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When it comes to entertainment, the holiday season means an endless procession of specials and familiar movies. But for all the holiday favorites, there’s no shortage of new streaming releases to catch this December. Theaters, meantime, are also filled with prestigious movies. Here are some of this month’s most promising offerings, from Eileen, starring Anne Hathaway, to Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet. (Plus: Check out our favorite movies of 2023.)

What to Watch: December 2023

Eileen (Theaters, Dec. 1)

Thomasin McKenzie stars as Eileen, an outcast prison worker in 1960s Boston, whose life takes an unexpected turn when she’s befriended by Rebecca (Anne Hathaway), a brash, glamorous, newly hired psychiatrist. Then it takes several more turns that are best left unspoiled in William Oldroyd’s (Lady Macbeth) stylish and nasty adaptation of Ottessa Moshfegh’s dark 2015 novel. Get Tickets on Fandango

May December (Netflix, Dec. 1)

The latest from Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Carol) depicts the volatile bond formed when an actress (Natalie Portman) decides to prepare for her role as an older woman who seduces a young teenager by spending time with the real-life couple whose relationship became a tabloid fixture over a decade earlier (played by Julianne Moore and Riverdale’s Charles Melton, in what ought to be a breakout performance). Stream it on Netflix

Doctor Who: Wild Blue Yonder (Disney+, Dec. 2)

It’s the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, which is commemorating the event with a series of four specials that will culminate with the premiere of the 15th Doctor on Christmas. But before that we get three specials featuring the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant), who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Tenth Doctor. The first, The Star Beast, premiered on Nov. 25. This one will be followed by The Giggle (Dec. 9) then The Church on Ruby Road, the first episode starring Ncuti Gatwa. Stream it on Disney+

The Boy and the Heron (Theaters, Dec. 8)

Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement after The Wind Rises in 2013, but it didn’t stick. The 82-year-old animation legend’s latest is a typically wondrous, strange, and disturbing story that draws heavily from Miyazaki’s life and career. Get Tickets on Fandango

Origin (Theaters, Dec. 8)

Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed 2020 nonfiction bestseller exploring racism as an extension of the caste system serves as the inspiration for this new film by Ava Duvernay. Aunjanue Ellis plays Wilkerson, who embarks on writing the book after experiencing a personal loss. Get Tickets on Fandango

Mr. Monk’s Last Case (Peacock, Dec. 8)

After a 14-year-break, Tony Shalhoub returns to the role of Adrian Monk, the obsessive compulsive and deeply phobic detective, now navigating a world filled with COVID and other new threats. Also returning: Traylor Howard, Melora Hardin, and other members of the original cast. Stream it on Peacock

Wonka (Theaters, Dec. 15)

The whimsical chocolatier of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gets a musical origin story in this prequel directed by Paddington’s Paul King. Timothée Chalamet plays the young Wonka whose helpers include a girl named Noodle (Calah Lane) and an Oompa-Loompa named Lofty (Hugh Grant). Get Tickets on Fandango

American Fiction (Theaters, Dec. 15)

Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) is an author of tremendous talent and considerable renown whose books don’t sell. As his family faces a pile-up of crises, he watches in frustration as a bestseller he feels panders to what white readers want from Black literature climbs the charts. So he writes a vicious parody that gets taken seriously in this feature debut from writer director Cord Jefferson (known for his writing work on Succession, Station Eleven, and other series). One of the best movies of 2023, American Fiction adapts the book by Percival Everett. Get Tickets on Fandango

The Zone of Interest (Theaters, Dec. 15)

Loosely adapted from the Martin Amis novel of the same name, the latest form Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin, Sexy Beast) focuses on the home life of Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), an SS officer who lives in a luxurious home neighboring the Auschwitz concentration camp. Rolling Stone named it the second best movie of the year. Get Tickets on Fandango

Archer: Into the Cold (Hulu, Dec. 18)

The absurd animated adventures of superspy Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) comes to a close after 14 seasons with this three-part miniseries that picks up where the fourteenth season finale left off.

