The holiday season is finally here, and Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus and more of the best streaming services are sharing the gift of new movies to curl up and watch while the weather outside is frightful.
We've rounded up the best new movies that just landed on streaming, spotlighting all of the hits and none of the duds to make your next movie night go off without a hitch. Leading the pack is Eddie Murphy's first foray into the world of holiday comedies with Candy Cane Lane on Prime Video.
Meanwhile, Disney Plus adds the latest from everyone's favorite treasure-hunting archeologist, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which pairs Harrison Ford with the quick-witted Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy's estranged goddaughter. Other new titles include Netflix's body-swapping comedy Family Switch starring Ed Helms and Jennifer Garner. Here are the top new movies streaming this week.
Candy Cane Lane (Prime Video)
Here's a fun fact that may surprise you: In his 40-year-plus career, Eddie Murphy has yet to make a holiday movie. Until now, that is.
In Murphy's latest flick Candy Cane Lane, he plays Chris, a recently laid-off father of three who's determined not to let a spot of Yuletide bad luck ruin his chance to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. In a desperate bid to make his house the most festive on the block, he makes a deal with a mischievous elf Pepper (Jillian Bell) — without knowing the zaniness that will follow. She casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life, wreaking havoc on the entire town. Now faced with the risk of spoiling the holiday cheer for everyone, Chris, his wife Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross) and their kids must race against the clock to break Pepper’s spell.
Streaming now on Prime Video
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Disney Plus)
Harrison Ford's last hurrah as the whip-wielding, fedora-wearing archeologist Indiana Jones didn't exactly smash box office records. Tom's Guide's own Rory Mellon described Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny as "definitely a movie that can wait” for streaming.
This time around, Indy is joined by his estranged goddaughter Helena, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag fame, in a race through time. Dial of Destiny opens in the mid-40s when Indy and archaeology colleague Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) recover a Nazi-stolen artifact, a time-traveling device called the Archimedes Dial, from scientist Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelson). Jumping then to 1969, Voller is working for NASA and trying to get his hands on the dial again while an aging Indy eyes retirement. Of course, before he can put his treasure-hunting days behind him, he's roped into yet another adventure stemming from — what else — his days kicking Nazi butt in World War II.
Streaming now on Disney Plus
After causing chaos in Vacation Friends 2, John Cena continues to be the world's best and worst vacation companion with Freelance. Directed by Taken filmmaker Pierre Morel, this action comedy sees Cena star as Mason Pettits, a retired special forces operative stuck in a dead-end desk job after being injured in a botched assassination attempt.
However, the combat veteran's mundane life gets upended when he reluctantly agrees to take a freelance gig providing private security for washed-up journalist Claire Wellington (Alison Brie) as she interviews the ruthless dictator Juan Venegas (Juan Pablo Raba) — the very target Mason had previously been tasked to kill. When a military coup breaks out just as she’s about to get the scoop of a lifetime, the unlikely trio must figure out how to survive the jungle and each other.
Family Switch (Netflix)
You can think of Netflix's latest comedy Family Switch as a spin on Freaky Friday with double the trouble. This body-swapping romp features Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms as Jess and Bill Walker, parents who are doing their best to try to stay connected to increasingly independent and distant teenage children CC (Emma Myers) and Wyatt (Brady Noon).
As the struggling parents try to salvage what might be the last Christmas together before their kids leave for college, the family takes a trip to the Griffith Observatory to witness a rare sighting of the planets aligning. And wouldn't ya know it, a chance encounter with an astrological reader causes the family to wake up to a full-body switch on a critically important day in each of their lives. They’ll have to work together to ace a promotion, college interview, record deal and soccer tryout.
Streaming now on Netflix
The Exorcist: Believer (Peacock)
After rebooting the Halloween franchise, director David Gordon Green is back with a new treatment for another classic horror series: The Exorcist. Though Believer is the sixth installment, it serves as a direct sequel to the original 1973 film and is intended to be the first flick in a new trilogy.
Leslie Odom, Jr. stars as Victor Fielding, a photographer honeymooning with his pregnant wife in Haiti when a massive earthquake hits, forcing him to make the impossible decision to save their unborn child over his injured wife. Thirteen years later, his teen daughter Angela (Lidya Jewett) and her friend (Olivia Marcum) disappear into the woods, only to return three days later with no memory of what happened to them. When the two begin to show signs of demonic possession, Victor seeks out the only people alive who have witnessed anything like it before: Chris and Regan MacNeil, with Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair each reprising their respective roles from the original film.
Streaming now on Peacock
The Shepherd (Disney Plus)
Young RAF pilot Freddie Hooke (Ben Radcliffe) faces one of his biggest challenges yet when a routine flight home on Christmas Eve turns perilous. His plane loses all communication and electricity, leaving him adrift with dwindling fuel. John Travolta, playing a mysterious good Samaritan, intervenes to deliver a way out to the despondent, panicking Freddie. It’s all about hope and how you can find miracles where you least expect them in this short film produced by Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón.
Streaming now on Disney Plus.
May December (Netflix)
Remember Mary Kay Letourneau, the sixth-grade teacher who had sex with her 12-year-old student, was convicted of rape and had his child in prison? Todd Haynes’ latest melodrama is loosely based on that true crime. Two decades after their notorious romance, Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) and 23-years-younger husband Joe (Charles Melton) are facing their twins’ high school graduation. Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman) visits to better understand the controversial woman she is portraying in an upcoming film. As she gets to know them, the family’s dynamics begin to unravel under an outsider’s gaze.
Streaming now on Netflix
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Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.
Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats. She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.