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New Movies: Release Calendar for December 4, Plus Where to Watch the Latest Films

Staying home? Good. Looking for something new to watch? Even better!

"Mank"

Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman in “Mank”

Netflix

Staying home? Good. Looking for something new to watch while you do it? Even better! As the world shifts to accommodate a wide range of in-home viewing options for movie lovers, it’s not just platforms that are expanding, it’s the very type of films they host. There’s more than ever to sift through, and IndieWire is here to help you do just that.

This week’s new releases include streaming originals, fresh VOD offerings, festival favorites, new studio releases now available in the comfort of your own home, and a variety of exciting virtual cinema picks. Browse your options below.

Week of November 30 – December 6

New Films on VOD and Streaming (And in Select Theaters)

As new movies open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. We encourage readers to follow the safety precautions provided by CDC and health authorities. Additionally, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options whenever they are available.

“Ammonite” (directed by Francis Lee)
Distributor: Neon
Where to Find It: PVOD

A film about the kind of people who spend their lives searching out the giant ribbed and spiraled fossils of the extinct underwater mollusks and the kind of people trapped in shells of their own making. In Francis Lee’s “Ammonite,” those people are one and the same, care of fictitious spins on Mary (Kate Winslet) and her geologist friend Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan). The result is a chilly, detached romance between the two women that never catches fire, a film about restrained people that itself is so buttoned-up as to be impenetrable. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Aubrey Plaza Christopher Abbott Black Bear

“Black Bear”

Momentum Pictures

“Black Bear” (directed by Lawrence Michael Levine)
Distributor: Momentum Pictures
Where to Find It: Select theaters, plus various digital and VOD platforms

There is indeed an actual, living, occasionally roaring black bear that appears in Lawrence Michael Levine’s razor-sharp “Black Bear,” but that’s one of the few hard-and-fast elements of the filmmaker’s nifty deconstruction of both the wider current culture and the microcosm of indie filmmaking. That the film — the first of Levine’s to premiere at Sundance — was programmed in the festival’s forward-thinking NEXT section should suggest to audiences that the film is more than the psychosexual drama hinted at in its official description. Well, it is, but it’s also so much more. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Dear Santa” (directed by Dana Nachman)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It: Select theaters, plus various digital and VOD platforms

Dana Nachman’s “Dear Santa” does everything in its power to complicate what should’ve been the easiest slam dunk in documentary history. A chintzy and inexplicably scattershot look at the nice people who made Operation Santa possible during the 2019 holiday season, the latest film from the director of “Batkid Begins” struggles to balance sentiment and logistics from the moment it starts, and it’s only during the home stretch — when we finally get to see the look that Operation Santa can put on someone’s face — that the gift of giving shines through. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Freaky” (directed by Christopher Landon)
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Where to Find It: PVOD

A blood-spattered twist on the “Freaky Friday” mythos that dares ask, “Hey, what if you were a nice high school kid who ended up switching bodies with a psychotic serial killer who looks like Vince Vaughn?,” the film is bolstered by go-for-broke performances from Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, as well as Christoper Landon’s sharp humor (and sharper kills). Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Godmothered”

Disney+

“Godmothered” (directed by Sharon Maguire)
Distributor: Disney+
Where to Find It: Streaming on Disney+

Built on a cute idea — hey, what about exploring the wide world of fairy godmothers? — that also builds in some nifty ideas about what fairy tales actually represent in this current day and age and then wraps all that up in a glittery holiday package, “Godmothered” has all the pieces for at least an amiable enough production. Instead, the result is a paradoxical combination of sweet messages and dull execution, good-hearted ideas and bizarre subplots, a dull affair that very clearly sprang from a good place. Plus, a lot of songs from “The Sound of Music,” because … why not? Read IndieWire’s full review.

“I’m Your Woman” (directed by Julia Hart)
Distributor: Amazon Studios
Where to Find It: Select theaters, streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 11

You’ll be halfway through “I’m Your Woman” before its premise is clear, but the mystery is as gripping as its payoff. Director Julia Hart’s fourth feature pairs an engrossing turn from Rachel Brosnahan with a tense ‘70s-set script constructed with jigsaw precision. The full picture may amount to a contrived gangster story, but Hart (who scripted with her partner Jordan Horowitz) approaches that formula from the inside out. By the time you realize the kind of movie you’re watching, it’s already a few steps ahead. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Luxor” (directed by Zeina Durra)
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

British aid worker Hana (Andrea Riseborough) is on leave and a little bit lost in Egypt, a place she once left behind. She’s perpetually in a state of psychological deja vu, which becomes quite literal when she bumps into her ex. Zeina Durra’s “Luxor” powerfully evokes that indefinable ache of revisiting a lost love that probably has a frankensteined German word for it. Here, it mostly finds its expression visually, and in Riseborough’s searching face, in a measured nostalgia trip that brings to mind a more melancholy “Before Sunset.” Read IndieWire’s full review.

