You can get comprehensive lists of everything coming to streaming services anywhere. But half of those titles you don’t care about, and the other half are terrible. Where’s the good stuff? io9 is here to help.
Below you’ll find what we deem to be the best sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV coming to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and (new for 2020!) Disney+ in January. Let’s get to it.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Disney legend Dick Van Dyke stars in this musical fantasy, co-written by Roald Dahl from a story by Ian Fleming, about a magical car that flies to different worlds.
Dragonheart, Dragonheart: A New Beginning, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer - Who knew Dragonheart, the 1996 Dennis Quaid movie with Sean Connery voicing a dragon, was actually a franchise? Not only is the fine, but forgettable, original included here, but also its direct-to-video 2000 sequel as well as its 2015 prequel. If you want to have a Dragonheart night, 2020 is going to deliver.
Ghost Rider - Based on the popular comic series, this Nicolas Cage vehicle is certainly not one of the best Marvel movies. But it’s not the worst either—and at the end of the day, can you believe we actually live in a world where there’s a Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider movie (two, actually, including the 2011 sequel) and no one really cares?
Inception - As director Christopher Nolan prepares to drop another action thriller with sci-fi roots, his original film of that ilk is coming to Netflix, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and more. Damned if this movie doesn’t hold up as one of the best sci-fi movies in recent years.
Kate & Leopold - Logan writer-director James Mangold first worked with Hugh Jackman in this 2001 romantic comedy about an 1870s nobleman who travels into the future and falls in love with Meg Ryan.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 - Revenge is a dish best served...in a double feature on Netflix! Quentin Tarantino’s massive samurai action revenge masterpiece starring Uma Thurman comes to the stream with both parts intact. Here’s a tip: Stop part one before the final scene and jump into part two, which is how the uncut, four-hour version plays! Changes the whole movie.
Pan’s Labyrinth - Guillermo del Toro may have won his Oscars for The Shape of Water, but we all know the truth: Pan’s Labyrinth is his true masterpiece. And now you can remind yourself of that fact on streaming.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze - Look, I have no idea if these movies hold up. I’m guessing they don’t. But when they came out, if you were a TMNT fan, holy crap did you love them. I can’t wait to grab some pizza and rewatch.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Fellowship of the Ring is nowhere to be found, unfortunately, but if you want to just jump into Peter Jackson’s epic saga, at least you get the best of the bunch in the record-setting, Oscar-winning Return of the King. And Two Towers is pretty excellent too.
The Ring - One of the best horror remakes in recent memory is this American do-over of the Japanese horror movie about a videotape that, if you watch it, you die. Naomi Watts stars in this creepy, awesome film, though the real MVP is the ghostly girl who slithers out of the videotape and into your nightmares.
Tremors - Kevin Bacon stars in this fun 1990 monster-movie throwback about giant underground worms that terrorize a small desert community. Many sequels were made but nothing touches the original, which is an eternal crowdpleaser.
What Lies Beneath - Robert Zemeckis directs a spooky, suspenseful haunted house movie (or is it?) starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. It’s criminally underrated and well-deserving of your attention.
Wild Wild West - Instead of The Matrix, Will Smith made Wild Wild West, a film he thought would continue his run of July 4 box office dominance. It did not. Still, it’s a very watchable movie, in that so-bad-it’s-actually-kinda-great way.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - The all-time classic starring Gene Wilder is coming to Netflix so you can watch it again and again. Also, if you want to see how the same source material can be interpreted completely differently by making all the wrong choices, Tim Burton’s remake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is also coming to Netflix on the same day.
Yes Man - One of Jim Carrey’s last movies during his comedy superstar era was this fantasy where he’s cursed to only say “Yes” to everything. The film is surprisingly solid, from my memory of it—though I’ll admit I haven’t thought about it since, until I saw it on Netflix’s list.
The Evil Dead - Sam Raimi’s film that started it all is coming to Netflix, and it’s still super creepy, gross, and groovy.
Dracula 3000 - Honestly, I’d never heard of this movie until I saw it on this list, but I looked it up and it’s described as “Count Dracula terrorizes the crew of a spaceship” and stars Starship Troopers star Casper Van Dien. Terrible as I’m sure it is, that’s intriguing as hell.
Pi - The directorial feature debut of Darren Aronofsky is as weird and trippy as his other films, just on a much smaller scale. In Pi, a man uses numbers to try and solve the mysteries of the universe. Broadly. It’s a cool little movie for sure. [Also on Hulu]
Sherlock Holmes - Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, director Guy Ritchie—the 2009 Sherlock Holmes has a hell of a pedigree. And, unlike so many films with a similar pedigree, this one lives up to it and then some. Ritchie’s flair for action combined with Downey’s huge personality and Law’s intense charm all add up to a great time at the movies...in the comfort of your own home, on Amazon.
The Goonies - Hey you guys! This 1985 collaboration between producer Steven Spielberg, writer Chris Columbus, and director Richard Donner is one of the most beloved films of its era. A group of misfit kids search for hidden treasure in order to save their homes from rich developers who want to knock them down. It’s delightful, especially if you saw it growing up.
Unforgettable - Ray Liotta stars in this seemingly simple detective story about a man trying to solve the murder of his wife, which ends up drawing him into a procedure that mines memories. It’s not great, but it’s a solid streamer.
Conan the Barbarian - This 2011 remake of the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie isn’t very good, but almost a decade later, the fact Jason Momoa stars as the fantastical hero looks much better than it did at the time.
Midsommar - One of 2019's best films stars Florence Pugh as a girl who joins a group of guys on a trip to Europe, and gets wrapped up in a very lovely, very diabolical cult.
Cube, Cube 2: Hypercube, Cube Zero - What better way to kick off 2020 than a triple feature of Cube movies? The original, by Vincenzo Natali, is kind of weird and wonderful but I didn’t know one sequel, let alone two, actually existed. Well, apparently they do and they’re coming to Hulu. [And also Amazon]
Knowing - Another rando Nicolas Cage movie coming to streaming. This one, directed by The Crow’s Alex Proyas, is about an astrophysicist who encounters a girl who has knowledge of upcoming catastrophic events, and attempts to understand why and stop them. It’s totally bonkers. [Also on Amazon]
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie - The 1995 original Power Rangers movie is like a super-sized episode of the original show, which makes it actually pretty fun. It’s also a good reminder of why the franchise got so popular and remains that way too.
The Polar Express - Robert Zemeckis’ 2004 performance capture adaptation of the classic book by Chris Van Allsburg stars Tom Hanks in almost every single role. At the time, the technology wasn’t quite there, so it remains crazy creepy to watch, but the wonderful, timeless story helps forgive a lot of that.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: Insurrection - If you’re looking to binge Star Trek movies, but have no interest in The Voyage Home for some reason, streaming has you covered. [Also on Amazon]
Holes - An underrated, funny, surprising little movie about a young boy (Shia LaBeouf) who is stuck in a prison camp where young boys dig holes. Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, and Tim Blake Nelson co-star.
Aladdin - Not all of Disney’s live-action remakes are great, but this one is, evoking all the nostalgia and emotion of the original animated film, with all the style and flair that modern action filmmaking can bring. Here’s our review.
More Disney+ titles are on the way, but as of publishing they’ve only released what’s being added for early January.
Correction: Midsommer will be on Amazon Prime January 10, not January 3 as originally reported.
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