The Best Movies and TV Shows New to Netflix Canada in January

Every month, Netflix Canada adds a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are the titles we think are most interesting for January, broken down by release date. Netflix occasionally changes schedules without giving notice.


Starts streaming: Jan. 1

Advertised as a kind of “Titanic” in miniature — a seafaring romance about sun-kissed young people confronted by mortal catastrophe — “Adrift” didn’t get the respect (or the box office success) it deserved. Working loosely from the true story of two sailors, played here by Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, whose yacht gets stranded in the Pacific after a hurricane, the director Baltasar Kormákur (“Everest”) handles the love story with refreshing earnestness and the catastrophe with gripping stylistic brio. The film also benefits from an elegant structural conceit, running parallel timelines between the events leading up to the disaster and its aftermath.

Starts streaming: Jan. 1

Richard and Mildred Loving were the plaintiffs in Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision that struck down existing state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. With “Loving,” the writer-director Jeff Nichols emphasizes the quiet persistence of the couple’s relationship as the authorities continue to harass, arrest and eventually drive them away from their home in rural Virginia. For this reason, the Lovings are excellent plaintiffs in the case — and photogenic, too, garnering national attention in a Life magazine profile. But “Loving,” anchored by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton’s powerful lead performances, reveals the private authenticity of a bond made public with great reluctance.

‘A Quiet Place’
Starts streaming: Jan. 2

Like every other genre in the blockbuster age, studio horror films have had to amplify in scale in order to make a big impression. So it’s a relief that “A Quiet Place” has a certain amount of discipline and restraint baked into its premise. In the post-apocalyptic world of the film, an infestation of aliens has wiped out most of humanity. Those who remain have to stay quiet, because these deadly creatures have an extreme sensitivity to sound. The director John Krasinski, best known as Jim from “The Office,” also co-stars with Emily Blunt as parents trying to shepherd their three children to safety, which becomes even more of a challenge with a baby on the way.

‘Bring It On’
Starts streaming: Jan. 2

Netflix is adding “Bring It On” and four of the film’s five direct-to-video sequels — whither “Bring It On: Worldwide Cheersmack”? — but the original 2000 comedy remains the only necessary viewing in this cheer-i-verse. Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku play off each other beautifully as mismatched cheerleaders trying to lead their squad back to competition glory, and the director Peyton Reed scores laughs at the absurdities of the sport, especially in a sequence in which a choreographer introduces the girls to “spirit fingers.” “Bring It On” also squeezes in a substantive critique of cultural appropriation, turning on a routine stolen from a mostly black squad from Compton.

‘The Bourne Ultimatum’
Starts streaming: Jan. 2

On the same day Netflix is making nearly all the “Bring It On” movies available, the service is also releasing four of the five Jason Bourne movies, which are much more bingeworthy. (Missing is the most recent entry, “Jason Bourne.”) The Bourne series has positioned itself as a more with-it James Bond, stripping away the glamour and camp of 007 in favor of a grittier engagement with today’s threats of mass surveillance and stateless violence. “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the third and best of the series, follows Bourne (Matt Damon) as he discovers a secret C.I.A. black-ops mission to use agents like himself to carry out assassinations.

‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’
Starts streaming: Jan. 18

Promoted as a high-end musical event, the inaugural Fyre Festival was scheduled over two weekends on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma, where attendees would indulge in modern food and luxury beachside geodesic domes while enjoying performances by the headliner and co-founder, Ja Rule, and other guests. Then on opening weekend in late April 2017, reports started flooding social media of missing luggage, a tent city with dirt floors, sandwiches of white bread and processed cheese, and an absence of staff on the scene. The botched festival and its fallout — which landed the organizer Billy McFarland a six-year prison sentence and a $26 million fine for wire fraud — are covered in this hotly anticipated documentary by Chris Smith, the director of “American Movie.”

Starts streaming: Jan. 18

This Belgian drama about a transgender girl (Victor Polster) who wants to be a ballerina was praised as a powerful coming-of-age story and won the Camera d’Or for best first feature at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it picked up mostly rave reviews. The film has since drawn heavy criticism from trans and queer writers who objected to its treatment of the subject, noting the absence of trans participants on either side of the camera, as well as its treatment of hormone replacement therapy. “Girl” and the controversy surrounding it will reach a wider audience with its Netflix premiere.

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’
Starts streaming: Jan. 29

Ant-Man is the Marvel superhero for those who have a more casual relationship to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — or perhaps a more whimsical conception of what a superhero should be. The first “Ant-Man” reflected some of the disarray behind the scenes: The film started with the director Edgar Wright and ended with the director Peyton Reed co-authoring a rewrite and hustling the film to production. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is more confident and more fun than its predecessor, with Paul Rudd reprising his role as the wisecracking, diminutive super-dad and teaming up with Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp for a quantum-level adventure. Though Ant-Man didn’t appear in the most recent “Avengers” movie, his connection to the MCU leads to one of Marvel’s better post-credits sequences.

