Netflix has seriously evolved since it got its start as a delivery Blockbuster way back in the late '90s. In 2018, Netflix is all about original content. This seems to contain mostly TV series these days, but more and more the streaming service is coming out with original movies. And there are a few original movies coming to Netflix in December. Amidst new seasons of spin-off sitcom Fuller House and the Ashton Kutcher-helmed series The Ranch, as well as comedy and holiday specials from the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and the cooking fails extravaganza Nailed It!, Netflix has served up a few juicy new offerings for its original film collection. And most of them definitely fall into the can't-miss category.
A quick note: One thing that may stick out as a glaring mistake here isn't actually an oversight at all. There isn't one single flick on this list that relates to the holiday season even a little bit, despite it being, well, the holiday season right now. Why is that? Well, namely because Netflix likes to release its Christmas movies in November, since let's face it, you start watching your cheesy holiday rom-coms on Thanksgiving, if not sooner. Don't worry, no one faults you.
So the movies you *need* to check out are below.
Jennifer Aniston is returning to the small screen — well, sort of. Before she actually goes back to her TV roots with the upcoming Apple series The Morning Show opposite Reese Witherspoon, the bonafide movie star will appear in a Netflix Original Film Dumplin', streaming on Dec. 7.
Aniston portrays Rosie Dickson, the mother of Willowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson, in a musical comedy based on the book of the same name. The film follows Dumplin' as she follows in her beauty queen mother's footsteps by entering a pageant in order to make a point about the way plus size women are treated in society. Danielle Macdonald, an Australian actress who has appeared on shows such as American Horror Story: Roanoke and Easy, portrays the eponymous character.
Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle
Yes, The Jungle Book has been done to death. But this project has an interesting story behind it. While Disney was working on its own live adaptation of its 1967 animated classic, Warner Bros. was pursuing a motion capture production with an impressive cast and a story lifted directly from Rudyard Kipling's All the Mowgli Stories, which expands on the original tale.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is on Netflix Dec. 7 with the help of some immense star power. Hollywood's main man when it comes to mo-cap, Andy Serkis (Gollum from The Lord of the Rings series, Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes movies) pulls double-duty as the voice/body of Baloo and as the film's director. Add in Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Bagheera, Kaa, and Shere Khan, and you've got quite the talented team. Rounding out the cast are the three human characters are played by Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Freida Pinto, and relative newcomer Rohan Chand as Mowgli himself.
If you're looking for Oscar-level quality in your end-of-the-year viewing, here's your obvious choice. Alfonso Cuarón directed Roma, a winner at Venice International Film Festival this past summer. Cuarón, whose name you may recognize from his repeated Academy Award nominations (and win for Gravity), also wrote and produced the semi-autobiographical drama, making it his most personal to-date.
The film revolves around a family living in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Cleo, a live-in maid for a sizable family, learns she is pregnant around the same time that her employers' marriage falls apart. The story follows her throughout her pregnancy and also touches upon the Corpus Christi massacre of 1971. There's a good chance this will end up being a Best Foreign Language film nominee at the 2019 Oscars, so I'd check it out as soon as you can.
You're in for a serious thrill ride with this Netflix Original. Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, is about a post-apocalyptic future in which the human race has been driven to commit suicide on a mass scale. It's definitely a horror movie, but with a real-world message. Think The Haunting of Hill House meets The Hunger Games.
Based on the book by Josh Malerman, the film was directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Beer (The Night Manager). Scream queen Sarah Paulson co-stars, as do Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), and John Malkovich (so many things).
This first-time mom wants to have a home birth, but is she ready? Watch how a doula supports a military mom who's determined to have a home birth in Episode One of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for the next three episodes, launching every Monday starting November 26.