Believe it or not December is here, and the holiday season brings with it a bounty of new movies streaming. Specifically, this month finds Oscar-contenders from the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Rian Johnson and Alejandro G. Iñárritu debuting on Netflix while Tom Cruise’s beloved blockbuster sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” makes its streaming debut at long last. And that’s not to mention the streaming releases of Billy Eichner’s “Bros,” the Colin Farrell/Brendan Gleeson comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin” and Will Smith’s slavery drama “Emancipation,” as well as the terrific library titles heading to Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock and Paramount+ this month.

We’ve put together a curated list of some of the best new movies to stream in December 2022, both new releases and new library titles, and where and when you can stream them.

If Beale Street Could Talk

if-beale-street-could-talk
Annapurna Pictures

Paramount+ – Dec. 1

After winning the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for his 2016 film “Moonlight,” filmmaker Barry Jenkins next turned his attention to a tricky James Baldwin adaptation: “If Beale Street Could Talk.” While the story follows a pregnant woman trying to clear the name of her imprisoned husband in 1970s New York City, the film itself is more ethereal and non-linear, offering up a tremendously empathetic experience buoyed by some truly breathtaking filmmaking. KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina Hall lead the stellar ensemble cast for this 2018 release. – Adam Chitwood

21 Jump Street

21-jump-street-jonah-hill-channing-tatum-image
Sony Pictures

Netflix – Dec. 1

When “21 Jump Street” was first released in 2012, it was a shock to many that an adaptation of the high school TV series was this good (and this funny). But a decade on, it holds up tremendously well while standing as a testament to the talent and boundary-pushing nature of filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The premise is the same as the show – Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play twentysomething cops who go undercover at a high school, posing as students – but the film brilliantly seizes upon how times have changed since this duo were in high school. Hill, whose character was an outcast in high school, finds himself fitting in with the cool kids while former jock Tatum is sidelined. The film also features some absolutely incredible visual comedy gags. – Adam Chitwood

Troll

Netflix

Netflix – Dec. 1

​​This looks like so much fun. “Troll” concerns, well, a giant troll that awakens from a Norwegian mountain and the ragtag group of humans who are attempting to stop the creature from destroying everything. Co-written and directed by Roar Uthaug, who made the amazing disaster movie “The Wave” (as well as the recent “Tomb Raider” movie), the trailer for “Troll” is killer. And really, with the glut of super-serious award contenders out there, isn’t it nice to take 100 minutes and watch a giant troll stomp around? We think so too. – Drew Taylor

De Palma

Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma (Getty Images)

HBO Max – Dec. 1

One of the great documentaries on filmmaking, “De Palma” is Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s loving homage to the modern master of suspense, which plays out like one long monologue. (The format is particularly ironic given his general hatred for overly talky movies.) Brian De Palma is one of his generation’s greatest talents and one of the most underrated. As he takes viewers through his filmography, film by film, a pattern starts to emerge – he’s a filmmaker obsessed by certain themes (voyeurism, sexuality, the slipperiness of a good conspiracy) and determined to bring those themes to life in the most entertaining way possible. He doesn’t always succeed. But the attempt feels Herculean and seldom appreciated. With humor, grace and candor he doesn’t just examine his work, he examines his life. And the resulting film is profound and arresting. Just be warned, after watching “De Palma,” you’ll want to re-watch all of his films again. – Drew Taylor

Gone Girl

gone-girl-ben-affleck-rosamund-pike
20th Century Fox

HBO Max – Dec. 1

David Fincher’s 2014 paperback thriller “Gone Girl” is a dark, thrilling and bitingly funny ode to relationships that’s also perfectly cast. Based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel, Ben Affleck plays a man whose wife (played by Rosamund Pike) goes missing and is presumed dead. He eventually becomes the prime suspect, only for him to discover his wife is setting him up and is very much alive. This is a story about the people we tell others we are versus the real versions of ourselves that eventually bubble to the surface, especially in longterm relationships. Affleck and Pike are dynamite, while Carrie Coon is stellar in her first major role. – Adam Chitwood

