The Best Movies and TV Shows New to Netflix Canada in December

Every month, Netflix Canada adds a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are the titles we think are most interesting for December, broken down by release date. Netflix occasionally changes schedules without giving notice.


Starts streaming: Dec. 1

What if “Save the Last Dance” were Norwegian? That’s the gist of this teen romance, which sparks the friction between a prim, formal dance student and the hip-hop specialist whose unconventional moves re-energize her on and off the dance floor. As “Battle” opens, the affluent heroine (Lisa Teige) is reeling from her father’s bankruptcy, which has had a devastating effect on her confidence. After she meets a hip-hop dancer (Fabian Svegaard Tapia), their star-crossed collaboration opens her up to the liberating, improvisational world of battle dancing.

Starts streaming: Dec. 1

The director Guillermo Del Toro gets so much critical acclaim for his historical fantasies, like “Pan’s Labyrinth” or the Oscar-winning “The Shape of Water,” that his more mainstream genre fare is often underrated. There are elements of history in the Mike Mignola comic “Hellboy,” a series built around a half-demon summoned by Nazis as a weapon against the Allied forces. But Del Toro’s adaptation approaches them lightly and deftly. His bigger focus is on the gentle giant of Hellboy himself, played by Ron Perlman, a reluctant superhero who chomps on cigars, loves cats and occasionally sets out with his mutant, outcast friends to smite the forces of paranormal evil.

Starts streaming: Dec. 7

The choreographer-turned-director Anne Fletcher (“27 Dresses,” “The Proposal”) specializes in the sort of lightweight rom-coms and crowd pleasers that Hollywood no longer has much interest in financing. So Fletcher has taken her latest comedy to Netflix, casting Jennifer Aniston as a former beauty queen whose plus-sized daughter, Willowdean, doesn’t seem likely to extend her mother’s pageant dominance. Played by Danielle Macdonald, who had a breakout role in the 2017 Sundance buzz magnet “Patti Cake$,” Willowdean’s confidence wavers when she enters a local pageant to impress a guy she likes and justify her mother’s faith. Dolly Parton worked heavily on the soundtrack, which features six new songs and a few rerecorded versions of older ones.

‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’
Starts streaming: Dec. 7

Just two years after Disney turned “The Jungle Book” into a live-action feature, Netflix is offering its own expensive-looking take on the Rudyard Kipling standard (bought from Warner Bros.), with a big-name voice cast (Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris, among others) and a director, Andy Serkis, who is known as a pioneer in motion-capture acting. The outlines of “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” are familiar — an orphaned “man-cub” (Rohan Chand) raised in the jungles of India goes on to confront his humanity — but the film is more of a straight-up adventure than either Disney version of “The Jungle Book,” which may bring it closer to the Kipling source.

‘The American Meme’
Starts streaming: Dec. 7

Social media and YouTube accounts have created a generation of D.I.Y. celebrities who pitch their selfies, videos and pop-philosophical musings directly to the fans they have cultivated. With “The American Meme,” the director Bert Marcus attempts to make sense of this phenomenon by speaking to the stars themselves, including Paris Hilton, Emily Ratajkowski, Kirill Bichutsky and Josh Ostrovsky, better known as “The Fat Jew.” Although many of these subjects lack evident talent — Ostrovsky, for one, was exposed as a serial joke-stealer — they share a common savvy for cultivating an audience online and feeding it all the self-promotional nuggets they can manage.

Starts streaming: Dec. 14

Netflix’s arrival as a source of substantial original film has been long in the making, but Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical memory piece about growing up in early ’70s Mexico City is a watershed moment for the service. Cuarón’s follow-up to “Children of Men” and “Gravity,” photographed in luscious 65 mm black and white, delves into the domestic and social turmoil surrounding an upper-middle-class family in that city’s Roma district. At its center is the relationship between two women, the live-in maid (Yalitza Aparicio) and the matriarch (Marina de Tavira) of the household, as each faces the prospect of single motherhood amid vast differences in class.

Starts streaming: Dec. 16

In the lead-up to “Paddington,” the cuddly Peruvian bear, with his floppy hat and his marmalade sandwiches, became a frequent subject of Photoshop memes, most of which emphasized his creepy, anthropomorphic look. Then the film came out and the memes stopped cold. It turns out this live-action adaptation of the popular children’s stories by Michael Bond isn’t a mirthless trip to the uncanny valley but a gentle, adorable family comedy about the virtues of kindness and generosity. The sequel got into more complicated slapstick adventure, but “Paddington” keeps it simple, following the young bear as he adjusts to his new urban environs.

