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What’s New to Stream on Netflix for December 2021

‘Cobra Kai’! Leonardo DiCaprio! ‘The Witcher’! Jennifer Lawrence! Netflix is going out with a bang in the final month of this year.
Netflix Streaming December 2021
By  · Published on December 1st, 2021

Crossing the Streams is a series of columns spotlighting all the offerings hitting the big streaming services each month. This time we’re checking out the new Netflix arrivals for December 2021. They include new films from Jane Campion, Adam McKay, Paolo Sorrentino, and more!

Netflix Pick of the Month for December 2021

The Power Of The Dog

Fans of Jane Campion have had a long wait for a new feature from the filmmaker. Bright Star was her last movie, in 2009, and while she’s kept busy with television productions, they don’t quite scratch the same itch. Happily, the wait is over. And even better? The Power of the Dog (premiering December 1st) easily sits as one of 2021’s finest films. A Western of sorts set at the turn of the 20th century, it introduces us to two brothers, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons. The arrival of Kirsten Dunst and her son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) upends their daily grind, and soon love, disdain, and toxic masculinity become the order of the day. It’s a slow-burn drama with four terrific lead performances, but it shifts at times to be funny, surprising, and very dark.

New Movies

mixtape netflix december 2021

Mixtape (premiering December 3rd) has been in various stages of pre-production for over a decade — it was originally on the fast-track with Chloe Grace Moretz set to play the lead — and has finally found a home as a Netflix Original. Moretz is out, Gemma Brooke Allen is in, and the story remains the same. A 12-year-old girl discovers a mixtape made by her now deceased parents when they were younger, and part of saying goodbye involves tracking down the songs and learning what her mom and dad were like as youths. It looks to be a light blend of comedy and drama, and depending on the songs they’ve landed it might be a quick hit of nostalgia, too.

Takeshi Kitano is known by most as a tough guy actor-director behind films like Boiling Point, Sonatine, and Brother, but before becoming a badass he was actually a popular comedian. Asakusa Kid (December 9th) is an adaptation of his semi-autobiographical novel and explores his rising star and the comedy legend who helped him along the way. Kitano is not associated with the film beyond his novel, but it looks to be an intriguing look into the life of one of Japan’s great talents.

Sometimes the premise of a film is alone enough to warrant interest. Two (December 10th) doesn’t come from big names behind or in front of the camera, but this little Spanish chiller does have that irresistible premise — two strangers wake up naked in bed together with their abdomens sewed together. How they got into the situation, and how they’re going to get out of it, become priorities that they’ll need to figure out quickly. I literally know no more than that, but honestly, it’s more than enough.

Paolo Sorrentino writes and directs beautiful films. This Must Be the Place, The Great Beauty, and Youth are testament to that, and his latest looks to once again be a treat for the senses. The Hand of God (December 15th) follows a boy’s life in 1980s Naples dealing with family, tragedy, crime, and his ambitions to be a major player in the sports world. Part autobiography, part coming of age tale, and part love letter to the city itself.

Dont Look Up

Adam McKay went from making silly comedies with Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) to biting comedies about serious subjects (The Big Short, Vice). His latest looks to blend the two as he brings together a stellar ensemble in a tale of astronomers trying to warn the world about an impending asteroid hit. Don’t Look Up (December 24th) stars the unlikely duo of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as the scientists, and they’re joined by Melanie Lynskey, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Mark Rylance, Michael Chiklis, Tyler Perry, and Timothee Chalamet.

Jake steals all the attention in the Gyllenhaal clan, but Maggie takes a big step forward with The Lost Daughter (December 31st), her award-winning debut as a writer-director. The film adapts Elena Ferrante’s novel about a middle-aged woman who settles into a solitary life after her kids have grown, only to see the past come crashing back while they’re on vacation. Olivia Colman takes the lead and is joined by Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, and Jessie Buckley. It looks to be an intensely acted drama.

New Series

The Witcher Season 2 Netflix December 2021

Netflix has been the streaming home to more and more Indian films in recent years, and they’ve been bringing home television series from the region, too. Aranyak (premiering December 10th) is a procedural about a small-town cop who decides to leave her post, but just as her big city replacement arrives, a teen goes missing. The mystery leads to dark revelations about the town’s present and its past — including the legend of an unnatural killer from the surrounding woods.

Season 2 of The Witcher (December 17th) sees the return of Henry Cavill as the sword-wielding Geralt of Rivia, and while I’d be lying if I said I watched Season 1, I think fans will enjoy what’s coming down the pike. This new season is a stylish romp for fantasy fans with performances that understand the material and have a blast with it.

What Happened in Oslo (December 19th) is a co-production between Norwegian and Israeli creatives, and it tells the story of three young people kidnapped and held for ransom. The series focuses on the struggle to see their release as authorities and the victims’ parents try to bring an end to the situation.

The Silent Sea

South Korea has been delivering some real bangers to Netflix’s series department (Squid Game, My Name), and that looks to continue in December 2021 with The Silent Sea (December 24th). The show follows a mission to the Moon to retrieve the contents of a secret research facility. Things go sideways as truths emerge, and we’re excited to see what they are. Doona Bae and Yoo Gong take lead roles.

As with Two (see above), Anxious People (December 29th) is a title I’m drawn to on its premise alone. The show follows a bank robber whose plans go sideways leading to a hostage situation, of sorts. The ensemble includes “IKEA addicts, a suicidal millionaire, and a rabbit.” How do you not get intrigued by such a scenario?