Christine

Columbia Pictures

Hulu – Dec. 1

John Carpenter, reeling from the commercial and critical mistreatment of his masterpiece “The Thing” and the utter befuddlement that met “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” retreated into what he presumed to be safer territory – a surefire adaptation of a Stephen King novel. (Since it was only released eight months before the movie came out, the book was still something of an unknown quantity during development.) Stripped to its chassis, “Christine” is the story of an evil car and the seductive sway it holds over one teenage boy (Keith Gordon, nerd titan of 80s cinema). Carpenter and screenwriter Bill Phillips wisely stripped away the ghost story elements of King’s novel, opting for something leaner, meaner and more fuel-injected. The optical and photographic effects have an elemental, ageless power and Carpenter’s music (working with frequent collaborator Alan Howarth) adds texture and menace. (Carpenter’s recent live sets would often close with the main theme.) Seen as something of a disappointment when it was initially released, the stature of “Christine” has only grown over the years and is now, wisely, considered one of Carpenter’s best. “Show me.” – Drew Taylor

True Lies

true-lies
20th Century Fox

Peacock – Dec. 1

What better way to pre-game for “Avatar: The Way of Water” than by revisiting filmmaker James Cameron’s 1994 thriller “True Lies?” While the politics of the film don’t hold up so great, it’s still pretty crackerjack when it gets going. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a government agent who’s struggling to keep his double life a secret from his wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. But when a terrorist threat hits close to home, Schwarzenegger’s two lives become one, and his wife is forced into the spy world with gusto. The chemistry between the two is tons of fun, and also Schwarzenegger rides a horse into an elevator. – Adam Chitwood

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

the-manchurian-candidate-denzel-washington
Paramount Pictures

Prime Video – Dec. 1

Remaking “The Manchurian Candidate” was probably always going to be a risky proposition. After all, the 1962 original stands as a conspiracy thriller classic, the kind of movie that felt drenches in the collective social unease of the time. And that proposition probably seemed even iffier considering director Jonathan Demme had just remade another ‘60s classic (“Charade”) to somewhat befuddling results. (“The Truth About Charlie” is an easier movie to appreciate than to love.) But somehow the gambit paid off. “The Manchurian Candidate” was Demme moving back into “Silence of the Lambs” mode, taking the material seriously and swapping out assassination anxiety for the more benign evil of the Bush administration and their dubious dealings in the Middle East. Helping matters considerably, too, are a pair of powerhouse performances that anchor the entire enterprise – Denzel Washington as a jaded vet who could become an unwitting killer; and Meryl Streep as a Hillary Clinton-style senator who is grooming her son (Liev Schreiber), another brainwashed former soldier, as a vice presidential candidate. Demme’s love of the interior lives of his characters never gets lost in the labyrinthine plotting and his stylishness is very much appreciated (longtime collaborator Tak Fujimoto shoots the hell out of this movie). If you’ve never seen the remake and are worried about it living up, fret not. This is the real deal – a big budget, star-studded thriller for grown-ups. The kind of stuff Hollywood doesn’t make anymore. – Drew Taylor

Bros

bros-billy-eichner-luke-macfarlane
Universal Pictures

Peacock – Dec. 2

While the film pretty infamously did not do great in theaters (it grossed just $14.7 million worldwide), you can now stream Billy Eichner’s rom-com “Bros” on Peacock. The first major studio romantic comedy to feature a same-sex couple in the lead roles, “Bros” stars the comedian Eichner as a single podcast host who strikes up a hot-and-cold relationship with a guy played by Luke Macfarlane. Written by Eichner and Nicholas Stoller and directed by Stoller, of “Neighbors” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” fame, this one’s also produced by Judd Apatow. – Adam Chitwood

Bullet Train

bullet-train-brad-pitt-aaron-taylor-johnson
Sony Pictures

Netflix – Dec. 3

In “Bullet Train” Brad Pitt plays an assassin, codenamed Ladybug, who boards the titular transport and is instructed to take a briefcase to a mysterious buyer. Of course, this is a train full of ruthless killers (among them: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King and Zazie Beetz), all of whom, for one reason or another, would appreciate it if Ladybug were squished. But who will ultimately succeed in their respective mission? And will Ladybug get off of this train alive? Stylishly directed by David Leitch (“Atomic Blonde”), “Bullet Train” is full of quippy dialogue, unexpected cameos, robust fight sequences and tons of blood. It might not be the most sophisticated thing you watch this month but it is certainly the most fun. – Drew Taylor