Luxor

“Luxor”

Samuel Goldwyn Films

“Mank” (directed by David Fincher)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

Though forged in a meticulous 1930s backdrop that merges historical detail with the style and tone of that era, “Mank” is hardly a playful throwback. David Fincher has made a cerebral psychodrama that rewards the engaged cinephile audience in its crosshairs, but even when cold to the touch, the movie delivers a complex and insightful look at American power structures and the potential for a creative spark to rankle their foundations. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Sound of Metal” (directed by Darius Marder)
Distributor: Amazon Prime Video
Where to Find It: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Riz Ahmed is the sort of frantic screen actor who always looks like he might jut out of the frame, and in “Sound of Metal,” he’s trapped. As Ruben, the heavy-metal drummer going deaf at the center of the mesmerizing debut from writer-director Darius Marder, Ahmed conveys the complex frustrations of losing touch with the world around him no matter how much he fights to hold onto it. This devastating conundrum relies on the best use of sound design in recent memory, as Marder immerses viewers within the confines of Ruben’s deteriorating relationship to the world around him, and he sorts through the wreckage to construct a new one. Ahmed’s brilliant performance coasts on a complex soundscape that resonates even in total silence. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Also available this week:

“All My Life” (directed by Marc Meyers)
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Where to Find It: Select theaters

“Anything for Jackson” (directed by Justin G. Dyck)
Distributor: Shudder
Where to Find It: Streaming on Shudder

“Love, Weddings, and Other Disasters” (directed by Dennis Dugan)
Distributor: Saban Films
Where to Find It: Select theaters, plus various VOD platforms

“Wander” (directed by April Mullen)
Distributor: Saban Films
Where to Find It: Select theaters, plus various digital and VOD platforms

“What Lies Below” (directed by Braden R. Duemmler)
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

Films Available via Virtual Cinema

Learn more about virtual cinemas offerings right here.

“76 Days” (directed by Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, and anonymous)
Distributor: MTV Documentary Films
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema through the film’s virtual cinema page

The remarkable documentary “76 Days” offers a bracingly immediate view from the frontlines of history — at the trauma and disequilibrium of being ambushed by a crisis dire enough to define its century. Discretely shot across four Wuhan hospitals without government approval, this fly-in-the-trenches look inside the outbreak is scattered and structureless in a way that makes it seem as if it’s simply taking notes for the history books of the future. But if Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, and their anonymous co-director’s film is more valuable as a time capsule than it is as a piece of cinéma vérité, it still puts a human face on an epochal horror that some people have refused to acknowledge even as it rages around them. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Mayor

“Mayor”

YouTube/screenshot

“Mayor” (directed by David Osit)
Distributor: Film Movement
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema through the film’s virtual cinema page

There have been countless documentaries made about the West Bank experience, from “5 Broken Cameras” to “The Settlers,” and they often involve the travails of ordinary life existing side by side with military persecution. “Mayor” offers a striking new perspective on that struggle, with a personal on-the-ground quality matched by grand tonal ambitions that makes it the best of its subgenre. It might not change anyone’s mind about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, but “Mayor” presents a fresh window into the challenges of leadership on the latter half of that equation. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Nomadland” (directed by Chloé Zhao)
Distributor: Searchlight Pictures
Where to Find It: Available exclusively through Film at Lincoln Center’s virtual cinema

“Nomadland” is the kind of movie that could go very wrong. With Frances McDormand as its star alongside a cast real-life nomads, in lesser hands it might look like cheap wish fulfillment or showboating at its most gratuitous. Instead, director Chloé Zhao works magic with McDormand’s face and the real world around it, delivering a profound rumination on the impulse to leave society in the dust. Zhao previously directed “The Rider” and “Songs My Brother Taught Me,” dramas that dove into marginalized experiences with indigenous non-actors in South Dakota. “Nomadland” imports that fixation with sweeping natural scenery to a much larger tapestry and a different side of American life. Inspired by Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century,” the movie follows McDormand as Fern, a soft-spoken widow in her early 60s who hits the road in her van, and just keeps moving. The movie hovers with her, at times so enmeshed in her travels that it practically becomes a documentary. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Check out more information about new releases on the next page.

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