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Every month, subscription streaming services add a new batch of movies and TV shows to their libraries, and every month we write about those titles we think are most interesting. Here’s our list for January.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what’s arriving when. But we’re here to help. To that end, here are those picks that were recently added, just ahead of the three-day weekend. Note that streaming services occasionally change their schedules without giving notice.
New to Netflix
Matt LeBlanc in “Episodes.”Colin Hutton/Showtime
Starts streaming: Jan. 6
This wry comedy follows a British husband-and-wife writing team (Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan), as they alternately endure and simply marvel at American television executives’ efforts to dumb down their award-winning British show. Matt LeBlanc gamely plays himself as a rich, narcissistic nightmare. “Episodes” is serialized and doesn’t hit its stride until midway through the first season. Give yourself at least four episodes to get hooked.
Vera Farmiga in “The Conjuring.”Michael Tackett/Warner Bros. Pictures
Director James Wan (“Saw”) channels the spirit of 1970s horror films like “The Exorcist” and “The Amityville Horror” to create a mythology around a real-life married pair of paranormal investigators. The premise may feel familiar, but Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson do wonders with their roles as the ghost-hunting couple.
New Netflix Original Movies
Jack Black, left, and Jason Schwartzman in “The Polka King.”Netflix
‘The Polka King’
Starts streaming: Jan. 12
Based on the true story of Jan Lewan — who is also the subject of a 2009 documentary — “The Polka King” stars Jack Black as Lewan, a popular Pennsylvania polka bandleader who takes advantage of his mostly older fan base to raise money in a shady investment scheme. The film finally arrives on Netflix this month, almost exactly one year after it was well received in its debut at the Sundance Film Festival.
New to Amazon Prime
A scene from “A Ghost Story.”A24
The ghost in this minimalist indie drama by David Lowery (“Pete’s Dragon”) dons a white sheet with two eyeholes, like the world’s least creative Halloween costume. But it isn’t out to scare anybody and neither is the film. Instead, “A Ghost Story” is about a dead man (Casey Affleck) who sticks around his home after he dies to observe what happens as his wife (Rooney Mara) mourns and moves on, and as the house changes ownership over the years.
New to Hulu
Michael Fassbender as the title character in “Frank.”Magnolia Pictures
Starts streaming: Jan. 8
You’ve probably seen Michael Fassbender in one of his many serious roles, but his performance in this 2014 dark comedy is odder than usual. For most of the movie, his face is concealed by a big, bizarre papier-mâché head that his character, a bandleader named Frank, wears at all times.