With the holidays (and award season!) right around the corner, December is the perfect time to curl up and stream a great new movie or series. And lucky for you, Netflix has a sleigh full of brand new titles to choose from. What will you be tuning into when the weather turns?
New and noteworthy movies
From historical romances and modern mysteries to indie adaptations, this month, Netflix has a new film for every taste.
December 2: ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’
Did somebody say British period drama? This Netflix original brings D.H. Lawrence’s steamy classic novel to the screen in a new take starring Emma Corrin (The Crown, Misbehaviour) and Jack O’Connell (Jungleland, Tulip Fever) as the eponymous couple. Widely adapted on film and TV, with a notable 90s miniseries starring Joely Richardson and Sean Bean, this newest version promises fans “an intellectually-approved bodice-ripper,” as well as “an impressively mounted production that looks good and is emotionally true to the characters and their era.”
December 7: ‘Emily the Criminal’
Aubrey Plaza shows off her acting chops and gets darker than ever in this writing/directing debut from John Patton Ford. With a 94% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, critics and audience alike praise Plaza’s performance as a woman driven to desperate measures by student debt. For film buffs, “It’s energizing to see something as keenly observed and uniquely competent as ‘Emily the Criminal,’” according to The Observer. “It’s a tense and engaging thriller that looks and feels distinctively different.”
December 16: ‘BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths’
From auteur Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores perros, Birdman, The Revenant) comes this aptly epic black comedy about an aging journalist/documentarian, who slips into an existential crisis while going home to Mexico to receive an award. Followers of the filmmaker will appreciate the mind-bending places he goes, and newbies better buckle up. The New York Times explains that, “In Tibetan Buddhism, ‘bardo’ names the intermediate state through which beings pass between the end of one life and the beginning of the next” — the setting for this trippy film.
December 23: ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’
Banking on the soaring success of the first installment — as well as fanfare around the possibility of a franchise — Netflix has Daniel Craig back as Detective Benoit Blanc in a totally fresh Knives Out narrative. With a new, all-star cast featuring Ed Norton, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe and more, The Atlantic observes that this brainteaser of a volume “wisely avoids trying to top its predecessor’s sentimentality. Rather, the film pushes deeper into playfulness, while still maintaining a poignant streak.”
December 30: ‘They Cloned Tyrone’
Aspiring gumshoes get another original mystery this month, which also happens to be a dystopian sci-fi comedy all rolled into one. Jamie Foxx (Ali, Ray), Teyonah Parris (Dear White People, Chi-Raq) and John Boyega (Attack the Block, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) star as an unlikely trio who meet under eerie circumstances that unearth an evil government experiment. Described as a “pulpy mystery caper” by Netflix, this might well be something much more, with a nod to Jordan Peele’s knack at bringing very real issues into some kind of supernatural story setting.
December 30: ‘White Noise’
Noah Baumbach is back with his latest Netflix production — another reworking of a book, this time of the seminal postmodern work White Noise. The “eclectic, ambitious, messy adaptation Don DeLillo’s epic novel deserves” stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig as a pair of average American parents trying to do what’s best for their kids on the brink of armageddon.
“With the same electric back-and-forth wit that powered his funniest films (Frances Ha, Mistress America, The Meyerowitz Stories) balanced with the reverence of a grad student who knows he cannot quite reach the heights of those he studies,” The Globe and Mails asserts that “Baumbach pulls off an adaptation that is as dynamic and complicated as the source material.”
Fun films for kids and families
Picking a movie for family night? You’ll be safe and well entertained with the following selection.
December 2: ‘Scrooge: A Christmas Carol’
The greedy curmudgeon we all know and love, Ebenezer Scrooge, gets a kid-friendly, musical update this month. Voiced by Luke Evans —along with the likes of Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn and others — this take on Charles Dickens’ holiday classic is a treat for kids and parents alike. “Evans makes for a nuanced Scrooge that could close down a business, push over a child, or break into a love song at any second,” according to Common Sense Media. “Add to that…the rest of the talented cast and this is a festive offering that certainly hasn’t skimped on production values.”
December 6: ‘Storks’
In a world where babies used to come from an ecommerce giant not unlike Amazon, retail deliveries have replaced the bundles of joy as the storks’ bread and butter. But when the Baby Factory unexpectedly produces a little girl, a bird — voiced by Andy Samberg — takes it upon himself to make sure she gets home before it’s too late. Critics say it “taps into the imaginations of kids as well as the poignant wistful memories of parents everywhere — and does so through a wide range of humor and solid storytelling.”
December 9: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’
With a 97% Certified Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes, you know what you’re getting with this flick, which, while rated PG, “delivers fully on its title — which is to say it’s a visually stunning adaptation that embraces its source material’s darkness.” This spellbinding, stop-motion reimagining features the voices of Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett and other stars and is already being hailed as one of the year’s best films.
“Guillermo del Toro’s perspective runs through every frame of this unique retelling, which isn’t afraid to tackle troubling themes,” according to Empire Magazine. “A sincere, soulful exploration of what it means to be human.”
December 25: ‘Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical’
Roald Dahl’s timeless children’s favorite gets a new look (and a new sound!) with this year’s Matilda the Musical. Starring an almost unrecognizable Emma Thompson as the terrifying Miss Trunchbull, a principal who wreaks havoc on her school as well as her students, it’s hard to tell who’s worse; her or Matilda’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood. We’ll let you and yours be the judges. “Whether for little kids or very big ones, this Matilda is fantastically fun,” Time Out reports. “Great songs, great performances and plenty of baddies to boo.”
New TV on Netflix
And here’s one for all you series buffs: A new crime show to binge this month!
December 16: ‘The Recruit’
Noah Centineo graduates from Netflix high school and lands a job as a rookie lawyer for the CIA in this new show from Alexi Hawley. When a former informant threatens to expose her ties to the agency if they don’t exonerate her, the newbie gets in over his head in a dangerous ring of international power politics. Will you be watching? Let us know what you think @DIRECTV!
How to Get Netflix with DIRECTV
You can access Netflix with your internet-connected DIRECTV STREAM devices. Simply access APPs through the APP store on your device and add Netflix. You can even pick up shows where you left off using the Continue Watching feature.
Stay tuned to see what’s coming to Netflix in January!
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