As Valentine’s Day draws near, one might anticipate a deluge of romantic comedies from Netflix. However, the upcoming collection of original films offers a surprisingly diverse mix. Surely, there are fresh picks to enjoy with your special someone under warm blankets. But February 2023 on Netflix isn’t just about romance. The platform is set to release biographies, documentaries, thrillers, comedies, and heartfelt dramas. There’s truly something for everyone, including some exciting new international releases. Thankfully, the influx of original movies isn’t overwhelming, allowing us to continue exploring the best films of 2022 and catching up on the Academy Award-nominated movies we missed last year. As we start placing our predictions for 2023’s Oscar winners, here are the top original movies arriving on Netflix in February 2023.
1. True Spirit
Netflix kicks off February 2023 with “True Spirit,” a compelling tale about Jessica Watson. At the tender age of sixteen, Watson set her sights on becoming the youngest individual to circumnavigate the globe solo, a perilous endeavor that even many adults shy away from. Over an eight-month period, Watson braved storms and isolation, covering an estimated 18,582 nautical miles across the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. Despite falling short of the required 21,600 nautical miles to claim the title from the World Sailing Speed Record Council, Watson’s awe-inspiring journey is set to be etched in history through Netflix’s “True Spirit.” The film stars Teagan Croft from “Titans” as Watson.
Penned and directed by Patxi Amezcua, “Infiesto” is a fresh mystery thriller hailing from Spain. The film, set in 2020, revolves around two detectives dispatched to the city of Piloña to probe into the case of a woman who has recently been found after going missing. Alongside solving this perplexing crime, the duo must also navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as it begins to spread and potentially hinder their quest for truth. Netflix has been showcasing some exceptional international films lately, making “Infiesto” a must-watch for any thriller enthusiast.
3. Bill Russell: Legend
The upcoming documentary “Bill Russell: Legend” on Netflix aims to delve into the life and career of one of basketball’s all-time greats. Bill Russell, who passed away last year at 88, will forever be remembered as a top-tier player. His impressive achievements include two consecutive NCAA titles, a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, and an astounding 11 championship titles during his thirteen-year stint with the Boston Celtics. Remarkably, two of these championships were won while he served as the NBA’s first Black head coach, highlighting Russell’s significant role in the struggle for equality. Beyond sports, Russell was a prominent figure in human rights activism, having marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and led NBA boycotts against racial discrimination. There are countless reasons to honor Russell’s legacy, and Netflix’s forthcoming documentary plans to do just that, using archival footage and exclusive interviews to share his inspiring journey.
4. Your Place or Mine
“Your Place or Mine” is an eagerly awaited romantic-comedy from Netflix. It tells the story of long-distance best friends Debbie (played by Reese Witherspoon) and Peter (portrayed by Ashton Kutcher). Their lives take a turn when Peter offers to look after Debbie’s son (Wesley Kimmel), giving her the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream. In just one week, their temporary home exchange results in more profound changes than they ever anticipated. The film features performances from Witherspoon, Kutcher, Kimmel, Jesse Williams, Tig Notaro, Zoë Chao, and Steve Zahn. This heartwarming tale of love is set to premiere just in time for Valentine’s Day this February.
South Korean cinema and television have been making waves in the Western world over the past few years. Consequently, Netflix has been featuring more productions from South Korea. The upcoming Netflix original film from this region is “Unlocked,” a thriller that highlights the perils of technology. The plot centers around Na-mi (played by Chun Woo-hee), a young woman who misplaces her smartphone, a small device that holds all aspects of her life. A stranger named Jun-yeong (portrayed by Yim Si-wan) discovers her phone and returns it to her. However, Jun-yeong installs spyware to monitor Na-mi, and she soon realizes that her rescuer harbors sinister motives.
6. Call Me Chihiro
If you’re in search of a poignant drama, look no further than “Call Me Chihiro,” an upcoming Japanese film adapted from Hiroyuki Yasuda’s manga “Chihiro-san.” The movie features Kasumi Arimura in the lead role and narrates the tale of a former sex worker now employed at a bento shop. It delves into how life compels individuals to evolve and adjust for survival. The film will be available on Netflix globally on the same day it premieres in Japanese cinemas.
7. We Have a Ghost
Inspired by Geoff Manaugh’s short story, “Ernest, We Have a Ghost” presents an unusual paranormal journey. The film centers around a family who unwittingly moves into a house haunted by Ernest (played by David Harbour), a misinterpreted spirit seeking to uncover details about his previous life and demise. Initially, their ghostly encounter catapults them to YouTube fame. However, when they begin assisting Ernest, they find themselves in the crosshairs of the CIA. It’s an eccentric premise, and we’re intrigued to see how it unfolds. Moreover, the combined star appeal of Harbour and Anthony Mackie underscores that “We Have a Ghost” is definitely worth a watch.
8. The Strays
“The Strays” is a compelling and spine-chilling drama-thriller movie that follows the total disintegration of Neve’s (portrayed by Ashley Madekwe) carefully built upper-middle-class existence when two enigmatic characters from her history (played by Bukky Bakray and Jorden Myrie) show up in her charming suburban British town. Will anything remain of Neve’s tranquil life filled with privilege after these unexpected visitors leave? Or will her roles as a deputy head at a private school, a wife, and a mother be irreparably damaged? Discover the answers by tuning into “The Strays”, premiering later this month exclusively on Netflix.
9. Squared Love All Over Again
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Netflix is set to release “Squared Love All Over Again“, a sequel to the 2021 Polish romantic-comedy film “Squared Love”. This Netflix Original continues the story of our beloved characters – a celebrity journalist and a grounded teacher, who encounter turbulence in their love life due to a new professional opportunity. If you’re looking for a touch of romance with a global twist, don’t miss “Squared Love All Over Again” on Netflix this February.
10. A Sunday Affair
In a tale of friendship and love, lifelong best friends Uche (played by Nse Ikpe-Etim) and Toyin (portrayed by Dakore Akande) find themselves falling for the same man – the charismatic but imperfect bachelor, Sunday (Oris Erhuero). This situation puts their bond to the ultimate test as they grapple with the painful realization that they’re both in love with the same person. If you’re seeking a romantic flick to add some zest to your Valentine’s Day, don’t miss this Nigerian Netflix Original film.
For those who prefer a good scare over romance this Valentine’s Day, the Japanese horror film “Re/Member” is just the ticket. This Netflix Original features six high school students trapped in a terrifying and deadly time loop. Their only way out? They must locate the dispersed remains of an unidentified victim to break the curse and survive. With eternal death as the penalty for failure, the stakes are incredibly high.
12. Dear David
“Dear David” is an Indonesian rom-com drama that brings to life a common fear among today’s teenagers. The story revolves around Laras (played by Shenina Cinnamon), a top-performing high school student whose life takes a dramatic turn when her secret fantasy blog about her crush gets exposed to her entire school. This revelation not only threatens her promising future but also puts her reputation at risk as this concealed aspect of her personality becomes the subject of scrutiny among her classmates and teachers.
13. 10 Days of a Good Man
“10 Days of a Good Man” is a captivating Turkish mystery-thriller that tells the story of Sadik (played by Nejat Isler), a lawyer turned private detective. He embarks on an unforeseen and transformative journey when he takes up a missing person case. The film delves into the complexities of human nature, questioning the essence of goodness and its relevance. As Sadik evolves from an ordinary individual to an anti-hero, he wrestles with these profound themes that, along with extraordinary events, will forever change him. Experience the beginning of his remarkable transformation in “10 Days of a Good Man”, premiering this month exclusively on Netflix.
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