We've all been there: staring at the screen as we try to decide among hundreds of movie titles on what to watch on Netflix, Prime Video, Paramount Plus, Peacock, Max.com or any of the other popular streaming services. It can be daunting, which is why it's always nice to have a little help from someone else. So allow me to humbly offer my services in suggesting movies to stream in December.
What else is on streaming
While there are plenty of new movies to watch in movie theaters this month, December's slate of streaming offerings includes both new and classic movies for viewers to enjoy.
Here are my personal recommendations for movies launching on streaming services this month that you should watch, in alphabetical order for ease of reference:
1. American Hustle (Paramount Plus)
While 2010's The Fighter and 2012's Silver Linings Playbook are a little less divisive, American Hustle capped off a fantastic three-movie roll by director David O. Russell. Featuring an incredible ensemble of Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro and Michael Pena, this movie is big, boisterous and hilarious as it fictionalizes the ABSCAM scandal of the 1970s. If not for my Philadelphia roots furthering my love for Silver Linings Playbooks, I could very well make the argument that American Hustle is the best of these three Russell movies.
2. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Peacock)
Just in time for Christmas, Jim Carrey's live-action version of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas arrives on Peacock (December 20, to be exact). Carrey is wild as the Grinch, who tries to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville, helping to make this an enjoyable Christmas movie for both kids and adults. If you're more of a traditionalist though, the original animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas is also streaming on Peacock (and airing on TV), as is the 2018 animated remake The Grinch.
3. The Hunt for Red October (Max)
Long before Prime Video's Jack Ryan series, Tom Clancy's hero CIA agent first popped up on the big screen here in The Hunt for Red October, with Alec Baldwin playing him. However, this movie belongs to Sean Connery, who plays a Soviet submarine captain (though he opts for his Scottish accent over trying a Russian one) who steers his boat toward the direction of the US, but for what purpose? It's a good old-fashioned spy thriller that remains highly rewatchable. FYI, if you prefer Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan movies, Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games are both new on Max in December.
4. Hustlers (Hulu)
Hustlers was one of the surprise hits of 2019, adapting a viral story from New York Magazine about how a group of strip club employees stole from their Wall Street clients. The Lorene Scafaria-directed movie features an incredible ensemble that includes Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Lizzo and a never-better Jennifer Lopez (the Oscar buzz she got for this movie was real and deserved, though ultimately fell short). Part comedy, part crime drama, Hustlers entertains in various ways.
5. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Disney Plus)
I think we can all agree that nothing tops the original Indiana Jones trilogy, but with Harrison Ford's final adventures as Indy now available for streaming, diehard fans of the franchise should definitely give it a shot. The movie is not without its faults, but like our Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny review says, it offers an emotional farewell to the character we all have come to know and love, in addition to a fun performance from Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
6. Maestro (Netflix)
Some audiences are going to be able to watch Maestro before it lands on Netflix, but it won't be as widely available as most other major movies (that's just how Netflix rolls). So, if you're excited to see Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born follow-up that depicts the life and career of legendary composer Leonard Cohen and his relationship with his wife Felicia (Carey Mulligan), you can cue it up starting December 20, before it likely racks up plenty of Oscar nominations.
7. May December (Netflix)
It's a big month for big new movies on Netflix, as in addition to Maestro, the Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore movie May December also premieres on the streamer. The movie is billed as a dark comedy from Todd Haynes, focusing on an actress (Portman) who visits a married couple with a big age gap (Julianne Moore and Charles Melton) when she is set to play the wife in a movie about their scandalous love affair that made headlines. The movie has received strong reviews and has been earning some early awards, for Melton in particular. You can watch it for yourself starting December 1.
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Hulu)
On Christmas morning, you can wake up and find a Quentin Tarantino movie under your tree. Not literally, but the director's ninth movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, lands on Hulu on Christmas Day, which is a great present for all movie fans. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie as it reimagines a few historic events that occurred in Hollywood in the late 1960s. Cherish Tarantino movies, as his next one, The Movie Critic, is rumored to be his last.