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79 brilliant movies to watch on Netflix this week

James King has the top picks for Netflix films for January!

James King

James King is back with his latest Netflix recommendations! And with the New Year in full swing, it's time for some inspiring movies to power us through 2021 as well as some old favourites making their debut. Check out these must-see movies for January...

MORE: 26 shows to get excited about in 2021

Selma (2014)

Category: Drama

British-born David Oyelowo shines in this gutsy and gripping drama based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches in the US, led by - among others - legendary activist Martin Luther King Jr. Produced by Oprah Winfrey.

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Moneyball (2009)

Category: Sport

Don’t know anything about baseball? Fear not. This true story of Oakland Athletics coach Billy Beane and his groundbreaking method of building a team is exciting even for those of us who can barely understand rounders. Brad Pitt stars - giving one of his most electric performances - plus there’s Jonah Hill as his brainbox assistant manager Peter Brand, proving there’s way more to the Superbad actor than comedy. 

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Bad Teacher (2011)

Category: Comedy

From back in the day when Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake were an item comes this adult comedy starring the once happy couple as chalk-and-cheese high-school educators. He’s clean-cut, she’s a handful, and the result is an hour and half of deliciously dark humour featuring the now-retired Cam’s most hilarious performance. 

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Morning Glory (2010)

Category: Romantic Comedy

The underrated Rachel McAdams leads this sparkling rom-com as a daytime TV producer whose co-anchors (Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton) can’t stand each other. It might not be weighty, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had from watching precious media-types and their fragile egos. Not to mention, as a network executive, the always spectacular Jeff Goldblum. 

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12 Years a Slave (2013)

Category: Drama

A masterpiece that one Best Picture at the Oscars, this epic - and true - tale of injustice hasn’t lost any of its power. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northrup, a Washington musician kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery - a performance for which he was rightly a multiple award winner. But it’s perhaps Lupita Nyong’o who shines most brightly in her breakthrough role as Solomon’s friend, the heartbreakingly tortured Patsey. 

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The Impossible (2012)

Category: Drama

Based on the experience of María Belón and her family in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy, The Impossible features jaw-dropping effects and set-pieces plus inspiring turns from Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and - in his first film after starring as Billy Elliot in London’s West End - future Spider-Man, Tom Holland. 

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Ex-Machina (2014)

Category: Sci-Fi

Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac and Domnhall Gleason star in this delightfully odd futuristic tale about a humble computer programmer invited by his rich boss to test their latest, worryingly human, robot. Stunning to look at and unashamedly brainteasing, this is science fiction at its most cool and creepy. 

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting (2012)

Category: Romantic Comedy

Very loosely based on the bestselling pregnancy guide from the eighties, it’s the stellar cast who make this a guilty pleasure. Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock and Rodrigo Santoro star as five couples struggling with the ups and downs of parenthood.

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Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009)

Category: Romantic Comedy

Excited for the new series of ‘Sex and the City’? Its star Sarah Jessica Parker might not have had mega-success in movies outside of the New York saga but here’s one of the better ones, with SJP teaming up with Hugh Grant to play socialites forced into the Wyoming countryside as part of a witness protection programme. 

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Pieces of a Woman (2021)

Category: Drama

Vanessa Kirby - formerly Princess Margaret in ‘The Crown’ - powers into Awards Season with this remarkable performance as a woman dealing with the aftermath of a tragic home birth. It’s tough viewing for sure but the acting grips like a vice, whilst a sense of closure ultimately leaves us with a glimmer of hope. 

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WATCH: Pieces of a Woman trailer 

Saint Frances (2020)

Category: Romantic Comedy

Think you’ve seen it all in rom-coms? Think again. Saint Frances rewrites the rules, crossing Bridget Jones with Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ and coming up with the story of a frustrated thirty-something that feels entirely fresh. Kelly O’Sullivan writes and stars although it’s 6-year old Ramona Edith Williams as the girl she babysits who steals the show. A perfect tonic for tough times. 

