragic story of science run amok that’s as macabre and as it is heart wrenching, elevated by Cronenberg’s signature penchant for body horror special effects, violence, and explicit sensuality. —TE
The Fly is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Don Siegel’s classic sci-fi film noir story of a California town whose residents are slowly taken over by emotionless copies of themselves has been remade many times (including the also-excellent 1978 version with Donald Sutherland), but few have the tension and emotional heart of the bone-chilling original. A local doctor (Kevin McCarthy) and his ex-girlfriend (Dana Wynter) are among the first to suspect what is happening, but it’s a struggle to convince anyone else of the madness that is occurring (or to know who to trust). At a crisp 80 minutes, you’re going to have a great time, but beware the pod people! — PV
The Last Winter
Larry Fessenden’s haunting tale of environmental destruction in the arctic is a masterwork of modern horror. An environmental scientist (James LeGros) is sent to the Arctic to oversee an oil drilling operation, before natural and supernatural conflicts arise to complicate matters. Dealing both explicitly and allegorically with global warming and the dangers of human “exploration,” The Last Winter features a great cast led by Ron Perlman and Connie Britton, and masterful use of horror aesthetics to build tension and intrigue. — PV
The Last Winter is available to stream on Shudder.
The Mighty Quinn
Before Denzel Washington was one of our all-time great movie stars, he was bringing all-time great movie star energy to otherwise disposable thrillers. The Mighty Quinn, based on A.H.Z. Carr’s 1971 pulp novel Finding Maubee, but gussied up with a title cribbed from a Bob Dylan song, would not be a highly recommendable murder mystery without the now-two-time-Oscar-winning actor — despite a script from Blade Runner writer Hampton Fancher, the sleuthing is fairly pedestrian. But Washington flexes every muscle as Xavier Quinn, the police chief of a made-up Caribbean island, who finds himself investigating his best bud Maubee (Robert Townsend) after a millionaire resort-owner winds up dead. On the trail of the killer, Quinn interrogates witnesses, races home to pick up his kid, outsteps a seductive femme fatale, tries to mend a fractured relationship with his estranged wife, and dodges enough bullets to earn the “mighty” title. Which results in Washington pairing muscle with charm, smug authority with in-over-his-head anxiety, and a calculating sense of the island’s dynamics. Backed by Michael Rose reggae, The Mighty Quinn is a brisk 90-minute whodunnit with a 1970s crime twang, set in place of beauty with an equally mesmerizing onscreen presence. For some of us, that’s the ideal vacation. —Matt Patches
The Mighty Quinn is available to stream on HBO Max.
Multiverse movies are all the rage now, so why not catch up with a classic? Jet Li plays a sinister cross-universe assassin whose lone goal is to kill every other version of himself in across the multi-verse, leaving him as “The One.” With each version of himself he kills, he gets stronger, gaining superhuman strength, speed and intelligence. Jet Li also stars as Gabriel Yulaw, the last remaining alter ego for his evil self to kill, and Delroy Lindo (!) and Jason Statham (with an American accent!!!) co-star as multi-verse cops sent to track him down. Come for Jet Li kicking humans out of the air like soccer balls, stay for the wild early-2000s Nu Metal soundtrack. —PV
Quality sports dramas are a rare thing in Hollywood. In Warrior, two estranged brothers — one a former Marine and one-time wrestling prodigy (Tom Hardy), the other a former MMA pro-turned-high school physics teacher (Joel Edgerton) — compete in a massive MMA tournament, with more at stake than just the big cash prize. Gavin O’Connor’s heartfelt siblings-destined-to-collide story features terrific central performances, terrific MMA fight scenes (second unit director J.J. Perry is a modern action legend), and a strong tournament narrative structure that holds the whole thing together. —PV
Warrior is available to stream on Netflix.
West Side Story
West Side Story is a subversive reminder that racial tensions are nothing new in America. But it’s also an upbeat, colorful, immensely earwormy musical that recasts Romeo and Juliet as a mid-’50s face-off between a white street gang and a Puerto Rican one in New York City. Certainly harder-hitting movies about anti-immigrant violence and prejudice have been made, but the fact that all these things were such a part of American life in the 1960s that they were grist for cheery singalongs is telling. West Side Story’s frank look at racism and the barriers to the American dream still feels daring today, even though some of it has dated poorly, particularly the white actors donning brownface to play Puerto Rican characters. But its open acknowledgement of the shallowness and destructive power of racism is still touching, and the songs and elaborate dance set pieces are still winning. — Tasha Robinson
West Side Story is available to stream on HBO Max.