15 Best Non-Christmas Movies To Stream On Netflix This December

    streaming in a winter wonderland.

    by · December 16, 2015

    Image via Columbia Pictures

    Between all the things you have to do in the holiday season and all things you actually want to do in the holiday season, there’s only just about enough time to lie down and maybe stream one or two carefully chosen flicks on Netflix before you nod off. That’s the way it’s been since ancient times.

    As you’ll be spending all your extra mental bandwidth searching Amazon for presents or trying to remember whose holiday party you’re headed to tonight (Jena’s? Eric’s? Skye’s?), scrolling through Netflix’s many and varied options could get dicey. So, I went and wrapped up the best non-Christmas films for you to stream in those rare moments of peace you’ll get in the silly season along with their Rotten Tomato ratings and links so you can add them to your queue right here, right now.

    You’re welcome, and I will accept your thanks in the form of latkes.

    Image via Columbia Pictures

    Almost Famous (2000), 88% on Rotten Tomatoes
    Aw. This film. Such memories. Director Cameron Crowe and Kate Hudson never had better showings with than this Oscar-nominated coming-of-age story wrapped around a portrait of the ’70s rock scene. Between all the sex, drugs, music, and rock journalism, there’s a little piece of innocent movie magic. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via IFC Films

    Frances Ha (2012), 93% on Rotten Tomatoes
    From the ’70s, we come straight up to present day—well, 2012—with this Noah Baumbach film. Greta Gerwig takes a turn as title character in a performance that is both a critique of and an ode to us selfish struggling creative types. Either you know a Frances Ha or you are a Frances Ha. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Hot Fuzz (2007), 91% on Rotten Tomatoes
    It’s a quirky British comedy. It’s a tense cop thriller. It’s a quirky British cop thriller. From Edgar Wright—the man behind Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World—comes over 90 minutes of finely wrought fun and comedic violence. Charm at high speeds, it’s perfect action film for people who hate action films. I mean that. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Magnolia Pictures

    Iris (2014), 97% on Rotten Tomatoes
    If you don’t know who Iris Apfel is then, friends, you have been missing out. Imagine Susie Bubble the age of 90 with a bit of Tim Gunn thrown in, and you’re really only about halfway there. This woman is a treasure and so is this bio doc from the creator of Grey Gardens. Spend the night with your new spirit animal. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Miramax Films

    Serendipity (2001), 59% on Rotten Tomatoes
    Nuke yourself a cup of instant hot chocolate and sink deep into this beautifully executed guilty pleasure. While sort of a Christmas movie, that’s really not the point of this magical-realist rom-com. Rather, you’ll click play because you know from the beginning how it will end. No shame. No regrets. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Magnolia Pictures

    The Wolfpack (2015), 84% on Rotten Tomatoes
    A truly special and moving documentary about a band of brothers locked away in a Lower East Side apartment who come to find themselves and the outside world through recreating scenes and characters from their favorite films. Ironically, this is one of our favorite films. It deserves the Oscar for Best Documentary this year. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Music Box Films

    Bettie Page Reveals All (2012), 72% on Rotten Tomatoes
    Dive deep into he life and legend of the greatest nude pinup girl of all time. Bettie Page’s biography and legacy are complicated, but this documentary about a 1950s bondage model who disppeared and then became a feminist icon makes for fun, smile-inducing watching. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Miramax Films

    Mrs. Brown (1997), 94% on Rotten Tomatoes
    The story of a mutual crush that develops between a widowed Queen Victoria and her growling Scottish groundsman is a sort of senior-citizens’ version of Outlander or Poldark. Now, there’s no sex between Dame Judi Dench and Billy Connelly, but their particular, unique love is quite real and weepy. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image Via Open Road Films

    Side Effects (2013), 83% on Rotten Tomatoes
    If you need a something that looks and tastes like Gone Girl for the evening, this Stephen Soderbergh thriller starring Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum is the perfect dish. It’s as creepy and uncomfortable as it is devilish and twisted. It’s also Rooney’s best role to date (well, except Carol, but I haven’t seen Carol, so…) Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Universal Pictures

    Ray (2004), 81% on Rotten Tomatoes
    Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles, and it’s easy to see why. Through all the struggle and addiction this movie presents, Foxx still manages to charm your pants off while the music blows the socks straight off your feet. You’re bottomless! More biopics should be this fun. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via 20th Century Fox

    Madame Bovary (2014), 44% on Rotten Tomatoes
    Okay, okay, so it only got 44 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. But I’m running out of Mia Wasikowska films for the NYLON Mia Wasikowska Pick of The Month™, so my options are getting limited. Regardless, if you want something truly, truly beautiful, turn this on and just gawk. The production is amazing eye candy. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Columbia Pictures

    A League Of Their Own (1992), 77% on Rotten Tomatoes
    You can’t help but love (and root for) this film. Those uniforms, the emotional sister drama, the perfect comedy pairing of Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell, Betty Spaghetti—this is just about the only women’s sports movie will make you cry (even though there’s no crying in baseball). This one’s for watching with friends. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Image Entertainment

    Encounters At The End Of The World (2007), 94% on Rotten Tomatoes
    It’s winter in your town. It’s cold. The people are weird. Welp, as this Werner Herzog film shows, it is far colder and the people are far weirder down at the South Pole (and Herzog should know, he’s cold and weird). Seriously though, this is beautiful, delightful stuff for a chilly night. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Miramax Films

    Like Water For Chocolate (1992), 90% on Rotten Tomatoes
    This fable-like movie is so sadly romantic, it just plain, old hurts. Mexican poem about love, food, sex, tradition, and death, Like Water For Chocolate sorta broke my heart. I fully suggest you let it break yours. Warning, do not watch if you just broke up with someone. Actually, no, do. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

    Image via Magnolia Pictures

    Tangerine (2015), 96% on Rotten Tomatoes
    I really regretted not seeing Tangerine—a comic odyssey about a transgendered prostitute traveling through L.A.—when it first hit theaters a few months ago. Critics have called it one of the funniest, saddest films of the year (confusing, I know). But then it landed on Netflix in record time. Guess what I’ll be doing December 26. Add it to your Netflix queue here.

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    Last updated: 2015-12-16T13:01:50-05:00
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