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MORE: 9 true-crime shows to get obsessed with in 2021

Wonder (2017)

Category: Drama

Based on the best-selling book by RJ Palacio, Jacob Tremblay stars as a young boy with facial differences who must go to school for the first time in his life and learn how to make friends. Heart-warming stuff, expertly played by Tremblay and his co-stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. 

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Category: Drama

Watching Leo DiCaprio lose his marbles for three hours shouldn’t be this much fun but legendary director Martin Scorsese’s take on the true story of rule-breaking stockbroker Jordan Belfort is a riot. Excellent support comes from Jonah Hill and - in her breakthrough role - Margot Robbie but it’s Leo letting loose that makes for an addictive watch. 

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Instant Family (2018)

Category: Comedy

A surprisingly charming comedy this one, with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as a couple raising three adopted children. Based on the writer/director’s own experiences of unconventional parenting, it’s an uplifting and fun celebration of family bonds with Wahlberg in particular showing real heart. 

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MORE: 11 great podcasts to listen to in 2021

Babyteeth (2020)

Category: Drama

Former ‘Home & Away’ star Eliza Scanlen has had a great year or two, with the award-winning Little Woman wowing audiences a couple of Christmases ago and now this - the sensitive but gutsy story of a 16-year old recovering from cancer and the romance she has with a hard-up drug addict (Toby Wallace). Delicately devastating. 

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MORE: 20 most anticipated new books being released in 2021

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Category: Drama

The whole world seems to be enjoying the latest Netflix period romance ‘Bridgerton’ right now so it’s the perfect moment to revisit the work of the woman who started the craze: Jane Austen. This version of her classic rom-com stars Keira Knightley as 19th century singleton Elisabeth Bennet, with uptight Mr Darcy (Matthew McFadyen) about to sweep her off her feet. 

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Captain Fantastic (2016)

Category: Drama

The ever-reliable Viggo Mortensen earned an Oscar nomination for his role as an eccentric father raising his children off-the-grid, but who’s forced to venture back into normal society after a tragic loss. Wonderfully bizarre - and with a standout turn from 1917 star George MacKay. 

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Misery (1990)

Category: Thriller

It may be wintry out there but just be thankful that you’re not writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan), paralysed by a car crash out in snowy Colorado and ‘nursed’ back to health by crazed superfan Annie (Kathy Bates). An ice-cold thriller from the mind of Stephen King that still chills even after all these years. 

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The Minimalists: Less is Now (2021)

Category: Documentary

The New Year is the perfect time for a reboot and self-help gurus Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus - aka The Minimalists - are here to tell us that in 2021 we need to ‘make time for less’. Why? Because less stuff equals less stress. Just like their popular podcast, the film is down-to-earth but quietly life-changing and might find yourself sorting through your cupboards as soon as the credits roll. 

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Fighting With My Family (2019)

Category: Comedy

This true story of WWE fighter Paige is the perfect tonic for a chilly January. Full of laughs, drama and warmth, it’s the rags-to-riches tale we could all do with right now and features a stunning turn from Florence Pugh as the Norfolk girl who follows her dreams to wrestle on the world stage. Co-starring Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Heady, Vince Vaughn and Dwayne Johnson. 

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Turbo (2013)

Category: Family

After a freak accident makes Turbo the snail super-fast, his dreams of being a professional racer look closer than ever. But he still has to defy expectations and prove the haters wrong. Cute animation from Dreamworks with A-List voice talent including Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dogg, Michelle Rodriguez, Ken Jeong and Samuel L Jackson. 

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Dredd (2012)

Category: Sci-Fi

After a disastrous attempt by Sylvester Stallone in the nineties, the iconic comic book character Judge Dredd finally gets the movie he deserves with this tough futuristic thriller starring Star Trek’s Karl Urban. Gritty, gutsy fun. 

