Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services, reaching 130 million paying customers around the world. They’ll be starting the 2020 new year with a bang, removing some of the beloved movies they’ve offered for years, along with a few shows. These include works from every genre, including charmers like Billy Elliot, dramas like Blood Diamond, and classics like Ocean’s Eleven and Pulp Fiction. Here are some of the best flicks you’ll want to catch before they leave Netflix in January.
About A Boy
One of Hugh Grant’s most charming flicks (and that’s saying something), About A Boy is the tale of an unexpected relationship between a preteen boy and a bachelor with a large inheritance and an isolated lifestyle.
Young Nicholas Hoult is both adorable and profound as Marcus. Toni Collete does a marvelous job, as usual, portraying an emotionally distressed single mother. And Rachel Weisz is, well, as irresistible as ever. Catch this lighthearted but moving film before it leaves Netflix on January first.
Across The Universe
Across The Universe takes a few irresistible things — the Beatles, forbidden love, and rebellion — and puts them into a blender. A cross between a musical and a dream, the film is equal parts uplifting and heart-wrenching.
The coming-of-age story looks at the Vietnam war through the eyes of youth. The characters’ points of view explain the Beatles’ fan base at the time, offering perspective to some of their top hits. It’s definitely worth a watch before the film leaves Netflix on New Year’s Day.
The 24 Hour War
With the Hollywood action drama Ford v Ferrari exploding in theaters at the end of 2019, you’ve got to catch this documentary before it leaves January 1st. The 24 Hour War pieces together footage and interviews to tell the story of Ford and Ferrari’s rivalry.
As much as we love biopics, watching a documentary in addition to the fictionalized version offers a more thorough perspective. True automobile lovers will want to catch this historical account before it’s too late!
American History X
American History X is one of those films that changes the way you view the world. It sheds light on how prejudice can grow from an event and spread like a disease. While the drama can be hard to bear at times, it’s an unflinching look at humanity.
The film will either reveal the privilege you didn’t know you had, or fill you with gratitude that someone is taking notice. Catch Edward Norton in one of his most moving performances by January first.
Leaving Netflix January first, Billy Elliot is a film that dares to question to gender stereotypes. While that seems like the norm today, back in 2000 it was still a relatively bold concept to have a “boyish” boy intrigued by ballet.
Sure enough, poor Billy’s father is anything but thrilled about his son’s commitment to the craft, forbidding him for following his passion. There’s nothing better than seeing a youngster battle adversity, paving the path for future generations.
Friends fans are in for heartbreak as the show leaves Netflix just as the calendar turns to 2020. The show, which is one of the most popular sitcoms of all-time, has been a staple of the streaming giant for years.
Once Friends is no longer on Netflix, the options for fans to get their Chandler, Monica, Joey, Ross, Rachel, and Phoebe fix will be limited to cable. More patient fans can sleep easy knowing that come may it will be available to stream on HBO Max when the service premieres.
The Book Of Eli
The Book of Eli is an action film that cuts through all of the flashy battle scenes and straight to the core of a post-apocalyptic world. Eli, played by Denzel Washington, heads westward to deliver a book that is the key to saving humanity.
In a world where all hope has been lost and survival supersedes ethics, Eli attempts to return humanity to the dignity it once knew. Shedding light on the importance of belief systems and their role in society, this is a profound story to watch on Netflix before January 1st.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays a South African united with a fisherman, played by Djimon Hounsou, and an American journalist (Jennifer Connelly) in this political thriller. Guided by separate agendas, the group uncovers the terrifying truth behind the diamond trade.
Set in the 1990s amidst Sierra Leone’s civil war, Blood Diamond exposes the kind of deep suffering that will give just about any viewer a heavy dose of humility. Catch this eye-opening film on Netflix by January first.
The Bucket List
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman join forces in this hilarious tale about two men who meet in a hospital room only to inspire one another to live the remainder of their lives to the fullest. Due to cancer, both men become aware that their time is running out.
They abandon the hospital and embark on a journey together, hell-bent on crossing as many things off their bucket list, side by side, as they can. Catch this heartfelt dramedy on Netflix by January first.
Christmas With The Kranks
Empty nesters Luther and Nora Krank decide to abandon their usual, over-the-top Christmas plans and escape the holidays on a cruise. Things go awry when their enthusiastic neighbors grow adamant about winning the decorated street competition.
