One thing that's fun to do during the holidays is get the hell away from your family for just like one solid second of peace and quiet or so you can strategize. While any of these films that will be leaving Netflix on December 31 are suitable for family viewing, it's also true that you can do things on your own because you are a grownup now. So close that door, pop in your headphones, and lay back on a bed that is too small and feels weird and different than what you are used to, because the clock is ticking on these guys. (And check back for our guide to what's replacing them, tomorrow!)

CLASSICS

  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967)—Black people!
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967)—One of the top five best movies of all time, still insightful not just about race but about intergenerational dynamics, and most of all relevant: You don't have to be a racist to benefit from racism, and you don't have to be a monster to uphold it. Nobody's the villain of their own movie, and this story shows that in a million tiny, gorgeous ways.
  • That video above is my favorite part of any movie, followed immediately on that list by Sidney Poitier's speech about how crucial it is for old people to go fuck themselves. What a great film. I haven't seen the Ashton Kutcher remake but I'm sure it's every bit as good! Why on Earth wouldn't it be?
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)—Of Frank Capra's many classic films starring Jimmy Stewart, this one is definitely the most like Sarah Palin's real life. (Of the movies about a Mr. Smith, this is second in that category behind Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie unite to destroy Jennifer Aniston's entire life.)
  • 12 Angry Men (1957)—Sidney Lumet directs, Henry Fonda equivocates, and the men just keep getting angrier and angrier until 57 years later, we're still fighting about basically the same shit, only within a system every bit as compromised.
  • The Grapes of Wrath (1940)—Classic documentary of the inception and struggle of the La Leche League, which continues to this day.
  • Saved! (2004)—A funny, sweet, absolute classic, now ten years old, about sex and God—and of course, Mandy Moore's breakout role as nutcase/force of nature Hilary Faye.
  • Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)—Kramer (Dustin Hoffman)'s greatest enemy is himself (Dustin Hoffman), as he discovers after divorcing a third, unmentioned Kramer (Meryl Streep).
  • Big Trouble in Little China (1986)—Mickey Rooney's portrayal of an irritable landlord is the only problem with this John Carpenter romp underneath Chinatown.
  • The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)—Directed by Spike Lee, features standup by Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. Inspired many spin-off films with way less Steve Harvey in them.
  • The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)—Much sharper than it seemed at the time, this one's also notable for presumably leading to the okay on Josie & The Pussycats, which I would call a rare cinematic experience.

ROMANCE, PEOPLE DYING—THAT OLD DANCE—EROS & THANATOS

  • My Girl (1991) & My Girl 2: My Other Girl (1994)—A girl dies of bees? Somebody she knows dies of bees, and she escapes unscathed. (Except in her heart, where she is scathed all to fuck.) I don't know what happens to her in the sequel but I bet you anything it's bees again. Both films will be gone from Netflix soon, just like the bees will be from our world.
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)—Good clean Helen Hunt bee-free fun, that's all they want. That, and so much dancing. You know, every time I see one of these movies getting talked about I wonder why you cannot find Shag anywhere on the entire internet. That's so fucking stupid.
  • Carrie (1976)—The film that made Betty Buckley my number-one obsession in life. The remake is still available—with Judy Greer in the Buckley role of the PE teacher who is just like, "Jesus, girl! Stop fucking around and pull yourself together!"—so when this is gone at the New Year, maybe watch that one instead. It's pretty much the same only not as good. (Do not watch the one about the Rage, it will give you the Rage.)
  • Love Actually (2003)—Can you believe this movie is only 734 minutes long? Feels so much longer. I wish there was a DVD where you could just choose the Emma Thompson and Billy Mack parts with Bill Nighy and skip the rest of it. But I would probably just end up watching the whole thing anyway, like you do.
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)—A wrestler and a teen beauty queen must spend an entire day surrounded by misfits, an experience which irrevocably ruins them both for decent society. A harsh lesson in the realities of social necessity.
  • Can't Buy Me Love (1987)—Treat women like whores, get rewarded with a tractor ride.
  • I say why not just skip to the tractor ride.
  • Please read my feature screenplay Can Buy Me a Tractor Ride.
  • Far & Away (1992)—Mismatched real estate speculators Mr. Farr (Tom Cruise) and Lady Away (Nicole Kidman) fall in love a-horseback, just like in their real-life fairytale.
  • Titanic (1997)—This one guy falls out of the boat and hits part of the boat so hard that he spins in the air before dying in the freezing cold water. Meanwhile, Billy Zane is so gross.
  • Roman Holiday (1953)—One thing this trick didn't plan for: Secret princesses!
  • The Wedding Planner (2001)—One thing this planner didn't plan for: Making love to uncomfortable rawhide hobo purse Matthew McConaughey.
  • You've Got Mail (1998)—One thing these early internet adopters didn't plan for: Mail.