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Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Category: War

The award-winning Second World War classic from Steven Spielberg debuts on Netlfix still boasting all the power that made it an Oscar winner on its release. The jaw-dropping first half hour is legendary, as American soldiers land on Normandy’s beaches on D-Day, but the whole story of an officer (Tom Hanks) sent to save a young soldier (Matt Damon) is rich with drama, emotion and unforgettable acting. 

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Semi-Pro (2008)

Category: Comedy

Will Ferrell scored a big hit on Netflix in 2020 with his Eurovision spoof so maybe now’s the time to revisit one of his more overlooked dumb comedies. Semi-Pro tells the story of big-haired pop singer and basketball player Jackie Moon and his dreams of leading his ragtag team to the NBA. Think Anchorman... with hoops.

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The Borrowers (1997)

Category: Family

If the kids have worked through all the latest releases on Netflix then this nineties hit still has a lot to offer. Based on the classic children’s book by Mary Norton, John Goodman stars as the nasty lawyer threatening to evict the Lender family from their house - which just happens to be home to a tiny race of people known as Borrowers too. Jim Broadbent and Celia Imrie co-star, which is never a bad thing. 

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Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas (2020)

Category: Family

A new short film from the boffins at Aardman Animation, this time seeing everyone’s favourite woolly whizkid crossing paths with a bunch of llamas from the county fair who are in the mood for trouble. As always, it’s delightfully eccentric fun. 

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Ariana Grande: Excuse Me I Love You (2020)

Category: Documentary

Chronicling Ari’s 2019 Sweetener World Tour (which grossed an eye-watering $244 million), Excuse Me I Love You mixes behind-the-scenes footage with spectacular live performances. It might be unlikely to win her new fans but for hardcore Arianators, this is the perfect Christmas gift.  

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Ocean’s 8

Category: Thriller

With a cast list that includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Helena Bonham-Carter, Ocean’s 8 boasts some serious star quality even if the plot itself struggles. What it lacks in tension it makes up for in glamour though, with con-artist Debbie (Bullock) assembling a crack team to pull off a heist at the world-famous Met Gala. 

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The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

Category: Drama

Following on from Rebecca earlier in the year - and ahead of her new film The Dig dropping on Netflix in January - Lily James keeps up her remarkable hit rate with this adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name. Set mostly in 1946, it’s the sweet the story of a London writer striking up a relationship with Channel Islanders, enhanced by a cast of national treasures including Penelope Wilton and Tom Courtenay. Cosy winter viewing. 

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The Midnight Sky (2020)

Category: Sci-Fi

Director and star George Clooney lost 25 pounds for this story of a scientist battling the Arctic elements to get a message to an earthbound spaceship. Slow but undeniably slick, The Midnight Sky will please fans of moody sci-fi. Felicity Jones co-stars.

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WATCH: The Midnight Sky trailer is here

Escape Room (2019)

Category: Horror

It was only a matter of time before the current fad for escape room adventures was turned into a horror film. Audiences loved this too, with the story of a group of puzzle solvers struggling to get out of multiple rooms getting a sequel in 2021. Silly but effective... and not for the claustrophobic!

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Despicable Me (2010)

Category: Family 

With another spin-off, Minions: The Rise of Gru, slated for 2021, here’s the original tale of the dastardly super-villain who adopts three girls from an orphanage and aims to shrink and steal the moon (obviously). Steve Carrell is having a blast voicing Gru and the inspired zaniness of the plot and style has rightfully made the Despicable Me movies the biggest animated franchise in history. 

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Uncut Gems (2020)

Category: Thriller

Adam Sandler stars in this  Netflix Original that’s light years away from his usual comedies, playing a New York jeweller racing to pay off his debts. It’s an exhilarating - and exhausting - watch that dares to go to dark places, resulting in a career-best turn from The Sandman. Shamefully overlooked at the Oscars.

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Revolutionary Road (2008)

Category: Drama

With Kate Winslet and Leo Di Caprio in the leads you might be expecting Titanic 2, but Revolutionary Road is an altogether different prospect, beautifully examining the unravelling of a seemingly perfect marriage in 50s America. Classy stuff, showcasing the stars at their most poignant. 

