9 Best Movies to Watch on Netflix Before They Expire This Month


As we head into December, you may or may not know that a lot of movies on Netflix will be leaving the streaming service at the end of the month. But it can be hard to prioritize what’s worth watching before it expires, especially given the bounty of new movies and shows available on the streaming service. So we’re here to help.

Below, we’ve assembled a list of nine standout movies that are leaving Netflix in December. They range from animated epics to dark comedies to moving dramas, and they’re all well worth checking out if you’ve been putting them off. The clock is ticking!

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Image via Sony Pictures Releasing

Leaving: December 25th

If you have not seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, please make this Priority #1 before Christmas Day. This animated feature from Sony Pictures is the brainchild of Phil Lord and Chris Miller – the minds behind The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street and in general turning so-so ideas into brilliant movies. And Spider-Verse is brilliant. The film follows young Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) who is bit by a spider and becomes Spider-Man, but the movie embraces the notion of a multiverse as the villainous Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) enacts a plan that disrupts the fabric of the universe. As a result, Miles teams up with an older Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) from a separate universe, who is reluctant and generally just in a depressive place. Other Spider-People get folded into the story as the film is really about the idea that anyone can wear the mask – “Spider-Man” is not a predestined moniker, it’s an ideal to strive towards if you have the courage, self-confidence, and wherewithal to do so. The film is also absolutely gorgeous as groundbreaking animation techniques embrace the comic book nature of the root story. See this ASAP.

Back to the Future Trilogy

Image via Universal Pictures

Leaving: December 31st

Now’s your chance to revisit one of the best trilogies ever made — or watch it for the first time. While 1985’s Back to the Future remains the best of the three and is a stone-cold sci-fi classic, each Back to the Future movie has its own unique merits. Back to the Future Part II offers an optimistic view of the future that borders on wish-fulfillment, while Back to the Future Part III is a full-on Western. So get comfy on the sofa and take all three in with the family.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Image via Focus Features

Leaving: December 31st

If Charlie Kaufman’s new Netflix movie I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a little too esoteric for your taste, I can’t recommend his “breakup” film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind enough. Directed by Michel Gondry, the film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as an estranged couple who have opted to have each other erased from their memories, but as Carrey’s character goes though the experience, reliving the memories one by one as they slip away, he begins to have regrets. There’s a wonderful analog approach to how Gondry visualized this sci-fi story, and the performances by Carrey and Winslet remain stunning. Kaufman is truly one of the medium’s most unique and gifted screenwriters—only he could come up with a story this odd yet also so endearing.

Fargo

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Image via Gramercy Pictures

Leaving: December 31st

Fargo is proof positive that Joel and Ethan Coen are two of the greatest American filmmakers in history. This 1996 crime thriller is darkly funny, delightfully mundane, and tremendously endearing all at once. The film is anchored by a stellar performance from Frances McDormand as mild mannered heroine Marge Gunderson, a good-hearted and whip smart law enforcement officer who finds herself embroiled in a bungled kidnapping scheme. This is top-notch moviemaking at every level.

Her

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Image via Warner Bros.

Leaving: December 31st

If you’ve thus far ignored Her as “that movie where the guy falls in love with his phone,” here’s your chance to give this wonderful film a shot. It’s the story of a man who falls in love with his operating system, but it’s one of the best films of the 2010s—a deeply felt, gorgeous, heartbreaking story of love, loneliness, and what it means to be a human on the planet Earth. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a phenomenal lead performance, and Scarlett Johansson is magnificent in the voice role of Samantha. The cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema is warm and inviting, the score by Arcade Fire is immensely moving. This is a film that will constantly surprise you with just how warm and human and empathetic it is, all thanks to writer/director Spike Jonze.

The Indiana Jones Franchise

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Leaving: December 31st

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If you’re hanging out with family for the holidays and want to find something everyone can enjoy, you can’t go wrong with Indiana Jones. All four films are on Netflix through the end of the month, but Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade are the best of the bunch – delivering thrills and charm in equal measure. But if you haven’t revisited Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in awhile, now’s your chance to do so for “free.”

Pride and Prejudice

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Image via Focus Features

Leaving: December 31st

If you’re looking for something romantic to put on, boy does Joe Wright’s 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice do the trick. Keira Knightley leads the film as Elizabeth Bennet, a headstrong young woman who strikes up a hot-and-cold relationship with the enigmatic Mr. Darcy (played by Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen). The cinematography and production design are absolutely lush, and Dario Marianelli’s score is beautiful and vibrant, but it’s Wright’s actors that really make this thing soar and the chemistry between Knightley and Macfadyen is absolutely tremendous.

The Town

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Image via Warner Bros.

Leaving: December 31st

For proof that Ben Affleck is capable of directing a really good movie, see his 2010 crime thriller The Town. The film follows four lifelong Boston friends who rob a bank, only for everything to nosedive from there. Affleck stars in, co-wrote, and directed this feature and adeptly juggles thrilling action sequences with compelling character drama, crafting a thriller in which you care deeply about what happens to each individual. Jeremy Renner scored an Oscar nomination for his stirring performance, but I’m still waiting on Affleck to make a bona fide action movie after what he pulled off here.

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