Batman Christmas, new Netflix movies and everything else new to watch

Welcome to the busiest movie season of the year, when the movies in theaters are actually worth the trip to see, and all that’s going on with VOD and streaming is… the movies that came out a few months ago that are also worth seeing. Ack!

Work at your own pace. But yes, this weekend at home has everything from Leave the world behindnew Netflix movie from the creator of Mr. Robotto the animated Batman Christmas special and Martin Scorsese’s latest three-hour epic, Killers of the Flower Moonwhich is beginning to be leased before eventually landing on Apple at an unspecified date in 2024.

Or you and the family can just watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie again – it’s now on Netflix. But if you need alternatives, there are many, many more. Let’s dig in.

New on Netflix

Leave the world behind

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Photo: Jojo Whilden/Netflix

genre: A psychological thriller
Execution time: 2 hours 21 minutes
director: Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot)
Starring: Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke

Adapted from Ruman Alam’s 2020 novel, Sam Esmail’s directorial debut is an Airbnb story from hell. Midway through their Long Island vacation, a Manhattan couple hears a knock on the door. These are the owners of their rented home who are saving themselves from the apocalypse. What follows promises to be a smart, prickly thriller that may not quite work, but gives its star-studded cast plenty to chew on. From our review:

Racial, sexual, generational, and class fault lines are drawn but then quickly erased, almost in embarrassment, as the characters reflexively sink into a shared worldview they can’t seem to let go of […but the] at least the movie has a brilliant cast. Hawke embodies the befuddled nonchalance of progressive intellectuals, Ali has the flash and confidence that comes with money, and Roberts, as a secretly insecure wrestler caught between these two worlds, flashes a fragile courage.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Image: Nintendo, Illumination/Universal Pictures

genre: An animated adventure
Execution time: 1 hour 32 minutes
director: Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenich (Teen Titans Go! At the cinema)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black

While the combined power of Barbie and Oppenheimer could overshadow Nintendo’s foray into the animated film, let’s not forget that Mario made a mega impact earlier this year at the global box office, gave its parent company the confidence to announce a live-action Zelda movie, and could very easily have been nominated for an Oscar in 2024. The Mario movie is, if not good, important — and now it’s streaming on Netflix, ready for kids and their nostalgic parents to watch countless times.

New on Hulu

The mission

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

genre: Documentary
Execution time: 1 hour 44 minutes
Directors: Amanda McBain and Jesse Moss (Country for boys)

Named one of the best documentaries of 2023. The mission describes the repeated attempts of John Allen Chow, an American missionary, to bring Christianity to the indigenous people of remote North Sentinel Island. The law prohibited outsiders from setting foot on the island, but that did not stop Chau, who was eventually killed by arrows during his last attempt to sail ashore. From documentarians Amanda McBain and Jesse Moss (who previously directed the searing political doc Country for boys), the National Geographic film promises to stir the blood and ask some big questions as it unravels Chau’s life.

New to Prime Video

Jolly little Batman

Where to watch: Available for streaming on Prime Video

Image: Prime Video

genre: Animated comedy
Execution time: 1 hour 36 minutes
director: Mike Roth (Regular show)
Starring: Luke Wilson, Jonas Kibreab, James Cromwell, David Hornsby

You think you know the story: Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin lays an egg, the Batmobile loses a wheel, and the Joker gets away. But the first Batman Christmas cartoon presents a whole new perspective. When Bruce Wayne’s son Damian stays alone at home On Christmas Eve, Gotham’s supervillains come out to play, and a new hero of the holiday season must emerge. David Hornsby of It’s always sunny like the joker? How could that be anything less than good?

Your Christmas or Mine 2

Where to watch: Available for streaming on Prime Video

Photo: Colin Hutton/Prime Video

genre: A romantic comedy
Execution time: 1 hour 34 minutes
director: Jim O’Hanlon (Your Christmas or mine?)
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Cora Kirk, Alex Jennings, Jane Krakowski

Oh, new couple James (Asa Butterfield) and Hayley (Cora Kirke) were hoping to meet their families during the Christmas break in the Alps, but someone messed up the accommodation arrangements! Now, James’ wealthy family is staying in a “country” cabin, and Hayley’s penny-pinching father has holed up in a five-star hotel! Oops!

New to Paramount Plus

It shows

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus

Photo: Alison Riggs/A24

genre: Comedy
Execution time: 1 hour 48 minutes
director: Kelly Reichardt (First cow)
Starring: Michelle Williams, Hong Chow, John Magaro

Drama or comedy, director Kelly Reichardt never fails to aim for the intimate. Which means she may never make a movie that generates enough buzz for the Oscars or the big top 10 lists. But this comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with her work: It shows, which reunites her with regular collaborator Michelle Williams, delves deep into the heart of the artist’s art and life, proving that Reichardt is in a league of her own. From our recent list of the top 50 movies of 2023 where It shows ranks 10th:

Reichardt’s genius is making the audience giggle at the artists, but never at the art. For example, it is funny to think that an artist devoted a year of her life to knitting a jumpsuit. Except then, in It shows, you see the outfit and it’s beautiful — a deliberate subversion of the accent. A teacher smugly expresses an opinion about ceramics, but each piece he holds is crafted with such love that it confidently speaks for itself.

This decision (rib artists, celebration of art) sets the tone. We humans are a fiction, a bunch of contradictory masks we put on to fit the situation and the crowd. But our creations – when we engage in a craft, no matter what medium it may be – are an expression of our most vulnerable selves.

New to Shudder

The victim game

Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder and AMC Plus

Image: Shivering

genre: Horror
Execution time: 1h 30m
director: Jen Wexler (The Ranger)
Starring: Mena Massoud, Olivia Scott Welch, Gus Kenworthy, Madison Baines

After premiering at the geek-approved Fantastic Fest earlier this year, Jen Wexler’s latest horror collaboration landed on Shudder just in time for the holidays. Our editor, Tasha Robinson, caught this at the festival, so I’ll take the floor. Here’s her micro-recording (watch out for more on this soon):

Jen Wexler’s Christmas Horror Movie The victim game takes most of its runtime to reveal what it’s really about, and that reveal is terrible. But the wait to get there is never boring: along the way there’s a “sad Christmas with boarding school dropouts” story that fits perfectly into The inhibitionsand a “dangerous cultists on the road” story that fits equally well with a Quentin Tarantino story Once upon a time in Hollywood. It’s no surprise that these two stories collide, it’s just a surprise how and why they collide.

New for rent

Killers of the Flower Moon

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple and Vudu

Image: Apple

genre: Drama
Execution time: 3 hours 26 minutes
director: Martin Scorsese (Taxi driver)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons

Some call it Martin Scorsese’s magnum opus. Others wonder if adapting David Grann’s acclaimed non-fiction book is an impossible task, even for a legend. But everyone seems to agree: you need to find a lot of time and watch Killers of the Flower Moon, one of the most ambitious dramatic endeavors of the year. And Scorsese threw himself into it. From our review:

As Scorsese moves deeper into his Old Masters phase, it feels like his patience is wearing thin with the Catholic agonies and fire-and-brimstone movies he’s known for. Killers of the Flower Moon is mostly simple, sad and wise. At the very end, Scorsese makes a personal intervention on behalf of what really matters in this story. It’s a touching gesture from an artist who knows he only has time to say so much more and who can clearly see what needs to be said.

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