(Credit: Netflix)

Films

The best films to watch on Netflix in January

After the pandemic of 2020 ravaged the globe, there was a sincere sense of hope for 2021. Sadly, it turned out that we weren’t quite in the clear yet. Although we are still trying to be optimistic, nothing apart from films and series can provide solace as we head into 2022.

With an interesting lineup of Netflix Originals for 2022, besides a charming and promising set of Original series to arrive this year, it is essential to acknowledge Netflix’s constant valiant efforts to add new titles to their shelves for our audio-visual pleasure. 

In January 2022, hordes of films and series have been added to Netflix. While we are delighted for some of the newer, more promising releases, we also cannot wait to watch late-2021 releases like that of Adam Mckay’s Don’t Look Up or Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter. 

Here are the six best Netflix films you must watch in January 2022: 

Six best Netflix films you must watch in January 2022

6. The Royal Treatment (Rick Jacobson, 2022)

After playing the street urchin Aladdin, Mena Massoud is back as Prince Thomas in Jacobson’s film with Laura Marano will be seen as Isabella. In a very A Christmas Prince fashion, New Yorker and hairdresser Isabella will be seen developing a romantic connection with a prince after being appointed as the hairstylist at his wedding. 

Slated for a January 10th release, the film’s colourful and vibrant premise seems indeed promising. After The Perfect Date, this is Marano’s second collaboration with Netflix. It will be intriguing to see if Isabella lets go of her own happiness or owns up to her feelings and forge her own journey with the prince, interrupting the royal wedding in the process! 

5. Dear Mother (Laurent Lafitte, 2020) 

In this provocative French fantastical dramedy, the film revolves around a man named Jean-Louis who suddenly discovers his heart is no longer beating. Although he is not dead, his heart stops functioning. With the help of his wife and close associates, he plans to get to the bottom of this bizarre mystery that also brings him closer to various Oedipal issues and other psychosexual elements that form a more significant part of childhood. 

While dealing with the absurd and ridiculousness of the premise, the film is actually a commentary on a man’s mid-life crisis as well as the implications of a dysfunctional family on one’s psyche. As Jean-Louis must pose taboo questions to his mother with whom he has not spoken in a long time, the film spins the comic elements around his sorry predicament. 

4. Brazen (Monika Mitchell, 2022) 

Based on Nora Roberts’ Brazen Virtue, the upcoming film, with a riveting thriller and equally promising cast, will see Alyssa Milano in a totally different avatar from her last appearance in Charmed. Slated for a January 13th, 2022 release, the thriller will be adapted heavily from the bestselling novel and deal with a gruesome mystery. 

An author, Grace, is on the hunt for her sister’s murderers when she chances upon her sister’s double life as a webcam model where she was incurring massive fans and slowly growing wealthy. This discovery opens up the possibilities and motives of many around her and Grace finds it difficult to trust anyone on her quest to find the person responsible for her sister’s tragic demise.

As she grows emotionally closer to the detective involved in the case, Grace refuses to stop at any cost! 

3. Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay, 2021)

In this fatalistic disaster comedy, Michigan State professor Dr. Randall Mindy and his PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky embark on an odyssey to warn the world against a disastrous comet hurling itself towards the earth. However, in this biting satirical tale that serves as a commentary on the sociopolitical response of a nation and the desire to capitalise on every situation, the wealthy and privileged are ignorant of the inevitable threat and pay them no mind. 

In this allegorical tale of the current climate change crisis, McKay infuses zany humour even in the wake of a cataclysmic event. Brilliant performances from a star-studded ensemble cast, namely Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance, Ron Pearlman, Ariana Grande and more, add to the growing desperation and paranoia within the unnervingly hilarious film. 

2. Munich: Edge of War (Christian Schwochow, 2022)

Slated to arrive on January 7th, 2022, the film is based on Robert Harris’ novel. Set in the fall of 1938 and focuses on the tensions before the commencement of the Second World War in the times that preceded Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. It focuses on the increasing pressure of two old friends as they attend an emergency conference in Munich. 

Starring Jeremy Irons, Jessica Brown Findlay, George MacKay, Jannis Niewohner, August Diehl and Sandra Huller in pivotal roles, the film will see the friendship getting entangled in an epic mess amidst negotiations, high-strung political tension and conflict. 

1. The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal, 2021) 

In her searing yet empathetic exploration of motherhood and the stereotypes imposed by society at large, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut feature is an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s eponymous novel.

Leda, a comparative literature professor, goes for a working holiday to a picturesque Greek island where she observes a young mother playing with her toddler and is forced to face some uncomfortable memories from her past. 

In the quietude of the beautiful scenic locations, the voluminous silences in the film, as well as the emotionally hefty storyline, adds to the general claustrophobia. Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson and the rest of the cast are brilliant in this subversive tale of motherhood. Colman, in particular, definitely deserves an Oscar for her frustrated, vulnerable and bizarre portrayal of the confused protagonist, Leda.