Every month, Netflix adds movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for some of February’s most promising new titles. (Note: Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice. For more recommendations on what to stream, sign up for our Watching newsletter here.)
‘Orion and the Dark’
Fans of the writer-director Charlie Kaufman’s playfully complex art films like “Synecdoche, New York” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” may be surprised to see his name in the credits of an animated kids’ movie. But while this adaptation of an Emma Yarlett picture book (directed by Sean Charmatz from a Kaufman screenplay) is very much oriented toward children, it has some of the metafictional layers for which Kaufman is known. Jacob Tremblay is the voice of a young boy, Orion, whose fear of darkness prompts a visit from the physical manifestation of Dark (Paul Walter Hauser), who tries to show him the wonders of the night. Colin Hanks is the voice of the older Orion, describing this boyhood adventure to his own nervous daughter, who keeps questioning her dad’s version of what happened. The tension between the story itself and the way it gets told adds some poignant, adult undertones to a family-friendly romp.
Starts streaming: Feb. 8
Based on a David Nicholls novel (previously adapted into a 2011 movie), this romantic dramedy miniseries covers 20 years in the lives of two University of Edinburgh classmates, who have one painfully awkward date after graduation in 1988 and then spend much of their young adulthood staying in touch but failing to become a couple. Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod play these distant friends, whom “One Day” revisits on the same day each year, to show how their careers and relationships go through dramatic changes, often pulling them further apart. Like the book, this is the story about the loves and times of two very different people, who could actually be perfect for each other if they can ever get past their hang-ups.
Starts streaming: Feb. 14
In this romantic comedy, Gina Rodriguez plays a New York sportswriter named Mack, who alongside her best friend and colleague Adam (Damon Wayans Jr.) is a master at running “plays” in singles bars, telling lies to help each other coax their romantic quarries into bed. Then Mack meets Nick (Tom Ellis), a renowned war correspondent who might be worth more than a one-night stand. Directed by Trish Sie from a Whit Anderson script, “Players” combines the mechanics of a heist film with the trappings of a old-fashioned big city love story, for a portrait of middle-aged adults starting to realize it may be time to grow up and stop playing games.
‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Season 1
Starts streaming: Feb. 22
Fans of the epic animated fantasy series “Avatar” have been anxious to see this live-action version, after the previous attempt to adapt the franchise into a live-action movie fell flat. This new take is overseen by the writer-producer Albert Kim — the creators of the Nickelodeon cartoon, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, were initially involved but withdrew in 2020, citing creative differences. Like the original, this version is set in a world where four kingdoms — each representing one of the classical elements — have been in crisis since the Fire Nation went on the attack. The first season’s eight hourlong episodes introduce the title character, Aang (Gordon Cormier), a superpowered youngster who despite his small size and occasional clumsiness may be the one to restore balance to society.
‘The Tourist’ Season 2
Starts streaming: Feb. 29
In Season 1 of “The Tourist” (which originally aired on HBO Max now streams on Netflix), an Irishman traveling through rural Australia suffers a bout of amnesia after getting run off the road by a truck. With the help of the friendly small-town cop Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald), this man (Jamie Dornan) — who eventually learns his name is Elliot — tries to piece together who he used to be and why someone may be trying to kill him. In Season 2, Helen and Elliot keep following that trail to Ireland, where he learns more about his violent past and tries to reconcile it with the gentler person he has become since the accident. As with the first season, the second weaves some jarring twists and dark comedy into a story about someone who has been on the run for as long as he can remember.
“Let’s Talk About Chu” Season 1
“My Wife and Kids” Seasons 1-5
“Raël: The Alien Prophet” Season 1
“A Killer Paradox” Season 1
“Lover, Stalker, Killer”
“Taylor Tomlinson: Have It All”
“Good Morning, Verônica” Season 3
“Love Is Blind” Season 6
“The Vince Staples Show” Season 1
“Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out”
“Formula 1: Drive to Survive” Season 6
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Seasons 1-4
“Code 8: Part II”