It’s a fact of Netflix’s existence that they can’t maintain a database of every single movie ever made at any one time. In order to make way for new movies, sometimes, beloved favorites have to be retired. Here are some of the titles that are leaving Netflix this January.
The classic 1978 movie musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as two students who embark on a high school romance is leaving Netflix’s streaming services for now. Watch it again while you can!
When Forrest Gump debuted in 1994, Tom Hanks gave an impressive performance as a young man from Alabama with a low IQ. He recounts his life story, which happens to have intersected with various big moments from American history. At various moments in his life, Forrest is an active soldier during the Vietnam War, he meets President Kennedy, and accidentally ends up in a march on Washington. Through it all, he never loses sight of his childhood love, Jenny.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
The hit TV show is losing its last few seasons, those that aired between 2012 and 2016, from Netflix’s streaming service. An offshoot of the long running procedural drama, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU could even be said to have surpassed the original in its popularity. The show’s main character, Lt. Olivia Benson, played by a stellar Mariska Hargitay, has been named one of the most popular female characters on any television show. Good thing the show is still airing new episodes.
Free Willy is the heartwarming drama about an orphaned boy who befriends an orca trapped in a theme park. The boy develops the bond as he spends time in the park making amends for his past wrongdoings. With the help of Willy’s trainer, the boy, Jesse, begins to teach him a number of new tricks. However, their fun is spoiled when the park’s owner wants to capitalize on the whale’s talent. It’s a 1993 classic that was beloved by both parents and children alike.
Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic film about an alien who comes to Earth and is taken in by a human family, introduced the world to the precocious, five year old Drew Barrymore. The film starred Henry Thomas as the young protagonist, Elliott, who first comes into contact with E.T. and spends considerable effort trying to hide him from his parents. In the end, E.T. is not cut out for life on earth and must say goodbye to his human friend. This film is sure to be missed by Netflix watchers.
Sandra Bullock became a well loved romantic comedy star with the release of 2000’s Miss Congeniality. The story follows Bullock as Gracie, an undercover FBI agent who is working to ensure the security of the pageant for the next Miss United States. However, while Gracie may be the only female FBI agent on the team who believably looks like a pageant queen, she has none of the social graces required, leading to some truly hilarious moments as she makes her way to the stage.
Lost was the epic television drama that captivated fans for years with its numerous twists and turns. It details the journey of a group of travelers who had been on a jet liner that crashed during a trans-Pacific flight. The survivors find themselves on a mysterious island that sometimes defies the laws of physics, and viewers couldn’t get enough as they tried to pick apart the details of the island. When the show ended in 2010, fans were deeply divided on their feelings about the series finale.
The Parent Trap
Younger generations may have become familiar with The Parent Trap when they saw the 1998 remake that introduced America to a young Lindsay Lohan. But before there was Lindsay, there was Haley Mills, who starred in the 1961 original Parent Trap. The story follows two girls who meet at camp that come to realize they’re long lost twins. The two then team up to reunite their estranged parents. Hurry up and catch this hilarious family classic before it’s no longer available for streaming.
The hit 2002 movie is a film adaptation of the Kander and Ebb musical that first debuted on Broadway in 1975. The musical follows the female inmates in Chicago’s prison in 1926, most of whom have been charged with murder. The film pulls from the classic vaudevillian style of the era, setting many of the songs on stages as if they were live performances. The excellent direction won Chicago six Academy Awards, on top of numerous nominations, including Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta Jones.
The Police Academy
Debuting in 1984, this side-splitting comedy did so well it spawned six sequel films. The movie opens on a crime ridden town facing a police crisis. As the shortage of cops on the street builds, the mayor eases the restrictions on entrance into the police academy. This of course results in a number of new recruits who are otherwise unfit for the police force, but it’s their instructors’ duty to whip the ragtag gang into shape. This is another one to catch before it’s gone.
Tina Fey’s quintessential high school comedy is the gift that keeps on giving. The story follows a new student who’s joining American high school for the first time, when she gets taken under the wing of the most popular, and meanest, group of girls in the school. The movie is full of witty one liners and features a whole slate of Saturday Night Live alumni from Tim Meadows, to Amy Poehler, Ana Gastayer, and even Tina Fey herself.
I Am Sam
I Am Sam is the heartwarming story of a father doing everything he can to hold onto his seven year old daughter. The protagonist is played by Sean Penn, as he painstaking portrays the mentally handicapped father who has to do everything in his power to convince the courts that his daughter shouldn’t be taken away from him. The performance earned Penn yet another Academy Award nomination for Best Leading Actor, though he ended up losing to Denzel Washington that year.
The Addams Family
Based off of a classic comic that first appeared in print in the 1930s, The Addams Family was first turned into a children’s TV show in the 1960s. The 1991 one movie starred Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams, the matriarch of the outcast family who is unaware of their own stature in society. This creepy classic is the perfect story to watch on a Halloween night, especially with children who want a bit of a spook but nothing that is actually scary.