Emily the Criminal

Emily the Criminal
Roadside/Vertical

Netflix – Dec. 7

Since breaking out with “Parks and Recreation” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” Aubrey Plaza has solidified herself as something of an indie darling with a killer dramatic streak. In “Emily the Criminal,” she plays a young woman struggling to pay off her student loans who slowly gets into selling stolen goods, which leads her down a rabbit hole from which she finds it difficult to return. Theo Rossi and Gina Gershon co-star for writer-director John Patton Ford, and Plaza also produced the film. – Adam Chitwood

The Bad Guys

The Bad Guys
DreamWorks/Universal

Prime Video – Dec. 8

DreamWorks Animation’s zippy heist movie, which follows a group of anthropomorphic animals who live up to their name (until they don’t), “The Bad Guys” was one of this year’s biggest (and best) surprises. Sam Rockwell leads the very game voice cast as Mr. Wolf aka the Big Bad Wolf, who runs a criminal outfit that also includes Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson) and Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos). When a guinea pig philanthropist named Marmalade (Richard Ayoade) challenges them to start doing good, their whole world gets flipped upside down. Director Pierre Perifel embraced a bold visual aesthetic that pays tribute to everything from Quentin Tarantino to Hayao Miyazaki and in the process made one of the most visually and tonally distinct DreamWorks Animation movies ever. If somehow you missed it earlier in the year, don’t let “The Bad Guys” escape your grasp now. – Drew Taylor

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
Netflix

Netflix – Dec. 9

A year after he brought us his pitch-black Oscar-nominated carnival noir “Nightmare Alley,” director Guillermo del Toro returns with something far sweeter but no less complex. “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” definitely earns its possessive title – it is far away from both Carlo Collodi’s original story and Walt Disney’s animated masterpiece (poorly remade earlier this year as a live-action feature). Del Toro’s version takes place in 1930s Italy, with the little wooden puppet viewed as a potential pawn for fascism or show business (or, come to think of it, both). Themes of individualism and what it means to be human are brought to brilliant life by painstaking stop-motion animation (del Toro has said that the movie shot for over 1,000 days, sometimes on up to 60 different sets) that eschews traditional posing and “appealing” character design for something more esoteric and memorable. Del Toro and his collaborators, including co-director Mark Gustafson and co-writer Patrick McHale (creator of “Over the Garden Wall”) have created a truly unforgettable experience, one that requires multiple viewings to properly appreciate and absorb. Oh and don’t forget the Kleenex; this is one emotional ride. – Drew Taylor

Teen Titans GO! To the Movies

Teen Titans Go to the Movies
Warner Bros.

HBO Max – Dec. 9

While DC movies have a reputation for being far moodier than their Marvel Studios counterparts, they were also responsible for “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “Teen Titans GO! To the Movies,” one of the more delightful modern superhero films. Released in 2018, “Teen Titans” didn’t get much attention from critics or audiences, but it seems ripe for reappraisal, especially amongst the glut of self-serious superhero cinema. Based on the popular television series of the same name, the movie follows the titular characters, led by Robin (Scott Menville), as they go about trying to get their own movie. Full of hilarious non sequiturs and narrative detours (including a sequence where they travel back in time and stop all of the main DC superheroes from becoming heroes, set to the tune of Huey Lewis’ “Back in Time”), plus some pretty great songs (including an “Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life,” featuring Michael Bolton), “Teen Titans GO! To the Movies” is an overstuffed, super knowing blast. Somebody must have noticed, considering filmmakers Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath are directing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” now. – Drew Taylor

Ticket to Paradise

George Clooney and Julia Robert
George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in Ticket to Paradise (Universal Pictures)

