What to watch on Netflix Canada in February 2019

NOW critics pick the best movies and TV shows joining the streaming service’s library this month


WHAT WE CAN’T WAIT TO WATCH

High Flying Bird

A year after releasing his claustrophobic iPhone project Unsane, Steven Soderbergh is back with a sports drama reuniting his Knick co-star André Holland with Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. Holland plays an agent trying to leverage a basketball phenom (American Vandal’s Melvin Gregg) into ending an NBA lockout – or ending the NBA entirely. The cast also includes Zazie Beetz, Bill Duke, Kyle MacLachlan, Zachary Quinto and Sonja Sohn. And, yes, he shot this one on an iPhone, too. February 8

Russian Doll

Natasha Lyonne gets a rare TV leading role in this dark comedy playing a character who might qualify as peak Natasha Lyonne: a chain-smoking, hard-partying, curmudgeonly New Yorker who winds up caught in a Groundhog Dayesque time warp on her 36th birthday. Every time she leaves her party, she dies and winds up transported back to the birthday. Co-created by Lyonne, Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, the series has an all-female creative team and features Chloe Sevigny and Elizabeth Ashley in supporting roles. February 1

Velvet Buzzsaw

Judging from the hilarious and creepy trailer, the contemporary art scene makes a terrific setting for a horror mystery. Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo reunite with their Nightcrawler director, Dan Gilroy, in this thriller about how paintings by an unknown artist come to life and attack their greedy owners. Toni Collette (no stranger to horror), Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs and John Malkovich round out the starry cast. After its Sundance premiere it’s playing select cities theatrically, but it should make for bloody fun winter viewing on Netflix. February 1

The Umbrella Academy

Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s comic book series about seven superpowered siblings – raised from infancy by a wealthy guardian (Colm Feore!), and reunited as deeply dysfunctional adults upon his death – becomes a live-action series starring Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Aidan Gallagher and Emmy Raver-Lampman. We’re here for it. February 15

Ray Romano: Right Here, Around The Corner

There’s a chance a lot of young people won’t recognize Romano. Everybody Loves Raymond ended in 2005 and since then, the New York actor and comedian has mostly leant his vocal talents to the Ice Age franchise. But in February, more than two decades after Romano’s last stand-up special, he makes his Netflix comedy debut, with a double set: one at Manhattan’s Comedy Cellar and the second at the Village Underground. He’s following in the footsteps of his peers, like Ellen DeGeneres, who returned to the stage for Netflix last December. Hopefully, everybody still loves Ray. February 5

Kevin Hart’s Guide To Black History

Hart is no longer hosting the Oscars and might be in a lot of people’s bad books, but that isn’t stopping him (or Netflix) from releasing a one-hour comedy special. Timed with Black History Month, Kevin Hart’s Guide To Black History sees the actor and comedian explore lesser-known individuals from African-American history through “educational re-enactments.” Like everything online, people will either love it or hate. February 8

Larry Charles’ Dangerous World Of Comedy

The comedy director best known for Curb Your Enthusiasm, Borat and Brüno and travels to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Nigeria and elsewhere to meet local comics and show how politically dangerous comedy can be. Of course, the U.S. doesn’t get off the hook: he also meets up with African-American and Native American comedians to explore how comedy “is essential to survival.” February 15

Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho

If you missed Jeong in Crazy Rich Asians last summer, get your fill of the Asian-American comedian in his first Netflix stand-up special. Filmed at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, You Complete Me, Ho follows Jeong’s crazy career change from medical doctor to Hollywood star. The special was directed and executive produced by Jon M. Chu, so you should definitely be turning in. February 14

ReMastered: The Two Killings Of Sam Cooke

The latest episode of Netflix’s inventive music documentary series focuses on soul singer Sam Cooke, who recorded Wonderful World, Cupid, Twistin’ The Night Away and A Change Is Gonna Come, among others – and who, in December 1964, was shot dead at a Los Angeles motel. Director Kelly Duane (Better This World, The Return) unpacks the murky circumstances surrounding Cooke’s death with archival footage, new interviews and an all-too-credible conspiracy theory. February 8

Wont-You-Be-My-Neighbor_.jpg

SOLID BETS

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Morgan Neville’s documentary about children’s entertainer Fred Rogers was a box office hit last summer but didn’t manage to land an Oscar nomination. (Neville has already won, so better that the massive career boost that comes with an Oscar go to one of the equally worthy up-and-coming doc makers who landed nominations.) More than a biopic, the film specifically explores Rogers’s philosophies on raising children, specifically boys, to be vulnerable and emotionally open. It made for truly affecting TV and couldn’t be timelier. February 1.

