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The 12 Best Things Coming to Netflix in December

The streamer rolls out some must-see Oscar-bait films — plus the final episodes of ‘The Crown’

spinner image The three iterations of Queen Elizabeth II on the Netflix series "The Crown."
(Left to right) Imelda Staunton, Olivia Colman and Claire Foy each as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Crown."

’Tis the season for prestige streamers like Netflix to unwrap the precious projects they’re hoping the Academy will bless with Oscar love. This year that includes a Leonard Bernstein biopic starring (and directed by) Bradley Cooper, a tabloid-worthy drama featuring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, and an otherworldly drama with Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali possibly facing down the end of the world. Plus, Queen Elizabeth II returns for the final six episodes of that long-standing Emmy darling The Crown. Mark your calendar with these top 12 picks now!

Coming Dec. 1

May December (R)

Director Todd Haynes’ unsettling new drama has earned raves — and Oscar buzz — since premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last spring. Natalie Portman plays an actress who preps for a splashy new role by embedding herself with the real-life tabloid subject: a teacher (Julianne Moore, 62) who, at age 36, seduced a seventh-grade boy who’s now all grown up and her husband (played by Riverdale alum Charles Melton).

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Coming Dec. 7

Analog Squad, Season 1

This Thai series, set in pre-internet 1999, centers on a middle-aged man who tries to make good with his estranged and dying father. He recruits his ex-girlfriend and two younger wannabe actors to pose as his wife and children — but the makeshift insta-family quickly discovers that there are consequences to any act of deception.

The Archies (G)

Imagine a Bollywood version of Riverdale, with Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead from the classic American comics all transported to 1960s India to lead the fight against developers (led by Veronica’s ultrarich dad) who want to destroy the teens’ beloved Green Park.

Coming Dec. 8

Leave the World Behind (R)

Sam Esmail, best known for creating Mr. Robot, directed and co-adapted the unsettling bestseller about a family of four (led by Julia Roberts, 56, and Ethan Hawke, 53) who rent a ritzy vacation home on Long Island — only to be interrupted by a man and his daughter (Mahershala Ali and Myha’la) who turn up, claiming the house is really theirs and that a cyberattack has forced them to seek shelter in a familiar place. Prepare to be unnerved in all the right ways.

Coming Dec. 12

Kevin Hart & Chris Rock: Headliners Only

In the summer of 2022, Kevin Hart and Chris Rock, 58, teamed up to co-headline a handful of stand-up gigs at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. This doc follows the two comedy megastars as they prep for the shows and recount their rise to the top.



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Under Pressure: The U.S. Women's World Cup Team

Remember that Wide World of Sports intro that talked about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? This four-part doc series delves into a lot of the latter as it follows the U.S. women’s soccer team preparing to attempt a three-peat at last summer’s World Cup — only to be unceremoniously eliminated in the round of 16.

Coming Dec. 14

The Crown, Season 6, Part 2

The award-winning series wraps up just one year after the real-life death of Queen Elizabeth. No word on whether the show will depict the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, now played by Imelda Staunton, 67, but creator Peter Morgan, 60, has suggested that the turbulent romance of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is too recent to be included.

Coming Dec. 15

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (PG)

It’s been 23 years since a stop-motion animated chicken named Rocky led a daring escape from the evil Tweedy farm. Now the gang is back — with Rocky voiced by Zachary Levi instead of Mel Gibson — and trying to break into a well-guarded plant that’s plucked up the area’s fowl and turned them into nuggets. This new film comes from DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations, home of Wallace and Gromit.

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Familia (Unrated)

In director Rodrigo García’s new film, the patriarch of an olive ranch in Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley gathers his three fractious grown daughters to share the news that a big conglomerate has offered to buy the place where they all grew up. Nerves will be frayed, voices will be raised and tears will flow as freely as bottles of extra-virgin olive oil.

Coming Dec. 20

Maestro (R)

Netflix has placed a lot of its Oscar hopes on cowriter-director-star Bradley Cooper’s new movie, a biopic of the late-20th-century composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. The film focuses on his complicated relationship with his wife (played by Carey Mulligan), who endured not only his burgeoning egotism but his many dalliances outside of his marriage.

Coming Dec. 22

Rebel Moon: Part I: A Child of Fire (PG-13)

Writer-director Zack Snyder leaps from the DC Comics universe to a brand-new sci-fi fantasy world that Netflix envisions as its shot at a lucrative big-budget franchise that will involve series and video games. The trailer promises a mash-up of familiar genre elements — spaceships, quick-cut fight scenes, dragonlike creatures, even light sabers — and a complicated plot about a warrior woman (Sofia Boutella) who recruits a ragtag band of mercenary outsiders to protect a planet of peaceful farmers who have run afoul of the galaxy’s local evil tyrant.

Coming Dec. 29

Berlin, Season 1

Fans of the hit Spanish-language thriller series Money Heist can celebrate the return of the master criminal dubbed Berlin (Pedro Alonso, 52), who oversaw an epic theft at the Royal Mint of Spain over the course of five seasons. In this prequel series, we see Berlin in his prime as he gathers a disparate band of specialists (a cybersecurity expert, a locksmith, a gadget guy) to disappear $44 million worth of jewels from a Paris auction house.

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