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The 5 best thrillers to watch on Netflix this December

Oh, the weather outside is awful, but watching suspenseful movies is so delicious! Netflix has a solid selection of fantastic thrillers to watch, and Polygon’s team of curators have selected five of the best thrillers on Netflix that we think are a perfect fit for anyone looking for an alternative to the onslaught of sentimental family flicks this December.

What makes for a great December thriller? We have movies about people trapped with each other in frigid and hostile environments, escape-like odes to the dangers of fantasy, and movies about flawed people who succumb to their darkest impulses in fits of despair.

Here are some exciting suggestions for your viewing pleasure in December.


Eyes wide Shut

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A woman (Nicole Kidman) sleeps in bed next to a jeweled mask placed on the pillow next to her.

Image: Warner Home Video

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Year: 1999
execution time: 2h39m
Director: stanley kubrick
To emit: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack

Stanley Kubrick’s thirteenth and final film is an intricately constructed code whose secrets only begin to reveal themselves after multiple viewings. Tom Cruise stars in Kubrick’s erotic psychological mystery drama as Dr. William “Bill” Harford, a man who, after learning from his wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), that she had once contemplated having an affair in a moment of unfulfilled longing, without realizing it. he embarks on an all-night odyssey through New York in search of catharsis and sexual liberation. Instead, he finds himself stumbling headlong into a masked bacchanal organized by a secret group of powerful men who threaten to destroy everyone and everything he holds dear if he tells anyone what he’s witnessed.

there’s so much coming in Eyes wide Shut, Not even know where to start. From the terrific performances by Cruise and Kidman along with excellent supporting roles by Todd Field and Sydney Pollack to the exquisite costumes and set design, Jocelyn Pook’s mesmerizing score, and the layers upon layers of symbolism and occult meaning densely loaded into the film. surface of almost every painting. of its runtime, Kubrick’s film is a cumulative work of scrupulous craftsmanship and intrepid artistry that coalesces into a haunting and morbidly hilarious story that stands the test of time. Eyes wide Shut it’s about many things: sexual jealousy, the transactional nature of class and power, the loss of innocence, and the dangers of pursuing one’s fantasies and unearthing one’s dark weaknesses. It is a masterpiece that demands to be seen, puzzled, and debated for decades to come. Remember: The password is Fidelio. —Toussaint Egan

The fog

A giant, multi-legged creature with twisting tendrils that lumbers across a mist-shrouded landscape.

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Image: The Weinstein Company

Year: 2007
execution time: 2h 5m
Director: Frank Darabont
To emit: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden

After Life imprisonment Y The green Milewriter-director Frank Darabont decided his next Stephen King adaptation should be something a little darker, and that’s exactly what we get with The fog. The film follows several residents of a small town who take refuge in a supermarket when a strange fog engulfs the world. Everything that happens next is a carefully crafted mystery that leads to high tension, interpersonal fights, and one of the best endings of any 2000s movie. —Austen Goslin

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prisoners

Two men (Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal) hold a bloody man (Paul Dano) against a bare-walled bathroom wall and threaten him with a hammer.

Image: Warner Home Video

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Year: 2013
execution time: 2h 33m
Director: denis villeneuve
To emit: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis

Nearly a decade after its release, it’s a bit hard to imagine the director of sci-fi epics as Arrival Y Dune doing a little thriller like prisoners, but it’s clear that Denis Villeneuve is more than capable of succeeding at both ends of the spectrum. This film follows Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard as two men who kidnap someone (Paul Dano) who they believe may have kidnapped his daughters. The two lock him in an abandoned house and try to torment him into confessing, while the eccentric detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) searches for them. prisoners it’s an always tense film that never lets up on the throttle, but Villeneuve knows better than to go all out until the third act, where he finally indulges in the film’s most effective and disturbing moment. —AG

shutter island

Three detectives observe a cliff on Shutter Island

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Photo: Paramount Pictures

Year: 2010
execution time: 2h 18m
Director: Martin Scorsese
To emit: Leonardo DiCaprio Mark Ruffalo Ben Kingsley

Martin Scorsese’s fantastic thriller casts Leonardo DiCaprio as a clever detective sent to investigate a disappearance on a remote island that doubles as a “hospital for the criminally insane.” The movie’s twisty plot is good for a few twists and surprises, but the real strength of shutter island it’s in its spooky vibe and over-the-top acting of a mystery that’s meant to be both entertaining and unraveling. —AG

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the hateful eight

Two men wearing winter coats and cowboy hats stand inside a barn with another building visible in the distance and a snow storm outside.

Image: The Weinstein Company

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Year: 2015
execution time: 2h 48m
Director: Quentin Tarantino
To emit: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Among Quentin Tarantino’s most polarizing films, the three-hour Reconstruction-era “Western” is a bottled-up, slow-drip thriller set to grapple with America’s thorniest politics. Trapped at Minnie’s Haberdashery in the middle of a Wyoming blizzard, a black bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson), a white bounty hunter (Kurt Russell), a fugitive (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a Confederate “lost cause” (Walton Goggins) , a local hangman (Tim Roth), a cowboy (Michael Madsen) and a southern general (Bruce Dern) come together to swap stories and unleash Tarantino-style violence. It’s twisted, it’s prickly, and it’s backed by a screeching Ennio Morricone original score that sends shivers down your spine. the hateful eight does not go down easy as pulp fiction either kill billbut it is one of the most vital films of the 2010s. —matte patches

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