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Everest

Category: Thriller

Set in 1996 and based on the true story of rival mountaineering teams struggling in a Himalayan blizzard, Everest is edge-of-your-seat viewing that’s ideal for a chilly winter night. A bit of ice on your car window just won’t seem such a big thing after watching this. Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin and Robin Wright star. 

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Category: Drama

It might not have the most appealing name but this electrifying version of an award-winning stage play is a must-see. Why? Two reasons: Viola Davis as the title character, a real-life blues singer from the twenties (whose hits included one called ‘Black Bottom’) and the late Chadwick Boseman as her trumpeter Levee. It’s Boseman’s final role and he goes out with a bang, clashing with his boss Ma during a day’s recording session, where artistic and social tensions boil over. A Netflix exclusive. 

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Erin Brockovich (2000)

Category: Drama

Flashback twenty years to the role that cemented Julia Roberts’ position as a Hollywood great. Telling the true story of a legal assistant who takes on a giant power company, Julia is ably supported by a likably grumpy Albert Finney as her boss Ed and Aaron Eckhart as biker boyfriend George. Inspirational stuff. 

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Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

Category: Family

It’s not often that a series really finds hits feet on the third outing but that’s certainly the case with Madagascar Part 3. Familiar faces (and voices) Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria are all back, this time struggling to return to their New York zoo home and dropping in on a European circus en route. Great jokes follow along with new characters such as Gia, a sultry jaguar voiced by Jessica Chastain who unsurprisingly catches Alex’s eye. 

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Begin Again (2013)

Category: Musical

As debate rages over James Corden’s turn in current Netflix hit The Prom, check him causing much fewer headlines in this underrated musical drama from the creator of stage sensation Once. Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are leads Gretta and Dan, a singer and a producer with a unique idea for a new album (with James as Gretta’s best friend Steve). The songs are stunning and the plot’s properly cute. Look out for Maroon 5’s Adam Levine too. 

MORE: Christmas TV Guide 2020: find out all our top festive picks

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Unfriended (2014)

Category: Horror

You’ll no doubt see the clever Zoom-based horror movie Host mentioned in many ‘Best Of’ lists at the end of 2020 but Unfriended told a similar story several years earlier. Six high school students discuss the recent death of a classmate during their Skype call, only to sense a ghostly presence listening in. Genuinely clever, seriously scary!

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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Category: Family

Based on the classic children’s book, here’s a beautifully weird take on a beautifully weird story. Little Max imagines running away from home to a far off land where he can be as playful as he wants - and meets a bunch of giant monsters when he’s there. Perhaps more of a film about childhood than a children’s film, this is truly a family movie like no other. 

MORE: 11 streaming highlights to watch on Christmas Day: Amazon Prime, NOWTV and more

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The Lake House (2006)

Category: Romance

The dream team of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock reunite after their nineties hit Speed for this very different love story about two people from different eras, strangely united by a waterside home. You could spend an hour and a half picking holes in the plot (hint: it doesn’t make sense) but The Lake House is all about believing in the impossible - and waiting for the love of your life, however long it takes. 

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Winter’s Bone (2010)

Category: Thriller

It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy this uncompromising tale of a rural community and a daughter who’ll do anything to save her family. It’s also the movie that catapulted Jennifer Lawrence from zero to hero, earning her an Oscar nomination and a slew of glowing reviews. Tough, tense and terrifying.  

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The Prom (2020)

Category: Musical

Seriously sparkly fun from The Politician and Ratched creator Ryan Murphy, starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and James Corden. The plot sees a bunch of liberal Broadway stars leaving the Big Apple for Indiana in order to fight for a young woman’s right to go to prom with her girlfriend. But maybe they’re more interested in upping their own profiles than really doing good? Big songs, big laughs and camper than Christmas.

