What's new on Netflix in February, from a Reese Witherspoon rom-com to a doggy true crime docuseries

New Year's resolutions forgotten already? Don't beat yourself up and cozy up on the couch instead

Published January 31, 2023 10:13PM (EST)

Gunther's Millions (Netflix)
Gunther's Millions (Netflix)

It's about that time when everyone's New Year's resolutions have worn off, and we're back to binge-watching on the couch. Luckily, Netflix is here to make sure you have plenty to add to your watch list. And if you're more strong-willed, it can still provide you with new content to keep your attention while you're on that treadmill. 

But before diving into the streamer's new original content, you can also catch up on older movies that are joining the service in February. If you're missing "The Rings of Power," all three of Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films can scratch that Middle-Earth itch for now. And if you still feel a bit of that travel bug, you can "Eat Pray Love" with Julia Roberts in Italy, India and Bali. 

Or perhaps you're feeling nostalgic for Will Smith before all The Slap controversy? Netflix is offering "Pursuit of Happyness," in which he plays a homeless man and single parent of a boy, who's played by real-life son Jaden Smith. But there's also the first two "Bad Boys" movies, which you can watch as research since reports are that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are coming back for a fourth installment. 

Or if you really want to lean into disregarding any resolutions, check out ""The Great British Baking Show: The Professional." Sure the appeal of the flagship show is that it's about amateurs, but at least you can drool over Victoria sponges and iced treats, maybe even while eating some baked goods from the comfort of your couch.

Here's what else is coming to Netflix this month that's noteworthy:

"Gunther's Millions," Feb. 1

The concept of this four-part docuseries is already a draw — a wealthy pet, a German shepherd to be exact, with a higher net worth than you and probably everyone you know . What lies underneath, though, is who the dog was left in the care of and how many versions of "Gunther" have inherited this fortune. "Gunther's Millions" dives into the man behind the dog, Maurizio Mian, who's an Italian celebrity known for having tenuous ties to the mafia and the cult-like following surrounding him.

"Freeridge," Feb. 2

Netflix's "On My Block" was loved for its inclusive cast, talented young actors and the show's coming-of-age story set in a predominantly Black and Latine neighborhood in Los Angeles. When the show ended its four-season run in late 2021, a lot of people were disappointed to see it go. But now it's getting a spinoff: "Freeridge." 

"On My Block" managed to balance real sociopolitical struggles with a lighthearted mystery, friendship and innocent romance, and "Freeridge" looks like it's set up to do the same. Following a new set of characters, sisters Gloria (Keyla Monterroso Mejia) and Ines (Bryana Salaz) and their friends Cam (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Demi (Ciara Riley Wilson), who accidentally curse themselves with a mysterious old box, "Freeridge" puts a fresh spin on the neighborhood and its residents that viewers had come to love.


"True Spirit," Feb. 2
This biopic tells the story of Jessica Watson (played by Teagan Croft) — the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world. The real-life journey took place in 2009, with Watson sailing through challenging waters and surviving seven knockdowns on her 210-day journey. "True Spirit" highlights the way she overcame her struggles with loneliness, fear and dyslexia to achieve her goal.






"You" Season 4: Part 1, Feb. 9
Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is back. When last we visited the charming serial killer, he was following Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) and her daughter all the way to Paris. Now, as we enter the fourth see we see Joe in London pretending to be an English professor and promising to start over and be his best self. That is, until someone begins targeting and killing the circle of friends he's made, and even appears to know something of his true identity. Make sure to catch up with these first five episodes before the second part releases in March.







"Your Place or Mine," Feb. 10

A updated take on the house swap rom-com, "Your Place or Mine" stars Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher as close friends Debbie and Peter, who absolutely have no romantic feelings for each other at all (beyond that one-night hookup when they first met). Not only do they live on opposite coasts, but they have nearly opposite lifestyles — Debbie is a type-A single mom whereas Peter changes out life plans (and girlfriends) with ease. When the two swap homes for a week, they get a glimpse into each other's lives that may lead to love.


Written by "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's" Aline Brosh McKenna, which is probably why the movie also co-stars alums Rachel Bloom and Vela Lovell, along with Jesse Williams, Tig Notaro, Shiri Appleby and Steve Zahn.



"Re/Member," Feb. 14
If Valentine's Day isn't your thing, "Re/Member" could be the Japanese horror film to get you through the holiday. Based on a manga series, the film follows six high school students stuck in a time loop that ends with their death. In order to escape the curse, they're tasked with finding the scattered remains of a body hidden in their school. 







"African Queens: Njinga," Feb. 15
"African Queens: Njinga" is the first installment of a documentary series executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith that tells the story of Njinga, the 17th century warrior queen of Ndongo and Matamba, in modern-day Angola. Njinga was not only the nation's first female ruler, but also became an icon of resistance, using her political and diplomatic skill, as well as her military prowess, to resist Portuguese settlement. The docuseries gives viewers a look into an often overlooked past through dramatization and retellings from historians.






"Red Rose," Feb. 15
Technology is becoming scary. But even scarier than that is the deep relationship we have with it, explored in this British horror series. In "Red Rose," a group of teenagers who just made it to summer vacation are terrorized by an app that makes dangerous demands with even more dangerous consequences. From the producers of "Sex Education."







"Unlocked," Feb. 17
Proving that the fear over our entanglement with technology is global, "Unlocked" is a Korean film that highlights the dangers of storing all of our information on our devices. Based off of a Japanese novel of the same name, this film follows the life of an ordinary office worker, Na-Mi (Chun Woo-hee), whose life becomes very much unordinary when a dangerous man gets a hold of her lost cell phone and uses it to track her every move.






"Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal," Feb. 22

Previously known as one of South Carolina's most prominent families, the Murdaugh family has been swept up in scandal and allegations (and, subsequently, all over the news) for over a year. Soon after the Murdaugh's son, Paul, was accused of being responsible for teenager Mallory Beach's death after a drunken boating accident, he and his mother Maggie were found murdered. What followed was the uncovering of a century of corruption, power and cover-ups around the family. The three-part series will feature first-hand accounts from those on the boat that fateful night, many of whom have not spoken about the crash or double homicide of Maggie and Paul until now, including: Paul Murdaugh's longtime girlfriend, Mallory Beach's childhood friends, Mallory's boyfriend and others.

"Call Me Chihiro," Feb. 23
This film, adapted from the manga "Chihiro-san," follows the life of Chihiro (Kasumi Arimura), a free-spirited and outspoken former sex worker, who settles in a small seaside town to work at a bento stand. Chihiro had a lonely life from the time she was a child, but now she spends her time making conversation with, and bringing comfort to, the customers and lonely souls she meets.


"We Have a Ghost," Feb. 24
Featuring well-known names like Anthony Mackie, David Harbour and Golden Globe winner Jennifer Coolidge, this adventure-comedy tells the story of a family moving into their new home only to find that it is already inhabited by a ghost they call Ernest. When the father, Frank, turns their haunting into a viral sensation, he enlists his son, Kevin, to help to keep their popularity going. But when Kevin and Ernest disappear to investigate the mystery of Ernest's past, they become targets of the CIA.



By Lily Doton

Lily Doton is an intern at Salon and will graduate from Castleton University in May. Though her true love is K-Pop, she is studying Media and Communication with a concentration in journalism and a minor in film studies. She is passionate about telling stories and seeking out Asian representation, whether that's in movies, shows, music or writing.

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