November 2020, arguably the most stressful month in a year of stressful month, is almost at an end. Which means it’ll soon be December, and we’ll all be in holiday mode while also wondering what fresh hell awaits us. But there’s one thing we can do to distract ourselves from reality: watch stuff on Netflix. And as is always the case, a new month brings new Netflix titles. so here are the best TV shows and movies coming to Netflix in December 2020.
David Fincher is back with Mank, a movie about hard-drinking, quick-witted screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman). The film chronicles Mankiewicz’s struggle to write Citizen Kane, but this really isn’t a movie about how Citizen Kane got made. Instead, it’s an exploration of Mankiewicz as a person, and an artist. It also shows how Mankiewicz drew upon his own personal experiences to come up with the script. Is it 100% factually accurate? No, Fincher takes a lot of liberties with the truth here. But that doesn’t make the film any less enjoyable.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. remains a classic for a reason. Steven Spielberg‘s heartwarming, tear-wrenching sci-fi drama follows a lonely young boy (Henry Thomas) who befriends an alien from another planet. No matter how cynical and hopeless I get, this movie still has the power to bring me back down to Earth. I dare you not to weep when John Williams’ score kicks in during the big finale.
People seem to have soured on Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford‘s ultra-stylish thriller. I still dig it. It’s like The Neverending Story meets No Country For Old Men, with sad-sack writer Jake Gyllenhaal dropping his new novel off with his ex-wife, played by Amy Adams. As Adams’ character reads the novel we see its contents, which follow a guy (also Gyllenhaal) who is unable to save his wife and daughter from being murdered. Michael Shannon shows up as a cop, Aaron Taylor-Johnson delivers a genuinely good performance for once, and Jena Malone steals the show even though she’s only in one scene. It’s a weird, entertaining movie.
In Braven, Jason Momoa plays a guy named Joe Braven, and if there’s one thing Joe Braven is good at it, it’s killing fools. One day, Braven goes up to his secluded cabin and finds that some bad guys are storing drugs there. To make matters worse, the bad guys show up and now they want to kill Joe Braven. Big fucking mistake: Joe Braven knows how to throw axes. This movie is silly as hell but it’s also a lot of fun, like a throwback to the action thrillers of the ’90s.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is going to get a lot of attention next month because it marks the final film performance of Chadwick Boseman. I’ve seen the film already and while I can’t tell you much yet due to embargoes, I can confirm Boseman is fantastic, and watching him work here is a sad reminder of what a huge loss his death is to the world of film. Based on the play by August Wilson, the film follows a group of blues musicians attempting to cut a record in 1920s Chicago.
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