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Netflix’s Top Picks for January

Not sure what to watch on Netflix this month?  We’ve got you covered.

Neflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

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While the Jim Carrey movie didn’t exactly take off, we have every reason to think that this will be a delightful adaptation of the beloved children’s books.  Netflix has a very good track record of making great TV shows at this point, and in the hands of an actor like Neil Patrick Harris, it’s hard to think the show won’t be worth watching.  The trailer hits every high point we’d expect, and strikes a tone that’s a parodying sort of grim with a comical flair.  Time to pop some popcorn, and break out the soda, because this show is highly promising.

 

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

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This renowned 80s classic is the perfect way to spend your Saturday. While it may not be a great one for young kids (these classics are not quite as clean as you thought they were when you were a kid – there’s some profanity as well as one or two inappropriate moments), it’s a great one to revisit.  As well as being an 80s classic, it won four Oscars, and was nominated for Best Picture.  Most importantly, it’s a great story about belonging and home, and an opportunity to start conversations about the ways we’re similar to E.T. and long for home ourselves, and just where exactly that home is for us.

 

Hugo

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It’s hard to find a place to start with recommending this film. Directed by Martin Scorcese, nominated for 11 Academy Awards including best picture, and featuring talented actors including Asa Butterfield and Ben Kingsley, this film is a marvel. If you want a movie that will keep you mesmerized, while being wholesome family entertainment, this is it.  It’s also a great film to watch while you’re anticipating the release of Scorcese’s Silence later this month, a film about Jesuit missionaries in a hostile Japan.

 

Jim Gaffigan: Cinco

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Once dubbed the “King of Clean Comedy” by the Wall Street Journal, Jim Gaffigan is returning to stand-up with this Netflix exclusive special. While we typically focus more on storytelling in entertainment, Jim Gaffigan’s style of comedy is a great way to spend your evening. His focus on family, for instance, is clear: he andhis wife recently pulled the plug on their very successful cable show to spend more time with their kids. That focus comes through in his comedy as well, and will undoubtedly make for an entertaining hour.

 

Superman: The Movie

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I liked Man of Steel. But even as someone who liked that film, I can still admit its greatest weakness as an adaptation: Superman films, generally speaking, should not have such a grim tone. For that reason, the original Superman film is worth revisiting. It’s cheesy, to be sure, but it manages to never stoop to the level of the 1960s Batman but still never takes itself too seriously. There are some cringe-worthy moments, but it’s a fun outing, and feels rather fresh in an era when all superhero films are doom and gloom.

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