Best Movies to Stream on Netflix in December

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The pioneering streaming service Netflix, which received such a boost in subscriptions during the pandemic, is under siege. Competition has been ratcheted up from rival streaming services like Disney, Hulu, and Amazon. Some subscribers have voted with their feet because of more choices and lower subscription fees elsewhere, among other reasons. Almost 1.2 million have defected this year. For the 223 million subscribers who’ve stuck with Netflix, however, they have more than 3,000 movies to select from.

To determine the best movies to stream on Netflix this December, 24/7 Tempo developed an index of Netflix offerings using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of Dec. 1, 2022, weighting all ratings equally. We considered only movies with at least 5,000 audience votes on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes. (Documentaries were not considered.) Data on streaming availability, current as of this month, comes from the streaming guide Reelgood. Directorial credits are from IMDb.

We found that Netflix users can currently select from among 28 films that carry a Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score of 90% or above. One film, “Leave No Trace,” holds a score of 100%. 

Most of the films listed here are recent releases, but there is a fair amount of vintage celluloid to select as well. This includes the crime drama “Donnie Brasco” (1997), the World War II actioner “The Dirty Dozen” (1967), and the rom-com “When Harry Met Sally…” (1989) . (These are the best romance movies of all time, according to the data.)

Another of the older movies on the list, the Roman epic “Gladiator” (2000), has the most IMDb user votes on IMDb of any film on the list – nearly 1.4 million.

Movies based on true events are represented, including “Official Secrets” (2019), “Philomena” (2013), and “Captain Phillips” (2013). Foreign films that can be found among the offerings include “Mirai” (2018), “The White Tiger” (2021), and the Oscar-winning “Roma” (2018) – one of the 25 best original Netflix movies.

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