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Screenshot: The Matrix Resurrections/Warner Bros. Pictures

In early 2003, it seemed like The Matrix was poised to become the next Star Wars—a sci-fi franchise with enough fan enthusiasm and in-universe lore to endure for decades. The first film, a box office hit in 1999 that only became more popular on DVD (becoming one of the first “must-own” titles and arguably, and fittingly, helping that medium establish itself as the replacement for VHS), and anticipation was high for the sequels, filmed back-to-back and planned for release one after the other.

But then those movies actually came out, and their reception was…mixed. The Matrix Reloaded scored the highest opening weekend of all time for an R-rated feature but confused critics and audiences with its dense worldbuilding, dodgy effects, and that much-loathed mid-film dance break. By the time The Matrix Revolutions arrived, the franchise that had seemed on the cutting edge months before suddenly seemed impossibly dated, the shiny vinyl outfits less cool with every passing action sequence. And I say all of that as a sequels apologist—more than any other mainstream sci-fi franchise, The Matrix is unapologetically geeky, wearing its anime influences on its sleeve (and sunglasses, and knee-high boots, and black plastic trench coat, and…). I personally like that it takes big swings and strives for big ideas and big emotion over little details like “actually trying to be entertaining.”

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Still, a franchise is a franchise, and The Matrix still has enough name recognition to get, er, resurrected, albeit with the participation of only one-half of its original pair of writer-directors—Lana Wachowski is flying this one solo, with help on the script from Sense8 co-writers David Mitchell (the novelist who wrote Cloud Atlas, not the comedian) and Aleksandar Hemon. The trailer hints at a self-aware retread of beloved moments from the first film and reappearances from old friends and new faces, and perhaps old friends with new faces (the much younger Yahya Abdul-Mateen II takes over the role of Morpheus from Laurence Fishburn), but it doesn’t look any less esoteric than the sequels (and certainly the Wachowski’s post-Matrix work only got weirder, so). It is a sequel? Is it a reboot? Is it both? It probably doesn’t matter if you’re still open to the franchise—and it will still be streaming on HBO Max come Dec. 22.

Other, uh, fun stuff arriving in December: A high-profile adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel’s award-winning post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven (Dec. 16), which checks in on a ravaged Earth in the wake of a massive killer virus, which hopefully fares better than this year’s other high-profile adaptation of acclaimed source material about Earth in the wake of a massive killer virus (Y: The Last Man, canceled before its first season finished airing); and the series finale of Insecure (Dec. 26), which is reason enough to binge the whole series one more time.

Here’s the list of everything coming to (and leaving) HBO Max in December 2021. Titles with (HBO) next to them are available on HBO and HBO Max; everything else is exclusive to HBO Max (though The Matrix Resurrections, like all of the streamer’s day and date premieres, won’t be available to customers on the ad-supported plan).

What’s coming to HBO Max in December

Arriving Dec. 1

  • 12 Strong, 2018 (HBO)
  • 20 Feet from Stardom, 2013 (HBO)
  • Adrienne, Documentary Premiere (HBO)
  • A Perfect Murder, 1998 (HBO)
  • All I See Is You, 2016 (HBO)
  • All Rise, Seasons 1 and 2
  • The Answer Man, 2009 (HBO)
  • Blade II, 2002
  • Bolero, 1984 (HBO)
  • Breakdown, 1997 (HBO)
  • Changing Lanes, 2002 (HBO)
  • Chicago, 2002
  • Cloud Atlas, 2012
  • Control Room, 2004 (HBO)
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love., 2011
  • Days Of Thunder, 1990 (HBO)
  • Dragged Across Concrete, 2018 (HBO)
  • Enough Said, 2013 (HBO)
  • Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery, 2015
  • Frontera, 2014 (HBO)
  • The Good Doctor, 2011 (HBO)
  • The Haunting In Connecticut, 2009 (HBO)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2012 (HBO)
  • Interview with the Vampire, 1994
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, 2013 (HBO)
  • The Italian Job, 2003 (HBO)
  • Jack The Giant Slayer, 2013 (HBO)
  • Jackie Brown, 1997 (HBO)
  • Jupiter Ascending, 2015
  • The Lawnmower Man, 1992 (HBO)
  • Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, 1996 (HBO)
  • Limbo, 2020 (HBO)
  • Little Monsters, 1989 (HBO)
  • The Mask, 1994
  • Max Steel, 2016 (HBO)
  • Miss Congeniality, 2000
  • Mortal Kombat, 1995
  • Mortal Kombat: Battle of the Realms, 2021
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan, 1984
  • No Country For Old Men, 2007 (HBO)
  • Percy Jackson Sea Of Monsters, 2013 (HBO)
  • Pope: The Most Powerful Man In History, 2018
  • Pulse, 2006 (HBO)
  • R.I.P.D., 2013 (HBO)
  • Rubber, 2010 (HBO)
  • Runner Runner, 2013 (HBO)
  • Se7en, 1995
  • Shark Night 3D, 2011 (HBO)
  • Surrogates, 2009 (HBO)
  • Troll Hunter, 2010 (HBO)
  • The Truman Show, 1998 (HBO)
  • Two For The Money, 2005 (HBO)
  • Two Lovers, 2008 (HBO)
  • Viva, 2015 (HBO)
  • War On Everyone, 2016 (HBO)
  • The Wedding Singer, 1998
  • The Wolfpack, 2015 (HBO)
  • World’s Greatest Dad, 2009 (HBO)
  • The Wrecking Crew!, 2008 (HBO)
  • XXX, 2002

