The best movies leaving Netflix, Hulu, and more in January to watch now

It’s the end of the month, so you know what that means, Polygon readers: A new group of movies leaving their respective streaming services.

There were many good movies that left streaming services in January, despite the usual flurry when the calendar changed to 2023. The entertainment team at Polygon has highlighted the best of the best on each streaming service, and will do so again next week to tell you the best of what’s new in February.

Without further ado, here’s the list. We’ve got comedies on Netflix, dramas on Hulu, sci-fi actioners on HBO Max, and much more to fill your heart’s delight and your weekend plans.

Netflix leaving

The Addams Family

A pale, long-haired woman seated next to a man with slick black hair and pencil moustache clad in a velvet suit coat and tie.

Warner Home Video

Genre: Black comedy/fantasy
Run time: 1h 39m
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Cast: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd

If you are interested in watching WednesdayYou’ve been intrigued by this movie, and you want more family than the creepy, quirky Addams clan. Why not go to one of its older versions? Anjelica and Raul Julia, who play the roles of Morticia and Gomez in the 1990s films have an electrifying cast. Christina Ricci’s Wednesday is still perhaps the most iconic. (Sorry, Jenna Ortega!! There’s a reason she was also in the Netflix show!) It’s funny and delights in the macabre without ever being too scary for young viewers. The movie follows the family reconnecting with long-lost Uncle Fester (played here by Christopher Lloyd) — but is it really Fester, or the adopted son of a con artist looking to scam the Addams family out of their fortune? There’s more to the story! —Petrana Radulovic

The Addams FamilyLeaves NetflixFebruary 1.

Paper Tigers

Ron Yuan and Ray Hopper in The Paper Tigers

Image by Well Go USA Entertainment

Genre: Action/comedy
Run time: 1h 48m
Director: Tran Quoc Bao
Cast: Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins

Comedy about two former prodigies in martial arts who become listless middle-aged guys after their death. Now they are back together thanks to the loss of their old master. Paper Tigers Hits all the high notes. It’s funny, it’s sweet, the action scenes kick ass (choreographed by the YouTube sensations The Martial Club, who also appear in the movie and choreographed the fights in All You Need at One Time) — it’s the charming kind of low-budget action comedy we get far too few of these days. It’s worth checking out if you get the opportunity. —Pete Volk

Paper TigersLeaves NetflixFebruary 1.

Hulu Out

Ernest & Celestine

An adorable mouse whispers in an adorable bear’s ear after lifting up the bear’s hat in Ernest & Celestine.


Genre: Comedy/adventure
Run time: 1h 20m
Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Pauline Brunner (original); Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy (dub)

Hidden gem movie that is cozy and intimate, Ernest & Celestine The same year, it was also released in the U.S. Frozen and thus was doomed to be lost in the “Let It Go” fanfare. Animation animated like a storybook. Ernest & CelestineThis movie tells the tale of Ernest, an orphan mouse and his friendship with a reluctant bear. At first it seems like a simple tale of “gruff man becomes a dad figure to a small child,” but the movie dives into the interspecies conflicts with more nuance than ZootopiaThey would do so a few more years later. Ernest and Celestine both stand by one another when they are put on trial by their respective governments for potentially betraying their species (like I said — it gets deep!). This story has thought-provoking animation. —PR

Ernest & CelestineHulu leaves Hulu Jan. 28.

Mamma Mia!

A group of women marching and singing in tandem while singing.

Universal Pictures

Genre:Musical romance
Run time: 1h 48m
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried

Mamma Mia! is the perfect antidote to dreary winter days — look at those warm, sunny beaches, the aquamarine ocean waters, the ABBA! Most of the cast was drunk on ouzo (a strong Greek liquor) during filming, and you can absolutely tell that they’re just having the time of their lives. Can Pierce Brosnan sing? No! But he and Meryl Streep are just so damn charming together that we’ll forgive it. All dads love their fathers. Mamma Mia! at its core is a celebration of womanhood — with Sophie, Donna, Tanya, and Rosie leading the charge, and the three dads (and Sky) just sitting around and looking pretty. Sit back, relax, and let the isle of Kalokairi sweep you away to the sweet serenade of “Dancing Queen.” —PR

Mamma Mia!Hulu ends Jan. 31,

The Age of Innocence

A distressed woman wraps her arms around a man from behind as she rests her head against his back, visible tears in her eyes.

