It’s January, and if your new year’s resolution was to watch better movies, then good news: We’ve got you covered (The bad news: You have terribly low ambitions). From comfort-food classics to a new Netflix documentary series that finds a comedian completely reinventing herself (and does not involve murder cases), there’s a hot, hungover mess of great new things to stream this month. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our guide to the best of what’s new to view during the first month of 2016. Because you don’t have to get off your couch for this to be the best year ever.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Amazon Prime / Hulu, 1/1)
Truman Capote may have been mortified that the movie adaptation of his life-in-NYC novella transformed the book’s hard-luck heroine into the original manic pixie dream girl, but Audrey Hepburn’s iconic take on Holly Golightly was worth it. Blake Edward’s charming rom-com about a slippery Manhattan society girl is definitely a product of its time (we’re looking at you, Mr. Yunioshi). And yet, it’s Hepburn who makes it timeless, thanks to her turn as a woman who just wants to be as true to herself as the rendition of “Moon River” she croons over the credits.
Chelsea Does (Netflix, 1/23)
Tired of being shackled to the desk of her E! talk show Chelsea Lately, comedian Chelsea Handler takes her sardonic sense of humor to Netflix, where she can do whatever the hell she wants. And what she wants to do, it turns out, is make four documentaries about the wild and crazy world that exists out there beyond the confines of a studio set. “I want to understand how things work” Handler announces in Chelsea Does Silicon Valley, before administering a Turing Test to a decapitated android. You can imagine how much more dangerous her mission might get in Chelsea Does Marriage, Chelsea Does Racism, and — finally, the one we’ve all been waiting for — Chelsea Does Drugs.
The Future (Hulu, 1/1)
Guaranteed to be the most heartbreaking movie you ever watch about a talking cat, Miranda July’s 2011 follow-up to Me and You and Everyone We Know finds the multimedia artist doing what she does best: Taking an extremely mundane premise, adding a little bit of whimsy (in this case, a feline narrator) and then building it into a hilarious, sad existential punch to the crotch. July and Hamish Linklater are a couple whose relationship — to each other and also to the gravitational pull of planet Earth— spins wildly out of control when they adopt a pet named Paw-Paw. The more absurd it gets, the more true to life it feels.
Je Suis Charlie (Netflix, 1/7)
A year to the day since two terrorist gunmen murdered 12 people inside the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Netflix is uploading the documentary that Emmanuel and Daniel Leconte made about the attacks, the victims, and the freedoms for which they lost their lives. An affectionate portrait by filmmakers who loved their subjects (and only have so much interest in playing devil’s advocate regarding the merits of their late friends’ work), Je Suis Charlie is highlighted by a wealth of archival footage from the publication’s heyday.
Mommy (Hulu, 1/26)
It’s getting harder and harder to deny Xavier Dolan’s outrageous talent, and not for lack of trying. In addition to directing the shit out of Adele’s “Hello” video, the outspoken 26-year-old wunderkind has already premiered four films at the Cannes Film Festival — to the great chagrin of everyone who feels comparatively unaccomplished. This 2014 melodrama is peak Dolan in every way: A single mother tries to contain her feral teenage son in a near-future where it’s legal for parents to abandon their kids. It’s a domestic handwringer that’s told at the top of its lungs; open full-screen mode, jack the sound up, and brace for impact.
The Overnight (Netflix, 1/14)
If you’re in the mood for Netflix and cringe, it’s hard to do better than Patrick Brice’s The Overnight, which premiered at Sundance last January and has been making people embarrassed to look their dates in the eye ever since. It begins so innocently: High-strung married couple Alex and Emily (Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling) are new to L.A. and desperate to make friends; hipster duo Kurt and Charlotte (Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche) sweetly invite them over to their mansion for dinner. An epic night of (prosthetic) dick-measuring ensues, during which the foursome learns that no penis is big enough to build a marriage on.
Shane (Hulu, 1/1)
George Stevens’ 1953 classic — the most explicitly anti-firearm Western ever made — feels more timely than ever. The story of a quiet gunslinger (Alan Ladd) who drifts into the middle of a violent Wyoming turf war, Shane is essentially a feature-length investigation as to whether it’s guns that kill people, or people with guns. And when it comes to the eponymous man himself, there’s no Western hero you’ll be more upset to watch ride into the sunset.
Thief (Hulu, 1/1)
If you’ve ever been unsure why it is that everyone worships at the altar of Michael Mann, this crime-film classic is a crash course in what you’re missing. James Caan (at his James Caan-iest) is Frank, the most disciplined jewel thief this side of a Jean-Pierre Melville film. After his fence is murdered before he can reclaim the cash from his latest score, our hard-ass hero is forced to do some jobs for the killers. Layering the hazy sounds of Tangerine Dream over sparse and shimmering shots of Frank’s vulnerable Chicago nights, Mann creates an underworld story that’s every bit as seductive and hard to crack as the safes that its terse hero whispers to in the darkness.
The Thin Blue Line (Hulu, 1/7)
Long before Serial, The Staircase, and Making of a Murderer, there was Errol Morris’ essential true-crime documentary about the mixed up life of Randall Dale Adams, who was wrongly imprisoned for 12 years after being convicted of a killing committed by a teenager he had met earlier that day. Cinematically vivisecting the October 1976 night that derailed Adams’ life, Morris uses impressionistic recreations and a pulsing Philip Glass score to thaw a case that wasn’t nearly as cold as it seemed. We’d rather not detail the extent to which The Thin Blue Line changed things for its subject, but it’s safe to say that Morris’ film changed history in more ways than one.
Training Day (Netflix, 1/4)
Everybody remembers Denzel Washington bellowing “King Kong ain’t got nothin’ on me!,” but it can be easy to forget that he was telling the truth. Earning that Oscar and then some, the star’s increasingly unhinged performance as Detective Alonzo Harris elevates a crooked LAPD narcotics officer into one of the great movie monsters of all time. Oh, and Ethan Hawke is also present and accounted for, playing a rookie who has no idea what he’s in for. Training Day is every bit as ferocious and addictive as you remember; it’s just a shame that police manipulation and departmental corruption feels like yesterday’s news, ya know?