The holidays are upon us, which means it’s a great time to gather ’round your screen and catch up on the best movies. Fortunately, the list of new movies on Netflix in December is quite long, so you’ve got plenty to choose from. In fact, sometimes it feels like too much to choose from. With that in mind, we’ve put together a curated list of some of the best new movies streaming on Netflix this month, including new releases and throwback library titles — including the arrival of several DC movies. From awards contenders to would-be blockbusters, Netflix is debuting several of their biggest movies this month so there’s a lot to chose from.
Check out our picks for the best new movies on Netflix in December below.
May December (2023)
Available: Dec. 1
“Carol” and “Dark Waters” director Todd Haynes is back with another lush, haunting character piece in “May December.” A fictional story inspired by the true life tabloid saga of Mary Kay Letourneau (who was sentenced to prison for seducing her 13-year-old student, later bearing his children and marrying him), “May December” is equally piercing and delicate, surprisingly funny and absolutely transfixing.
Black Swan (2010)
Available: Dec. 1
If “May December” has you in the mood for another career-best Natalie Portman performance, you have to watch “Black Swan,” the 2010 psychological horror-drama for which the actress took home the best leading actress Oscar. Another nerve-rattling meltdown movie from “Requiem for a Dream” and “Mother!” director Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan” melds Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” with existential doppelgänger horror through the story of a perfectionist ballerina (Portman) who fractures under the pressure of landing her dream role as the prima ballerina.
Birds of Prey (2020)
Margot Robbie’s scene-stealing Harley Quinn takes center stage in “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” The joyful, candy-coated 2020 film takes a trip through Gotham’s criminal underworld through Harley’s perspective, unleashing her signature chaos after a bad breakup with the Joker, and uniting the Birds of Prey in the process. Cathy Yan’s superhero team-up movie is an underrated gem in the super-saturated genre, and produced by Robbie’s LuckyChap, the film has the flourish of their voicey, gutsy, female-led projects a la “I, Tonya,” “Promising Young Woman” and 2023’s mega-hit, “Barbie.”
She’s the Man (2006)
From “Clueless” to “10 Things I Hate About You” to “Easy A,” teen movies based on classic literature are a proud tradition, and “She’s the Man” is the most laugh-out-loud funny of them all. Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” the 2006 film stars Amanda Bynes as Viola, an ambitious and talented soccer player who swaps places with her brother Sebastian after her dream women’s team gets cut. Bynes stars alongside an early-career Channing Tatum, and the duo delivers a magnetic, non-stop laughs redefinition of “bromance.”
Leave the World Behind (2023)
One of the best films of the year, “Leave the World Behind” is a dramatic thriller from “Mr. Robot” mastermind Sam Esmail that offers up a unique twist on an “end of the world” story. Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke play a well-off couple who decide to take their kids to a rental home on Long Island for a weekend away. The first night, a man (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter (Myha’la) show up claiming that this is their house, and they’d like to stay the night because there’s been a blackout in New York City. Soon all cell and internet service goes down, and these strangers try and figure out what’s happening all while distrusting one another.
Bradley Cooper is back doing double duty as director and star in “Maestro.” Cooper’s sophomore feature following the critical and commercial success of his debut “A Star Is Born,” the film centers on the life of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein and his beloved wife Felicia Montealegre (played by Carey Mulligan). Cooper is once again on the awards track with his latest directorial effort, earning early buzz for his direction and his performance.
Rebel Moon: Part 1 – A Child of Fire (2023)
It’s Zack Snyder does “Star Wars” (sort of) — on Netflix. The sweeping new space opera from “Man of Steel” and “Army of the Dead” director Zack Snyder was initially pitched for a galaxy far, far away many years ago, but the two-part sci-fi epic has been reborn as an original project for streaming. Sofia Boutella takes the lead as a stranger who crash lands on a moon in the furthest reaches of the universe and begins a new life with the peaceful farmers who live there — until the battle between regents and insurgents lands her in charge of a band of warriors to defend the people against the Motherworld. Ray Fisher, Michiel Huisman and Charlie Hunnam also star.