Image from The Criterion Collection

Genre:Historiographical romance/romance
Run time: 2h 19m
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder

Genteel, 19th-century drawing-room drama might not seem like Martin Scorsese’s usual bag, although what he finds in this adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel about a tortuous love triangle in New York high society — betrayal, repression and emotional violence as individuals strain to find their place in a tightly codified, strictly hierarchical social world — maybe isn’t that different from Goodfellas after all. It’s just that it’s all about frocks, swooning, and party invitations. It is more interested in women and men than in men, which makes it different from his other films. The costumes, cinematography, and sets create a fantastically detailed, claustrophobically ornate stage for the film’s intense romantic drama, and even the great Daniel Day-Lewis is all but blown off the screen by a brilliant Michelle Pfeiffer in perhaps her greatest role. —Oli Welsh

Age of InnocenceHulu ends Jan. 31,

Godzilla and Mothra: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Godzilla biting the neck of King Ghidorah with a ruined city in the background and Mothra flying towards them.

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Genre: Kaiju/horror
Run time: 1h 45m
Director: Shusuke Kaneko
Cast: Chiharu Niiyama, Ryudo Uzaki, Masahiro Kobayashi

Rarely do movies have such consistency in quality as the Godzilla films (most American entries exempt). Original 1954 Godzilla It is an exemplary masterpiece that has been remade many times. The films of the early years strike the perfect blend of social commentary and popcorn entertainment.

2001’s Godzilla and Mothra: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack In tone and design, it is a throwback at the early Godzilla movies. GMK uses miniatures to brilliant effect just like in the original movies, and eschews a CG Godzilla for the classic “man in a suit” approach. There’s one breathtaking moment where the camera zooms out from a man in a bathroom to Godzilla crushing the house he’s in with his foot, moving from a full-size set to miniatures without breaking the shot. The movie does this multiple times, transitioning to miniatures with clever masking techniques for maximum impact and jaw-dropping scale, and the joy in the movie’s formal approach energizes it.

The movie balances the tones beautifully, just like many great Godzilla movies. It’s able to be funny — in the first 90 seconds, it references both the original movie and Roland Emmerich’s 1998 entry (humorously dismissing the latter’s potential status as canonical) — and very tense in the destruction sequences. You won’t find many guaranteed happy times as good as a Godzilla movie. GMK This fits the bill. Hulu currently only has the dubbed version. This is because Toho had the movie subtitled for international distribution. However, the dub is solid with voice actors embracing the genuine (and often silly) tone. —PV

Godzilla and Mothra: Giant Monsters All-Out AttackHulu ends Jan. 31,

HBO Max Exit

Jurassic Park

jurassic park ending: the t-rex defeats the raptors in the jurassic park lobby as a “when the dinosaurs ruled the earth” banner falls from the ceiling

Universal Pictures

Genre: Sci-fi/action
Run time: 2h 7m
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur adventure hardly needs introduction — but did you know that Spielberg ran postproduction on Jurassic ParkHe was simultaneously shooting Schindler’s List Poland: He returned every day from his traumatizing set of Holocaust staging to manage digital effects shots for dinosaur hijinks. His career was being capped by him, but he also reinvented the format of movies for the most part. It’s an almost offensive display of mastery from one director, but any consideration of that melts away when you sit down and watch the spellbinding movies — especially this one, a populist marvel that’s exciting, scary, and more sophisticated and self-aware than you think. Check out the director surrogate John Hammond (played by actual director Richard Attenborough), a circus-born entertainer with the world’s most dangerous case of imposter syndrome, sitting amid his ruined park, lamenting, “I wanted to show them something that was real.” As the critic Adam Nayman put it: “an authentically thoughtful blockbuster with something interesting to say about itself and the contradictions of trying to use state-of-the-art technology to re-create the past.” —OW

Jurassic ParkLeaves HBO MaxOn January 31st


A bald man (Vin Diesel) is seated on a throne and dressed in elaborate metallic armor.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Genre: Sci-fi/action
Run time: 1h 59m
Director: David Twohy
Cast: Vin Diesel, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable

Richard B. Riddick, the antihero protagonist of the Chronicles of Riddick series, is basically Vin Diesel’s answer to “Mad” Max Rockatansky: a sci-fi action role intended as a star vehicle for its leading man. David Twohy’s 2013 film picks up five years after the events of 2004’s Chronicles of RiddickThe film’s eponymous protagonist wakes up on an alien planet, stranded after being betrayed and taken hostage by the Necromongers.

Riddick is essentially a reprise of 2000’s Pitch BlackThe film “The First Film in the Series” is the second in the series. It’s a mild reboot. Mad Max: Fury Road, with Diesel’s character forced once again to team up with unlikely allies — in this case, a band of mercenaries led by the father of his onetime nemesis William J. Johns, as they fend off a horde of murderous mud creatures to escape the planet alive. It’s got great special effects, better cinematography, and more interesting action choreography than Pitch BlackHowever, it is a movie that still benefits from watching the previous two live-action films in the series. If you haven’t seen the prior films, though, RiddickThis is a great place to begin before you move on at your own pace. —Toussaint Egan

RiddickLeaves HBO MaxOn January 31st

Prime Video – How to Leave

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A young stars up at a woman in a majestic blue dress with fairy wings holding a wand in a darkened room.

