The best movies new to streaming in December 2023

Happy December, Polygon readers! The winter holidays are just a few weeks away, but don't worry: there are plenty of gifts in the form of movies new to streaming to enjoy in the meantime. Now that November is behind us, we've scoured the latest movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, Max, and more to bring you the best of what December has to offer.

This month, a number of DC Comics films are coming to Netflix this weekend, including those from Zack Snyder. Man of Steel Starring Henry Cavill and Matt Reeves' explosive version of Batman, starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz. Hustlersthe comedy crime drama starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, comes to Hulu this week, while the modern slasher film The Strangers: Prey by night approaches Max.

Let's dive in and see what this month has in store!

Editor's choice

The hitter

Robert Pattinson as Batman in The Batman.  Lit by a warm indoor lamp, behind him is a window covered with newspaper.  The word LIES is scrawled in a red substance on the newspaper.

Photo: Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.

Genre: Superhero action
Director: Matt Reeves
Form: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano

Creating a new incarnation of Batman is a tall order. Since the character's first appearance in 1939, the Dark Knight has become one of the most iconic characters in all of popular culture, with several feature film adaptations having their own unique take on what makes Bruce Wayne, the man under the hood, tick.

Matt Reeves' 2022 reboot, starring Robert Pattinson, shows audiences a Batman younger and angrier than they've ever seen before – a costumed vigilante just two years into his campaign as a caped crusader for justice. This shift gives Reeves the opportunity to spend more time with Batman as a crime fighter and detective, piecing together clues and keeping tabs on suspects as he tries to uncover the truth behind a conspiracy at the heart of Gotham City and a vengeful serial killer. , the Riddler, to arrest. (Paul Dano). From the film's gothic-modernist version of Gotham City to the brutality of the close-quarters battle scenes, The hitter feels like a brilliant distillation of all the qualities that have made the character an enduring pop culture icon, while carving out his own niche in the wider universe of Bat-media. We're still two years away from the highly anticipated sequel, but if it's been a while since you last saw it in theaters, The hitterThe arrival of Netflix on Netflix is ​​the perfect opportunity to rewatch it. —Toussaint Egan

New on Netflix

Man of Steel

Henry Cavill as Superman standing in front of a mural of the American flag in the background in Man of Steel.

Image: Warner Bros.

Genre: Superhero action
Director: Zack Snyder
Form: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon

Stay with me as I share my journey with this film. Like many others, I hated it when I first saw it. I found the violence and destruction excessive and thoughtless, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. With the passage of time and the completion of the trilogy of films, I have done a complete 180, and Man of Steel is now a film that I unexpectedly and unabashedly love.

This is a deeply personal film about the feeling of being alienated from the world around you and wanting to be accepted, and about the failures of our parents as they try to provide for us. (Man of Steel can also be called “Inside You There Are Two Dads: The Movie.”) All the elements that left me cold the first time around have since been carefully contextualized in the films that follow, especially in the opening scene of Batman vs. Superman.

Henry Cavill seems born to play Superman, bringing his natural charisma and good looks to the role, alongside an undercurrent of melancholy as he tries to find his way in a world that seems to have no clear place for him. Michael Shannon is menacing as Zod, as is Antje Traue as his lieutenant Faora-Ul. Featuring incredible fight scenes, a roaring score by Hans Zimmer, and thoughtful meditations on where our parents' vision of our life path differs from our own, Man of Steel deserves your reconsideration (or a repeat, if you're already in the “these rules actually” camp). Now that it's on Netflix (and with a new Superman on the way), that's doubly true. —PV

New on Hulu


(L-R) Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu standing in a nightclub in Hustlers.

Image: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Genre: Crime comedy-drama
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Form: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles

Based on an article from fellow Vox Media publication New York Magazine (hello, my colleagues), Hustlers is a colorful, suspenseful crime thriller about a group of strippers in New York City who scam wealthy clients. The film features one of the best performances from Jennifer Lopez as the group's leader and mother figure, and Constance Wu, Riverdale'S Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Lizzo and Cardi B round out the lovable group of women who are just trying to make it on their own terms. From our review when the film was first released:

If anything, the film, based on a true story, feels more like the female reboot of a franchise than the actual remakes and reboots in that vein we've gotten (Ocean 8, Ghostbusters, Men in Black: International, etc.) in the sense that it tells the kind of story usually reserved for men, with a cast full of women. Unlike those attempts, Hustlers never feels like it's just “a heist movie, but with women;” it's a full-fledged epic, made by and about women, and proves positively that female-oriented films can flourish without being based on a pre-existing male-based IP.

Lopez recently announced a new album and short film due in February, making it a great time to revisit one of her best roles. —PV

New on Max

The Strangers: Prey by night

(L-R) Bailee Madison as Kinsey gasps in fear as Pin-Up Girl (Lea Enslin) emerges from the shadows next to her in The Strangers: Prey at Night.

Image: Aviron Photos

Genre: Slasher horror
Director: John Roberts
Form: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison

Director Renny Harlin takes a page from the Fear Street playbook by helming a new trilogy of standalone sequels from 2008 The strangersall slated for release in 2024. What better opportunity to look back on the last time the series' sinister trio of masked killers last stalked the screens?

Bryan Bertino's 2008 original film was a hit: a lean, mean psychological horror film that felt like a much-needed back-to-basics serial killer thriller for an audience weary of spectacles reliant on special effects and the “torture porn” traps of the Saw Franchise. The strangers became a sleeper hit among fans and saw significant success at the box office, so it's a wonder why it took over a decade for the sequel. The Strangers: Prey by nightto finally come out.

Set 10 years after the original, the film follows a family vacationing in an Ohio trailer park who unexpectedly encounters three masked killers who plan to add them to their body count. With no other option and desperate to survive, the family must work together to fight back and escape with their lives. The sequel leans more towards the tropes of slasher horror, and the staid barebones aesthetic of the original gives way to a more neon-infused contemporary grunge, but overall: The Strangers: Prey by night is still an incredibly fun and terrifying horror film. Here's hoping Harlin's trilogy can push the carnage even further. -AT

New on Prime Video

Mr and Mrs Smith

(L-R) Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as John and Jane Smith with guns blazing in Mr.  & Mrs. Smith.

Image: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Genre: Action comedy
Director: Doug Liman
Form: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody

Every now and then you see people complaining about there being too much sex in movies and on TV. The truth is quite the opposite: our mainstream entertainment has never been sexier (even Hays Code-era filmmakers worked around these restrictive norms to incorporate sexiness into their work). Mr and Mrs Smith is a wonderful antidote to our times, a sexy film about sexy people doing sexy things.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a husband and wife killer duo in the middle of marital problems. It turns out to be difficult to keep your family life going when your job is as dangerous as it can be. When they both have to kill the same person, things go terribly wrong.

It's a really fun time at the movies, but there's another reason to watch Mr and Mrs Smith right now – Prime Video is working on a TV adaptation starring Donald Glover and Maya Erskine (Blue-eyed samurai), which premieres in February. —PV