7 new movies and TV shows to stream on Netflix, Prime Video, Max, and more this weekend (December 15)

Still from Barbie
Barbie is now streaming on Max (Image credit: Warner Bros. / Max)

It’s the final weekend before Christmas (yay!), but if you’re not ready to crack open the eggnog just yet, streamers are continuing to offer a healthy slate of decidedly non-festive content in the run-up to the big day.

Leading the charge this week is Barbie on Max, Greta Gerwig’s industry-shaking fantasy comedy, and Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, a long-awaited Netflix sequel to Aardman’s 2000 stop-motion classic. Netflix subscribers can also enjoy the second half of The Crown’s sixth and final season, while Reacher season 2 begins streaming on Prime Video.

Below, you’ll find our pick of the biggest new movies and TV shows to stream on Netflix, Prime Video, Max, and more this weekend.

Barbie (Max)

This is not a drill: Barbie – the highest-grossing movie of 2023 and the most successful Warner Bros. movie of all time – is now streaming on Max. 

If you somehow managed to miss the wall-to-wall coverage of Greta Gerwig's subversive satire over summer, this star-studded picture centers on an inquisitive Barbie doll (played by Margot Robbie) whose colorful and seemingly perfect existence is called into question following a trip to the (decidedly less perfect) real world. Ryan Gosling stars alongside Robbie as Ken, with Will Ferrell, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Emma Mackey and many, many more A-listers among the film's supporting cast.

Suffice to say, this is a big deal for Max subscribers, whose library of best Max movies just got an envy-inducing upgrade. If you're in the UK viewers, you'll have to wait a little longer to stream Barbie from the comfort of your own Mojo Dojo Casa House, but we'd expect to see the movie added to Sky Cinema soon.

Now available to stream on Max.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (Netflix)

It’s been almost 24 years since the Chicken Run gang broke out of Tweedy’s farm, and now – thanks to Netflix – we get to see what happened next.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget picks up some years after the events of Aardman's 2000 classic, with Ginger, Rocky, Babs et al. living a peaceful existence beyond the wire fence. But when a familiar threat emerges, the chickens must rally together (again) to protect their newfound quietude.

Returning voice cast members include Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton and Lynn Ferguson, with Thandiwe Newton, Bella Ramsey, Zachary Levi and Nick Mohammed among the newcomers. Critics have described this long-awaited sequel as “faster, zanier and more ambitious” than the original, so it sounds like a shoo-in for a spot on our best Netflix movies list.

Now available to stream on Netflix.

Reacher season 2 (Prime Video)

Lee Child’s creatine-filled action hero, Jack Reacher, returns for more face-mashing action on Prime Video this weekend.

Adapted from the author’s 11th Jack Reacher novel, Bad Luck and Trouble, Reacher season 2 sees the series’ titular vigilante pulled back into the fray when a member of his former army unit is murdered. Not content to take the facts at face value, Reacher embarks on a no-holds-barred mission to uncover the truth.

Critics have described Reacher’s sophomore season as “uncool, old-fashioned, and really entertaining,” and in our own Jack Reacher season 2 review, we hailed the series as one of the best Prime Video shows of 2023. The first three (of eight) episodes are available to stream now. 

[Editor's Note: I am so excited to the very large man reluctantly dismantle idiots in bars who inexplicably think they can lay single finger on him.]

Now available to stream on Prime Video.

The Crown season 6 (Netflix)

The Crown season 6 – and indeed The Crown, period – concludes on Netflix this weekend with its final four episodes.

These last entries in the long-running royal drama continue to chronicle the lengthy fallout from Princess Diana’s untimely death in 1997. Elizabeth Debicki, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton reprise their roles as Diana, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, respectively, while newcomers for season 6 part 2 include Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as Prince William.

The critical reception to The Crown season 6 has been decidedly mixed, with some reviewers describing it as “wistful” and “restrained”, and others calling it “ill-judged” and “predictable.” Still, existing series fans will likely find plenty of familiar royal drama to enjoy here.

Now available to stream on Netflix.

The Family Plan (Apple TV Plus)

Mark Wahlberg returns to classic-Mark-Wahlberg-character action this weekend in The Family Plan on Apple TV Plus.

Directed by HBO veteran Simon Cellan Jones, this new action comedy centers on an elite government assassin-turned-family man forced to take his wife, teen daughter, teen son, and 10-month-old baby on an impromptu cross-country road trip when enemies from his past track him down.

Michelle Monaghan and Ciarán Hinds also star in The Family Plan, whose poor critical reception means it probably won’t feature on our list of the best Apple TV movies of 2023.

Now available to stream on Apple TV Plus.

Carol & The End of the World (Netflix)

Netflix’s new adult animated comedy series, Carol & The End of the World, is now available to stream in its entirety. 

Created by former Community writer Dan Guterman, this 10-episode series – set in a world where Earth is about to be obliterated by another planet – centers on the life of a quiet, uncomfortable woman who struggles to reckon with humanity’s imminent extinction.

Martha Kelly heads up the show’s voice cast, which also includes Bridget Everett, Michael Chernus, Beth Grant, Mel Rodriguez, and guest stars Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Stephen Colbert and Tim Heidecker.

Now available to stream on Netflix.

Yu Yu Hakusho (Netflix)

Netflix has a real thing for anime at the minute, and the streamer’s latest manga-inspired offering is Yu Yu Hakusho, which begins streaming this weekend.

Five years in the making and based on the popular anime series of the same name, this live-action re-telling centers on Yusuke Urameshi, a young man who – having died saving a little boy – is sent back to Earth as a demon-fighting detective of the spirit world.

Critics have described Yu Yu Hakusho as “a rare tonal mishmash that works,” so anime fans old and new should find plenty to enjoy here.

Now available to stream on Netflix.

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Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.