‘Incredibles 2’
Starts streaming: Jan. 30

The “Toy Story” series excepted, Pixar tends to stick to formula in its franchise sequels. “Incredibles 2” is no exception, not quite repeating the whiz-bang dynamics of the original, but still picking up at the exact moment the last one left off. Yet the further adventures of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and their three gifted children prove to be a durable conceit, like watching a two-hour block of quality serialized television. And the little differences matter, like Elastigirl’s more expansive role as the rejuvenated face of the superhero class and the chaos created by baby Jack-Jack’s unharnessed talents. The company could stand to play it a little less safe next time, though.

TV Series

‘Sex Education’
Starts streaming: Jan. 11

With Amazon Prime successfully harvesting British TV talent for edgy, breakout comedies like “Fleabag” and “Catastrophe,” Netflix is taking its shot with “Sex Education,” the creator Laurie Nunn’s sweet-and-sour show about life as the virginal teenage son of a sex therapist. Asa Butterfield stars as Otis, an awkward teenager who may lack experience, but has absorbed a lot of information from his mother, played by Gillian Anderson, who’s always been candid about the birds and the bees. Otis and his best friend Maeve (Emma Mackey) take on the bizarre initiative to open up a sex clinic for their peers.

Starts streaming: Jan. 11

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been shrinking on Netflix, most recently with the surprise cancellation of “Daredevil,” the service has to find other ways to fill the superhero void. To that end, it has picked up “Titans,” the first original series produced for DC Universe, and a more straight-faced treatment of Robin and his outcast superhero team than the popular animated franchise “Teen Titans Go!” After his estrangement from Batman, Dick Grayson/Robin (Brenton Thwaites) steps out of his sidekick role to assemble a unit of young crimefighters, including Raven (Teagan Croft), the daughter of a demon; Starfire (Anna Diop), an amnesiac alien; and Beast Boy (Ryan Potter), a shape-shifter who takes the form of animals.

‘Carmen Sandiego’
Starts streaming: Jan. 18

Children of the early 1990s remember “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” as a whimsical game show about geography, with each episode turning on “junior detectives” tracking the location of Carmen Sandiego, its animated master thief, and other related rogues. The new Netflix revival, entirely animated and without the game-show component, features the voice of Gina Rodriguez as Carmen, who’s been conceived as a Robin Hood type who steals from a nefarious organization called VILE and returns the money to its victims. The authorities assigned to track her down fail to appreciate her altruism.

‘Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’
Starts streaming: Jan. 24

True crime series are neck and neck with baking shows as Netflix staples, but there’s reason to believe that “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” could stand out from the pack. The X factor is the director Joe Berlinger, a documentary veteran whose “Paradise Lost” movies, about three teenagers convicted of triple murder in West Memphis, Ark., drew national attention to the case and helped reverse the verdict on appeal. Berlinger is working on a Ted Bundy biopic, but in the meantime, he’s releasing this four-episode series around Bundy’s death row interviews as a primer.

‘Black Earth Rising’
Starts streaming: Jan. 25

A coproduction of BBC Two and Netflix, the creator Hugo Blick’s eight-episode series premiered to near-universal acclaim in Britain in September, with the bulk of the praise going to Blick’s sharp criticism of neocolonialism in Africa and Michaela Coel’s performance as Kate Ashby, a legal investigator who prosecutes a warlord over the use of child soldiers. John Goodman appears in the pivotal role of an American barrister living in England, but it’s Coel who commands the most attention as a former Rwandan orphan who wrestles with past trauma as she takes over her adoptive mother’s case against an African militia leader. The personal stakes are both help and hindrance: Ashby is strongly motivated to seek justice before the International Criminal Court, but forced to revisit the genocidal past she left behind.

Starts streaming: Jan. 25

The ascendence of South Korea as a source of large-scale genre entertainment, in particular horror films, continues with Kim Seong-hun’s zombie series, which introduces the walking dead into the royal intrigue of the Joseon dynasty. The kingdom in “Kingdom” is already plagued by corruption and starvation when a mysterious virus breaks out among the populace, turning those affected into dead-eyed, flesh-hungry immortal beings — including the king himself. That leaves the crown prince to stop the disease from spreading and get to the conspiratorial roots of the problem.

Also of interest: “Across the Universe” (Jan. 1), “Black Hawk Down” (Jan. 1), “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (Jan. 1), “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (Jan. 1), “And Breathe Normally” (Jan. 4), “Lionheart” (Jan. 4), “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (Jan. 9), “The Last Laugh” (Jan. 11), “Grace and Frankie”: Season 5 (Jan. 18), “Trigger Warning With Killer Mike” (Jan. 18), and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”: Season 4, Part 2 (Jan. 25).

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