The 25 Best New Movies Streaming in December 2023

From Oscar contenders to brand new Christmas films


Before 2023 comes to a close, there’s a host of new movies to stream — and it’s a good thing too, because plenty of folks are going to be in need of something to watch during the lengthy holiday break. Whether you’re looking for something to watch alone away from friends and family, with the entire gang or somewhere in between, we’ve put together a curated list of some of the best movies newly streaming on the major platforms this month. You’ll find picks from Netflix, Amazon, Max, Hulu, Disney+, Paramount+ and Peacock below, ranging from brand new releases to beloved classics finally making their way to your favorite streamer.

Check out our picks for the best new movies streaming in December 2023 below.

The DC Extended Universe

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice
Warner Bros.

Netflix – Dec. 1

It speaks to both the flexibility of streaming rights and just how over the last era of DC superhero movies Warner Bros. really is that a giant glut of recent DC Comics-based movies are moving over to Netflix for peak holiday binging. “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League,” “Shazam!,” “Birds of Prey,” “Wonder Woman 1984,” “The Suicide Squad,” “DC League of Super-Pets,” “The Batman” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” are all headed to Netflix. (We’re sure that “The Flash” will also make its way to Netflix soon enough, to really complete the era.) These movies are of varying quality, particularly the uneven “Justice League” (you can still watch Zack Snyder’s punishingly long but surprisingly satisfying cut on Max), but these early DC movies are also tonally very different from the movies made by Marvel Studios (and their imitators). And Matt Reeves’ rain-soaked “The Batman,” technically outside of the mainline DC Extended Universe continuity (and relegated to the Elseworlds label for futural installments), is one of the greatest superhero movies ever made, full of tactile grit and jaw-dropping set pieces (including an all-timer of a car chase). Who knows what the next age of DC movies look like; but they will surely be nothing like these. – Drew Taylor

“May December”

Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry and Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo in May December. Cr. Francois Duhamel / courtesy of Netflix

Netflix – Dec. 1

Todd Haynes is one of the most adventurous and artistically ambitious filmmakers currently working and his latest left turn is one of his most emotionally satisfying and beautifully told. “May December” is the story of Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman), a film and television actress who is shadowing Gracie (Julianne Moore), a woman who had an affair with a teenage boy and was imprisoned for it (she had their child while in jail). Once out of prison, she continued the relationship with her now-husband Joe (Charles Melton). Elizabeth’s visit coincides with Gracie and Joe’s twins graduating from high school, adding pressure to an already-volatile scenario. As Elizabeth pokes around the town, old secrets come to light and it’s very there is way more to the story than anybody – including the tabloids – have ever told. Delicate and funny, at turns dark and oddly gorgeous, “May December” will take your breath away. It’s one of the year’s very best movies. And the latest example masterpiece from one of the most underappreciated voices in modern cinema. – Drew Taylor

“Candy Cane Lane”

Prime Video

Prime Video – Dec. 1

The last time Eddie Murphy made a holiday movie it was the extremely R-rated “Trading Places.” Now he’s back with a yuletide romp for the whole family. Murphy plays a man driven to win his neighborhood Christmas decorating contest, but when he makes a deal with a devilish elf (Jillian Bell), he finds himself having to avoid being transformed into a tiny plastic doll. (Yes, this is the actual plot of the movie.) “Candy Cane Lane” sees Murphy re-teaming with his “Boomerang” director Reginald Hudlin and co-starring with Tracee Ellis-Ross, Ken Marino and Nick Offerman. This is one Christmas present we can’t wait to unwrap. – Drew Taylor

“The Exorcist: Believer”

The Exorcist Believer
Universal Pictures

Peacock – Dec. 1

​​“The Exorcist: Believer” was … not well received. Critics trashed it and the box office, while still a respectable $135 million worldwide, was not the blow-out blockbuster its producers had hoped. All of this is more baffling than a supposed demonic possession because “The Exorcist: Believer” is actually really quite good. Co-written and directed by David Gordon Green, who was coming off of his immensely popular (and just-as-polarizing) “Halloween” trilogy, “The Exorcist: Believer” follows a young father and widower (Leslie Odom, Jr. from “Glass Onion”) whose teenage daughter (Lidya Jewett) gets lost in the woods and comes back different. He soon gets help from Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn, returning to the franchise for the first time since the original). What makes “The Exorcist: Believer” a cut above (and one of the best films in the series) is how it sensitively handles both religion and the possession; instead of a vehicle for gross-out gags there’s an actual investigation into the faith and fury surrounding such an event. And DGG has some fun, too, with the idea of a “synchronized possession” – one that stretches across two young girls. The supposed opening act to a trilogy of films (we’ll see if the others get made), “The Exorcist: Believer” is compelling and horrifying all on its own. – Drew Taylor