All of Us Strangers (Theaters, Dec. 22)

Andrew Haigh’s follow-up to Lean on Pete, All of Us Strangers is a heartbreaker starring Andrew Scott as Adam, a screenwriter living in a nearly abandoned London high-rise who falls for Harry (Paul Mescal), a fellow resident. Meanwhile, Adam’s work takes him back to the home he lived in until losing his parents (Jamie Bell, Claire Foy) at the age of 12 — where he finds them somehow still alive, unaged, and happy to see him. Get Tickets on Fandango

The Iron Claw (Theaters, Dec. 22)

Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson play members of the Von Erich family, known to wrestling fans for both their accomplishments inside the ring and their tragedies outside of it. Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) directs. Get Tickets on Fandango

The Color Purple (Theaters, Dec. 25)

Alice Walker’s beloved 1982 novel about the travails of a young Black woman in an early 20th century was previously adapted into a 1985 film by Steven Spielberg, before subsequently becoming an acclaimed musical. This new film now brings that musical to the screen, with Fantasia Barrino and Taraji P. Henson as the leads. Get Tickets on Fandango

Ferrari (Theaters, Dec. 25)

In the wake of personal tragedy and financial uncertainty Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) stakes it all on a single race in this new biopic from Michael Mann. It’s the first film from Mann since Blackhat in 2015 and the subject of intense men obsessed with their jobs combined with fast vehicles should play directly into his talents. Get Tickets on Fandango

Trending

The Teachers’ Lounge (Theaters, Dec. 25)

An idealistic teacher (Leonie Beseech) finds herself in the center of a cascading controversy when she tries to get to the bottom of some unexplained thefts. The latest from German director İlker Çatak is an intense dark comedy that observes as some uncomfortable political currents play out in the midst of a seemingly peaceful school. Get Tickets on Fandango


If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.

When it comes to entertainment, the holiday season means an endless procession of specials and familiar movies. But for all the holiday favorites, there’s no shortage of new streaming releases to catch this December. Theaters, meantime, are also filled with prestigious movies. Here are some of this month’s most promising offerings, from Eileen, starring Anne Hathaway, to Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet. (Plus: Check out our favorite movies of 2023.)

What to Watch: December 2023

Eileen (Theaters, Dec. 1)

Thomasin McKenzie stars as Eileen, an outcast prison worker in 1960s Boston, whose life takes an unexpected turn when she’s befriended by Rebecca (Anne Hathaway), a brash, glamorous, newly hired psychiatrist. Then it takes several more turns that are best left unspoiled in William Oldroyd’s (Lady Macbeth) stylish and nasty adaptation of Ottessa Moshfegh’s dark 2015 novel. Get Tickets on Fandango

May December (Netflix, Dec. 1)

The latest from Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Carol) depicts the volatile bond formed when an actress (Natalie Portman) decides to prepare for her role as an older woman who seduces a young teenager by spending time with the real-life couple whose relationship became a tabloid fixture over a decade earlier (played by Julianne Moore and Riverdale’s Charles Melton, in what ought to be a breakout performance). Stream it on Netflix

Doctor Who: Wild Blue Yonder (Disney+, Dec. 2)

It’s the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, which is commemorating the event with a series of four specials that will culminate with the premiere of the 15th Doctor on Christmas. But before that we get three specials featuring the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant), who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Tenth Doctor. The first, The Star Beast, premiered on Nov. 25. This one will be followed by The Giggle (Dec. 9) then The Church on Ruby Road, the first episode starring Ncuti Gatwa. Stream it on Disney+

The Boy and the Heron (Theaters, Dec. 8)

Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement after The Wind Rises in 2013, but it didn’t stick. The 82-year-old animation legend’s latest is a typically wondrous, strange, and disturbing story that draws heavily from Miyazaki’s life and career. Get Tickets on Fandango

