There are no lords a leapin’ in the 12 films you must see this December, but there are plenty of gold rings – including two chances to catch Streep before the year is up. Here are Bruce Miller's top picks.
Angela Bassett + Taye Diggs + Jamaica, need I say more? Terry McMillan adapted the script from her own novel for the film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, about the workaholic Stella (Bassett), who meets (and falls in love with) hunky younger man Winston while on vacation in Jamaica with her bestie Delilah ( Whoopi Goldberg). Enjoy the backdrop of Montego Bay for this steamy, sexy romance. Stream it on HBO/HBO Max.
"The Shallows" (2016), starring Blake Lively as an adventurous surfer who goes to battle with a great white shark while charging waves in Mexico. Jaume Collet-Serra's lean, mean beach thriller is way better than it has any business being, and is almost entirely in the crystal-clear waters of Queensland, Australia, where it was filmed. This sunny splash of salt water and shark-based thrills will set you right instantly. Plus, an inspired supporting performance from "Stephen the Seagull." Rent it for $2.99 on Amazon or Redbox.
"Mamma Mia" (2008) is the fastest delivery system for a dose of silly, sun-dappled joy. Drink in all the sun-drenched scenery of the Greek island where it was filmed, upon which some of our finest actors gyrate, hip thrust and lip-sync to the infectious tunes of Sweden's greatest export, ABBA. Phyllida Lloyd's movie musical is pure cinematic Pixy Stix, a sugar rush of corny jokes, bright costumes and musical numbers. Plus, Meryl Streep! Pierce Brosnan singing badly! A snorkel-based dance routine featuring a game Dominic Cooper! You need this serotonin! Watch it on Starz, or a $3.99 digital rental on all platforms.