Around wintertime, we like to pump the brakes on our TV habits and put a little more time into watching movies. The contained form makes for a nice cozy feeling that frees us up from the stress of “another episode, another season, another cliffhanger ending.” Movies can be a nice, warm comfort this time of year, and there are some great ones hitting Netflix in December.
Here are the best streaming picks coming to the service next month.
The Big Lebowski (12/1)
This classic Coens Brothers comedy would be a nice double-feature next to November’s stark, playful Ballad of Buster Scruggs. The Big Lebowski has vibes for days, quotes for decades and a culture that lasts a lifetime. Maybe make a White Russian while you’re at it.
Shaun of the Dead (12/1)
This isn’t like other zombie movies. Shaun of the Dead is funnier than it is scary, with gags throughout that take the horror genre down from within and make the whole zombie concept pretty darn toothless (is that an appropriate word?). It will also have you humming Queen all night, if Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t have you doing that already.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (12/1)
What better way to spend a night with the family than a movie that’s more or less 90 minutes of food puns. We’re obviously fans of food flicks, shows and competitions, and Cloudy is a visually robust and comedically satisfying meal of a movie. Just don’t watch it while you’re hungry.
This cult classic has garnered more fervor and acclaim in recent years over the news of the David Harbour-starring reboot, but don’t forget the original Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman movie, which remains one of the more bombastic and unique comic-book adaptations out there today. More than anything, this one’s a good time, and if it’s to your taste, it has the potential to become a favorite.
The Lobster (12/2)
One of the darker movies on this list, The Lobster is nonetheless a brutal satire of modern romance. It will make you laugh, but it can just as easily make you hide behind your hands. Director Yorgos Lanthimos has a style that’s going to take some adjustment, but the comedy here—and the truth here—hits hard.
District 9 (12/4)
This science-fiction alien movie adheres closer to reality than most other genre pictures. District 9 imagines a world where aliens arrive on Earth but the planet quarantines and sequesters them instead of an Independence Day-style battle or a Close Encounters-style peace offering. That imaginative spin makes for a lot of compelling themes about identity, belonging, bias and oppression.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (12/7)
No one was really asking for another imagining of the Jungle Book story, but one name on this project has us willing to listen: Andy Serkis. One of the best motion-capture actors ever, Serkis is bringing a lot of expertise to the table for Mowgli, which has us holding out hope it could justify its own existence.
This could be the movie that legitimizes Netflix as a contender at the Oscars. Roma is director Alfonso Cuaron’s (Children of Men, Gravity) tribute to Mexico. Early buzz calls it one of the year’s best movies and a frontrunner for Best Picture. The only thing that could stop it from taking home the hardware? Industry bias against the red N.
Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable (12/18)
There are a few people who seem to thrive in any venue. Channing Tatum and Lady Gaga seem to excel in whatever they do, but more prolific than either of them is Ellen DeGeneres. The talk show mogul and all-around joy is returning to the stand up stage (remember her “phone call with God” bit on Johnny Carson?) for a Netflix special. We couldn’t be more excited.
Avengers: Infinity War (12/25)
Though the sum of its parts might not be the best thing Marvel’s ever done, the experience of watching Avengers: Infinity War is still jaw-dropping in its ambition, scale and achievement. This is one of the great movie events of the decade, and its well-drawn villain makes it a good story to boot. It’s worth watching again just for that audacious, stirring ending.