As the Kranks become social outcasts, they gradually remember what the holidays are all about: coming together. ‘Tis the season to catch this heartwarming comedy that’s fit for the entire family. Christmas With The Kranks will be leaving Netflix with the holiday season on New Year’s Day.
If you’re looking for an epic film that is wholly unique, Cloud Atlas may be the pick for you. The complex story has many lead characters, all of which are repeated throughout history as souls die and are reborn.
The movie intertwines multiple storylines across the span of five centuries, jumping between all of them to show various butterfly affects in the past, present, and future. Deep thinkers who enjoy pondering life, time, and connection will want to catch this intriguing film by January first.
With technology on the rise at a faster rate than ever, a film about an emotional robot seems only fitting for the times. Enter Chappie, a story about a police droid who has been programmed to think and feel emotions.
The film brings into question not only the challenges of technology, but also where the line should be drawn with law enforcement. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry through this emotional sci-fi film, leaving Netflix January first.
The Future Of Water
The Future of Water is a documentary series that looks at how fresh water and humanity have fared over the centuries. The show turns to history in order to better understand the way in which water has and will impact politics.
Since water is one of the most fundamental needs of humans, the implications for how this resource may affect countries in the future are profound. Become enlightened to issues such as water scarcity and water manufacturing before the show leaves Netflix on January first.
The Informant! is a spy movie minus the cliches and plus a ton of unusual twists. Based on a true story, Matt Damon portrays a white-collar worker who decides to inform authorities about his company’s foul deeds.
Mark Whitacre (Damon) pairs with the FBI, acting as a spy and investigating his coworkers from the inside. Problems arise as Whitacre’s imagination starts to muddle the case. For an unusual mystery about an unlikely whistleblower, check out this film by January first.
This Quentin Tarantino film from the late ’90s revolves around a flight attendant set on double-crossing both the authorities and the criminal she works for. Upon being caught red-handed smuggling money for her boss (Samuel Jackson), Jackie is offered a deal.
An agent (Micheal Keaton) offers her freedom so long as she helps with their investigation. Jackie Brown, played by Pam Grier, has a clever plan up her sleeve. See how she manages to get out of this one before January first!
The Lake House
In this remake of a South Korean film, Sandra Bullock (Kate) and Keanu Reeves (Alex) play lovers separated by time. Their only way to communicate is via letters left in a mailbox at a lake house they each lived in at different times.
Everything comes together when Kate discovers a vital piece of information that will determine Alex’s fate. Will the pair find a way to defeat time with their letter writing, or are they doomed to spend eternity apart? You’ll have to catch the romantic drama by the New Year to find out.
Tired of waiting around for her boyfriend to propose, Anna (Amy Adams) decides to secretly follow him to Dublin in order to carry out a Celtic tradition. According to the tradition, a man cannot say no to a proposal from a woman on leap day.
Along the way, she meets an Irish innkeeper (Matthew Goode) who begrudgingly agrees to drive her to her destination for a price. As the pair undergo various mishaps, they grow fonder of each other than anticipated. Catch the sweet rom-com before the New Year!
Mona Lisa Smile
Mona Lisa Smile is a historical drama leaving Netflix on January first. Julia Roberts stars as a history art professor at a prestigious, all-female college in the 1950s. She encourages her students to think of their worth in terms outside of marriage, which is met with varied responses by her students.
Roberts challenges the school’s administration, encouraging her students to think more about what could be, rather than buying into present conventions. This touching film sheds light on what feminism looked like in the middle of the 20th century.
Master chef Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) has her life turned upside down when she becomes the guardian of her niece (Abigail Breslin). Her intimidating exterior gradually melts as she learns what becoming a mother figure truly means.
To help with the transition is her sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart), a new addition to Kate’s kitchen who she cannot deny the charm of. This heartwarming film brings together a trio of misfits, all destined for one another. Catch the film before it leaves Netflix on January first.
One Strange Rock
One Strange Rock is a ten-part documentary that will be leaving Netflix at the start of 2020. Hosted by Will Smith, this series offers the perspective of eight astronauts who relate their accounts of seeing Earth from a distance.
The show investigates subjects such as human intelligence, the cosmos, alien life, survival, and more. The second season has already been ordered by National Geographic, so be sure to catch up on the first season before it leaves Netflix on January first.
Ocean’s Eleven is one of those quality films that’s hard to get tired of. The fast and fun heist film centers on Dapper Ocean (George Clooney), a witty and charismatic criminal who is barely off parole by the time he begins planning his next scheme.
