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3 underrated movies on Paramount+ you need to watch in January

If you’re a Paramount+ subscriber, then there’s no better time than the beginning of the month because that is when Paramount+ lines up its new movies for January 2024, and it’ll be another 30 days or so before this many films arrive again.

Paramount+’s selection of films is a little light compared to rival streamers, but there are also some real gems in there. That’s why we’re throwing the spotlight on the three underrated movies on Paramount+ that you need to watch in January. Note that these films are available on every tier of Paramount+, not just Paramount+ with Showtime. And if you’re looking for more options, check out our round-up of everything new on Paramount+ for January 2024.

Almost Famous (2000)

The cast of Almost Famous.

Writer and director Cameron Crowe based Almost Famous on his life as a teenage rock journalist for Rolling Stone, and that gave the movie a greater sense of authenticity and a fitting coming-of-age story for its lead character, William Miller (Patrick Fugit). William couldn’t fit in at school but found his calling as a writer while on assignment to cover Stillwater, a band on the rise.

William quickly bonds with Stillwater, particularly with the lead guitar player, Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup). William becomes enamored with Russell’s groupie (or Band Aid), Penny Lane (Kate Hudson). The problem is that William gets too close to his subjects, and the band’s inner turmoil threatens to derail William’s career at Rolling Stone and his passion for the music itself.

Watch Almost Famous on Paramount+.

Cop Land (1997)

A bloody police officer is held by an investigator.
Miramax Films

Cop Land has such a stacked cast of performers that bringing them all together is almost a more impressive feat than the film itself. Writer and director James Mangold essentially gave Sylvester Stallone the best starring vehicle he’s ever had that wasn’t a Rocky or a Rambo movie. Stallone plays Freddy Heflin, a wannabe cop who had to settle for being the sheriff of Garrison, New Jersey, a town populated by several New York police officers.

Internal Affairs officer Lieutenant Moe Tilden (Killers of the Flower Moon‘s Robert De Niro) knows that Garrison is also a hotbed of police corruption, but Freddy refuses to help him investigate them. It isn’t until Officer Murray “Superboy” Babitch (Michael Rapaport) unjustly shoots two suspects and fakes his death that Freddy realizes just how far Murray’s uncle, Lieutenant Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel), will go to protect himself. Even Donlan’s former friend and ally,  Officer Gary “Figgsy” Figgis (Ray Liotta), isn’t safe from these dirty cops. Freddy is so completely overwhelmed by the forces working against him that even his loyal deputy sheriff, Cindy Betts (Janeane Garofalo), is wary about standing alongside him.

Watch Cop Land on Paramount+.

Searching for Bobby Fischer

The cast of Searching For Bobby Fischer.

Although Bobby Fischer was a real chess champion, Searching For Bobby Fischer is actually about another chess prodigy, Josh Waitzkin (Max Pomeranc). The film is inspired by Josh’s life as he picks up the game of chess at an early age, and quickly surpasses his father, Fred (Joe Mantegna), in terms of skill.

Because Fred could never live out his own ambitions of being a chess champion, he channels that desire into his son’s talent, which causes friction with his wife, Bonnie Waitzk (Joan Allen). Josh also finds himself torn between his two chess mentors: The streetwise Vincent “Vinnie” Livermore (Laurence Fishburne) and a traditional chess instructor, Bruce Pandolfini (Ben Kingsley). But with all the demands for Josh’s focus and loyalty, even this kid genius has trouble coping with the pressure.

Watch Searching For Bobby Fischer on Paramount+.

Editors' Recommendations

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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