Requiem For A Dream
This Darren Aronofsky film that was adapted from the novel of the same name that deals with some heavy themes regarding people unable to escape the draw of substance use. The movie is considered a psychological drama that delves deep into the thinking of each of the characters. Aside from the plot, the film was highly regarded for it’s stylistic choices in cinematography, which were employed to highlight even further the mental worlds of each of the characters.
The Mighty Ducks
The Mighty Ducks is a classic tale of an underdog team who must face a formidable opponent, against all odds. Emilio Estevez plays a lawyer who is sentenced to community service after being caught for a misdemeanor, only to find that his service project forces him to face his hockey playing past. Relieve the nostalgia of the early 90s with this inspiring family sports film that shows it’s never too late to try and live your dream.
The Manhattan Project
While this film may take its name from the real life project under which America developed the atomic bomb, the story doesn’t quite follow suit. A young genius discovers a lab that’s working undercover for a government project that’s building materials for an atomic bomb. In order to expose the lab, he steals their materials to build his own prototype with the intention of entering it into the New York Science Fair. However, it’s only a matter of time before he gets caught.
Daddy Day Care
It’s rare to see a mainstream depiction of stay at home dads, but that is exactly what this zany Eddie Murphy comedy is about. If you haven’t seen it, Eddie Murphy stars as a father who lost his job just when his wife returned to work. As he and another friend take on the role of primary caretakers for their young children, Murphy’s ‘Daddy Daycare’ becomes so popular that the traditional private daycare feels threatened and tries to get them shut down.
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas is the heart wrenching story of two boys who meet in the midst of World War II, deep in the heart of Germany. One boy is German, the other Jewish, and against all odds, the two become friends. The story examines the tragedies that took place during the Holocaust as seen through their unlikely friendship. The film is a haunting look that is taken directly from the pages of recent history.
Made Of Honor
Made of Honor is a romantic comedy film, released in 2008, that is driven by Patrick Dempsey, who inverts the tired wedding stereotype regarding a bride’s maid of honor. When his best friend gets engaged, she asks him to take on the challenging role, which he only takes in an effort to win her heart himself. If you like Patrick Dempsey, slapstick romantic comedies, and Scottish accents, this fluffy film is the perfect antidote to a cold, December evening.
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodges Burnett published The Secret Garden in 1911 as a children’s novel, where it quickly became a classic entry in children’s literature. A beautiful story of renewal, the novel was adapted for film several times. This version, released in 1993, is the most notable of the adaptations. Fans of Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter film series might recognize Maggie Smith among the cast of the film, and her performance was recognized for its excellence with a nomination for a BAFTA award.
Someone Like You
Before there was Adele’s famous song, there was this cute romantic comedy starring Ashley Judd. Detailing the travails of dating as a young woman, Ashley Judd plays a woman often spurned by the men with whom she gets involved romantically. Her costars are Greg Kinnear, who plays the dishonest “nice” guy, that pretends to be great, but really only cares about his own self interest, while Hugh Jackman is the man who Ashley Judd eventually (and accidentally) tames.
Fans of creepy comedies will certainly like 1984’s Gremlins. When a man buys an odd little animal, called a ‘mugwai’ at a shop in Chinatown, he never realizes just how much chaos it would create. Once the mugwai begin multiplying, however, that’s when the real trouble begins. Somehow, the furry, little monsters are able to create a much scarier creature by spinning cocoons. Though the film draws on science fiction and fantasy tropes, it’s more of a dark comedy than anything.
Mona Lisa Smile
Mona Lisa Smile boasts an all star cast of female actresses, from Julia Roberts, to Kirsten Dunst, Julia Styles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Set in the mid 1950s at an all women’s college, Roberts plays a professor determined to empower her female students, who have varying levels of commitment to the life prescribed to them by the times. Though some find the pull of society hard to resist, many realize just how much control they have over their own destinies.
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous
It’s rare that an enjoyable movie spawns an equally enjoyable sequel, but Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous is one that breaks the mold. It’s unfortunate that both this and the original are slated to disappear from Netflix’s roster, as the charming Sandra Bullock returns to the role of clumsy but capable female FBI agent. The film is unique in that it was an earlier entry to the examination of female companionship that doesn’t rely on the inclusion of a romantic subplot.
Often considered one of Quentin Tarantino’s best films, if not the best, 1994’s Pulp Fiction is a disorienting masterpiece of a crime drama. Its disparate parts are juxtaposed as one storyline jumps to the next before the final reveal that each storyline is intertwined. If you haven’t yet had a chance to catch this marvel of film making, take the time to catch it while you can still find it streaming on Netflix. You will definitely thank us later.