New on Netflix UK: December 2020’s must-watch film and TV

Must-watch film and TV for the festive period

There’s a lot of choice on Netflix UK. In fact, each viewer spends 18 minutes (18 whole minutes!) on average trying to decide what to watch on the streaming platform. To put that into context, that’s almost as long as an episode of The Office.

But fear not, we’ve gone through all the new shows, docs and films arriving this month and whittled them down to the very best.

Here’s what you should be watching on Netflix UK in December 2020:

Must-watch movie: Mank


What is it? The latest picture from David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club, The Social Network) – but this one’s a bit of a change of pace for the filmmaker. It tells the lesser-known tale of the writer behind Citizen Kane, Herman J Mankiewicz. In our five-star review, we called it a “sumptuous tale of classic Hollywood”, adding: “Mank looks and sounds sensational. Shot through a smoky filter, this is a journey into booze-sodden Tinseltown glamour.”

Who’s in it? Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Joseph Cross, Charles Dance, and more.

When’s it out? December 4

For the music fans: Song Exploder Volume 2

What is it? Song Exploder is one of the best music podcasts around and was recently adapted into a TV show by Netflix. The first season included Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M and Ty Dolla $ign, with the series putting a spotlight on artists as they dissect a single song from their back catalogue. It’s the kind of stuff that any die-hard muso lives for.


Who’s in it? The second part features Dua Lipa, The Killers, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Mexico’s Natalia Lafourcade.

When’s it out? December 15

An icon’s final film: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

What is it? A fictionalised account of Ma Rainey, aka the “mother of blues”, and her incredible music career in the 1920s. The final film to feature the late Chadwick Boseman, our reviewer called it “a soulful swansong” for the star.

Who’s in it? Viola Davis, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts and, of course, the late, great Chadwick Boseman.

When’s it out? December 18

The return of George Clooney: The Midnight Sky


What is it? A sci-fi epic directed by and starring George Clooney, which is a big deal seeing as it’s the Hollywood vet’s first film appearance in four years. It follows Clooney’s Augustine in a race to stop his fellow space-bound researchers from returning home to a post-apocalyptic earth.

Who’s in it? George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler, and Caoilinn Springall.

When’s it out? December 23

To get in the festive spirit: The Holiday Movies That Made Us Volume 1

What is it? The Movies That Made Us took us on a behind the scenes look at seminal movies that shaped a generation, while spin-off The Toys That Made Us did the same for, well, toys. Now, we’re getting treated to a special festive edition with The Holiday Movies That Made Us, which will focus on two seasonal all-time greats: Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Who’s in it? The cast and crew that helped shape both timeless classics.

When’s it out? December 1

The best of the rest

Selena: The Series Part 1 (December 4)

A dramatised series about Selena, the Latin music icon who was killed at the young age of 23.

Stage Mother (December 7)

Starring Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels) and Adrian Grenier (Entourage), the film focuses on a conservative Christian mum who inherits her late son’s drag club.

The Prom (December 11)

Ryan Murphy recruits Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Kerry Washington and more for this Broadway adaptation that’s perfectly primed for easy Xmas viewing.

Anitta: Made In Honório (December 16)

Anitta is one of the most successful artists in Brazil and throughout Latin America, but Western viewers can learn a bit more about her with this new docu-series.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 (December 31)

Of the third part of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3, we wrote that “awkward musical numbers and distracting sub-plots nearly break the spell cast by Netflix’s witchy teen”. Now, fans that are still hooked by the Archie Comic adaptation will be treated to one final outing.