The best movies to stream this Christmas from Top Gun: Maverick to Glass Onion

What to watch: The best new movies streaming are Glass Onion, Top Gun 2 and Banshees of Inisherin. (Netflix/Paramount/Projector)

Wondering what to watch over the Christmas weekend? For the latest streaming update of 2023, everything is killer and absolutely no filler.

Leading the pack is Tom Cruise’s mega-hit Top Gun: Maverick, one of the year’s highest-grossing and flying action films, which arrives at Paramount+ just in time for Yuletide (with one of the craziest promo videos to come out this year).

Meanwhile, the critically acclaimed The Banshees of Inisherin, writer-director Martin McDonagh’s latest award-winning dark comedy, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as newly estranged friends, is coming to Disney+.

Read more: The best movies of 2022

Finally, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, follows Rian Johnson’s witty, subversive thriller with an all-new cast of suspects for famed detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to uncover (not to mention you can catch on the excellent previous film this week too, as Knives Out lands on the service).

Please note that a subscription may be required to watch.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022) | Paramount+ (choice of the week)

Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)

Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)

Even 36 years later, the need for speed hasn’t abated with Top Gun, as Joseph Kosinski – having directed another belated sequel to an 80s blockbuster in Tron Legacy – delivers the long-delayed Top Gun: maverick.

Maverick (Tom Cruise) went from fighter pilot to test pilot with the film opening to a bravery sequence in which he pushes a Mach 9 jet to Mach 10. again in trouble, but instead of a demotion, he is called back to Top Gun flight school to train a new generation of top pilots for a mission in a (visibly) undisclosed country.

Watch a trailer for Top Gun: Maverick

It’s not long before Kosinski and Cruise realize that Kosinski and Cruise are about to blast the original Top Gun out of the water, with a daring action that reaches quite incredible heights, made possible. by the film’s commitment to credibility. Part of that comes from setting up the actors in the jets, and the film makes sure to capture the physical tension of piloting through the immense G-force. Its various training sequences are already exhilarating, before the film only plunges into the utter chaos of its final act.

Read more: The best movies on TV at Christmas

With this engagement, Cruise once again sets out to prove he’s The Last Movie Star™, a title that to this point no other actor has gone so far as to claim. The result is probably the best-done military propaganda the US box office has seen in years. To care about Top Gun: Maverick’s questionable jingoist politics is also to miss out on a pretty exciting good time with one of the biggest movies of 2022.

Also on Paramount+: The Lost City (2022), Snow Day (2022)

Glass Onion: A Mystery at Daggers Drawn (2022) | netflix

Onion of Glass: A Mystery at Daggers Drawn (2022).  (L - R) Kate Hudson as Birdie, Jessica Henwick as Peg, Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc, and Leslie Odom Jr. as Lionel.  cr.  John Wilson/Netflix © 2022.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery: Kate Hudson as Birdie, Jessica Henwick as Peg, Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc, and Leslie Odom Jr. as Lionel. (John Wilson/Netflix)

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out was a delightful surprise in 2019, a welcome return to the twisty, smaller-scale genre films the filmmaker made his name on before the sharp space opera of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The resounding success of Knives Out in theaters made Netflix’s purchase of the IP both a surprise and a minor disappointment, as the provider is apparently determined to keep its films out of theaters as much as possible.

Read more: Brand new on Netflix in December

However, the news of a sequel was still welcome. The format lends itself to plenty of scope for expansion with Daniel Craig’s deep-fried accent work as bumbling detective Benoit Blanc working through the potentially deadly relationships between various hosts of self-involved socialites. In Glass Onion, it’s the setting of an Elon Musk-type billionaire, as Blanc is accidentally summoned to his gaudy private island for an annual getaway he organizes for his friends.

Watch the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Trailer

Blanc isn’t the only uninvited guest though, and of course someone dies, and it’s up to Blanc to find out who planned it. Glass Onion as a whole finds slight diminishing returns to its predecessor as it piles on too many celebrity cameos and draws quite a slight mystery over too much runtime it only helps in the setting intentionally unpleasant from the film that it doesn’t have quite the same rustic visual appeal of the autumnal setting and the country house of the last film.

But its dialogue is still razor sharp and its social satire surprisingly timely, and a mystery and fun film in its own right.

Also new on Netflix: At Knives Out (2019), Mothering Sunday (2021)

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) | Disney+

Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN.  Photo by Jonathan Hession.  Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures.  © 2022 Twentieth Century Studios All rights reserved.

Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in The Banshees of Inisherin. (Jonathan Hession/Projector Images)

After hitting a bit of a snag with his previous film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (a misfire in its attempt to tackle racial politics and American police who ended up only downplaying and insulting, despite awards won), Martin McDonagh is back on his best form with The Banshees of Inisherin.

Colin Farrell brings his expertise to play miserable losers in his incredible and heartbreaking performance as the woozy Pádraic, who finds himself devastated when his pal Colm (wonderfully cruel Brendan Gleeson) suddenly and inexplicably ends their lifelong friendship.

Read more: The best Christmas TV specials to stream

After much nagging, Colm warns Pádraic not to talk to him lest there be consequences: he’ll cut off his finger and give it to him. The resulting personal feud draws some of the locals to the fictional setting of Inisherin Island, where there’s not much else to do in its remoteness, set at the end of the Civil War. Irish in 1923.

Watch The Banshees of Inisherin Trailer

McDonagh extrapolates their fight as an allegory of said war with incredibly mixed results, but The Banshees of Inisherin really does look better when you take the film at face value. The performances of its protagonists are excellent, hysterically funny and often devastating, as are those of supporting performers Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan – the latter playing a well-meaning idiot compared to his usual petty threats.

Also on Disney+: Strange World (2022), Barbarian (2022)

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