Arriving Dec. 2

  • Music Box: Listening to Kenny G, Documentary Premiere (HBO)
  • Odo, Cartoonito Season 1 Premiere
  • Perfect Life (Vida Perfecta), Max Original Season 2 Premiere
  • Santa Inc., Max Original Animated Series Premiere
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy, 2021 (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 3

  • Breathe the Night
  • Craig of the Creek, Season 3
  • Hood River, 2021
  • Mike & Molly
  • Yerba Buena (HBO), 2020

Arriving Dec. 4

  • The Last O.G., Seasons 1-3
  • At the Ready, 2021
  • Drew Michael: Red Blue Green., Stand-Up Comedy Special Premiere (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 5

  • Kamikaze, Max Original Season Finale

Arriving Dec. 6

  • The Forever Prisoner, Documentary Premiere (HBO)
  • Landscapers, Limited Series Premiere (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 7

  • The Slow Hustle, Documentary Premiere (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 9

  • ​​A Thousand Fangs (Mil Colmillos), Season 1
  • And Just Like That…, Max Original Season 1 Premiere
  • Gossip Girl Season 1, Finale
  • Music Box: Mr. Saturday Night, Documentary Premiere (HBO)
  • The Sex Lives of College Girls, Max Original Season 1 Finale
  • Summer Camp Island, Max Original Season 5 Premiere

Arriving Dec. 10

  • Dafne and the Rest (Todo lo Otro), Max Original Season 1 Premiere
  • DC’s Stargirl, Season 2

Arriving Dec. 12

  • Succession, Season 3 Finale (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 14

  • The Murders at Starved Rock, Documentary Series Premiere (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 15

  • What’s New Scooby-Doo?, 2002

Arriving Dec. 16

  • 2nd Annual HA Festival: The Art of Comedy, Max Original Comedy Special
  • Diego, The Last Goodbye (Diego, el último adiós), Max Original Documentary
  • The Cut (O Grande Look), Max Original Season 1 Premiere
  • Finding Magic Mike, Max Original Season 1 Premiere
  • The Fungies, Max Original Season 3 Premiere
  • Music Box: Juice Wrld: Into the Abyss, Documentary Premiere (HBO)
  • Station Eleven, Max Original Season 1 Premiere

Arriving Dec. 17

  • A Forbidden Orange, Max Original Premiere

Arriving Dec. 20

  • You Keep the Kids (Mama o Papa)

Arriving Dec. 21

  • Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Season Finale (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 22

  • After the Sunset, 2004
  • The Matrix Resurrections, Warner Bros. Film Premiere, 2021 (Ad-free plan only)

Arriving Dec. 23

  • 40 Means Nothing (40 No es Nada), Max Original Season 1 Premiere
  • Beforeigners S2, Max Original Season 2 Premiere
  • The Suicide Squad, 2021 (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 24

Arriving Dec. 26

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 11 Finale (HBO)
  • Insecure, Season 5 Finale (HBO)

Arriving Dec. 30Dec.

