13 Reasons Why December Is Rich in Movie & TV Picks

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 2 weeks ago

IMDb's editorial team rounds up the movies and TV shows on their list for December.

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1
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

It's been a long two years since The Force Awakens, which reignited Star Wars fans across the globe by injecting new contours and characters into the Skywalker saga. With this latest episode, written and directed by Rian Johnson, fans finally get to dig into the larger questions that left viewers hanging at the end of Episode VII and with each new teaser and trailer, such as: Why has Luke given up on the Jedi? What is Rey's last name? What is Leia's fate? And, of course, what is up with that Porg? While Episode VIII cannot come soon enough for diehards, this latest chapter is also a sobering reminder of the saga's eventual end with Episode IX two years from now. Savor your Skywalkers now, folks. — Bret

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, Dec. 15

2
Will Smith and Joel Edgerton in Bright (2017)

Bright

The urban/fantasy genre is one that I can never get enough of so when I heard that David Ayer was mashing up the genre even more as a cop/fantasy/crime drama for Netflix, there was no way I was going to miss it. Bright stars Will Smith as intolerant cop Daryl Ward and Joel Edgerton as Nick Jakoby, the first Orc to join the LAPD. The trailer promises all of the good things from both genres: fish-out-of-water, unlikely allies, getting used to the rookie, epic prophecies, evil elves (!), and a lost weapon of unbelievable power, all set against the backdrop of a modern-day alternate Los Angeles. This is going to be a great way to kick off Christmas weekend. — Vanessa

Bright premieres Friday, Dec. 22, on Netflix

3
Matt Smith and Claire Foy in The Crown (2016)

"The Crown"

One of the joys of watching Helen Mirren in The Queen was the humanity Mirren brought to Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch so many of us have grown up with. Just as powerful has been Claire Foy's performance in "The Crown." Unlike The Queen, which was a window into the few months following the death of Princess Diana, "The Crown" gives us Elizabeth from princess to young monarch, and the transformation from self-doubt to self-confidence is made all the more rich by Foy's extraordinary talent. Season 2 gives us more of the interior life of the young queen, and promises insight into her husband, Prince Philip, portrayed by Matt Smith. Perfect for a winter's night binge-watching. — Pam

"The Crown" premieres Friday, Dec. 8, on Netflix

4
Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman (2017)

The Greatest Showman

I love Hugh Jackman, and I love a good musical. When the two come together, it's an absolute delight. For viewers familiar only with Jackman's many performances as Wolverine, the fact that he is a dyed-in-the-wool song-and-dance man may come as a surprise. In The Greatest Showman, Jackman stars as P.T. Barnum, one of the founders of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. More contemporary than classical, the music is supposed to be an indication of just how ahead of his time P.T. Barnum was. Joining Jackman are Michelle Williams, Zendaya, and Zac Efron. This one's definitely on my holiday Watchlist. — Pam

The Greatest Showman opens in U.S. theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 20

5
Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water (2017)

The Shape of Water

You don't have to be a hardcore fan of Guillermo del Toro's past films to appreciate this sumptuous fairy tale-cum-romance that brings together a collection of lonely, unfulfilled individuals in Cold War-era Baltimore. At the center of the action and intrigue is an enigmatic Amphibian Man (Doug Jones), who captures the attention of government scientists and the imagination of similarly voiceless Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins). It's their burgeoning on-screen relationship, marked by gestures and longing gazes, in addition to intricately wrought production design, empathetic side characters, and Hawkins' luminous performance that makes this well worth your holiday viewing. — Bret

The Shape of Water opens in U.S. theaters Friday, Dec. 8

6
David Bradley and Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who (2005)

"Doctor Who"

Make sure to have your tissues ready for this year's "Doctor Who" Christmas special, "Twice Upon a Time," which will be a melancholy one for sure. Dec. 25 marks the final adventure of Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), and incredibly awesome companion Bill (Pearl Mackie), as well as the final episode for seven-year showrunner Steven Moffat. But as heartbroken as I am to see everyone go, I am excited to watch the passing of the torch to showrunner Chris Chibnall as he directs the post regeneration scene, reveals the first glimpse of Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), and sets the tone for what's to come. — Vanessa