‘Bird Box’
Starts streaming: Dec. 21

Since breaking through with gritty productions like “Open Hearts” and “Brothers,” the Danish director Susanne Bier has gradually edged toward the mainstream, most recently with her sleek mini-series adaptation of John le Carré’s “The Night Manager.” Now she is leading Sandra Bullock through the genre paces in “Bird Box,” a full-on horror film that looks a little like “The Quiet Place” with blindfolds, but has a considerably more complicated premise. In the near-future, the world succumbs to an outbreak of suicides that have a curiously viral effect: Those who witness the illness are doomed to contract the same madness themselves. Best not to look.

Starts streaming: Dec. 23

For seven years, a young woman has been held against her will — five of those years with her son, who was born in captivity and whose biological father is the monster keeping them in a shed in his backyard. Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, “Room” contends with the twin traumas of confinement and release: The boy (Jacob Tremblay) doesn’t know the world that exists beyond this grim space and his mother (Oscar-winner Brie Larson) has trouble adjusting to life once they escape. The limited setting of the first half, combined with the shocking cruelty and stress inherent in the story, made “Room” a tough sell, despite excellent reviews. But the performances are exceptional, and it builds to an inspiring (if sobering) testament to human resilience.

‘Avengers: Infinity War’
Starts streaming: Dec. 25

As a stand-alone theatrical experience, the too-muchness of “Avengers: Infinity War” is difficult to withstand, especially for those who haven’t spent the past few years counting all the Infinity Stones spread among various Marvel properties. The expectation is that viewers will remember each previous film as if they saw it yesterday, or else scramble to catch up on the mythology that leads Thanos (Josh Brolin) to amass the Stones in a diabolical plot for universal domination. “Infinity War” feels like binge-reading a stack of superhero comic books for 149 minutes. And it’s only half the story.

TV Series

‘Sunderland ’Til I Die’
Starts streaming: Dec. 14

The popular HBO series “Hard Knocks,” which follows a different N.F.L. team through preseason every year, has long been considered a curse to the teams chronicled by it, which tend to have dismal seasons afterward. The eight-episode documentary series “Sunderland ’Til I Die” makes that same pain an absolute certainty for English soccer fans and players alike. Over two straight abysmal seasons, the professional soccer team Sunderland A.F.C. performed so poorly that they were relegated to lower leagues, plunging the club into chaos. “Sunderland ’Til I Die” takes a fly-on-the-wall approach to the team’s humbling first year in EFL League One.

‘The Innocent Man’
Starts streaming: Dec. 14

After John Grisham dominated the best-seller list — and, later, the box office — with legal thrillers in the ’90s, it’s perhaps fitting that he get a share of the true-crime documentary craze currently sweeping through streaming services and podcast networks. Adapted from his nonfiction book “The Innocent Man,” the film concerns Ron Williamson, a former minor-league baseball player who was sentenced to death for rape and murder in Ada, Okla., in 1988, but exonerated 11 years later by DNA evidence. The series delves into the startling details of the case and how the conviction was reversed.

‘Springsteen on Broadway’
Starts streaming: Dec. 15

Given Bruce Springsteen’s renown for playing three-hour concerts in the biggest arenas in America, his decision to play five nights a week at the Walter Kerr Theater, a 960-seat venue in New York City, was a tantalizing change of pace. And while “Springsteen on Broadway” has enjoyed an extended run far beyond its original eight-week stint, tickets were hard to come by, especially once word of its intimate mix of music and theatrical storytelling started to spread. This Netflix taping brings unexpected access to the event, as Springsteen leads an audience through his life story and plays solo version of his songs on acoustic guitar and piano.

Starts streaming: Dec. 21

Patrick Süskind’s novel “Perfume” has been adapted once before, infamously, as “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” a curious and lurid historical thriller from the director of “Run Lola Run,” Tom Tykwer. Now it has been revived and updated as a six-episode German-language series that shifts the action to the present day and switches the genre to a serial-killer procedural. The killer’s modus operandi remains the same — the victims’ bodies are mined for an intoxicating smell — but here the grisly murders are rooted in a boarding school where boys discover ways to manipulate people through human scent.

‘Murder Mountain’
Starts streaming: Dec. 28

Marijuana aficionados tend to consider California’s Humboldt County a mellow source of premium weed, but this six-part documentary series seeks to harsh that buzz. In recent years, dozens of people have gone missing in a community that has been seized by the lawlessness, corruption and violence surrounding the lucrative illegal drug business. The title “Murder Mountain” suggests the case for Humboldt’s troubles will be made bluntly, but it’s a healthy reminder to consumers that the drugs that make them feel good are often sourced from places with a darker vibe.

Also of interest: “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” (Dec. 1), “American Pie” (Dec. 5), “Dogs of Berlin” (Dec. 7), “Pine Gap” (Dec. 7), “Inside the Real Narcos” (Dec. 14), “Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable” (Dec. 18), “Derry Girls” (Dec. 21) and “The Casketeers” (Dec. 21).

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