Finally, and in need of no real introduction, Season 4 of Cobra Kai (December 31st) is going to close out the year with more nostalgia, laughs, and mixed-bag action beats. I view the fight scenes here like the soccer in Ted Lasso — it ain’t good despite arguably being the focus, and that’s okay! Instead, it’s the characters who pull us back each season.

The Complete Netflix List for December 2021

Release DateTitleNote
12/1Are You The One: Season 3
Blood and Bone (2009)
Body of Lies (2008)
Bordertown: Mural Murders
Chloe (2009)
Chocolat (2000)
Closer (2004)
Death at a Funeral (2007)
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (2003)
The Final Destination (2009)
Final Destination 3 (2006)
Final Destination 5 (2011)
Fool's Gold (2008)
The Fourth Kind (2009)
Ink Master: Season 3
Ink Master: Season 4
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: STONE OCEANNetflix Anime
Kayko and KokoshNetflix Family
Kayko and Kokosh: Season 2Netflix Family
Knight Rider 2000
Knight Rider: Seasons 1-4
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
The Legend of Zorro (2005)
Life (2017)
Looper (2012)
Lost in Space: Season 3Netflix Series
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
Minority Report (2002)
Pet Sematary (1989)
The Power of the DogNetflix Film
Premonition (2007)
Sabrina (1995)
Soul Surfer (2011)
Stepmom (1998)
Stuart Little 2 (2002)
Sucker Punch (2011)
Think Like a Man (2012)
Tremors (1990)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Wild Things (1998)
Wyatt Earp (1994)
12/2The Alpinist (2021)
CoyotesNetflix Series
Escalona: Season 1
Single All the WayNetflix Film
The Whole TruthNetflix Film
12/3Cobalt BlueNetflix Film
Coming Out ColtonNetflix Series
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays: Season 4Netflix Series
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Season 4Netflix Family
MixtapeNetflix Film
Money Heist: From Tokyo to Berlin: Volume 2Netflix Documentary
Money Heist: Part 5 Vol 2Netflix Series
Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before ChristmasNetflix Family
12/5JAPAN SINKS: People of Hope: Season 1
12/6David and the ElvesNetflix Film
VoirNetflix Documentary
12/7Centaurworld: Season 2Netflix Family
Go Dog Go: Season 2Netflix Family
Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo)Netflix Comedy
12/8Carolin Kebekus: The Last Christmas SpecialNetflix Comedy
12/9Asakusa KidNetflix Film
Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018)
Bonus Family: Season 4Netflix Series
The Family That Sings Together: The CamargosNetflix Documentary
12/10Anonymously YoursNetflix Film
AranyakNetflix Series
Back to the OutbackNetflix Film
How To Ruin Christmas: The FuneralNetflix Series
Saturday Morning All Star Hits!Netflix Series
The Shack (2017)
Still Out of My LeagueNetflix Film
Twentysomethings: Austin (formerly Roaring Twenties)Netflix Series
TwoNetflix Film
The UnforgivableNetflix Film
12/11Fast Color (2018)
The Hungry and the HairyNetflix Series
12/13Eye in the Sky (2015)
12/14The Future DiaryNetflix Series
Russell Howard: LubricantNetflix Comedy
StarBeam: Beaming in the New YearNetflix Family
12/15Black Ink Crew New York: Seasons 3-4
The Challenge: Season 12 + 25
Elite Short Stories: Phillipe Caye FelipeNetflix Series
The Giver (2014)
The Hand of GodNetflix Film
Masha and the Bear: Nursery Rhymes: Season 1 Part 2
Masha and the Bear: Season 5
Selling TampaNetflix Series
Teen Mom 2: Seasons 3-4
12/16Aggretsuko: Season 4Netflix Anime
A California Christmas: City LightsNetflix Film
Darkest Hour (2017)
A Naija ChristmasNetflix Film
Puff: Wonders of the ReefNetflix Documentary
12/17Fast & Furious Spy Racers: Season 6: HomecomingNetflix Family
The Witcher: Season 2Netflix Series
12/18Bulgasal: Immortal SoulsNetflix Series
Oldboy (2003)
12/19What Happened in OsloNetflix Series
12/20Elite Short Stories: Samuel OmarNetflix Series
12/21Grumpy ChristmasNetflix Film
Jim Gaffigan: Comedy MonsterNetflix Comedy
12/22Emily in Paris: Season 2Netflix Series
12/23Elite Short Stories: PatrickNetflix Series
12/241000 Miles from ChristmasNetflix Film
Don't Look UpNetflix Film
Minnal MuraliNetflix Film
The Silent SeaNetflix Series
STAND BY ME Doraemon 2Netflix Film
Vicky and Her MysteryNetflix Film
Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous
12/25Jimmy Carr: His Dark MaterialNetflix Comedy
Single’s InfernoNetflix Series
Stories of a Generation - with Pope FrancisNetflix Documentary
12/26LulliNetflix Film
12/28Word Party Presents: Math!Netflix Family
12/29Anxious PeopleNetflix Series
Crime Scene: The Times Square KillerNetflix Documentary
12/30Hilda and the Mountain KingNetflix Film
KitzNetflix Series
12/31Cobra Kai: Season 4Netflix Series
The Lost DaughterNetflix Film
Queer Eye: Season 6Netflix Series
Seal TeamNetflix Film
Stay CloseNetflix Series

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.