Origin (Theaters, Dec. 8)

Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed 2020 nonfiction bestseller exploring racism as an extension of the caste system serves as the inspiration for this new film by Ava Duvernay. Aunjanue Ellis plays Wilkerson, who embarks on writing the book after experiencing a personal loss. Get Tickets on Fandango

Mr. Monk’s Last Case (Peacock, Dec. 8)

After a 14-year-break, Tony Shalhoub returns to the role of Adrian Monk, the obsessive compulsive and deeply phobic detective, now navigating a world filled with COVID and other new threats. Also returning: Traylor Howard, Melora Hardin, and other members of the original cast. Stream it on Peacock

Wonka (Theaters, Dec. 15)

The whimsical chocolatier of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gets a musical origin story in this prequel directed by Paddington’s Paul King. Timothée Chalamet plays the young Wonka whose helpers include a girl named Noodle (Calah Lane) and an Oompa-Loompa named Lofty (Hugh Grant). Get Tickets on Fandango

American Fiction (Theaters, Dec. 15)

Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) is an author of tremendous talent and considerable renown whose books don’t sell. As his family faces a pile-up of crises, he watches in frustration as a bestseller he feels panders to what white readers want from Black literature climbs the charts. So he writes a vicious parody that gets taken seriously in this feature debut from writer director Cord Jefferson (known for his writing work on Succession, Station Eleven, and other series). One of the best movies of 2023, American Fiction adapts the book by Percival Everett. Get Tickets on Fandango

The Zone of Interest (Theaters, Dec. 15)

Loosely adapted from the Martin Amis novel of the same name, the latest form Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin, Sexy Beast) focuses on the home life of Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), an SS officer who lives in a luxurious home neighboring the Auschwitz concentration camp. Rolling Stone named it the second best movie of the year. Get Tickets on Fandango

Archer: Into the Cold (Hulu, Dec. 18)

The absurd animated adventures of superspy Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) comes to a close after 14 seasons with this three-part miniseries that picks up where the fourteenth season finale left off.

All of Us Strangers (Theaters, Dec. 22)

Andrew Haigh’s follow-up to Lean on Pete, All of Us Strangers is a heartbreaker starring Andrew Scott as Adam, a screenwriter living in a nearly abandoned London high-rise who falls for Harry (Paul Mescal), a fellow resident. Meanwhile, Adam’s work takes him back to the home he lived in until losing his parents (Jamie Bell, Claire Foy) at the age of 12 — where he finds them somehow still alive, unaged, and happy to see him. Get Tickets on Fandango

The Iron Claw (Theaters, Dec. 22)

Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson play members of the Von Erich family, known to wrestling fans for both their accomplishments inside the ring and their tragedies outside of it. Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) directs. Get Tickets on Fandango

The Color Purple (Theaters, Dec. 25)

Alice Walker’s beloved 1982 novel about the travails of a young Black woman in an early 20th century was previously adapted into a 1985 film by Steven Spielberg, before subsequently becoming an acclaimed musical. This new film now brings that musical to the screen, with Fantasia Barrino and Taraji P. Henson as the leads. Get Tickets on Fandango

Ferrari (Theaters, Dec. 25)

In the wake of personal tragedy and financial uncertainty Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) stakes it all on a single race in this new biopic from Michael Mann. It’s the first film from Mann since Blackhat in 2015 and the subject of intense men obsessed with their jobs combined with fast vehicles should play directly into his talents. Get Tickets on Fandango

Trending

The Teachers’ Lounge (Theaters, Dec. 25)

An idealistic teacher (Leonie Beseech) finds herself in the center of a cascading controversy when she tries to get to the bottom of some unexplained thefts. The latest from German director İlker Çatak is an intense dark comedy that observes as some uncomfortable political currents play out in the midst of a seemingly peaceful school. Get Tickets on Fandango

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