“The Ring”


Prime Video – Dec. 1

Director Gore Verbinski’s 2002 horror film “The Ring” still holds up as one of the best — and scariest — horror remakes of all time. Based on the Japanese horror film “Ringu,” the story revolves around a cursed video tape: if you watch it, you will die in seven days. Naomi Watts stars as a journalist investigating the tape, and Verbinski makes excellent use of the Pacific Northwest to really lean into the dreary landscape. Dread fills nearly every frame of this one. – Adam Chitwood

“Paddington 2”


Hulu – Dec. 1

Genuinely one of the best movies of the 21st century so far (and one of the most critically acclaimed), “Paddington 2” is like pure unfiltered joy and compassion all bundled in a cinematically delightful package. The sequel finds the titular Paddington Bear sent to prison, mistakenly, where he makes some friends while trying to find his way out. Meanwhile, Hugh Grant plays an absolutely delectable villain and has a show-stopping dance number. Take it from Grant himself, who said quite seriously he thinks “Paddington 2” is the best film he’s ever been a part of. – Adam Chitwood

“The Dead Zone”

Paramount Pictures

Prime Video – Dec. 1

One of the best – and most oddly overlooked – Stephen King adaptations, “The Dead Zone” is also one of David Cronenberg’s greatest movies. In “The Dead Zone” Christopher Walken, in perhaps his finest role, stars as a mild-mannered schoolteacher who, after an automobile accident, gains certain psychic powers. (One of the niftier aspects is that he has to touch the person in order to see their future.) This soon puts him on a violent collision course with a presidential candidate (Martin Sheen) with delusions of grandeur and a hidden fascist agenda. Sound familiar? Working from a smart script by Jeffrey Boam that distills King’s novel perfectly, Cronenberg is able to create something stark and scary, with a more audience-friendly approach that doesn’t water down his trademark style. And everyone behind the camera is just as gifted, it was produced by Carpenter’s longtime collaborator Debra Hill and features a score by Michael Kamen, making it one of the only Cronenberg movies not scored by Howard Shore. It’s perfect, too, that “The Dead Zone” is hitting Prime Video at Christmas; the movie is set during winter and is full of snow and a generally cozy vibe. Plus, if you get too scared you can use your blanket to cover your eyes. – Drew Taylor

“Mad Max: Fury Road”

Warner Bros.

Max – Dec. 1

Prepare for the prequel “Furiosa” by catching “Mad Max: Fury Road” on Max this month. You don’t have to be familiar with the “Mad Max” franchise in order to appreciate the pulse-pounding at the story of this film, which finds captive Max (played by Tom Hardy) hopping aboard an oil tanker driven by Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who is absconding from Immortan Joe’s Citadel with his “wives” in tow. A chase ensues, and indeed the entirety of “Mad Max: Fury Road” is one car chase from start to finish, but captured in jaw-dropping form by Miller, who takes a meticulous approach to the action. But on top of the theatrics, the film is also a meaty feminist diatribe that leaves you with much to chew on after you’ve finished your popcorn. – Adam Chitwood

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Disney+ – Dec. 1

​​Judging by the lukewarm critical reception and mediocre box office, there are still plenty of people who haven’t seen the latest – and, presumably, last – Indiana Jones adventure, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Harrison Ford once again returns as the fabled professor/archeologist, but Steven Spielberg gave up the director’s chair to James Mangold, director of “Logan” and “Ford v. Ferrari.” (Spielberg worked on the movie in 2019 from a script by David Koepp, even going so far as to build sets, before handing the project over to Mangold, who started over from scratch.) This time around Jones finds himself in the 1960’s, going up against an old foe (Mads Mikkelsen), who looks to bring back the Third Reich via a magical device. Thrown in for good measure is Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character, a sort of female Indiana Jones and the adventurer’s goddaughter. There are a number of baffling decisions made in “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” including a prolonged prologue that lasts the better part of a half-hour and features a de-aged Ford and an uncharacteristic mean streak, but if you’re looking for one last romp with the beloved character, we could have done worse. Unless we can get our hands on a time machine and convince Spielberg to do it instead … – Drew Taylor

The James Bond Franchise


Max – Dec. 1

A number of James Bond films come to Max this month, so prepare your marathons accordingly. “Die Another Day,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “From Russia With Love,” “Goldfinger,” “License to Kill,” “Live and Let Die,” “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” “Skyfall,” “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “A View to a Kill” and “The World Is Not Enough” are all streaming on Max in December, so take your pick. – Adam Chitwood