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Stage Mother (2020)

Category: Comedy

One of 2020’s best under-the-radar movies, this. Australian acting royalty Jacki Weaver is a religious mother who hears that her grown-up son has died... and he’s left her his San Francisco drag club in the will. Come for the jokes but stay for the tenderness and emotion - not to mention a scene-stealing Lucy Liu.  

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Bumblebee (2018)

Category: Sci-Fi

The best in the Transformers franchise? Without a doubt. The multi-talented Hailee Steinfeld stars as Charlie, an 80s high-schooler who discovers that the yellow VW Beetle she’s doing up might not be all that it seems. Perfect for today’s teen girls as well anyone looking for some expertly made sci-fi nostalgia. 

MORE: George Clooney displays weight loss than had him hospitalised in The Midnight Sky trailer

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Panic Room (2002)

Category: Thriller

Jodie Foster stars in this noughties thrill ride from the team that brought you current Netflix hit Mank, playing a mother hiding in her home during a burglary. The cast is stellar (Jared Leto, Forrest Whittaker and a very young Kristen Stewart) and the jumps will leave you a nervous wreck. Just don’t expect a good night’s sleep afterwards. 

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Mank (2020)

Category: Drama

One for history buffs, with Gary Oldman as real-life 1940s Hollywood writer Herman Mankiewicz and how he came to pen one of the most acclaimed films of all time: Citizen Kane. Lily Collins and Amanda Seyfried co-star in this delicious deep-dive into movie-making folklore that’s all set for Oscars.

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WATCH: Mank is a huge Oscar contender

Poseidon (2006)

Category: Thriller

Before Kurt Russell had an unlikely career resurgence as Santa in Netflix’s Christmas Chronicles series, he was in more traditional action man mode in this remake of classic disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure. The script might not be Shakespeare but the special effects are something special, with likeable support from Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfuss and Josh Lucas. 

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Nightcrawler (2014)

Category: Drama

Jake Gyllenhaal is at his creepy best in this deliciously dark thriller about a loner who films crime scenes in nighttime LA, only to sell off the footage to any new channel who’ll pay him. Some scenes will shock but Nightcrawler still feels - 6 years after it came out - entirely of the moment, whilst co-star Rene Russo gives the kind of performance that’ll make you wish she made more movies these days. 

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Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Category: Comedy

Back in the days of four channel TV viewing, this classic from Down Under scored the highest ever viewing figures for Christmas Day in the UK. Was it worth it? Well, whilst some moments seem a little dated, most of the gags still work. Plus the laidback charm of Paul Hogan - playing a rough and ready Aussie tracker out of his depth in New York - is brilliantly appealing. 

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To the Bone (2017)

Category: Drama

This year has been something of a renaissance for Lilly Collins, thanks to Netflix hits Emily in Paris and Mank. But she’s been showing signs of greatness for a while now, not least in this eye-opening but sensitive drama about a girl hospitalised with an eating disorder. The one-and-only Keanu Reeves shows off his bedside manner by co-starring as a helpful doctor. 

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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

Category: Family

Before Dwayne Johnson really found his feet as Hollywood’s biggest star, he took over from Brendan Fraser in this likeable adventure sequel, co-starring Vanessa Hudgens and The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson. Eye-popping family fun. 

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Galaxy Quest (1999)

Category: Comedy

If you’re not enjoying the late Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter movies this Christmas then why not remember his brilliance by watching Galaxy Quest instead? With the brilliant premise of a bunch of sci-fi actors drawn into an actual alien attack, Alan was never funnier - and that’s saying something. 

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The Sweeney (2012)

Category: Action

The Cockney icon that is Ray Winstone leads this slick and sweary remake of old cop show The Sweeney. Don’t expect art - this is boisterous and gutsy stuff. So if you’ve had enough of all those slushy Christmas rom-coms, here’s your antidote. 

