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It's a new year and, as such, a new opportunity for the biggest platforms to try to get a foothold in the streaming wars, which definitely kicked up a notch in 2021. Amazon Prime's offering for January contains an eclectic array of movies and TV, led by the fourth instalment in one of the 21st century's most bankable animated franchises, as the beasties of Hotel Transylvania return.
Elsewhere, George Clooney returns to the directorial chair for The Tender Bar and James McAvoy improvises his way through a kidnap thriller in My Son. On the telly front, Diego Simeone is the subject of Amazon's latest football doc and a new comedy-drama series places autistic characters in the spotlight.
Here's everything new heading to Amazon Prime Video UK in January...
New movies coming to Amazon Prime Video in January
The Tender Bar (7 January)
Based on the memoir by J. R. Moehringer, George Clooney's latest directorial effort follows the life of a young man (Tye Sheridan) attempting to find a father figure in the orbit of a bar run by his uncle (Ben Affleck). The project has been around since 2013, when Theodore Melfi was on course to direct, and is arriving on Amazon after a few weeks in cinemas.
Outside of Sheridan and Affleck in the lead roles, the movie's cast also includes Lily Rabe and Back to the Future legend Christopher Lloyd.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (14 January)
After the last Hotel Transylvania movie sent the menagerie of horror beasties off on holiday, this one sees them transformed into humans after an invention crafted by Van Helsing goes awry. Series director Genddy Tartakovsky has handed the reins this time to directing duo Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon, though he retains credit for the story and as co-writer of the script.
The movie — which is reportedly set to be the final entry in the franchise — was originally intended for a cinema release via Sony, which has distributed the entire franchise, but the rights were sold to Amazon as a result of cinema uncertainty due to COVID-19.
A Hero (21 January)
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been a reliable source of excellent dramas over the course of the last decade, winning the Best International Feature Oscar twice for The Salesman and A Separation. His latest effort is A Hero, which follows an imprisoned man on two-day leave who tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint and secure his freedom in the process.
The film has been selected as Iran's entry for this year's Best International Feature prize, so Farhadi will be in the frame for a hat-trick of statuettes.
My Son (21 January)
My Son was a buzzy project when it was first announced, with its two stars set to have a very different approach. Claire Foy was to be given a conventional script, while co-star James McAvoy was tasked with improvising around what was taking place in front of him. He plays an absentee father who is called by his ex-wife to the scene of their son's disappearance and apparent kidnapping.
The movie, directed by French filmmaker Christian Carion, was unveiled in the USA last year via streaming service Peacock to decent reviews.
New TV coming to Amazon Prime Video in January
As We See It S1 (21 January)
It's not often that autistic characters are given lead roles in major TV shows, but As We See It provides that opportunity for three protagonists who are on the spectrum. The three leads — Rick Glassman, Albert Rutecki and Sue Ann Pien — are all autistic performers, playing a trio of roommates facing struggles around work and relationships.
The series is the latest creation of Jason Katims, who was previously behind Friday Night Lights and Parenthood.
Judy Justice, Part 2 (24 January, via IMDb TV)
Judge Judy's telly return continues with the latest batch of episodes of her new courtroom format Judy Justice. It's mostly similar to her previous, long-running show, but has been marketed as being a glossier take on the format which also allows for deep-dives and greater examination into the cases.
SIMEONE: Living Match by Match (26 January)
Amazon's cameras have followed numerous football teams and figures over the last few years, with its sport documentaries a key part of the streamer's output. Diego Simeone — Argentinian football legend — is the latest subject, with this miniseries following him in his role as Atletico Madrid manager over the course of the 2020/21 season. Atletico managed to win La Liga on the final day, so this should be an intriguing look at the inner workings of a club fighting for victory.
The Legend of Vox Machina S1 (28 January)
This animated fantasy series is based on the webseries Critical Role, in which voice actors play a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons. This first series — a second has already been commissioned — will adapt the first campaign of the game, which was made available online between 2015 and 2017. Fans of the web show will be pleased to know that the original cast members reprise their roles in this adaptation.
Other films and TV to watch on Amazon Prime Video in January
American Beauty (1999, via IMDb TV)
Chicago (2002, via IMDb TV)
Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009, via IMDb TV)
Flashback (1990, via IMDb TV)
Flatliners (2017, via IMDb TV)
Hollow Man (2000, via IMDb TV)
King Ralph (1991, via IMDb TV)
Kinky Boots (2005, via IMDb TV)
Mousehunt (1997, via IMDb TV)
Paws (1997, via IMDb TV)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987, via IMDb TV)
Problem Child (1990, via IMDb TV)
Target (1985, via IMDb TV)
The 5th Wave (2016, via IMDb TV)
The Cable Guy (1996, via IMDb TV)
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976, via IMDb TV)
Zero Dark Thirty (2012, via IMDb TV)
The Blacklist (S1-5)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Black Swan (2010)
Con Air (1997)
The Da Vinci Code (2006, via IMDb TV)
Dead Poets Society (1989)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
High Fidelity (2000)
The Father (2020)
Freshman Year (2020, via IMDb TV)
Minamata (2020, via IMDb TV)
Drop Dead Diva (S1-6, via IMDb TV)
A Town Called Eureka (S1-5, via IMDb TV)
Franklin & Bash (S1-4, via IMDb TV)
Me, Myself and Irene (2000)
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Office Space (1999)
The Proposal (2009)
There's Something About Mary (1998)
The Village (2004)
The Waterboy (1998)
Watch: Trailer for crime thriller Copshop