What is the holiday season for if not familiar faces and comfort food? The top new movies of the week offer both in a single movie, as George Clooney and Julia Roberts (a pairing we'll never get sick of, much like the best leftovers) reunite to go to Bali. They're not there as a couple, though, but as divorced parents trying to stop their daughter from getting married.
Also this week, we've got a big swing from Netflix. Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio has strong chances of ending up on two of our big lists: the best Netflix movies and the best family movies on Netflix. Not only does it come from a beloved creator, but it's an adaptation of one of the most iconic children's stories of all time.
Over on HBO Max, you've got Amsterdam, which is getting the second chance it may have needed, as the David O. Russell film seemed to go in and out of theaters. Meanwhile, Disney Plus has its latest revival with Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, and Hulu offers a holiday sequel with It's A Wonderful Binge.
Lastly, we can't ignore the return of Will Smith, as Emancipation drops on Apple TV Plus. While the headlines may be more about his apology tour than the film, it's certainly an interesting-looking movie. But it's one of only a few big entries in Apple's month of releases, an offering that risks its spot in the list of the best streaming services.
And if these aren't enough, we've got our list of the best movies of 2022 that you can stream online.
Emancipation (Apple TV Plus)
You don't need me to explain why this Will Smith movie will have more attention than some of the other ones — headlines about Smith's "apology tour." Instead, let's talk about why director Antoine Fuqua's latest film will help people understand how society's views changed from a normalized point of view we couldn't imagine today.
Peter (Smith) is on the run, having escaped from plantation owners and trying to find his way through Louisiana's swamps. Before he can reach his family at home, Peter has to escape Jim Fassel (Ben Foster), who brutally whipped him and tracks him.
Emancipation is based on the true story of a man named Gordon, whose scarred back was seen in photos that would fuel the abolitionist movement following their publication in Harper's Weekly.
Watch on Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) starting Friday (Dec. 9)
Ticket to Paradise (Peacock)
The Danny Ocean Multiverse is back in business, as George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite for Ticket To Paradise. Here, they play David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts), a formerly married couple whose divorce is still fresh in their heads — despite it taking place 20 years ago. Now, they have to deal with each other's company for the greater good: convincing their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) to not throw away her burgeoning legal career to move to Bali to marry and live with a local seaweed farmer named Gede.
But that's barely scratching the surface. Georgia's boyfriend Paul is joining the family on this big occasion, and he's trying to make sure that Lily isn't the only one with plans to walk down the aisle. And while David and Georgia are presenting a supportive front, they're also trying to sabotage Lily's wedding. So, yes, if you missed this one in theaters, you can now get your doctor prescribed dosage of George & Julia with just your Peacock account.
Stream it on Peacock (opens in new tab) starting Friday (Dec. 9)
Amsterdam (HBO Max)
When you can't say "based on a true story," you do what David O. Russell's Amsterdam did, saying "A lot of this actually happened." In the film, we meet Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale) and Harold Woodsman (John David Washington), soldiers stationed in France who get mended up by Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie). And while they stay friends years after the war, they soon find themselves enwrapped in a plan to stop Council of Five, a group shrouded in mystery that they think wants to take over the American government. Sound far-fetched? Well that's kinda the charm.
Amsterdam's cast is also stacked to the rafters. On top of its starring trio, you've got Chris Rock playing a friend of the main three, Anya Taylor-Joy as Valerie's sister-in-law and Zoe Saldaña as a medic. Mike Myers is also in there as an MI6 spy who makes glass eyes with Michael Shannon's character, while Timothy Olyphant plays a hitman. Even Taylor Swift appears in Amsterdam.
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab) starting today (Tuesday, Dec. 6)
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)
The second Pinocchio movie of the year bears a look that demands attention and erases memories of Disney's by-the-numbers adaptation. That's because Netflix partnered with genre auteur Guillermo Del Toro for a stop-motion animation take on the puppet-that-became-a-boy. While this tale is still full of whimsy and fantasy, all of Pinocchio's details have him looking more hand-made than ever. And, incidentally, more humane and fragile than before.
This Pinocchio (voiced by Gregory Mann) is dealing with his ambitions as a performer and the emotions of his maker Gepetto (David Bradley), who is still mourning his son Carlo who passed away at a young age. Soon, Pinocchio decides he doesn't want to be a burden, and when he strikes out on his own, local ringmaster Count Volpe (Christoph Waltz) is all too eager to turn the "boy" into a star. Pinocchio also features the voices of Ewan McGregor as Sebastian J. Cricket and Tilda Swinton as a magical fairy.
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab) starting Friday (Dec. 9)
Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again (Disney Plus)
This is not your average Night At the Museum. For starters, Ben Stiller isn't back, and neither is Hank Azaria, who played the titular villain Kahmunrah in Night at the Museum 2. That said, we're still excited — not only because the new version' animated style will unlock a whole load of visual flair you can't do the same way with live action and CGI, but because it's got a seriously solid cast behind it. When you have the likes of Steve Zahn (The White Lotus), Gillian Jacobs (Community), Bennet Yang (SNL) and comedian Jack Whitehall on hand, the laughs should be in steady supply.
Zachary Levi (Chuck) voices Larry Daley (the character Stiller played), the father of Nick (Joshua Basset), who's taken on his father's watch as a summer job. There, he will have to tangle with Teddy Roosevelt (Thomas Lennon of Reno 911), among others, while Kahmunrah (Joseph Kamal) seeks to take over the world.
Stream it on Disney Plus (opens in new tab) starting Friday (Dec. 9)
Something from Tiffany's (Prime Video)
Another week, another holiday movie. Zoey Deutch (Not Okay, Vampire Academy) stars across Kendrick Sampson (Insecure, How to Get Away with Murder) in this adaptation of Melissa Hill's novel of the same name.
Rachel (Deutch) is giving Gary (Ray Nicholson) yet another chance, and one her friends don't believe in. Ethan (Sampson) is on the verge of proposing to his special lady. And then, a case of mistaken boxes from Tiffany's in NYC throws both of their relationships into jeopardy.
Stream it on Prime Video (opens in new tab) starting Friday (Dec. 9)
It's A Wonderful Binge (Hulu)
Tis the season for excess, and It's A Wonderful Binge is the sequel you may not have seen coming. Hags (Dexter Darden) and Andrew (Eduardo Franco, who played Argyle in Stranger Things 4) are back in this odd dystopia where alcohol and drug consumption is illegal 364 days of the year. That 365th day? This year, it takes place on Christmas Eve. And while Hags is trying to propose to his girlfriend, Andrew needs to reconnect with his estranged (and very strange) family.
Yes, that's the oddest premise this side of Bullet Train, but this sequel is stocked with celebrities and comedy favorites. So, when you're not looking, Danny Trejo, Tim Meadows and Paul Scheer are sneaking up to steal scenes, while Patty Gugenheim (She-Hulk), Tony Cavalero (Righteous Gemstones) and Kaitlin Olson (It's Always Sunny) are here to make things weirder.
Watch on Prime Video (opens in new tab) starting Thursday (Dec. 1)