It’s comforting to know the people at Netflix knew we were going to desperately need some cold weather relief in December. Subscribers are getting some (and by “some” we actually mean “a shit ton of”) acclaimed new original content and the return of original favorites, as well as some excellent classics we all know and love. Oh, and there’s a hearty helping of holiday stuff, too, if that’s your thing.
Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket makes yet another return to Netflix in December, and we’re just as excited for it the second time around. This incredibly provocative war film, written and produced by Stanley Kubrick (but based on a novel by Gustav Hasford), tells the story of a platoon of marines during the Vietnam War, from their harrowing time in boot camp under the tutelage of a loud, violent, and abusive drill instructor named Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey), to the jungles of Vietnam. It’s a solemn and sometimes terrifying account of how war really is hell, delivered in a way that only a genius like Kubrick is capable of.
Dark Season 1
After two boys disappear in a small German town called Winden, it opens a Pandora’s Box of problems and questions between four families who live in the town. It’s dramatic, it’s thrilling, it’s impeccably suspenseful. From the look of things, it’s like a German Stranger Things, but without the freaky monsters (or so we think?). Either way, the cinematography is beautiful, and critics say the plot is dripping with tasteful drama, plot twists, and all the assorted fun we love from a good Netflix drama-action-thriller. This Netflix Original piqued our interest, and we think it’s going to be a good one.
Easy Season 2
After an excellent first season, Easy makes its return in December for what we’re sure is going to be another banger. The premise behind this comedy-drama anthology series is that it’s set in Chicago and offers a brilliantly entangled mix of vignettes about a colorful array of people going through different life problems. It’s basically a TV show about growing up, and while the writing in Season 1 was fantastic, the series really shown in its star-studded cast that includes the likes of Marc Maron, Dave Franco, Orlando Bloom, Hannibal Buress, Zazie Beetz, Kiersey Clemons, Michael Chernus, Raul Castillo, Kate Micucci, Emily Ratajkowski, and a ton of others. Expect things like dealing with the prospect of an open marriage, awkward new sexual experiences, dealing with package thieves, being parents, and getting hand jobs from masseuses. Yup; there’s a little bit of everything.
V For Vendetta
One of our favorite dystopian political thrillers of all time, V For Vendetta, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, takes place in an alternate reality where the U.K. has come under the iron grip of a totalitarian government run by neo-fascists who aim to control their people through terrifyingly aggressive media censorship and political, social, and sexual oppression. Given the current state of things—the exposés, the widespread political corruption, the propagandized media, the vagrant abuses of power, the prevalence of a compromised for-profit internet, etc.—as the plot progresses, the movie’s most terrifying details appear more and more plausible in the world in which we live. Not only is it an incredibly entertaining film, but it’s wake up call to those among us who are still asleep. Plus, you know, explosions and stuff.
El Camino Christmas
Before you start cringing, hear us out. El Camino Christmas isn’t some cheesy, lovey dovey ABC Christmas special. It’s anything but. In fact, it’s so “anything but” that the title is ironic, given the plot. El Camino Christmas stars Luke Grimes as Eric Roth, a young man on a journey to reunite with the father he never met, Larry Michael Roth (Tim Allen), but winds up getting trapped in a botched liquor store robbery, through no fault of his own, and on Christmas Eve. It’s funny and light, but it’s also suspenseful and gritty at times. The Netflix Original also stars the likes of Vincent D’Onofrio, Jessica Alba, Dax Shepard, Kurtwood Smith, and Emilio Rivera. We’re betting it’s going to kick some serious ass.
A sometime shocking look into the history of LSD and the CIA’s experimentation with it in the pre-Flower Power days, Wormwood takes viewers on a real-life ride through just how far the U.S. government was willing to go to out about the possibilities of the drug—and how far they were willing to go to cover up their mistake. As if the plot wasn’t interesting enough, Wormwood’s director, Errol Morris, is combining documentary and fiction into a surreal form of storytelling we’ve never seen before. He incorporates his telltale in-depth interviewing style into dramatic and beautiful recreations of events starring real actors (Peter Sarsgaard among them) to weave an incredibly interesting, fact-based story that’s sure to blow viewers’ minds.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
We’re as wary as anyone of sequels—especially sequels that follow incredible originals—but we’ll say as far as major studio blockbusters are concerned, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a stupendous addition to the franchise. All your favorite characters return in the sequel, including Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon. The screenplay is familiar, yet new, and even if you haven’t seen the first Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ll still be able to enjoy all the sequel has to offer.
The Crown Season 2
When Netflix released The Crown last November, a biographical series about the life and reign of the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth II, we were hooked from day one. The first season covered everything from her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, up to 1955. Season 2 is slated to cover everything from the Suez Crisis in 1956 through the retirement of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963 following the Profumo scandal. The show is beautifully shot and features some incredible period-correct fashion, tech, and automobiles, and if you’re into this kind of stuff, Netflix definitely does it justice.
Peaky Blinders Season 4
The critically acclaimed Netflix Original Peaky Blinders is also set to debut in December on the streaming giant. Season 3 ended with a huge cliffhanger, with Thomas Shelby and his gang being arrested after blowing up a train and raiding a Russian vault for expensive gemstones. As we swing into Season 4, we’re excited to see what becomes of Thomas and the Peaky Blinders gang. The Season 4 trailer looks incredible, and we also saw that Adrien Brody and Aiden Gillen (of Game of Thrones fame) have been cast as new characters, as well.
Slated to be one of Netflix’s biggest releases of 2017, Bright is set in an alternate universe where humans, orcs, fairies, and elves coexist with one another, and stars Will Smith as Ward and Joel Edgerton as Jakoby. The two are partners on the police force despite Ward being a human and Jakoby being an orc, and together, the two must battle a slew of enemies and criminals, while also coming to terms with and understanding their differences as two completely different species. It sounds a little cheesy on paper, but the trailer sold it for us. This isn’t a family fun ride, either; we lost count of how many times Smith says “fuck” in the trailer.