The holidays are a time for rando TV watching, when you find yourself bingeing with your siblings, streaming stuff with your family or just doing some couch time with a movie that might never have been on your watch list. We’ve cherry-picked a few overlooked, underappreciated and worth-a-shot films that are set to expire before New Year’s Day—perfect for some low-key holiday viewing.
Leaving HBO NOW in December
“A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy” (1982)
For those not boycotting Woody Allen, his lightweight farce (based on an Ingmar Bergman comedy, not Shakespeare) is an easygoing affair with a classic ‘80s cast, including Mia Farrow.
“15:17 to Paris” (2018)
There’s been a lot of talk about Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell this season, but just two years ago, the legendary director made another ripped-from-the-headlines terrorism film, about three men who thwarted a gunman on a crowded French train. The leads are played by the real-life heroes themselves.
“Miracle at St. Anna” (2008)
It was not especially well-reviewed, but Spike Lee’s take on James McBride’s World War II novel, set in German-occupied Europe, is an entertaining twist on the historical fiction film.
Leaving Netflix in December
“About a Boy” (2002)
While not exactly unappreciated, the story of playboy Hugh Grant’s friendship with a fatherless tween boy tends to play second-fiddle to the Grant-starrer Love, Actually, especially this time of year. But About a Boy is Hugh at his self-deprecating best.
“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998)
Adapting Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo masterpiece has long been a white whale for filmmaker fans; this LSD (and everything else)-fueled version, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro makes the Hangover movies look like Toy Story.
“Winter’s Bone” (2010)
This tense Ozarks-set mystery was a critical sensation, launching the career of Jennifer Lawrence.
“White Christmas” (1954)
You might think you’ve watched this movie, but have you? More a showbiz and ain’t-it-great-to-be-outta-the-army picture than a Christmas movie, it still features a fun show-in-the-barn plotline, and ends on a nice yuletide note.
Leaving Prime Video in December
One of the quintessential sci-fi action movies of its era, Total Recall includes some great plot twists courtesy of a script co-written by cult favorite Philip K. Dick. But mostly it’s hard to resist the stream of Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liners that accompany the action, including the classic: “See you at the party.”
Leaving Hulu in December
“A Simple Plan” (1998)
If you like intense, neo-noir crime drama, you’ll be riveted this story of a group of friends who happen upon a crashed plane and millions of dollars in cash. Directed by Sam Raimi with a star turn by Billy Bob Thornton.
“Hot Tub Time Machine” (2010)
A high/low guy comedy that messes with the time-space continuum, this crass take on a Back to the Future set up is worth a watch or rewatch before it goes.