Peacock – Dec. 9

If it’s a classic romantic comedy you’re in the mood for, you don’t get much more charming than George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The “Ocean’s Eleven” duo reunited for the 2022 film “Ticket to Paradise,” which makes its streaming debut on Peacock this month. The two play exes who are brought together for the sole purpose of preventing their daughter from making the same mistake they made, but is there still a spark left to their old flame? “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” filmmaker Ol Parker directs while Katilyn Dever and Billie Lourd co-star. – Adam Chitwood

Emancipation

emancipation-will-smith
Will Smith in “Emancipation” (Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ – Dec. 9

“Emancipation” is based on the story of a slave named Gordon whose scarred, whipped back was photographed and disseminated in 1863 as proof of the cruelty of American slavery. Will Smith takes on the lead role, following a slave who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and makes his way north where he joins the Union Army. Antoine Fuqua of “Training Day” and “The Equalizer” acclaim directs, and the film could very well put Smith back in the Oscar race a year after his infamous first win.

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

Warner Bros.

Hulu – Dec. 12

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy remains a staggering achievement, and if for some reason you don’t already own “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” on Blu-ray, you’ll have the chance to stream all three this month. “Begins” remains a hugely influential entry in the comic book adaptation genre, offering up a grounded and realistic take on the Caped Crusader via Christian Bale. And “The Dark Knight” is one of the best superhero movies ever made, with Heath Ledger delivering one of the most iconic performances in all of film history. – Adam Chitwood

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin
The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

HBO Max and Hulu – Dec. 13

Martin McDonagh, one of our most celebrated playwrights and filmmakers, is following up his Best Picture-nominated “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with a more intimate, even darker comedy. “The Banshees of Inisherin” reunites McDonagh’s “In Bruges” stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, who this time play old chums who have a falling out that quickly descends into madness. Set in 1923 during the waning days of the Irish Civil War, “The Banshees of Inisherin” is, superficially, a black, blood-streaked comedy, but just below the surface it’s about the stupidity and circuitousness of conflict, the pain of chasing an artistic dream and the way that men, when left to their own devices and without the intervention of female help, will ultimately deteriorate. Beautifully photographed by another McDonagh regular (Ben Davis), who never makes the setting either too illustrative or too glum, and dotted with exemplary supporting turns by Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin” is wicked and remarkable. – Drew Taylor

Bardo, False Chronicle of Half Truths

bardo-false-chronicle-of-handful-of-truths
Netflix

Netflix – Dec. 16

Seven years after winning the Best Director Oscar for “The Revenant” – which made him the third director ever to win back-to-back Best Director Oscars after winning for “Birdman” the year prior – Alejandro G. Iñárritu is back with an epic, personal, Spanish-language drama for Netflix. “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” stars Daniel Giménez Cacho as a documentarian who returns to his native Mexico where he has an existential crisis. – Adam Chitwood

Side Effects

side-effects
Open Road Films

Netflix – Dec. 18

The second part of director Steven Soderbergh’s loose “hypochondriac trilogy” (along with “Contagion” and his incredible Cinemax series “The Knick”), “Side Effects” follows a cavalier New York doctor (Jude Law) who finds himself in hot water after he prescribes a depressive young patient (Rooney Mara) an experimental drug and that patient murders her husband (Channing Tatum), seemingly in her sleep. But, of course, there is more to his unraveling (and to Mara’s claims) in Soderbergh’s twisty, wryly satiric medical-world thriller. It’s one of those movies where the less you know going into it, the more enjoyable time you will have. But it’s easily one of Soderbergh’s more underrated films, full of terrific performances and a twinkly score from Thomas Newman. Also it’s only 106 minutes long! – Drew Taylor

Top Gun: Maverick

top-gun-maverick-tom-cruise-jennifer-connelly
Paramount Pictures

Paramount+ – Dec. 22

“Top Gun: Maverick” accomplished the rare feat of being the biggest movie of 2022 (so far, as we can see James Cameron waiting in the wings) and being one of the best. Set 36 years after the original film, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is still a test pilot, still pushing things to the absolute limit. But when his hotdogging leads to the destruction of an expensive prototype jet, he’s sent to his old Top Gun stomping grounds to train a new batch of pilots for a potentially suicidal mission across enemy lines. The set-up is pretty much what you’d expect out of a legacy sequel to “Top Gun,” but it’s execution is what makes it so special – from the razor-sharp script co-written by frequent Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie to the precision editing of Eddie Hamilton to the stylish direction by Joseph Kosinski, who stages every sequence perfectly, to the new cast filled with extremely talented, fresh faced pilots (led by Miles Teller and including Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman and Monica Barbaro) – it’s just an overwhelming joy to behold. If somehow you missed it while it was in the theaters, now is the perfect time to catch up with it at home. After all, it’s never too late to hit the Danger Zone. – Drew Taylor