DreamWorks Home Entertainment

Genre: Sci-fi drama
Run time: 2h 26m
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O’Connor

There’s a growing chorus on Film Twitter and Letterboxd that acclaims A.I. as Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece and one of the greatest films of all time. The film received mixed reception upon release in 2001. Some may still be concerned about its structural and tone instability. Either way, it’s a fascinating, singular artifact — a sort of asynchronous, posthumous collaboration between two of the all-time great filmmakers, Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick, in which their distinct styles clash interestingly, but never quite harmonize.

A.I. — a story about an android child (Haley Joel Osment) who is abandoned by his human family, and goes on a quixotic quest to become a “real boy” — was Kubrick’s baby, but he turned it over to Spielberg a few years before his death, after years of development hell. Spielberg eventually made it as a kind of memorial to his friend, and it’s astonishing the degree to which it feels like the ghost of a Stanley Kubrick film wearing the mask of a Spielberg one. It’s alternately chilly and sentimental, brooding and wide-eyed, but never quite in a way you would associate with either director. It’s also fair to say its take on the AI singularity has since been surpassed by more modern and nuanced movies, like Her.

You’ve got to see it, though. Whether in the stark Kubrickian sets and tableaux of millennial alienation, or in Spielberg’s peerless effects shots and radiant lighting, or John Williams’ unusually unsettled score, this is an arresting and memorable movie — a sci-fi epic of huge ideas, raw personal feeling, and the awestruck grief of one great filmmaker for another. —OW

A.I. Artificial IntelligenceLeaves Prime VideoOn January 31st

Money’s Color

Two men shooting white pool hall balls at a pool table.

Image: Touchstone Home Entertainment

Genre: Sports/drama
Run time: 1h 59m
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast:Paul Newman, Tom Cruise and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Martin Scorsese spent most of his time in the 1980s working for hire jobs. The Last Temptation for ChristIt was a great idea. They weren’t passion projects of his, but yuppie nightmare After-hoursClassic sports drama Money’s Color They are among his greatest films: well-made studio pictures, helmed by an insanely qualified director who brought out his fidgety urgency. Money’s Color is a sequel to ’60s classic HustlerPaul Newman reprises the role as Fast Eddie, a pool-hall hustler. It’s a slow but satisfying tale, smoothly told.

The real show here is the passing of the torch from one authentic screen idol to another: Newman, aging with preternatural grace and silvery charm, and Tom Cruise as Eddie’s protege Vincent, in the days when he was still comfortable channeling his asshole energy. The film was made after Cruise became supernova. Top GunThis film was shot in the same time frame. Newman won an Oscar, but Cruise nearly steals the whole film in one astonishing sequence of him dancing around the pool table to angular, howling ’80s rock, posing as he rips off trick shots. Scorsese’s camera, completely seduced by his arrogant strutting and explosive sense of self, glides and dances with him. It’s impossible to look away. —OW

Money’s ColorLeaves Prime VideoOn January 31st

At the Heat of the Night

A man in a blue suit (Sidney Poitier) and a police officer (Rod Steiger) sit at opposite ends of a navy blue bench bolted to the floor against a painted brick wall.

Image: The Criterion Channel

Genre: Mystery/drama
Run time: 1h 50m
Director: Norman Jewison
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates

The late, great Sidney Poitier delivers a calm, charismatic, and career-defining performance in Norman Jewison’s 1967 neo-noir mystery drama as Virgil (“They call me Mr. Tibbs!”) Tibbs, a Philadelphia police detective who is wrongly arrested on suspicion of murdering a prominent local businessman while traveling through Mississippi to visit his elderly mother. When Virgil’s identity and innocence is verified, police chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) begrudgingly asks him for his help in solving the murder.

What is the significance of At the Heat of the NightThe importance of the release date and subject matter cannot be overlooked. The story of a white policeman in the American South having to reckon with Virgil’s deductive prowess and studious intelligence and ultimately accept him as an equal resonated deeply with audiences during the peak of the civil rights movement, and feels just as radical and important viewed in 2023 as it did back then. The scene between Poitier and the genteel racist Eric Endicott (Larry Gates) in the latter’s greenhouse is literally one for the history books. —TE

At the Heat of the NightLeaves Prime VideoOn January 31st

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