December flew by in a whirlwind of holiday cheer, and now Christmas break is just around the corner. But between shopping for everyone on your gift list and hosting family and friends, figuring out what to watch in your downtime feels like another task on a never-ending list of things to do.
So let us here at Tom's Guide do the work for you. Netflix, Prime Video, 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. And some big blockbusters are landing on streaming this week.
If your kids are as obsessed with Trolls as my nieces and nephews, you'll be happy to know that Trolls Band Together just arrived on paid video-on-demand services. The latest installment of The Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes — a prequel that details the rise of series antagonist and future President Snow — also becomes available digitally for the first time. While some of these titles are only available to rent or buy digitally, for others, all you need is the right streaming subscription.
Still looking for more recommendations on what to watch? Be sure to check out our roundup of our favorite new TV shows to watch from streamers this week and the best of what's new on Netflix. So without further ado, here are the top new movies streaming this week.
Trolls Band Together (PVOD)
The Trolls are back in Trolls Band Together, the latest in DreamsWorks' animated series based on the wild-haired toy dolls of the same name. If you don't have young'ins in your life demanding to watch the Trolls movies a zillion times, they're simple but fun eye and ear candy. A star-studded cast that includes some bonafide pop stars come together and essentially sing karaoke along to a kaleidoscope of colorful visuals and playground humor.
In Trolls Band Together, Branch (Justin Timberlake) and Poppy (Anna Kendrick) set out to rescue his brother Floyd (Troye Sivan) and, in the process, uncover the grouchy, music-hating Branch's past life as a member of the boyband BroZone. Eric Andre, Daveed Diggs, and Kid Cudi voice the other members, which is not a mash-up I knew I needed until now. This latest Trolls adventure also serves as a de facto NSYNC reunion, with the boy band performing their first original song in decades during the movie.
Buy or rent on Amazon now
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (PVOD)
This prequel to The Hunger Games film series takes us back to the early days of Panem, long before Katniss Everdeen sparked the flames of revolution. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes sees Tom Blyth (Scott and Sid, Benediction) star as an 18-year-old Coriolanus "Coryo" Snow (played by Donald Sterling in the previous movies).
With the tenth annual Hunger Games on the horizon, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird from District 12. As the last hope for the once-proud Snow family, he ruthlessly pursues victory at all costs. His hunger for power sets off a chain of events that culminates in him becoming the tyrannical president of Panem that served as the primary antagonist of The Hunger Games series. While the movie received middling reviews from critics, audiences so far have praised the film as a faithful adaption of the 2020 novel by series creator Suzanne Collins.
Buy or rent on Amazon now
Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire (Netflix)
The Snyderverse finds life once more in the prolific director's new space fantasy franchise, Rebel Moon, which just debuted on Netflix. The first installment, Part One: A Child of Fire, stars Sofia Boutella as Kora, a former soldier whose peaceful retirement to a farm colony on the edge of the galaxy gets thrown into disarray when the tyrannical forces she used to serve come looking for a fight.
Alongside a fellow disgraced commander, Titus (Djimon Hounsou), she sows the seeds of rebellion by recruiting warriors from across the galaxy to make a stand against the army that’s closing in. A Child of Fire is part of a planned trilogy, with the second movie dropping on April 19, 2024. If you're a fan of Zach Snyder's work, chances are you'll like Rebel Moon.
Watch it now on Netflix
Saltburn (Prime Video)
Written and directed by Emerald Fennell, Saltburn is the new dark comedy that has everyone talking this holiday season. The award-winning director's follow-up to Promising Young Woman stars Barry Keoghan as Oliver Quick, a scholarship student at Oxford University who struggles to fit in with his more affluent classmates.
Another student (Jacob Elordi) takes him under his wing, unaware of Oliver's growing obsession with him because of his charming nature and popular schoolboy antics. When Oliver works his way into his good graces enough to earn an invitation to spend the summer at his family's estate, Saltburn, that same obsession is revealed to be something far more sinister that turns the family's lives upside-down.
Watch it now on Prime Video
Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie
I'll be honest, I don't know if a Monk movie needed to happen, but there is a comforting sense of nostalgia in seeing Tony Shalhoub step once more into his iconic role, that of the obsessive-compulsive private detective Adrian Monk.
Given the events of the last few years, Monk's germaphobic tendencies don't seem so extreme in retrospect. The pandemic gave everyone a taste of what it's like to see the world through Monk's eyes, from diligently wiping down shopping carts to keeping antibacterial wipes close at hand and shuddering at the sight of crowded places. In Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie, Monk meticulously brushes off his detective hat for one final case after his stepdaughter's fiance dies in a bungee jumping incident the day before their wedding. Convinced it was no accident, the stepdaughter enlists Monk along with a crew of series favorites like former assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) and police lieutenant Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) to get to the bottom of things.
Watch it now on Peacock
Maestro is Bradley Cooper's return to the director's chair (if he believed in such things) following the smash success that was A Star Is Born. In this biopic, Cooper also stars as the acclaimed American conductor/composer/multihyphenate Leonard Bernstein.
While the movie is certainly an examination of Bernstein's life, it's largely about Bernstein's relationship with his wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). Maestro has been nominated for four Golden Globe awards including nominations for Cooper and Mulligan's performances, so don't miss it now that it's free on Netflix.
Watch it now on Netflix
Beau is Afraid (Paramount Plus with Showtime)
Maestro's Cooper and Mulligan are not alone in receiving Golden Globe nominations for their performances in movies streaming this week. A24's Beau is Afraid hits streaming this week, and Joaquin Phoenix has also received a nomination for his performance as the titular Beau. In this surreal horror movie, Beau is trying to attend his mother's funeral but runs into obstacle after obstacle along the way, including his own paranoia.
If you're not a horror fan, there's still something for you in Beau is Afraid. While it is terrifying and anxiety-inducing at times, it also has its fair share of comedy. So if you want to see one of the best performances of the year, don't miss this one.
Watch it now on Paramount Plus with Showtime
Four Daughters (PVOD)
Don't let this film being entirely in Arabic scare you off from watching it. This award-winning movie about Olfa Hamrouni and her daughters is a can't-miss story with a unique presentation. Part documentary, part fictionalized drama, Four Daughters tells the tale of how two of Olfa's daughters were radicalized, eventually joining the Islamic State in Libya against their mother's wishes. To tell their story, director Kaouther Ben Hania brings in two professional actresses to portray the missing daughters alongside the rest of the real family. I can guarantee you that you haven't seen anything like it.
Buy or rent on Apple TV now
The Creator (Hulu)
For better or worse, The Creator at least breathes some fresh life into the science fiction genre. Starring John David Washington as Sergeant Joshua Taylor, The Creator takes place in a world reeling from a nuclear attack from a rogue artificial intelligence. In the aftermath of this attack, Taylor must hunt down Nirmata, the creator of numerous advancements in the AI-friendly supernation of New Asia and the person the U.S. views as its greatest threat. While the Creator doesn't always stick the landing, it's at least a brilliant premise and beautifully shot. Give it a chance once it arrives on Hulu this week.
Watch it now on Hulu
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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.
- Malcolm McMillanSenior Streaming Writer
Not about the article. Just a complaint about the list of subscriptions which keeps listingReply
"Paramount Plus Essential - Monthly $1.99/mth". This offer ended in November, and your link just goes to the $5.99 price.