While some ponder trimming the Christmas tree, Netflix is playing Santa with a wealth of cinematic goodies this weekend.

This streaming site has three options for you. Jane Campion’s Western drama features Benedict Cumberbatch as a villainous cowboy. Michael Urie plays an LGBTQ comedy, while Julie Bowen, a “Modern Family,” alum stars as a grandmother to a young girl. The film is inspired by punk and is called Coming-of-Age. And if you want a break from the yuletide cheer, AMC+ is offering up a Christmas horror dramedy with Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode facing the end of the world.

We have a list of movies you should see that will satisfy your cinematic needs. 

The ‘Power of the Dog’:Kirsten Dunst wanted “a very strong woman” to be her role.

The Power of the Dog is the top picture contestant.

Campion’s epic period film, which tackles toxic machismo and Cumberbatch as an annoying cuss, is also very captivating. George (Jesse Plemons), and Phil (Cumberbatch), are brothers that own ranches in Montana. They keep some peace but it becomes uncomfortable when George weds Rose (Kirsten Dust). Rose is made to live a miserable life by Phil, who makes Rose a closet addict. However, Phil offers help and takes Peter (Kodi McPhee) into his fold. Campion makes this a dramatic drama that has four different personalities. It also ends with a great ending.

What to Watch:On Netflix and in theaters

Review:Benedict Cumberbatch plays a brutal cowboy in Jane Campion’s “Power of the Dog”

Peter (Michael Urie, right) takes best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) home for Christmas in the Netflix holiday romantic comedy "Single All the Way."

If you yearn for a holiday pick-me-up: ‘Single All the Way’

In the new rom-com, Peter (Urie) is a gay man tired of his family bugging him about bringing home a boyfriend for Christmas, so he makes a deal with his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to pretend to be his partner for this year’s festivities at the New Hampshire homestead. The plot twists when Peter’s mom (Kathy Najimy) sets her son up with her trainer (Luke Macfarlane), and various shenanigans all lead to a predictable but still heartwarming Hallmark-y finish.

What to Watch: Netflix

Beverly (Gemma Brooke Allen, far left) embraces her punk side with new friends Nicky  (Olga Petsa) and Ellen (Audrey Hsieh) in Netflix's "Mixtape."

If your tweens need a rockin’ new flick: ‘Mixtape’

Set in late 1999 on the eve of Y2K, the kid-friendly story stars Gemma Brooke Allen as  Beverly, a 12-year-old who never knew her parents since they died when she was very young. Beverly finds a mixtape of punk songs they made, but when her Walkman eats the tape, she goes on a hunt to find the retro tunes in order to understand her mom and dad better. Her musical journey finds her making new pals, befriending a surly record-store owner (Nick Thune) and deepening the bond with the grandma (Bowen) who raised her.

What to Watch: Netflix

"Flee" is an animated documentary about an Afghan refugee.

You could do with a good documentary.

Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen ingeniously uses hand-drawn animation to tell the emotional refugee story of Amin, an Afghan man getting ready to marry his husband. Amin has kept his history a secret for 20 years and finally tells of his dangerous journey escaping war-torn Kabul as a child – involving dealings with human traffickers and a whiteknuckle voyage via ship – before winding up in Denmark. The animation brings the true story to life in an innovative way, especially with such a gripping narrative that’ll leave you moved.

What to Watch:Theatres

Rufus Jones (far left), Annabelle Wallis, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Ṣọpé Dìrísù, Lucy Punch and Kirby Howell-Baptiste play old friends who reunite to celebrate Christmas on the eve of the apocalypse in "Silent Night."

If you enjoy the occasional non-cheery holiday treat: “Silent Night”

Knightley and Goode are a British family with kids who invite college buddies to their seasonal party. It’s the last Christmas, though, because an environmental disaster is about to arrive the next day and these folks weigh whether to take a suicide pill or meet a very gruesome end. The whopper of a doomsday premise is so bleakHowever, it also has some wonderful bits of black comedy. Everyone gets a sad final dinner of a roast potato. But the good news is that pettiness does not stop at the end.

What to Watch:AMC+ and in theaters

Jacob (George MacKay) makes friends with Wildcat (Lily-Rose Depp) at a facility for people who believe they're animals in "Wolf."

You’ve probably ever felt the need to howl at the moon.

The strange, yet touching drama about identity & humanity stars George Mackay (1917) as Jacob. Jacob believes that he is a wolf. The worried family sends Jacob to the facility, where they find other animals with similar behavior. Jacob’s cruel, abusive head man (aka Paddy Considine), forces Jacob and his family through an increasing number of painful “therapies.” Jacob then plans to escape with the aid of Lily Rose Depp (an enigmatic woman who believes that she is a wildcat).  

What to Watch:Theatres

Virginie Afria stars as an Italian nun who engages in a lesbian affair with a novice, has erotic visions and also sees Jesus (Jonathan Couzinié) in director Paul Verhoeven's 17th-century religious drama "Benedetta."

If you enjoy the provocative stuff: ‘Benedetta’

Paul Verhoeven, a notorious button-pushing director (“Showgirls”) anyone? So his most recent effort, which he directed a movie about a 17th Century Italian lesbian nun played by Virginie Efira with romantic dreams and visions to Jesus, seems right on the mark. This wild drama, which is inspired by real history, is actually more thoughtful and sacrilegious than it seems. The story combines sex, power, and faith and the title character finds herself close to Daphne Patakia, an abusive new member of the sisterhood, and the fury of Charlotte Rampling (the reverend mom).

What to Watch:Theatres

Source: USAToday.com


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