He and his squad prepare to undergo an elaborate casino heist. A remake of the 1960s film of the same name, this is a timeless classic you’ll want to see before the new year.
An all-star cast performs in this classic film about two hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and diner bandits. A massively successful independent film, Pulp Fiction is often regarded as one of the most masterful movies of the ’90s.
The film is full of both violence and humor, along with long moments of philosophical dialogue. While on the surface it’s a movie about crimes in LA, its postmodern style makes it feel like something else entirely. Even if you’ve already seen it, you’ll want to watch this one again before January first.
The Rocky series consists of eight films spanning the course of four decades, which is more than most filmmakers could dream of doing. The achievement can be chalked up to the fact that the boxing drama has become a sort of anthem for the hardworking American.
Throughout the films, we watch boxer Rocky Balboa’s journey through failures and successes. The first five movies will only be on Netflix until January first, so be sure to watch your favorites while you can.
Starsky And Hutch
Starsky and Hutch is a hilarious film based on the 1970s series of the same name. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson star as two detectives undercover in California during the ’70s. Newly paired, the two struggle to balance out their opposing approaches to their work (Stiller is by the book while Owen is laid back).
Naturally, the two turn out to be a perfect match for one another as they take down criminals with the help of Huggy Bear, played by Snoop Dogg. Catch this crime comedy on Netflix by January first.
Brandon Routh portrays Superman in this rendition of the superhero classic. This time, Lex Luther (Kevin Spacey) is after the hero, who’s returned after a long absence. Now that the world has adjusted without him, Superman will need to reassert his presence.
This all starts with Lois Lane, played by Kate Bosworth. The film received praise from viewers and critics for its performance and story, so Superman fans may want to catch this version before it leaves Netflix at the start of the new year.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
This romantic drama stars Eric Bana as a librarian named Henry who is plagued by a genetic variance that causes him to time travel uncontrollably. During one of his travels, he meets young Claire. They meet again and again as Claire grows up, portrayed by Rachel McAdams.
Henry and Claire inevitably fall in love and get married, despite Henry’s condition. Their relationship continues to become complicated as the two struggle to form a life together. Be sure to watch The Time Traveler’s Wife before it leaves Netflix on January first.
An adaptation of Homer’s Iliad, this epic film takes place in ancient times and depicts a battle between kingdoms. After a Trojan prince (Orlando Bloom) takes the Spartan Queen (Diane Kruger) with him to Troy, King Agamemnon declares war.
The war is waged under the guise of romance but truly has to do with Agamemnon’s desire to take ownership of every land along the Aegean Sea. The film earned almost $500 million at the box office, so it’s worth seeing before the new year.
Winter’s Bone is a drama adapted from a novel of the same name. Jennifer Lawrence stars as a teenager named Ree who takes care of her younger siblings since their father is a criminal and their mother is hardly present.
When news comes that the family is at risk of losing their home due to the father’s latest crime, Ree decides to head out to look for him and piece together his wrongdoings. This critically acclaimed film is one you don’t want to miss by January first.
Leaving Netflix January 12th, The Fighter is a biopic starring Mark Wahlberg as boxing champion Micky Ward and Christian Bale as Ward’s half brother and trainer. Amy Adams portrays Ward’s supportive girlfriend who ultimately turns him towards the path of redemption.
Praised by critics, this is one boxing movie you won’t want to miss. Laced with dark humor, the story sheds light on an accomplished man fighting for not only his name, but that of his family.
Leaving Netflix January 31st is one of the most popular films of the 20th century. Love it or hate it, you’ve probably heard of Grease, the musical that takes place in the ’50s and centers on greaser Danny (John Travolta) and his love-interest Sandy (Olivia Newton-John).
The soundtrack and film were commercial successes, and they still have nostalgic value today. Whether you’ve seen it a million times, have never seen it, or it’s been a while, it may be worth catching the flick before it’s gone.
Something’s Gotta Give
Also leaving Netflix in January (31st) is Something’s Gotta Give, a romantic film with a twist. Jack Nicholson portrays a lady’s man named Harry who has only dated younger women all of his life. However, everything he thought he knew about himself gets turned on its head when he meets Erica.
Erica, played by Diane Keaton, is the mother of Harry’s latest girlfriend. The two meet on a family weekend trip and Harry soon realizes that Erica may be the woman of his dreams. Too bad she isn’t interested. It’s a unique story that’s worth the watch.