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 twice-weekly Watching newsletter here.)
Starts streaming: Feb. 2
Craig McCracken, the creator of “The Powerpuff Girls,” indulges in his passion for superheroes, science fiction and Saturday morning cartoon mayhem with his new animated series, “Kid Cosmic.” The show tells the story of a cocky preteen misfit who discovers five powerful alien gemstones and distributes them among his closest friends and neighbors in a remote New Mexico town, forming a makeshift super-team to save the Earth from space invaders. Typical of McCracken’s shows, “Kid Cosmic” is frantically paced and filled with broadly wacky humor. But it also has poignant undertones of childhood loneliness and melancholy, along with an eye-catching sense of design that draws on pulp magazines and newspaper comics.
Starts streaming: Feb. 3
Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke play longtime best friends in the earnest melodrama “Firefly Lane,” the story of two middle-aged women who have maintained a tight bond across decades, despite leading very different lives. Heigl’s Tully Hart is a popular Seattle TV talk-show host who had a tumultuous childhood. Chalke’s Kate Mularkey grew up as a nerdy kid in a relatively stable home but has since found her own adulthood as a wife and mother to be naggingly unfulfilling. Based on a Kristin Hannah novel, this series is set across multiple decades, and contains narrative surprises in nearly every episode, frequently changing the viewer’s perspective on these two BFFs. But at heart this is a tale of women grinding their way through changing times while relying on each other to stay grounded.
‘Malcolm & Marie’
Starts streaming: Feb. 5
The powerhouse young actors Zendaya and John David Washington showcase their gifts in “Malcolm & Marie,” a handsome-looking psychodrama written and directed by the “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson. Washington plays a promising filmmaker celebrating the successful premiere of his semi-autobiographical debut movie. Zendaya plays his girlfriend, an emotionally damaged model who spends the hours after they get back to their elegant rental property trying to get him to confront some hard truths about his work and their relationship. Shot in finely shaded black-and-white, “Malcolm & Marie” is both intimate and provocative, featuring a lot of spirited arguments about the responsibilities artists bear for how they represent their own lives.
‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’
Starts streaming: Feb. 10
The documentarian Joe Berlinger has been telling true-crime stories in film and on TV since the 1990s with projects like “Brother’s Keeper,” the “Paradise Lost” trilogy and “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.” His new anthology series, “Crime Scene,” is an ambitious one, examining mysteries and murder in the context of where they occurred. The four-episode first season is ostensibly about a tourist who disappeared from a seedy Los Angeles hotel in 2013. But it is also about the building itself, which has been a locus for desperation and depravity for decades. The first season of “Crime Scene” pairs a conventional look at a criminal investigation with a richer study of how and why city governments sometimes allow properties and neighborhoods to decay, dangerously
‘To All the Boys: Always and Forever’
Starts streaming: Feb. 12
In 2018, Netflix drew a lot of social media buzz with “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” a bright and emotionally stirring movie adaptation of Jenny Han’s novel about a lovestruck teenager named Lara Jean Covey (Lara Condor) and her college-bound crush Peter (Noah Centineo). Last year’s sequel “P.S. I Still Love You” introduced some complications to the original’s happy ending. The third and final film in the trilogy, “Always and Forever” tells the story of how Lara Jean and Peter handle the unexpectedly complicated transition from high school to college, while pondering whether they have a future together.
‘Behind Her Eyes’
Starts streaming: Feb. 17
Based on a Sarah Pinborough novel, the thriller mini-series “Behind Her Eyes” has the kind of premise that could have been played in the style of an earnest romantic comedy or a wacky bedroom farce — but which instead gets creepier at every turn. Simona Brown plays Louise, a divorced mother and a part-time secretary who one night in a bar flirts with a stranger named David (Tom Bateman), unaware that he’s about to be her new boss. Then she meets David’s wife, Adele (Eve Hewson), who is lonely and needs a friend. Louise finds herself drawing closer to both halves of this couple, each of them holding onto some heavy secrets. The story unfolds at a deliberate pace early on before springing multiple jaw-dropping revelations.
‘I Care a Lot’
Starts streaming: Feb. 19
In the neo-noir “I Care a Lot,” Rosamund Pike plays Maria Grayson, a slick con artist working an unusual scam. With the help of some cash-strapped nursing home managers, a handful of ethically shaky geriatricians and one easily duped judge, she arranges to be named the legal caretaker for well-heeled seniors, whom she slowly robs for the rest of their lives. When Maria makes the mistake of fleecing the not-so-helpless mother (Dianne Wiest) of an off-the-grid drug lord (Peter Dinklage), her entire operation is threatened. Written and directed by J Blakeson (whose 2009 debut feature “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” was equally clever and darkly comic), “I Care a Lot” is engagingly twisty and populated by unsympathetic-yet-charismatic characters, unafraid to exploit society’s indifference to the elderly for their own sick ends.
Starts streaming: Feb. 23
The Brazilian soccer star born Edson Arantes do Nascimento — but known the world over as “Pelé” — is the only person to compete for three World Cup champion teams and one of the first of the sport’s top players to become famous in the United States. The co-directors Ben Nicholas and David Tryhorn’s documentary “Pelé” includes plenty of exciting footage of the man in action, moving on the pitch with a speed and grace that made his game look easy — and, as he famously dubbed it, “beautiful.” The film is also about the dramatic political and cultural changes in Brazil between the 1950s and the 1970s, as Pelé’s sporting triumphs played out against the backdrop of a nation in turmoil.
“Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready” Season 2
“Hache” Season 2
“The Last Paradiso”
“Strip Down, Rise Up”
“The Misadventures of Heidi and Cokeman”
“Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Interactive Movie”
“MeatEater” Season 9 Part 2
“Tribes of Europa”
“Brian Regan: On the Rocks”
“Ginny & Georgia”
“Crazy About Her”