The Departed

Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning 2006 crime drama isn’t his best movie, but it features one of the best scenes of his career:  Leonardo DiCaprio (as an undercover cop) and Jack Nicholson (in full bonkers mode as an Irish-American mob boss) attempting to out-act each other in a cards-on-the-table confrontation. Macho histrionics aside, the scene is extra infamous because Nicholson, in an improvised moment, pulled a real gun on his younger co-star. (In another scene, Nicholson surprised Matt Damon with a dildo.) It plays like something out of All About Eve – aging diva fucking with younger star destined to take his spot. Too real. February 15

The last four Harry Potter movies

For far too long, Canadian Netflix subscribers have suffered through repeated viewings of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them because that’s the only J.K. Rowling-related content available. Now, the long drought is shattered with the arrival of the back half of the Harry Potter series: Order Of The Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and both parts of the Deathly Hallows. You know, the ones where Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson emerge as damn fine actors able to hold their own against a gallery of the UK’s finest performers – and the ones that finally figure out how to marry child-friendly wizard wonderment with the darker, more menacing aspects of Rowling’s master narrative. February 1

Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3D and Jaws: The Revenge

Wanna watch one of the greatest American movies ever made on your phone? Well, now you can, if you’re a monster. Thanks to Netflix’s catalogue deal with Universal, a handful of Steven Spielberg classics, including this 1975 masterwork, arrives on the service this month, along with the non-Spielberg, non-masterwork sequels Jaws 2, Jaws 3D (not in 3D) and Jaws: The Revenge. Feel free to watch those on your phone whenever you want. Save the original for a tablet at least. February 6

Schindler’s List

In 1994, Spielberg won his first Oscar for his epic, exhaustive and wrenching look back at Second World War profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) and those he managed to save from Nazi concentration camps. Shown in schools and casting a shadow over every other film tackling the subject thereafter, Schindler’s List remains the most widely recognizable Holocaust pictures, and not undeservedly. Never mind Spielberg’s attention to detail and artistry. Itzhak Perlman’s violin theme still works the tear ducts. February 1

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

The bottom line is no family film today can match the magic touch Spielberg gave his cuddly alien movie from 1982. Skip the sub-par kids fare currently in theatres and let the little ones delight in E.T. dressing in drag, gorging on Reese’s Pieces and riding a bike across the moonlight. February 1

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The influence Judd Apatow’s 2005 hit had on the comedies that came after (not just his own but his many imitators) can be easy to forget. American Pie brought the raunchy R-rated comedy back to blockbuster glory and Wedding Crashers would cash in on the trend. But The 40-Year-Old Virgin added more thoughtfulness and maturity to a genre that still relished in screwball shenanigans. Apatow seized the genre from horny late teens and lent it to horny-yet-responsible adults. February 6

Back To The Future

At the time it was released in 1985, Back To The Future was a cutting-edge modern movie taking a nostalgic tour through 50s small-town America. Watching it today lends an extra dimension: we’re enjoying 50s nostalgia refracted through our own 80s nostalgia. That’s value-added experience to an already spectacularly entertaining (and timeless) classic. Both sequels are also available on Netflix this month. February 1

Full list of new titles available in February, by date:

TV SHOWS

February 1

Free Rein: Valentine’s Day

Nightflyers

Russian Doll

Siempre bruja (Always A Witch)

February 2

Bordertown (season 2)

Romance Is A Bonus Book (streaming every Saturday)

February 5

Ray Romano: Right Here, Around The Corner

Shameless (season 8)

February 8

¡Nailed It! México

Big Mouth Presents My Furry Valentine

Kevin Hart’s Guide To Black History

One Day At A Time (season 3)

ReMastered: The Two Killings Of Sam Cooke

The Epic Tales Of Captain Underpants (season 2)

Unauthorized Living

February 9

The Break (season 2)

February 10

Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj: Volume 2 (streaming every Sunday)

February 11

Flavorful Origins: Chaoshan Cuisine

February 14

Dating Around

Dirty John

Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho

February 15

Larry Charles’ Dangerous World Of Comedy

The Dragon Prince (season 2)

The Umbrella Academy

February 21

Gomorrah (season 2)

February 22

Chef’s Table: Volume 6

GO! Vive a tu manera

Rebellion (season 2)

Suburra (season 2)

The Big Family Cooking Showdown (season 2)

February 25

Van Helsing (season 3)

February 26

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (season 3B)

February 28

PAW Patrol (season 3)

MOVIES

February 1

Act Of Valor

Back To The Future

Back To The Future Part II

Back To The Future Part III

Blue Streak

Dear Ex

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Grown Ups

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

Horrible Bosses

Nocturnal Animals

Schindler’s List

Shrek

Snow White & The Huntsman

The Lego Batman Movie

The Road To El Dorado

Traffic

U-571

Velvet Buzzsaw

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

February 3

Sing

February 6

Battleship

Dumb And Dumber To

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Jaws

Jaws 2

Jaws 3

Jaws: The Revenge

Leap Year

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The Confirmation

February 7

Lez Bomb

February 8

El árbol de la sangre

High Flying Bird

February 15

Galveston

Hereditary

Outlawed

The Breaker Upperers

The Departed

The Strangers

The Town

Yucatan

February 16

Miss You Already

Studio 54

February 20

Kong: Skull Island

Skate Kitchen

February 21

The Drug King

February 22

Firebrand

Paddleton

Paris Is Us (Paris est à nous)

The Photographer Of Mauthausen

February 28

Billy Graham: An Extraordinary Journey

LAST CALL

TV series and movies leaving Netflix this month.

February 1

8 Mile

Batman Vs. Robin

The King’s Speech

February 5

Cloverfield

February 6

Sharknado

February 15

Ella Enchanted

Scream 4

@nowtoronto

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