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Here's what's new to streaming in December 2023

May December. (L to R) Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry and Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo in May December. (Photo: Francois Duhamel / courtesy of Netflix)
May December. (L to R) Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry and Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo in May December. (Photo: Francois Duhamel / courtesy of Netflix)
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Friday might mark the official start of Friday, but a mid-November Thanksgiving kicked off Holiday Season a week ago. If you are anything like me, time spins faster and the general anxiety of heading out into public spaces can be overwhelming. I find that stepping back, taking an hour or two to distance myself from the chaos of being can be the most effective way to make it through the day.

For some of us, relaxation is directly tied to entertainment. So, here’s a look at what new titles will be making their way to your favorite streaming services in December. A handful of options to distract you from the impending arrival of guests, snowstorms, the glow of brake lights, long lines, and constant ringing and jingling bells.

My top picks for the month include: The delicious camp and melodrama of Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in "May December;" the reteaming of director Kelly Reichardt with Michelle Williams in the artistic drama “Showing Up;” the animated antics of “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget;” the Bradley Cooper and Carey MulliganLeonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro;” and Helen Mirren as Golda Meir in “Golda.” I’m also interested in Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon,” the documentary “Hell Camp,” and Disney+’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series. There’s also a bevy of Doctor Who specials. You have plenty to do when you have nothing to do.

May December (Netflix)

Studio Synopsis: After their relationship ignited a tabloid saga two decades ago, Gracie (Julianne Moore) and Joe (Charles Melton) now lead a seemingly perfect suburban life. Their domestic bliss is disrupted when Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), a famous television actress, arrives in their tight-knit community to research her upcoming role as Gracie. As Elizabeth ingratiates herself into the everyday lives of Gracie and Joe, the uncomfortable facts of their scandal unfurl, causing long-dormant emotions to resurface. In May December, director Todd Haynes (Safe, Carol) explores one of the great talents of the human species: our colossal refusal to look at ourselves.
Available: December 1, 2023

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Disney+)

Synopsis: Harrison Ford returns to the role of the legendary hero archaeologist, Indiana Jones, for this highly anticipated final installment of the iconic franchise – a big, globe-trotting, rip-roaring adventure!
Available: December 1, 2023

The Exorcist: Believer (Peacock)

Studio Synopsis: Exactly 50 years ago this fall, the most terrifying horror film in history landed on screens, shocking audiences around the world. Now,, a new chapter begins. From Blumhouse and director David Gordon Green, who shattered the status quo with their resurrection of the Halloween franchise, comes The Exorcist: Believer.
Available: December 1, 2023

It's a Wonderful Knife (Shudder)

Studio Synopsis: A spin on the Christmas classic, the horror film centers on Winnie Carruther (Jane Widdop, Yellowjackets), who saves her town from a psychotic killer on Christmas Eve. A year later, her life is less than wonderful — but when she wishes she’d never been born, she finds herself in a nightmare parallel universe and discovers that without her, things could be much, much worse. Now, the killer is back, and she must team up with the town misfit to identify the killer and get back to her own reality. Also starring Joel McHale (Community) and Justin Long (Barbarian).Available: December 1, 2023

Thriller 40 (Paramount+)

Studio Synopsis: In this documentary feature on the making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the best-selling album of all time worldwide, director Nelson George takes fans back in time to experience the making of the record-breaking album, as well as the release of the accompanying short films that forever redefined the music video format. Featuring never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with music and entertainment luminaries, Thriller 40 chronicles the creation of a pre-internet global phenomenon unlike anything before it or since. Thriller launched Jackson into mega-stardom, and continues to influence the worlds of music, dance, and fashion.
Available: December 2, 2023

Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage, & Reckonig (Max)

Studio Synopsis: Produced and directed by Jason Hehir (“The Last Dance,” HBO’s “Andre The Giant”), and produced in association with The Boston Globe, explores the decades-old racial tensions and brutal targeting amidst a media firestorm that ensued following an investigation stemming from Charles “Chuck” Stuart’s 911 call reporting that he and his pregnant wife, Carol, a white couple, had been shot by a Black man in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood in 1989. The series chronicles the complex history of race-based hostilities in the city and the enduring, painful toll the case has had on the families involved, on Boston race relations, and how a community can be brutalized in a rush to justice.
Available: December 4, 2023

John Lennon: Murder Without A Trial (Apple TV)

