Netflix did not hold anything back in December by releasing a group of entertaining movies. This month, Netflix released a dark comedy in Todd Haynes’ May December, a psychological thriller with Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind, and a musical biopic with Bradley Cooper’s Maestro. Later this week, Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon will stream on the service, and it will certainly become one of the most popular movies on Netflix.
A select group of movies will also be leaving Netflix in December, so there’s not much time left to watch them. Here are five movies leaving at the end of the month that you have to watch, including a memorable 2000s comedy, a Christmas classic, and the first film of an iconic action franchise.
Judd Apatow became a comedic force in the 2000s with hits like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Knocked Up, and Superbad. However, the first film under Apatow Productions to kick off the epic run of comedies was Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Directed by Adam McKay, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is an exaggerated spoof of local news television in 1970s San Diego.
At the center of Anchorman is Ron Burgandy (Will Ferrell), the famous news anchor for KVWN channel 4. Ron’s news team consists of sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and meteorologist Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell). Ron’s status as lead anchor is threatened by the arrival of Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), who quickly surpasses him in popularity. After he commits career suicide with an on-air mistake, Ron is forced to climb his way back into the hearts of the classy San Diego residents.
To call Jaws a cultural phenomenon would be an understatement. Jaws changed Hollywood forever as the first summer blockbuster. Its influence on pop culture – the iconic opening scene, John Williams’ score, and its status as a template for future movies (i.e., Alien was basically Jaws in space) – is second to none. Jaws is the biggest horror hit of all time, with an adjusted box office gross of $1.2 billion.
In the Northeast beach town of Amity Island, a great white shark wreaks havoc on those who dare to swim in the ocean. Even after the shark kills a young woman, Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) keeps the beaches open for the Fourth of July to protect the town’s economy. After more people tragically die, Vaughn allows Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) to hire a team to kill the shark. Brody chooses oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and weathered ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw), and the three men embark on a journey to the deep ocean to hunt the apex predator.
Stream Jaws on Netflix.
Don’t listen to the critics or read the revisionist history. Love Actually is still great. Some of the stories work better than others, but as a whole, Love Actually remains an effective holiday tale and one of the last great theatrical Christmas movies.
Set in London a few weeks before Christmas, Love Actually revolves around 10 storylines that eventually become interlinked by the end. Standout storylines include that of a married couple, Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Juliet (Keira Knightley), and the mysterious behavior of Peter’s best friend, Mark (Andrew Lincoln); a writer (Colin Firth) falling in love with his maid (Lúcia Moniz); and the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) attempting to win over a junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon).
Stream Love Actually on Netflix.
In 2023, Mission: Impossible is one of the longest-running movie franchises in Hollywood. Tom Cruise headlines the series as Ethan Hunt, an Impossible Mission Force (IMF) agent with elite skills in combat and espionage. The Mission: Impossible franchise has spawned seven films, with an eighth arriving in 2025. And the first film, Mission: Impossible, is arguably the best one.
Directed by Brian De Palma, Mission: Impossible opens with Ethan and his team conducting a secret mission in Prague. The mission goes haywire when Ethan’s entire team is murdered. As the sole survivor, Ethan becomes the prime suspect as IMF director Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) believes his top agent is a mole for a criminal organization. Now a fugitive, Ethan must return to the U.S.and clear his name by retrieving a confidential computer file in the CIA building. Cue the theme song.
Stream Mission: Impossible on Netflix.
The Wolf of Wall Street has aged perfectly like the wine in the picture above. Martin Scorsese’s black comedy is set in the epic and excessive world of Wall Street as it follows the exploits of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a wet-behind-the-ears stockbroker in the late 1980s. After Black Monday, Jordan discovers boiler room brokerage firms and makes a killing selling penny stocks. Jordan’s success led him to create his firm, Stratton Oakmont, in the early 1990s.
Along with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and his loyal followers, Jordan turns Stratton into an empire, as their illegal pump-and-dump schemes lead them to riches beyond their wildest dreams. Jordan’s lavish lifestyle of sex and drugs leads to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FBI showing up on his doorstep, threatening to end the entire operation.
Stream The Wolf of Wall Street on Netflix.
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