Netflix – Dec. 1

While “Lucy” was advertised as a straightforward action movie, with Scarlett Johansson gaining supernatural abilities following an experimental drug overdose, it’s actuall far stranger and more affecting. Imagine “The Tree of Life” remade as an Japanese anime and that certainly comes closer to the experience of watching “Lucy.” One of French filmmaker Luc Besson’s very best movies, “Lucy” follows Johansson, who begins the movie as a daffy American girl in Taiwan who gets recruited by a gangster to be a mule. (She is kidnapped and the bag of drugs sewn inside her body.) When she gets roughed up, the package of drugs opens up inside of her and gives her special abilities, including super-intelligence and the power to control electronics. And while that is very cool, what makes “Lucy” so special is Besson’s edgy editing style (as she approaches her fate, he intercuts footage of a cheetah taking down a small antelope) and his cosmic approach to the narrative, beginning at the dawn of time and continuing through to an unknowable future. In the past few years Besson’s star has been tarnished by sexual misconduct allegations, which is even more distressing considering his history of strong female characters in his films. Just like “Lucy.” – Drew Taylor

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie”

Photo credit: Universal/Illumination

Netflix – Dec. 3

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was the biggest animated movie of the year, and until “Barbie” arrived, 2023’s most successful movie, period. If for some reason you’ve avoided watching the charming adaptation of the beloved Nintendo videogame series, now is your chance. The film, from “Despicable Me” and “Sing” animation studio Illumination, is a fastball right down the middle, following Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) as they venture into the Mushroom Kingdom and engage in a battle being raged between the peaceful Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) and the monstrous Bowser (Jack Black). Also Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) shows up and there’s a “Mad Max”-indebted “Mario Kart” sequence. Also there was an odd breakout song that Bowser sings about the Princess called “Peaches.” Directed by “Teen Titans GO!” stalwarts Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, the movie is full of lush animation and fun sequences that will have you reaching for your nearby Nintendo controller. And sometimes that’s all you need. – Drew Taylor

“The Archies”


Netflix – Dec. 7

Before you ask, yes, this is a Bollywood musical adaptation of the Archie Comics characters, set in 1960’s India. And you know what? It looks like a total blast. At the very least, this Hindi-language feature, directed and co-written by Zoya Akhtar, will fill the hole that our dearly departed “Riverdale” has left. “The Archies” stars Agastya Nanda, Khushi Kapoor, Suhana Khan, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja, Aditi Saigal and Yuvraj Menda. Could this be the “Grease” for a new generation? Probably might. But it still could be a ton of fun. – Drew Taylor

“Leave the World Behind”

"Leave the World Behind"
“Leave the World Behind” (CREDIT: Jojo Whilden/Netflix)

Netflix – Dec. 8

If you aren’t getting enough apocalyptic dread from simply existing in the world, have we got the movie for you! “Leave the World Behind” stars Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke as a Manhattan couple who take their family to a Long Island rental house. And while they’re attempting to have a relaxing weekend getaway something happens and they are forced to figure out what is going on and how they can survive. Things are significantly complicated by the arrival of Mahershala Ali, who claims to be the home’s owner, and his skeptical daughter (Myha’la). Plus Kevin Bacon shows up as a weird doomsday prepper. Written and directed by “Mr. Robot” mastermind Sam Esmail, “Leave the World Behind” is full of truly edge-of-your-seat set pieces, terrific performances from everybody involved and inventive camerawork. And while the running time stretches on, with actual revelations coming a little too late, it’s never short of gripping. If the world is coming to an end, hope that your Netflix subscription still works. You’ll need it to watch “Leave the World Behind.” – Drew Taylor

“Merry Little Batman”

Warner Bros./Prime Video

Prime Video – Dec. 8

It’s a Batman movie that was abandoned by HBO/Max/Warner Bros. (no, not that one). “Merry Little Batman” was given a second chance by Prime Video, who picked up the accompanying series “Bat Family.” And we are all the better for it. After watching “Merry Little Batman,” you will be even more baffled. The movie is terrific. It follows little Damian Wayne (Yonas Kibreab) who is forced to defend Wayne Manor and, later, the rest of Gotham, after his dad goes away. (For much of the movie Alfred is going to get marshmallows. Don’t ask.) “Merry Little Batman” is warmly rendered in a storybook art style (with animation by Finnish studio Gigglebug) that boasts strong character designs and vivid action set pieces. And Luke Wilson is surprisingly great as Batman. Just watch it. It’s a delight. – Drew Taylor

“Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie”

Tony Shahhoub in "Mr. Monk's Last Case"
Tony Shahhoub in “Mr. Monk’s Last Case” (CREDIT: Steve Wilkie/Peacock)

Peacock – Dec. 8

Monk is back! Remember Monk? He had OCD and still managed to solve seemingly unsolvable crimes. Tony Shalhoub returns for this original movie, as does Ted Levine, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford and Hector Elizondo, along with Caitlin McGee and James Purefoy. The official synopsis reads: “Monk returns to solve one last, very personal case involving his beloved stepdaughter Molly, a journalist preparing for her wedding.” Creator Andy Breckman returns as writer and executive producer, with Randy Zisk handling directing duties. Just remember to have your sanitizer handy. – Drew Taylor

“Love and Monsters”

Paramount Pictures

Netflix – Dec. 9

Proof positive that not all post-apocalyptic tales have to be insanely depressing, the 2020 film “Love and Monsters” is a charming and compelling tale anchored by Dylan O’Brien and an adorable dog. Set years after an asteroid drove humanity underground, O’Brien’s character decides to finally leave his bunker in the hopes of reuniting with his girlfriend, who ended up in a different bunker when the asteroid hit. Problem is, the surface is now crowded with literal monsters as the asteroid mutated all living creatures. O’Brien’s character finds a lost dog, and the two set out on a journey that’s at turns sweet, funny and emotional. – Adam Chitwood

“Asteroid City”

Midge (Scarlett Johansson) stares out a window in “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

Prime Video – Dec. 12

“Asteroid City” is one of Wes Anderson’s very best films. Released just this year, the story continues the Russian nesting doll structure that Anderson enacted so well in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as it follows a troupe of actors who are performing a play about a bunch of people who end up quarantined in a 1950s desert after they’re visited by an alien. The film packs an emotional punch as Anderson was clearly inspired by the pandemic with this one, and it boasts yet another incredible cast that includes Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston and Steve Carell. – Adam Chitwood


Warner Bros. Pictures

Max – Dec. 15

The biggest film of the year is now streaming on Max. “Barbie” is an impossibly good blockbuster. It has the care, wit and charm you’d expect from a Greta Gerwig joint, but the scale only possible with the kind of budget provided to certain IP. Margot Robbie is impeccable as she traces a journey of awareness for the titular doll, especially as it relates to Barbie’s place in the world as a woman. And Ryan Gosling once again proves he’s quietly the best comedic actor working today with his turn as himbo Ken. This movie is a dream. – Adam Chitwood

“Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget”

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Netflix – Dec. 15

Finally, the long international nightmare is over. Aardman Animation’s “Chicken Run” returns. The long-awaited sequel to the 2000 film, which would become the highest-grossing stop-motion animated feature ever, sees the formula of the first film inverted. Instead of a prison escape movie, “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” sees the chickens trying to break into the farm, to free some young hostages from becoming nuggets. (Think more “Mission: Impossible” than “The Great Escape.”) Directed by Aardman veteran Sam Fell (who directed the underrated “Flushed Away” among many other projects for the studio), the sequel features the voices of Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi, Bella Ramsey, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, Nick Mohammed and Miranda Richardson. The film debuted earlier this year at the BFI London Film Festival, where it was warmly received. A “Chicken Run” sequel is not something to cluck about. – Drew Taylor

“The Family Plan”

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ – Dec. 15

High concept action comedy incoming! In “The Family Man,” which shouldn’t be confused to the similarly titled “Family Switch” (because that one’s on Netflix), Mark Wahlberg plays a committed family man with a dark secret – he was once a government assassin. And, wouldn’t you know it, his past comes back to haunt him, leading Wahlberg to take his family on a “vacation” to Las Vegas where he can confront the man who is after him. This sounds incredibly similar to countless movies – we are thinking specifically of the underappreciated, very R-rated “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” which had an added element of amnesia. But that’s okay. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Plus “The Family Man,” from Skydance, has a killer (see what we did there?) cast that includes Maggie Q, Michelle Monaghan and Ciarán Hinds. While this will definitely be a more smoothed down action comedy, it’ll be one that the whole family can watch, which is what everybody really wants from a Christmastime streaming movie. Right? – Drew Taylor


radley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein (Director/Writer/Producer) and Carey Mulligan as Felicia Montealegre in Maestro.
Jason McDonald/Netflix