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Cats & Dogs (2001)

Category: Family

The sequels might not have had much bite but this first tale of feline/canine rivalry from nearly twenty years ago is still a lot of fun. Tobey Maguire (remember him?) voices a loveable Beagle called Lou who learns all about an age-old feud with creepy kitty Mr Tinkles (Sean Hayes). 

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Category: Sci-fi

A classic from legendary director Stephen Spielberg, telling the story of an imminent UFO visit and the effect it has on a group of random people. It’s real heart-in-mouth stuff, this one - and with a score and special effects that still sparkle. 

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Falling Down (1993)

Category: Action

A sensation when it was released in the nineties and still packing a punch, Falling Down looks at one man’s fight against the system when he just can’t take any more. Shocking, tense and perhaps Michael Douglas’ finest hour. 

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The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Category: Action

The acting god Daniel Day-Lewis stars as eighteenth-century man-of-the-woods Hawkeye in this Oscar-winning adaptation of the classic novel. The plot might need a little knowledge of American history to be completely understood but the breathless style and romance more than make up for it. 

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The Prestige (2006)

Category: Thriller

Rival Victorian-era magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) push their one-upmanship too far in this beautifully bizarre mystery from Batman director Christopher Nolan. Also starring Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis and David Bowie. 

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The Speed Cubers (2020)

Category: Documentary

If The Queen’s Gambit has got you interested in brain-teasing pastimes, check out this doc about 1980s phenomenon Rubik’s Cube and its present-day champions. Short and sweet it might be, but The Speed Cubers still has plenty of ‘twists and turns’ to keep you hooked. You might even find yourself adding one of the infuriatingly addictive Cubes to your Christmas list...

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WATCH: New movies to stream this December

Jack Reacher (2012)

Category: Action

Okay, so Tom Cruise’s more petite, brunette Jack Reacher might not be much like the sandy-haired giant of Lee Child’s mega-selling books but both this film and its sequel (Never Go Back, also on Netflix) are still solidly entertaining tough-guy thrillers. The regal Rosamund Pike co-stars in the first film too, which is never a bad thing. 

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Tom Cruise stars as Jack Reacher

About a Boy (2002)

Category: Comedy

Not a Christmas film as such but there’s a fair chunk of the festive season in this charmer starring Hugh Grant as a committed bachelor whose life is turned around by geeky adolescent Marcus (played by a very young Nicholas Hoult.) It’s still one of Hugh’s best roles and with support from Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette - plus a sublime soundtrack - About a Boy is a delight. 

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Settle in with a total classic

Burlesque (2010)

Category: Musical

Followers of star Christina Aguilera on Instagram will know she’s been posting a lot about Burlesque recently, all in celebration of its tenth anniversary. The story’s a Coyote Ugly-style tale of a young woman (Christina) who moves to the city with big dreams, but who ends up working in a less-than-wholesome bar. Hardly original. Yet it’s the presence of Cher and Stanley Tucci as the club’s bigwigs who make this a thing of sparkly joy. 

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Fancy a bit of sparkly joy?

Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (2020)

Category: Documentary

Following similar docs about Taylor Swift and Lady GaGa, the million-selling Canadian Shawn Mendes tells his own story ahead of upcoming album Wonder. And just like those other films, there’s a surprising amount of insight into life on the road, family and the 22-year old’s relationship with fellow megastar Camilla Cabello. 

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Shawn Mendes tells his own story

Dolemite is My Name (2019)

Category: Comedy

A return to form for comedy legend Eddie Murphy, telling the incredible - and somehow true - story of eccentric comedian Rudy Ray Moore and how he became the star of several low-budget movies in the seventies. Eddie is clearly having the time of his life but it’s an hilarious cameo from Wesley Snipes that steals the show. Glorious. 

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A return to form for comedy legend Eddie Murphy

Dreamgirls (2006)

Category: Musical

Enjoyed Anika Noni-Rose as Jessica in new Netflix holiday hit Jingle Jangle? Then why not check her out alongside Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx and a certain Beyoncé in this blockbuster musical too? Anika plays Lorrell Robinson, one third of a sixties girl group who endure highs and lows both professionally and personally, belting out some fine soul tunes along the way. 