Studio Synopsis:John Lennon: Murder Without A Trial” is a deeply researched examination of John Lennon’s 1980 murder, which shocked and saddened the world. The production was granted extensive Freedom of Information Act requests from the New York City Police Department, the Board of Parole and the District Attorney’s office; and the series includes exclusive interviews including Richard Peterson, a taxi driver who was witness to the shooting; Jay Hastings, a doorman at The Dakota who heard Lennon’s last words; David Suggs, Mark David Chapman’s defense lawyer; Elliot Mintz, a confidant to Lennon and Yoko Ono; and Dr Naomi Goldstein, the psychiatrist who first assessed Chapman.
Available: December 6, 2023

Showing Up (Paramount+)

Studio Synopsis: Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, this A24 comedy is about a sculptor (Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams) who must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends while she prepares to open a new show. On the verge of a career-changing exhibition, she finds that the chaos of life becomes the inspiration for great art. In addition to Williams, the film stars Hong Chau, Maryann Plunkett, André 3000, and Amanda Plummer.
Available: December 7, 2023

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever (Disney+)

Studio Synopsis: The winter holidays are turning out to be especially stressful for Greg Heffley this year. After accidentally damaging someone else’s property with his best friend Rowley, Greg worries he won’t get the gift he so desperately wants for Christmas. To make matters worse, a snowstorm hits the town and the entire family is trapped indoors for days. With Christmas right around the corner, will Greg be able to be on his best behavior?
Available: December 8, 2023

Leave the World Behind (Netflix)

Studio Synopsis:In this apocalyptic thriller from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), Amanda (Academy Award winner Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke), rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their vacation is soon upended when two strangers — G.H. (Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs. The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.
Available: December 8, 2023

The Sacrifice Game (Shudder)

Studio Synopsis: It’s bad enough that boarding school students Samantha and Clara can’t go home for the holidays, but things take a deadly turn when a gang of cult killers arrives on their doorstep – just in time for Christmas. Starring Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Olivia Scott Welch (Lucky Hank, The Fear Street Trilogy), Gus Kenworthy (American Horror Story) and Chloë Levine (The Ranger).
Available: December 8, 2023

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (Netflix)

Studio Synopsis: From the multi Academy and BAFTA award-winning Aardman (Creature Comforts, Wallace & Gromit, and Shaun the Sheep), and Academy Award and BAFTA-nominated director Sam Fell (ParaNorman and Flushed Away, respectively), comes Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, the eagerly anticipated sequel to the beloved and highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time, Chicken Run. Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream — a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk — this time, they’re breaking in!
Available: December 15, 2023

The Family Plan (Apple TV+)

Studio Synopsis: Dan Morgan (Mark Wahlberg) loves his quiet suburban life as a devoted husband, father of three and successful car salesman. But that’s only half the story. Decades earlier, he was an elite government assassin tasked with eliminating the world’s deadliest threats. When enemies from his past track him down, Dan packs his unsuspecting wife (Michelle Monaghan), angsty teen daughter, pro-gamer teen son and adorable 10-month-old baby into their minivan and takes off on an impromptu cross-country road trip to Las Vegas. Determined to protect his family — while treating them to the vacation of a lifetime — Dan must put his long-dormant skills into action, without revealing his true identity.
Available: December 15, 2023

The Retirement Plan (Hulu)

Studio Synopsis: Nicolas Cage stars in this new action comedy movie. Caught in the middle of a dangerous crime ring, Ashley has no choice but to enlist the help of her estranged father, who she discovers is harboring secrets of his own on the shores of the Cayman Islands where he’s retired to.
Available: December 15, 2023

Mr. Monk's Last Case (Peacock)

Studio Synopsis: Monk returns to solve one last, very personal case involving his beloved stepdaughter Molly, a journalist preparing for her wedding.
Available: December 17, 2023

Maestro (Netflix)

Studio Synopsis: Maestro is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein (Carey Mulligan). A love letter to life and art, Maestro at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love.
Available: December 20, 2023

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Disney+)

Studio Synopsis: Percy Jackson is on a dangerous quest. Outrunning monsters and outwitting gods, he must journey across America to return Zeus’ master bolt and stop an all-out war. With the help of his quest mates Annabeth and Grover, Percy’s journey will lead him closer to the answers he seeks: how to fit into a world where he feels out of place, and find out who he’s destined to be.
Available: December 20, 2023

Golda (Paramount+)