Netflix – Dec. 20

Bradley Cooper returns with his second feature as a director. And it’s a doozy. “Maestro” centers around a real-life love story, this time between world famous composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). What makes this love story so complicated and compelling is that Bernstein took on male lovers throughout his relationship with Montealegre. (The movie avoids explicitly referring to Bernstein as gay but the first image of the movie is him in bed with a boyfriend played by Matt Bomer. Make of that what you will!) The movie has an epic, romantic sweep that flits through time and is hard to not get caught up in (swoon seems like a fair word to use) and Cooper has become an even more ambitious filmmaker (and performer) since his debut, 2018’s brilliant “A Star is Born.” He inhabits Bernstein fully, with all of his genius and madness, both open-hearted and unknowable, egotistical and demure. It’s a remarkable role to tackle and it could only be achievable with a partner as generous and talented as Mulligan; you can see the torment just beneath the surface, nearly imperceptible but always there. Just please turn out all the lights, get rid of the cell phones and tablets, and turn the music way, way up. That’s how “Maestro” deserves to be experienced. – Drew Taylor

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Jim Carrey and Taylor Momsen in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Universal Pictures)

Peacock – Dec. 20

‘Tis the season, but you’ll have to wait until right before Christmas to catch the Jim Carrey version of “The Grinch” on streaming. Director Ron Howard’s 2000 adaptation is probably most notable for the incredible makeup work by Rick Baker and for Carrey’s iconic performance, but there are plenty who hold this one dear as their favored version of the Dr. Seuss tale. – Adam Chitwood

“Rebel Moon”

Sofia Boutella stars in Zack Snyder's 'Rebel Moon'

Netflix – Dec. 22

Zack Snyder is back. And he’s starting an entirely new universe. “Rebel Moon,” which is based off an unsuccessful pitch for a “Star Wars” movie that Snyder made years earlier, follows a freedom fighter named Kora (Sofia Boutella) as she square off against the large, faceless forces of the Motherworld. She’ll recruit a ragtag group from across the galaxy, including Djimon Hounsou, Charlie Hunnam, Doona Bae and Snyder’s “Justice League” co-star Ray Fisher. Also Anthony Hopkins is the voice of a robot. On the side of evil, there’s Fra Fee, Ed Skrein and Jena Malone as an evil spider-woman (yes, seriously). Expect lots of dazzling visuals, a Snyder staple, and, hopefully, a world that is very much revisiting. This is actually the first part of a two-part movie (the second part is out in April), with a longer, bloodier, R-rated cut also coming to Netflix sometime in the near future, with plans for additional spin-offs (like a television series) in various stages of development. Hopefully “Rebel Moon” will do a number of things – signal the return of a big budget auteur, scratch the itch for a “Star Wars” movie (remember “Star Wars” movies?) and start a brand-new franchise for us all to enjoy. That’s a lot riding on one movie. But if anybody is up to the challenge, it’s the typically blustery Snyder. – Drew Taylor

“The Flash”

Ezra Miller in The Flash
Ezra Miller in The Flash (Warner Bros.)

Prime Video – Dec. 25

Merry Christmas from the DCEU. If you missed “The Flash” in theaters or on Max, this will be your chance to stream the long-in-the-works DC movie on Prime Video. Ezra Miller reprises his role as a speedster in a time travel story that involved Michael Keaton’s Batman, an alternate version of Miller’s Flash and Supergirl as played by Sasha Calle. Andy Muschietti, the director of the “It” movies, was the one to bring this superhero project home, and while it’s unlikely this iteration of any of these characters returns now that James Gunn is rebooting the DC universe, this film marks a nice exit note. Watch it after you get back from seeing Jason Momoa’s “Aquaman” sequel in theaters. – Adam Chitwood

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Sony Pictures

Hulu – Dec. 25

The sun is about to set on Quentin Tarantino’s cinematic output, with his last film (called “The Movie Critic”) scheduled to shoot next year. And while looking back on his filmography, it’s hard to top his most recent effort, 2019’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” It’s a movie that, in the years since its release, has proven just as immensely quotable and rewatchable as any of his films. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it follows a fading Hollywood star named Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his brutish stunt double (Brad Pitt, in a role that finally won him an Oscar) as they maneuver a changing Hollywood landscape in the late 1960’s. The shifting tide is exemplified by Rick’s next door neighbor, a young starlet named Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Of course, this being a Tarantino joint, there’s a fair amount of historic revisionism, particularly on that fateful night when some of Charles Manson’s goons (including a young Austin Butler as “Tex” Watson) come to visit Cielo Drive with murder on their mind. One of Tarantino’s most visually breathtaking and emotionally mature films (if you don’t tear up during that final shot, you might be a robot), “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might be seen, when all is said and done, as his masterpiece. For now, it’s just one of his best. – Drew Taylor


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