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Netflix to Purge Titles and Add New Ones by January 1st

Thelma_&_LouiseposterNetflix is saying, “Out with the old, in with the new,” for 2014.

This digital housecleaning means that if you’re a Netflix subscriber with a few more days of holiday movie-watching time on your hands, there are some titles you may want to check out before the streaming service pulls them on January 1st and 4th.

What’s going? Well, for starters, little flicks like Top Gun, Platoon, Flashdance, and Braveheart. I KNOW. Those are some biggies, right? I haven’t been an active Netflix viewer, although I’ve had an account for a long time. Old habits die hard, and I’m still tied to my DVR and cable. That could change in the new year, however, so I went fishing for some alternatives. When I did, I learned some things. For instance, I didn’t know that titles went in and out of rotation on Netflix. I guess I just assumed that once a film or a TV show was available there, streaming or on DVD, that was it.

This is not so, and some offerings have a shelf life, rather like the library that cycles books in and out as they get worn out. So if you’re a Netflixer with a desire to check out Maverick, Goose, and the other guys on the sand volleyball court just one more time (what?), your time is limited. Get to watching.

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There is good news, though, as there often is when it comes to beginnings and endings. While you won’t be able to catch a number of films that are leaving the rotation, Netflix is replacing them with lots of new options. This list includes goodies like Children of  a Lesser God, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and Scrooged.  Because life can be very, very good, especially in the realm of streaming video, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and West Side Story will also be available. If you’ve never seen them? See them. It’s a smart thing to do. It’s like a new year’s present you can give yourself.

Let’s take a look at some of the films and TV shows that are on the way out in January, and some of the better-than-average options that are taking their place.

  • Netflix January Arrivals and Departures 1 of 21
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  • Out: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2 of 21
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    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will be as gone as Jim Carrey's memories in the film come January 1. This one is worth a rewatch. It's on my list this week. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: Being John Malkovich 3 of 21
    Being_John_Malkovich_poster

    A strange, brilliant, intense film, I'd call Being John Malkovich a must-see for anyone who likes smart, quirky storytelling, with acting to match. John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and the man Malkovich himself are all fantastic. It's on its way out of Netflix, though, so check it out while you can. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: Do the Right Thing 4 of 21
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    A look at racial tensions in the neighborhood on one Brooklyn day, catch Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing while you can. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: As Good As It Gets 5 of 21
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    Jack Nicholson is unfailingly awesome, and As Good As It Gets is a gem. "You make me want to be a better man," indeed. It's allegedly due to be gone from Netflix on New Year's Day, so check it out. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: Alice in Wonderland 6 of 21
    Alice_in_Wonderland_(1951_film)_poster

    Alice in Wonderland isn't set to leave the streaming service until January 4, so you have a few more days to watch this one. You can even get some kids to join you, if you want to. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: Flashdance 7 of 21
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    Flashdance should never go away. I caught it randomly on cable a few weeks ago and it brought me as much joy as it ever has, probably even more, because some things just get better with time. That includes Jennifer Beals as Alex the welder who just wants to dance. Catching up with this old friend would be a fun way to spend New Year's before it leaves your queue. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo 8 of 21
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    Every vacation week deserves a little eye and ear candy, and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo should fit that bill. This is a Netflix must-see before it's gone. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: Top Gun 9 of 21
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    Top Gun is 27 years young, which is a hard one to believe. Revisit the days of Maverick and Goose before Netflix gives it a rest on the first of the year. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: The Kids in the Hall 10 of 21
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    Want to binge watch some The Kids In the Hall? There are five seasons on Netflix that are due to disappear January 1, so get it in. 

    Image credit: Amazon

  • Out: War Games 11 of 21
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    WarGames is another must-watch '80s classic. Check in with this one before it goes away to see how far we've come ... and how far we haven't. Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, Ally Sheedy — just do it. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • Out: Saturday Night Live: The 2000s 12 of 21
    Saturday_Night_Live_(Season_38_Titlecard)

    Five seasons of SNL 2000s goodness just for you. Sure, they're on regular TV all the time, but it's hard to find this many episodes in a row all in one place. Get your fix before it's gone! (I'm going to, I know that much.) 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: Breakfast at Tiffany’s 13 of 21
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    Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of the gems due to arrive on Netflix come January 1. Oh, Audrey. I can't wait. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: Scrooged 14 of 21
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    Maybe enough people requested this Bill Murray holiday film, which has the diabolical Frank Cross smack in the middle of his own A Christmas Carol nightmare, to get it added to the Netflix roster as of January 1. It doesn't matter why it happened, just that it's a good thing. Squeeze out a little bit more of that holiday spirit, and catch this one if you never have. Genius. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: West Side Story 15 of 21
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    Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer are the modern-day Juliet and Romeo in the 1961 musical West Side Story. Add it to your queue as soon as it pops up in January. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape 16 of 21
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    I so loved What's Eating Gilbert Grape. I can't wait to catch up with it again, especially because of the fabulous performances from Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Juliette Lewis. It's due on Netflix in the new year. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: Amelie 17 of 21
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    Amélie is one of the sweetest movies I've ever seen, which means it's extra good that it should be on deck on Netflix in time for February and all things Valentine. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: Thelma and Louise 18 of 21
    Thelma_&_Louiseposter

    Have a woman in your life who could use the ultimate girl power movie? You can stream Thelma & Louise very soon, and I recommend it. I could use some Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in my life, too. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 19 of 21
    Planes_trains_and_automobiles

    Another holiday time movie that you can add to your queue just after they're over for the year, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is perfect anytime, really. Steve Martin and John Candy made a perfect pair. The loss of Mr. Candy is still sharply felt many years after his death, and watching him as Del somehow makes that extra clear. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: Raging Bull 20 of 21
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    Robert De Niro's Jake LaMotta is still one of the more powerful characters in film, more than 30 years later. Raging Bull will be ready to watch on Netflix in January. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

  • In: Grapes of Wrath 21 of 21
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    Catch up with the Joads in this 1940 film adaptation of John Steinbeck's California Dust Bowl classic novel The Grapes of Wrath, when it hits Netflix in January. Henry Fonda was one of the first classic film actors I fell in love with as a child, so I'm looking forward to catching this performance again. 

    Image credit: Wikipedia

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