February 2023’s Best Streaming Titles: “Shaft,” “Black Panther,” “The Terminator,” “Lord of the Rings”
Classic blaxploitation, a return to Wakanda, Ah-nold's greatest role, Peter Jackson's journey to Middle-earth, and more.
As Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, et al. add more content, it can be difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the newly added titles. So I’ve compiled a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies, TV shows, etc. to add to your streaming queues in the new month.
Amazon Prime Video
Children of Heaven (Feb 1)
In this deeply charming Iranian film, a young boy accidentally loses his sister’s only pair of shoes. As they try to hide this from their parents, the boy searches the city for her footwear. This may sound like a very slight plot, but director Majid Majidi turns it into a delightful and heartwarming story filled with naturalistic performances.
Inside Man (Feb 1)
In this wonderfully executed heist movie by Spike Lee, an unorthodox hostage negotiator (Denzel Washington) finds himself squaring off against an equally unorthodox thief (Clive Owen) in a bank robbery where nothing is what it seems. The film’s star-studded cast also includes Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Shaft (Feb 1)
I hope that this is the original Shaft from 1971, directed by Gordon Parks and starring Richard Roundtree as the “the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks.” With its gritty urban tale involving gangsters and kidnappings, Roundtree’s charismatic performance, and of course, Isaac Hayes’ legendary soundtrack, Shaft has become a cult favorite over the years, and is considered one of the greatest blaxploitation films of all time.
Three Thousand Years of Longing (Feb 17)
George Miller took a break from his long-gestating Furiosa — the followup to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road — to direct this fantastical story about a British professor (Tilda Swinton) and the djinn (Idris Elba) that she unwittingly releases, and who promises her three wishes. But what does a djinn do when no one wants to make any wishes? Although a box office bomb, Three Thousand Years of Longing was widely praised for its visuals (as you might expect from Miller) and the lead performances.