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Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson star

O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)

Category: Comedy

George Clooney is at his quirkiest in this thirties-set romp about three convicts on the run in Mississippi. Based on an ancient Greek myth, O Brother is a brilliantly bonkers, full of surreal imagery and crazy musical moments. It’s a testament to Clooney’s considerable charm that he’s able to pull it off. 

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O Brother is brilliantly bonkers

Becoming (2020)

Category: Documentary

With Barack Obama’s latest autobiography flying off shelves around the world, here’s his other half Michelle’s recent documentary about her own book and the accompanying tour that saw her playing to sell-out crowds around the world. Polished it might be, but here’s a film that really captures Mrs Obama’s greatest strength: she cares about people. Inspirational stuff. 

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You read the book, now watch the documentary

The American President (1995)

Category: Rom-Com

Not had enough of US politics yet? Even if you think you have, it’s still worth giving this charming romance - now celebrating its twenty fifth birthday - a try. Michael Douglas stars as the big man in the White House, a widower wooing a smart environmentalist (Annette Bening) in the run-up to an election. Classy stuff - and the inspiration for writer Aaron Sorkin’s next project: legendary TV show The West Wing. 

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Michael Douglas stars

The Secret: Dare to Dream (2020)

Category: Romance

If you’ve been enjoying Netflix’s recent addition of classic nineties teen drama Dawson’s Creek to their line-up, here’s former Creek star Katie Holmes in her latest incarnation. Dare to Dream is based on the principles of bestselling self-help book The Secret and is undeniably clunky. But it’s also a reminder that Katie and co-star Josh Lucas are really appealing, even in something this cheesy!

Loved the self-help book? Now watch the film!

Changeling (2008)

Category: Thriller

One of Angelina Jolie’s best - but least remembered - movies, this one. Based on a true story and set in late twenties Los Angeles, Angie plays single mother Christine Collins, understandably distraught when her nine-year-old son goes missing. Yet when he returns several months later, she’s now unsure whether he’s actually the same boy. A must-see. 

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Angelina's film is a must-see

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)

Category: Family

A third movie outing for the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom and it's as wonderfully bonkers as before. This time around Spongebob's pet snail Gary gets stolen by sea god Poseidon, so beginning a hyperactive tale that features zombies, Snoop Dogg, 'Living La Vida Loca' and Keanu Reeves as a wise sage... made out of sage. Genius. 

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The Spongebob Movie is the perfect family film

Only You (2018)

Category: Romance

Excited by the new season of The Crown? If you're a fan of Josh O'Connor - who plays Prince Charles in the award-winning drama - check him out in this hidden gem from a couple of years back, with Josh and Laia Costa as a couple struggling to deal with the pressure of IVF. Tender and touching. 

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The Crown star Josh O'Connor in Only You

Sorry to Bother You (2019)

Category: Comedy

One of the strangest comedies of recent years but also one of the most inventive, starring Lakeith Stanfield as a hard-up telemarketer who discovers a corporate cover-up going on in his office. Both surreal and socially aware, Sorry to Bother You is like nothing you've seen before: strangely beautiful and wonderfully funny.

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Sorry to Bother You is the next comedy you need to watch

The Holiday (2006)

Category: Festive

Yep, it's time once again to revisit this Christmas favourite starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz as strangers who swap houses for the festive season, finding love along the way. Cheesy but charming, Cameron and co-star Jude Law have never looked more gorgeous. 

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The Holiday never gets old

Gangster Squad (2013)

Category: Thriller 

Ryan Gosling turns the big 4-0 this month so let's celebrate with Gangster Squad, the second of three films he's made with Emma Stone and a enjoyably flashy crime thriller to boot. Sean Penn co-stars as the 1940s criminal Ryan’s LA cop is out to catch.

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Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn star in Gangster Squad

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