7 best new movies to watch this week: Top Gun: Maverick, Glass Onion and more (Dec. 20-25)

Tom Cruise as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Skydance Media)

This is the week many have been waiting for. The top new movies to watch online this week features the highest-grossing film of 2022, which has been in theaters since May. These days, most big movies (such as The Batman) hit streaming services after 45 or so days.

Top Gun: Maverick, though, is not "most" big movies. Grossing over $718 million USD, and recently returning to theaters for a little fly-by, it's the movie of the year. And that's coming from someone who admittedly didn't have any interest in seeing it at all until the right word of mouth came my way. One of our best movies of 2022, Maverick is the perfect movie to watch on a big screen TV. So, in the meta-game, this is a huge week for Paramount Plus. We're curious how they'll get people to stay.

But it's not the only anticipated movie of the week. After only giving it a week in theaters, Netflix finally hits 'stream' on Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. The Daniel Craig-led modern noir features an all-star cast, and a plot that's very of the moment. Sadly, no new movies come out HBO Max this week.

Elsewhere, Hulu sports its own take on Freaky Friday, Netflix offers a Roald Dahl musical and a buzzy indie movie hits video-on-demand. Here's everything you need to know about the week at your own home box office.

Aftersun (On Demand)

Aftersun, one of the more-recent films that I've gotten recommendations to watch, is now on video-on-demand services such as Amazon and Apple. The film, from debuting director Charlotte Wells, won raves for star Frankie Corio's performance as Sofie, a pre-teen on holiday with her father (Paul Mescal). 

Aftersun is told both through scenes that take place in those moments, and while a twenty-years-older Sofie (Celia Rowlson-Hall) is recalling her memories of her father — thanks to the camcorder they used on vacation. Aftersun's a winner for its delicate touches that make the rough moments between childhood and adolescence. 

Rent on Amazon (opens in new tab) and other services right now (Arrived today, Tuesday, Dec. 20)

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner (Netflix)

If you want to get away, and admittedly take a little risk on a movie you've definitely never heard of, Disconnect looks like a charming little romantic comedy worth some attention. This Netflix original has been so thinly promoted that we can't even tell you the names of its characters, only that its trailer gives off fun enough vibes that we're curious.

In Disconnect: The Wedding Planner, we meet a man trying to save a wedding (not his own) that's falling apart. Because if he doesn't, he's likely to lose an investor in his business. At the very least, Disconnect looks like a fun chance to see Mombasa, a coastal city in Kenya. At best? Well, this romantic comedy about a makeshift wedding planner whose own love life is in chaos looks like it could be pretty charming. 

Watch on Netflix (opens in new tab) right now (Arrived today, Tuesday, Dec. 13)

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Plus)

If you've never seen the original Top Gun, all you need to know going into this sequel is that Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell is the kind of fighter pilot who doesn't really respect authority. Oh, and he's still feeling the loss of his wingman from the first film. Here, in Top Gun: Maverick — one of the best of the year — Mitchell goes back to work. Except this time he's not a pilot: he's an instructor.

And one of the young fighter pilots he's training for an impossible mission just so happens to be the son of his late wingman. And, so, the relationship between Mitchell and Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw (Miles Teller) simmers until it boils over — multiple times. That said, Top Gun: Maverick isn't just about its plot. It's about the amazing stuntwork done in the actual planes you see in the film. Visually, Top Gun: Maverick is one of the most exhilarating films of the year, and one that will make believers out of skeptics. I would know: I am no fan of the original.

How to watch Top Gun Maverick online

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)

Having seen Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery twice already, I can stand behind it as maybe the most-perfect Netflix film of all time. Because while I'm not sure it's the best Netflix movie ever, I am sure it is the perfect mix of what people (and Netflix) want out of a movie they're streaming at home.

First of all, it's a sequel to an existing hit, giving audiences reason to trust it (and Netflix reason to believe it will succeed. Secondly, it's got an all-star cast, including Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn and Leslie Odom Jr. Third? Well, this probably matters more to Netflix, but Glass Onion is completely rewatchable. Once you know its tricks and its secrets, you'll enjoy discovering what was in plain sight during a second watching (while Netflix counts your hours watched).

Also, the story of a bunch of influencers that call themselves disruptors on the private island owned by a tech billionaire who's seemingly not that smart, well, it feels all-too-on-the-nose. Suffice it to say, Rian Johnson's done it again. Glass Onion is a delightful noir that's very befitting of the times it's released in.

Watch on Netflix (opens in new tab) starting Thursday (Dec. 23)

Mack & Rita (Hulu)

Down in Palm Springs, 30-something Mack (Elizabeth Lail) is feeling much older than her driver's license tells her she is. And, well, she's always been like this. And it's hard to not feel weird as a young person these days, at least if you didn't grow up ready for Burning Man, 'yassification' and TikTok. 

And this is where she finds a magical tanning bed that works too well. And, no, it doesn't age her with light, but somehow she emerges as the 70-something version of herself (Diane Keaton). But without the time travel that would give her the wisdom that old age is supposed to provide. Now, she's posing as her own "aunt," and finally enjoying life.

Watch it on Hulu (opens in new tab) starting Thursday (Dec. 23)

Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical (Netflix)

All that young Matilda (Alisha Weir) wants to do is be herself, and being herself means reading. Unfortunately, her adoptive parents come from the book-burning school of critical thinking. And, so, she's off to a new school that feels a little too miserable. That's her angry father's plan to stop her from reading: use schooling. As if we needed more proof he's not a critical thinker.

There, she meets Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) a nurturing school teacher who sees Matilda's curiosities and love of reading as good things. This is where she also encounters a Dickensian headmaster (Emma Thompson), who runs Crunchem Hall like it's supposed to live true to its name. While it doesn't appear to reinvent the wheel (Danny Devito's work in the original Matilda is hard to top), Netflix's Matilda musical looks like a infectiously fun movie.

Watch on Netflix (opens in new tab) on Sunday (Dec. 25)

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (Apple TV Plus)

This holiday season, Apple's aiming for the hand-drawn animation lovers with The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (based on Charlie Mackesy's best-selling book of the same name). Lost and away from home, The Boy (Jude Coward Nicoll) needs help. He finds said help in the form of three animals who can talk to him.

Oh, and they're voiced by beloved actors, as The Mole (Tom Hollander), The Fox (Idris Elba) and The Horse (Gabriel Byrne). The above trailer will show you that Apple has a wonderfully elegant-looking movie on its hand, and a warm and heartfelt dose of holiday emotions. 

Stream it on Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) starting Sunday (Dec. 25)

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.