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Netflix – Dec. 23

Benoit Blanc is back. The charismatic southern detective, essayed once again by Daniel Craig, is back after solving the mystery at the center of “Knives Out.” This time around he’s been invited to the private island of a tech billionaire (Edward Norton) and inserted into a murder mystery game that becomes all too real. Among the other guests and potential victims and/or killers are Norton’s #1 scientist (Leslie Odom, Jr.), a former model-turned-sweatpants magnate (Kate Hudson) and her assistant (Jessica Henwick), a mens’ rights YouTuber (Dave Bautista) and his hot stuff girlfriend (Madelyn Cline), a Connecticut governor running for a senate seat (Kathryn Hahn) and Norton’s former partner (Janelle Monae). Writer/director Rian Johnson’s sequel is grander, more elaborate and more fiendishly entertaining than the original, it’s an elegant, uproarious crowd-pleaser that just so happens to premiere at home. And don’t worry, “Glass Onion” isn’t the end. Netflix has contracted Johnson for at least one more sequel. And quite frankly, the sooner, the better. – Drew Taylor

Matilda: The Musical

roald dahl's matilda netflix
Netflix

Netflix – Dec. 25

Netflix’s Christmas Day offering this year is the feature film adaptation of the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book “Matilda” (phew). The beloved stage version launched in 2011 and gets the big screen treatment here, complete with stage actress Alisha Weir reprising her role as Matilda, the young girl at the center of the story who develops psychokinetic abilities and battles her parents and evil headmistress. An unrecognizable Emma Thompson plays Miss Trunchbull here, while Lashana Lynch fills the role of Miss Honey. – Adam Chitwood

White Noise

White Noise
Wilson Webb/Netflix

Netflix – Dec. 30

Writer/director Noah Baumbach is following up his acclaimed, Oscar-winning Netflix drama “Marriage Story” by adapting Dom DeLillo’s “unfilmable” 1985 novel “White Noise.” Adam Driver stars as a professor at an idyllic Midwest college whose life is a barely contained sprawl – his house is full of children, from both he and his wife’s (Greta Gerwig) many marriages; he attempts to be an expert in the field of Hitler Studies; and he suspects his wife is taking a mysterious, untested drug. And this is before the “airborne toxic event” takes place and a large, noxious cloud starts to blot out the sky. This is Baumbach at his most ambitious and insane, far from the small comedies and dramas that dot his resume. (Also don’t let the 1980s-setting fool you, from the characters wearing masks to the threat of white supremacy all feel very 2022.) “White Noise” might not be for everybody, but if you get on its wavelength, it’s an uproarious delight. Just make sure to stick through the closing credits and not just because you’re treated to a new LCD Soundsystem song. – Drew Taylor

Wildcat

wildcat-image
Prime Video

Prime Video – Dec. 30

Amazon Prime Video is back to break your heart with another doc focused on the relationship between a human and an adorable inhuman, just a few weeks after they did it with “Good Night Oppy” (the excellent film about the Mars rovers). “Wildcat” tells the story of veteran Harry Turner who, after combat, does some soul searching in the jungle. It’s in the Amazon that he meets a young woman (Samantha Zwicker) who runs a wildlife rescue and puts Harry in charge of an orphaned ocelot cub. The official synopsis reads: “What was meant to be an attempt to escape from life turns out to be an unexpected journey of love, discovery, and healing” and if you’ve seen the trailer you probably know what you’re getting into (and have a pretty good idea of how much you’ll be crying). Even if it makes you sob uncontrollably, this documentary from producer/directors Melissa Lesh and Trevor Beck Frost will undoubtedly be worth it. Meow! – Drew Taylor

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