  • Young Justice, Max Original Season 4 Part A

Arriving Dec. 31

  • How to With John Wilson, Season 2 Finale (HBO)

What’s leaving HBO Max in December 2021

Leaving Dec. 16

  • CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, 2020

Leaving Dec. 18

  • The Invisible Man, 2020 (HBO)

Leaving Dec. 19

Leaving Dec. 24

  • Fifty Shades Of Black, 2016 (HBO)

Leaving Dec. 31

  • Abuelos (Aka Grandpas), 2019 (HBO)
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr., 2009
  • Alpha And Omega 2: A Howl-Iday Adventure, 2013
  • American Graffiti, 1973 (HBO)
  • Assault On Precinct 13, 1976 (HBO)
  • Bangkok Dangerous, 2008 (HBO)
  • Beautiful Girls, 1996 (HBO)
  • Black Christmas, 2019 (HBO)
  • Blackhat, 2015 (HBO)
  • Bratz: The Movie, 2007
  • Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, 2004 (HBO)
  • The Cable Guy, 1996
  • Casi Famoso (Aka Almost Famous), 2019 (HBO)
  • Cats, 2019 (HBO)
  • The Collection, 2012 (HBO)
  • Cousins, 1989 (HBO)
  • Curse Of The Pink Panther, 1983 (HBO)
  • Dante’s Peak, 1997 (HBO)
  • Dear Christmas, 2020
  • Dim Sum Funeral, 2009 (HBO)
  • Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead, 1991 (HBO)
  • The Doors, 1991 (HBO)
  • Downhill, 2020 (HBO)
  • Dr. Strangelove, 1964
  • Emma. (2020), 2020 (HBO)
  • Employee Of The Month, 2006 (HBO)
  • The English Patient, 1996 (HBO)
  • Eve’s Bayou, 1997
  • Flashpoint, 1984 (HBO)
  • Friends With Money, 2006
  • Gandhi, 1982
  • God’s Not Dead, 2014 (HBO)
  • Gods And Monsters, 1998 (HBO)
  • He Said She Said, 1991 (HBO)
  • Heaven Help Us, 1985 (HBO)
  • Hitch, 2005
  • Ira & Abby, 2007 (HBO)
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1, 2003 (HBO)
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 2, 2004 (HBO)
  • Kramer Vs. Kramer, 1979
  • Leapfrog: Math Adventure To The Moon, 2010
  • Leapfrog: Numbers Ahoy, 2011
  • Leapfrog: The Letter Factory, 2003
  • Like Mike, 2002 (HBO)
  • Like Mike 2: Streetball, 2007 (HBO)
  • Los Futbolisimos (Aka The Footballest), 2018 (HBO)
  • Lucky, 2017 (HBO)
  • Machine Gun Preacher, 2011 (HBO)
  • The Manhattan Project, 1986 (HBO)
  • Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, 1939
  • My Left Foot, 1989
  • Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always, 2020 (HBO)
  • The Pallbearer, 1996 (HBO)
  • Perpetual Planet: Heroes Of The Oceans, 2021
  • The Pink Panther 2, 2009 (HBO)
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again, 1976 (HBO)
  • The Pink Panther, 2006 (HBO)
  • The Pink Panther, 1964 (HBO)
  • Pups United, 2015
  • The Raven, 2012 (HBO)
  • Reasonable Doubt, 2014 (HBO)
  • Reds, 1981 (HBO)
  • Return Of The Living Dead III, 1993 (Alternate Version) (HBO)
  • Return Of The Pink Panther, 1975 (HBO)
  • Revenge Of The Pink Panther, 1978 (HBO)
  • The Sessions, 2012 (HBO)
  • Shakespeare In Love, 1998
  • A Shot In The Dark, 1964 (HBO)
  • Snake Eyes, 1998 (HBO)
  • Son Of The Pink Panther, 1993 (HBO)
  • Trail Of The Pink Panther, 1982 (HBO)
  • Twelve Monkeys, 1995 (HBO)
  • Vaca, 2018 (HBO)
  • Volunteers, 1985 (HBO)
  • Won’t Back Down, 2012 (HBO)
  • xXx, 2002
  • xXx: State Of The Union, 2005

 

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