"Twice Upon a Time" airs Monday, Dec. 25, on BBC One and BBC America

7
Tom Hanks, Philip Casnoff, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, and Jessie Mueller in The Post (2017)

The Post

By the sound of the mounting buzz, it seems as though Steven Spielberg is going to slip in one of the best films of the year right as 2017 comes to a close. Spielberg's depiction of the Pentagon Papers — leaked documents that illustrated America's involvement in the Indochina Wars — and how The Washington Post pounced on the story has layers of relevance that might result in one of the director's finest films. You can almost hear the rest of the Best Actress Oscar candidates sigh, knowing that Spielberg indeed finished the project in time for awards nominations, because that means Meryl Streep is in contention for her 21st nomination and fourth win. — Arno

The Post opens in limited release on Friday, Dec. 22; it expands nationwide on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018

8
Christopher Meloni in Happy! (2017)

"Happy!"

I'm somewhat seduced by this TV show's premise — it's about an ex-cop-turned-hitman who buddied up with a flying blue horse to save abducted girl — and I'm 100% for Christopher Meloni being available on as many channels as possible. Plus, comics writer Grant Morrison penned the source material, and Patton Oswalt voices the horse. — Arno

"Happy!" premieres Wednesday, Dec. 6, on Syfy

9
Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread

As a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, I have anxiously been waiting for his reunion with Daniel Day-Lewis. Like many of his fans, I was shocked to hear Day-Lewis was retiring from acting, making Phantom Thread his final act. And now, in an interview with W magazine, he revealed that decision was made after the actor fell into a deep depression after making the film. While this deepens my curiosity even more, it saddens me to think this may be the last performance of one of the greatest actors of our time. But I also can't wait to see what he does next. — Michelle

Phantom Thread opens in U.S. theaters Monday, Dec. 25

10
Louis Hofmann in Dark (2017)

"Dark"

"Dark," Netflix's new German mystery series, is a family saga with supernatural twist, where the disappearance of two young children exposes the relationships among four families. The show is already being compared to "Stranger Things," but the vibe in the trailer felt like a cross between "The Killing" and "The Returned." The true hook for me is the supernatural twist: time travel! — Michelle

"Dark" premieres Friday, Dec. 1 on Netflix

11
Downsizing (2017)

Downsizing

How is this for an intriguing premise? In the near future, scientists have figured out how to solve over-population, by shrinking people down to 5 inches tall, and while you shrink, your money stretches significantly farther than before. However, the procedure cannot be reversed. Would you do it? It is a question tackled by a couple played by Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, with surprising results. The fact that the storytelling is in the hands of director Alexander Payne (Nebraska, Election) ensures it is a must-watch for me. — Michael

Downsizing opens in U.S. theaters Friday, Dec. 22.

12
Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Tom Colicchio, and Graham Elliot in Top Chef (2006)

"Top Chef"

I've waited nine long months for "Top Chef" to return. It's been forever since I've had imaginary wine time with Gail Simmons and got her to dish out some the behind-the-scenes gossip. Will this cycle be less bro-y than recent seasons? Ever considered a "Chopped" crossover episode? These are some of the questions I'd ask as the empty bottles pile up. I wish the show would reinstall former cheftestant and bonafide weirdo Hugh Acheson on the panel instead of ex-"Masterchef" judge Graham Elliot, but tattooed chefs are all the rage. Meanwhile, "Top Chef" will remain the most comforting and beloved dinosaur of all the reality competition shows. — Arno

"Top Chef" premieres Thursday, Dec. 7 on Bravo

13
Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond in The Grand Tour (2016)

"The Grand Tour"

The boys are back in town. After a hit first season, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May are back behind the wheel for more adventures on four wheels. Season 2 promises even more outrageously fun behavior from the former "Top Gear" hosts. As the tagline for the new season dares, "What could possibly go wrong?" — Michael

"The Grand Tour" will be available on Amazon Prime Video from Dec. 8.