Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Don’t let these 3 December hidden streaming movie gems fly under your radar

December is halfway done, and many are already in a cheerful holiday spirit. After all, Christmas is around the corner, and viewers are probably eagerly consuming Christmas movies like children inside a chocolate factory. There are numerous movies to choose from – classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, hilarious holiday comedies like Scrooged, and heartwarming adaptations like The Muppets Christmas Carol. However, those willing to experiment might find more intriguing movies on streaming this month.

December’s underrated gems include a sci-fi coming-of-age adventure, an intimate dramedy, and a hysterical screwball comedy ideal for the holiday season. As always, there are many more underrated movies on Netflix, Max, Hulu, and almost every other streaming service. However, these three are stellar choices to spend a December afternoon, and you’d be wrong not to give them a chance.

Love and Monsters (2020)

Dylan O'Brien as Joel lying on the grass looking surprised while a dog stands beside him in Love and Monsters.
Paramount Pictures

Dylan O’Brien stars in the dystopian monster adventure comedy Love and Monsters, directed by Michael Matthews. Set seven years after an asteroid hit Earth and mutated every animal form, forcing humans to hide underground, the plot follows Joel, a young man who adventures to the surface world to reunite with his high school sweetheart.

Released at the height of the pandemic, Love and Monsters failed to gain much traction. However, the film absolutely deserves your attention. O’Brien is at the top of his game: he’s charming and engaging, effortlessly supporting the film on his shoulders, accompanied only by a dog for more than half of the film. The visual effects are also top-notch,  earning a richly deserved Oscar nomination in 2021. Beyond the monster dazzle, Love and Monsters is a surprisingly emotional coming-of-age story about letting go and moving ahead. Few movies balance action, adventure, and genuine pathos as deftly as this underappreciated gem.

Love and Monsters is available on Netflix.

Showing Up (2022)

Michelle Williams as Lizzy looking to her right while surrounded by dolls in Showing Up.
Image via A24

Kelly Reichardt is perhaps her generation’s most underrated director. From her debut film, 1994’s River of Grass, all the way to 2019’s First Cow, Reichardt has been delivering poignant, insightful portrayals of everyday life like few directors can. In 2022, she once again stunned with her dramedy Showing Up, starring her usual collaborator, four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams. The film centers on a sculptor trying to balance her work and personal life.

Like many of her previous films, Showing Up feels intimate yet powerful, a private depiction of life that almost makes us feel as if we’re intruding. Williams is brilliant as the protagonist, guiding what could easily be seen as an uneventful plot through sheer strength and charisma. There’s a beauty to Showing Up‘s austerity. It’s a movie about what it means to be an artist in a ruthlessly capitalistic world but, more importantly and universally, about living one day at a time. The premise might not be beckoning, but those who watch it will undoubtedly relate to its introspective approach.

Showing Up is available on Paramount+.

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Bette Davis as Maggie pushing Monty Woolley as Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner,
Image via Warner Bros.

You didn’t think I wouldn’t recommend at least one great Christmas movie, did you? William Keighley’s 1942 screwball comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner stars the mighty Bette Davis opposite Ann Sheridan and Walter Woolley. Based on the eponymous 1939 play, the plot follows an arrogant radio personality who accidentally injures himself and must spend the holidays with a prominent Ohio family. When his loyal assistant finds love in a local man, he calls for a famous actress, hoping to sabotage the blossoming romance.

The Man Who Came to Dinner is among the finest examples of the screwball comedy genre. The film is wicked, with sharp and darkly humorous dialogue concealing a heartfelt and familiar message. Woolley is a firecracker as the sharp-tongued critic Sheridan Whiteside, while Davis enchants in a rare gentle and outright passive role. The Man Who Came to Dinner truly has everything: penguins, Egyptian sarcophaguses, lies, and humor to spare. It’s a film about the joy of the holidays wrapped around a hilarious and mischievous story featuring one of cinema’s greatest non-Scrooge Scrooges.

The Man Who Came to Dinner is available on Max.

Editors' Recommendations

David Caballero
Freelance Writer
David is a Mexican freelance writer with a deep appreciation for words. After three years in the cold world of Marketing…
3 sci-fi movies on Tubi you need to watch in December
Max jumps from a car in Mad Max: Fury Road.

The year may be changing from 2023 to 2024 in a matter of weeks, but one thing that remains the same is Tubi's free membership. Tubi is a FAST service -- that's free ad-supported streaming television -- meaning anyone can sign up for Tubi and enjoy thousands of movies and TV shows for free. Tubi is ad-supported, however, so ads will air at certain times during your program.

With endless options, we're focusing on one genre for December: sci-fi. Here are three sci-fi movies you need to watch this month, including an action film from the biggest star in the world, a postapocalyptic sensation, and a film adaption of a popular video game.
Oblivion (2013)

Read more
3 action movies on Hulu you need to watch in December
Edge of Tomorrow 5

Action fans don't have to celebrate the Huludays if they don't want to. That's because Hulu has an abundance of great action movies to watch in December. The only hard part about putting this list together was narrowing our choices down to three.

Ultimately, we went with one of the all-time greats: The Matrix, as well as more the recent sci-fi action films Edge of Tomorrow and Alita: Battle Angel. These are the three action movies on Hulu that you need to watch in December. If you need more options, then check out our roundup of what's new on Hulu in December.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Read more
3 sci-fi movies on Prime Video you need to watch in December
A young Charlie Sheen with a phone to his ear, hand to his chest in a scene from The Arrival.

Sci-fi movies can be many things: escapist fun, cerebral explorations of the nature of humanity, or purely superficial visual spectacles. Yes, that even includes movies from decades before we reached the level of technology we have today with CGI and other visual effects. Such is the case with the three sci-fi movies on Prime Video you need to watch in December. All three are from decades ago, yet they still impress.

One stars Charlie Sheen in a more dramatic role than fans might be used to seeing him in, one is from the James Bond universe, and another is an Arnold Schwarzenegger classic. If you’re looking for something a bit different from the typical sci-fi fare, these three movies won’t disappoint. For more ideas, check out the best sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime Video.
The Arrival (1996)
The Arrival (1996) Trailer

Read more