Studio Synopsis:This biographical drama starring Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, Claudette Williams, Henry Goodman, and Emma Davies centers on Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (Mirren) during the Yom Kippur War. Faced with Israel’s potential destruction, she must navigate overwhelming odds, a skeptical cabinet, and a complex relationship with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The film was directed by Guy Nattiv, and distributed by Bleeker Street.Available: December 20, 2023

Dr. Death: Season 2 (Peacock)

Studio Synopsis: This season of Dr. Death, based on the hit Wondery podcast, follows “Miracle Man” Paolo Macchiarini, a charming surgeon renowned for his innovative operations. When investigative journalist Benita Alexander approaches him for a story, the line between personal and professional begins to blur, changing her life forever. As she learns how far Paolo will go to protect his secrets, a group of doctors halfway across the world make shocking discoveries of their own that call everything about Paolo into question.
Available: December 21, 2023

Beau is Afraid (Paramount+)

Studio Synopsis: In this surrealist tragicomedy directed by Ari Aster and distributed by A24, the mild-mannered but anxiety-ridden Beau (Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix) embarks on an epic and adventurous odyssey back home following his mother’s sudden death. The all-star cast also includes Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane, Kylie Rogers, Denis Ménochet, Parker Posey, and Zoe Lister-Jones.
Available: December 21, 2023

Marvel Studios' What If...?: Season 2 (Disney)

Studio Synopsis: The Watcher continues the journey as our guide through the vast multiverse, introducing brand-new and familiar faces throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The animated anthology series questions, revisits and twists classic Marvel Cinematic moments with an incredible voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their iconic roles.
Available: December 22, 2023

Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire (Netflix)

Studio Synopsis: After crash landing on a moon in the furthest reaches of the universe, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a stranger with a mysterious past, begins a new life among a peaceful settlement of farmers. But she soon becomes their only hope for survival when the tyrannical Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee) and his cruel emissary, Admiral Noble (Ed Skrein), discover the farmers have unwittingly sold their crops to the Bloodaxes (Cleopatra Coleman and Ray Fisher) — leaders of a fierce group of insurgents hunted by the Motherworld. Tasked with finding fighters who would risk their lives to defend the people of Veldt, Kora and Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), a tenderhearted farmer naive in the realities of war, journey to different worlds in search of the Bloodaxes, and assemble a small band of warriors who share a common need for redemption along the way: Kai (Charlie Hunnam), a pilot and gun for hire; General Titus (Djimon Hounsou), a legendary commander; Nemesis (Doona Bae), a master swordswoman; Tarak (Staz Nair), a captive with a regal past; and Milius (E. Duffy), a resistance fighter. Back on Veldt, Jimmy (voiced by Anthony Hopkins), an ancient mechanized protector hiding in the wings, awakens with a new purpose. But the newly formed revolutionaries must learn to trust each other and fight as one before the armies of the Motherworld come to destroy them all.
Available: December 23, 2023

Doctor Who Holiday Special: The Church on Ruby Road (Disney+)

Available: December 25, 2023

Letterkenny: Final Season (Hulu)

Studio Synopsis: Whether you’re a Hick, Skid, or Hockey Player, there’s one thing everyone can agree on — it’s never easy to say goodbye.
Available: December 26, 2023

Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare (Netflix)

Studio Synopsis: The brutal conditions of an infamous wilderness therapy camp — and the alleged abuse of the troubled teens who attended — are exposed in this gripping tell-all documentary.
Available: December 27, 2023

Pokémon Concierge (Netflix)

Studio Synopsis: Expanding the Pokémon world, the story follows Haru, a concierge at the ‘Pokémon Resort,’ and her interactions with Pokémon and their owners who visit as guests.Available: December 28, 2023

Oprah and The Color Purple Journey (Max)

Studio Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look into the making of the upcoming feature film “The Color Purple,” a bold new take on the classic, and the impact the story has had on our culture. Oprah Winfrey takes viewers inside the four-decade phenomenon, exploring the importance of the novel, films and musical, and the ever-evolving conversation around this seminal work.
Available: December 28, 2023

Time Bomb Y2K (Max)

Studio Synopsis: Crafted entirely through archival footage, TIME BOMB Y2K (12/30) is a prescient and often humorous tale about the power and vulnerabilities of technology. By re-appraising both the cooperative efforts and mass hysteria surrounding this millennial milestone, this film explores how modern life has been dramatically transformed by the digital revolution.
Available: Dece,ber 31, 2023

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