10 must-see movies arriving on Netflix in December 2023

Mario and Peach talk as they walk in The Super Mario Bros. Movie
(Image credit: Universal Pictures/Nintendo)

December is a time for friends, family and cuddling up in front of the TV. So thankfully a boatload of new movies are arriving on Netflix just in time for season of streaming. 

We've chosen 10 must-see movies that are arriving on Netflix during December that will surely keep you entertained over the month. Everything from psychological thrillers to raunchy comedies to the biggest animation blockbuster of 2023 (wahoo!) is heading to the streaming service – as well as three major Netflix originals in the form of May December, Rebel Moon and Maestro, all of which look like strong contenders for our list of the best Netflix movies.

That makes for plenty of picks to choose from to end the year in style, with some of the biggest names in Hollywood involved, including Bradley Cooper, John Cena, Natalie Portman, Russell Crowe, Anya Taylor-Joy and even a bit of Danny DeVito thrown in there for good measure. So let's jump into the movies you shouldn't miss on Netflix for December 2023.

Black Swan

Netflix streaming date: December 1st

Darren Aronofsky can be a hit-or-miss director, but he struck gold with 2010's psychological horror thriller Black Swan. Natalie Portman earned an Oscar for the role of Nina Sayers, a young dancer with the New York City Ballet who pushes herself to the brink to reach stardom… only to find herself tumbling over it. Trippy, entertaining and darkly melodramatic, this is gripping.

LA Confidential

Netflix streaming date: December 1st

Based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same name, LA Confidential is a fantastic noir crime drama that is packed with stars on their A-game: Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito (see we didn't lie) and a fierce Kim Basinger. Following the LA police department in 1953, three officers investigate a series of murders that reveal widespread corruption in law enforcement and Hollywood. While Titanic claimed the majority of Oscars that year, LA Confidential did manage to slip past the iceberg briefly to earn Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Basinger. 


Netflix streaming date: December 1st

Sometimes you just need something breezy and fun, and that's exactly what Blockers is. John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz play three overprotective parents who chase after their three high-school daughters who made a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. It smartly turns the raunchy teen comedy on its head, turning adults into fools driven by their impulses, while the teens are just trying to have a nice time.

May December

Netflix streaming date: December 1st

Natalie Portman fans are being treated well this month. Following on from the excellent Dark Waters, director Todd Haynes turns his attention to the ’90s tabloid scandal surrounding Mary Kay Letourneau in May December. Loosely based on the school teacher's romance with a minor, the story picks up 20 years later as an actress visits to profile the couple about their past, only for their marriage to quickly feel the strain.

Boyz n the Hood

Netflix streaming date: December 1st

A coming-of-age drama that propelled the likes of Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding Jr. to stardom, and made director John Singleton the youngest Oscar nominee director ever – a record that still stands. Essentially, Boyz in the Hood follows the lives of three young men as they all navigate relationships with friends, family and the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles. 32 years on, it continues to resonate for its powerful exploration of characters trying to navigate their limited economic opportunities, the gang violence around them, and the general difficulties for adolescents growing up in harsh environments.  


Netflix streaming date: December 1st

How about something to watch from behind a pillow? James Wan hit it big with 2010's supernatural horror Insidious, which to date has spawned two sequels and two prequels all to varying levels of success. Forget them for the minute, though, and check out the first entry that sees two parents (played by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) search for help as their son falls into a coma after a mysterious incident in the attic. It's a great dose of horror.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Netflix streaming date: December 3rd

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a love letter to the Nintendo games, erasing the nightmare fuel of the dystopian ’90s movie for good. Mixing in classic Mario music from legendary composer Koji Kondo only helps to make its poppy visuals sing further. That and Jack Black's "Peaches" ballad. It's a fun, light soufflé of a movie.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Netflix streaming date: December 15th

It's been a long time coming! 23 years in fact! But Mrs. Tweedy is back to wreak havoc on outspoken poultry in the highly anticipated sequel to the much beloved Chicken Run. With a mix of original and new cast member, but the same cracking animation team working behind the scenes, Dawn of the Nugget could be the perfect Christmas family movie. Will it live up to the original? We can only hope. 


Directed by Bradley Cooper, co-written by him and Spotlight's writer Josh Singer, and starring him as the composer Leonard Bernstein, Maestro is about the 30 year love affair between Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre (played by Cary Mulligan). Expect swelling and touching romance and character moments, but what we're looking forward to most here is the cinematography, which pays deep homage to classic Hollywood filmmaking, and looks unlike anything else you'll see this year.

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire

Zack Snyder's new epic for Netflix gets the first of two parts late in the month, and it looks like a successor to the dark fantasy movies of the ’80s mixed with glittering modern sci-fi movie-making. And of course, lots of Snyder's particular mix of kinetic action and lush high-contrast visuals. Interestingly, it'll have two versions – family-friendly one and an R-rated version that Snyder says will deliver "weirdo darkness" – and we're fully on board with that.

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Matt Poskitt

Matt is a full-time freelance journalist who specializes in arts, culture and tech – be that movies, TV, video games, or otherwise. He's also turned his hand to everything from mattresses to motorbikes as a journalist. Prior to this, Matt headed up the games and entertainment section at T3.com, alongside being published across TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64.