Best New Movies to Watch on Netflix in January 2021

what to watch January

We may have just rung in the new year, but it looks like not much else is changing anytime soon. Time to settle in for another cozy month of Netflix. 

Fortunately, your favorite streaming platform has delivered, with plenty of newly-added movies for you to enjoy in early 2021. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s our pick of the best movies to watch on Netflix US this January. None of these take your fancy? Check out our full list of January additions here: there’s plenty more great movies where these ones came from.

This list covers titles available to stream on Netflix in the USA. Availability across other regions may vary considerably. 


Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Runtime: 2hr 21min
Available on Netflix: January 1st 2021

“The true story of a real fake” starring legends Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio.

This biopic tells the life story of Frank Abagnale (DiCaprio), a conman who successfully defrauded businesses of millions of pounds before he even reached his 19th birthday. However, it does take too long for the authorities to wise up to what he’s doing. FBI agent, Carl Hanratty (Hanks), is hot on Frank’s tail, with plenty of crossed paths and near misses.

Catch Me If You Can is a critical and box office success, and scores 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Enter the Dragon (1973) 

Runtime: 99 minutes
Available on Netflix: January 1st 2021

The OG martial arts movie, and Bruce Lee’s final performance before his untimely death.

Martial arts expert, Mr Lee (played by Bruce Lee), gets involved in a plot with the British Secret Service. He agrees to help them capture Han, a drug smuggler and sex trafficker, who Lee believes was involved in the death of his sister.

Enter the Dragon is widely considered the world’s best martial arts movie, simply due to Bruce Lee’s mind-blowing skills.


Gothika (2003)

Runtime: 98 minutes
Available on Netflix: January 1st 2021

There’s not a huge amount for horror fans to enjoy this month, but Gothika is one of a handful of titles to choose from.

Halle Berry puts in a good performance as the psychiatrist who becomes possessed by a creepy little girl ghost, and ends up institutionalized in the hospital she works in. Also stars Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes, Ironman) and Penelope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace).


Julie and Julia (2009)

Runtime: 2hr 3min
Available on Netflix: January 1st 2021

This cozy biopic is best served with a steaming bowl of something tasty.

Struggling with her depressing job, aspiring writer Julia Powell decides to try something new. She attempts to make every single one of Julie Child’s recipes in a year, sharing the results on her newly-created food blog. A parallel storyline shows how Julie Child’s, one of America’s most beloved chefs, achieves her first book deal and becomes a TV chef in the 1950s.


Pieces of a Woman (2020) N

Runtime: 128 min
Available on Netflix: January 7th 2021

This new human drama promises to be equal parts gripping and heartbreaking.

An expectant young couple, played by Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) and Shia LeBoeuf (The Peanut Butter Falcon) when their homebirth goes wrong at the hands of a struggling midwife. The movie follows the couple over the course of a year, examining the effects of grief on their relationship, and the impact of a drawn-out and distressing court case against the midwife.

Although technically a Netflix Original, Pieces of a Woman had a (very) limited cinematic release at the end of 2020. Looks like Netflix is putting themselves in the running for an Academy Award with this one.


The Dig (2021) N

Runtime: 112 minutes
Available on Netflix: January 29th 2021

If you’re a fan of historical movies, especially those based on a book, then this one’s for you.

Carey Mulligan stars as Edith Pretty: a wealthy English widow who’s convinced there’s something unusual buried on her land. She enlists the help of local archaeologist, Basil Brown (played by Ralph Fiennes), to help her uncover the hidden mysteries.

What they unearth is one of the most archaeologically significant discoveries in the world.

The Dig will also receive a limited theatrical run in the US before arriving on Netflix.


What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)

Runtime: 118 mins
Available on Netflix: January 1st 2021

The movie that earned 19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio his first-ever Academy Award nomination also features impressive performances from Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Juliette Lewis (August: Osage County).

Gilbert Grape (Depp) is a grocery store clerk in a small town, struggling to care for his morbidly obese mother and mentally impaired brother. While the promise of a summer romance is a welcome distraction, Gilbert feels guilty balancing the needs of his family with his own.

Despite flopping at the box office, the film has remained a fan favorite, gaining almost cult status.


What will you be watching on Netflix this January? Let us know in the comments.

Melissa Taylor

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Melissa is a freelance writer from Norwich. She has over seven years' experience running company blogs, social media, and PR campaigns. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and studied journalism with the NCTJ. In her free time, Melissa runs her own book club and tells people she's writing a novel. Usually, she's just watching period dramas on Netflix.