MAN FEELINGS

  • All of the Rocky movies (1976-1990), which are distinguishable from one another for sure.
  • The Company Men (2010)—Losing their jobs teaches Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner what's really important: Getting new jobs.
  • A River Runs Through It (1992)— Nightbreed's Craig Sheffer gets soaking wet with Brad Pitt while Tom Skerritt just watches.
  • The Boyz n the Hood (1991) are always hard, but they'll be especially hard... to find on Netflix, after December 31.
  • Braveheart (1995)—Love Ireland and hate Jews? Get a move on then!
  • Gladiator (2000)— Russell Crowe. He has problems but I really like him. I'm glad he didn't get kidnapped by al-Qaeda that time, but secretly I bet he could handle it no problem. "This guy is the Naomi Campbell of studs!" they'd say, and let him go, just so he'd stop railing on them.
  • Duck Soup (1933)—Dads love this movie! The reflective, illusory nature of mirrors is of non-stop entertainment to them, like babies learning I and Thou, or a parakeet in a fractious mood.
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998)—The ending of this movie will straight drive you bonkers. Generally it has not aged well.
  • The Longest Yard (1974)—A disgraced NFL player (Burt Reynolds) goes to prison, where he learns the longest yard of all... Is love.

FOR YOUR INNER CHILD

  • Spaceballs (1987)—Not my kind of thing but you have fun!
  • Beethoven & Beethoven's 2nd (1992, 1993)—One thing I inherited from my father is that I cannot stand Charles Grodin, and thus I have never seen these movies. I believe they are about giant dogs, or like an orchestra made up of giant dogs. I could be thinking of Mr. Holland's Opus though, which I also have never seen because I am saving it for a rainy day.
  • The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (1978)—This third movie about kids and sports features Jackie Earle Haley, Tony Curtis and Regis Philbin. Better watch it right away!
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1989)—No. Phantom of the Paradise instead. Don't be fooled by Robert Englund being in this: It is still for babies.
  • Good Burger (1997)—The one true thing Kenan Thompson ever made.
  • The Parent Trap (1998)—Pretty good but not as good as Freaky Friday, in my opinion. Obviously the only Lohan you really require in your life is Mean Girls, so why not just watch that and stop worrying about her time as a creepy Disney kid (or kids)?
  • The Mighty Ducks (1992)—Joshua Jackson was still growing into his face at this time.
  • Scary Movie 2 (2001)—Guessing this is the exact moment Chris Pratt fell in love with his bride. Thirteen years later they are married and look at 'em, they're at the top of their game. Thanks, Scary Movie series! What's scary is how much joy you bring.

THRILLING ACTION & ADVENTURE

  • Batman (1989)—This also gives people man feelings, but that's anything with Batman. This is the one with the Prince song like Vick-vick-vick Vicki Vale. Better watch it before it goes away to be replaced by the nipples one in January.
  • Red Dawn (1984)—I don't usually hate on remakes until I see them and then that's when I really go for the throat, but I was so entranced by this movie as a child that I'm still hesitant to see the later one. Some parts of childhood you just can't let go of, like this movie about children slaughtering adults to save America.
  • Kiss the Girls (1997)—Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd take down the infamous Georgie Porgie Killer and help Prince Eric find love, all under the watchful eyes of a calypso-loving crab from Trinidad.
  • Stargate (1994)—Think you know all there is to know about The Crying Game? Think again.
  • Bad Boys (1995)—A Scientologist and an abusive maniac have five days to find some drugs and trade some repartee.
  • Also, Michael Bay's first film! So thanks for that!
  • Also leaving is Beverly Hills Cop (1984), although both sequels remain available, which is good because that's when the story really develops. Watch this one now, and then you'll have the experience of relief remembering you have all the time in the world to see where it goes next. Other facts:
  • 1. The song is called "Axel F" because his name is Axel Foley.
  • 2. Eddie Murphy has eight children! Bet that's exhausting.
  • 3. Troop Beverly Hills is not going anywhere, but don't let that stop you. Just FYI.
  • Tombstone (1993)—Hasn't been on Netflix very long, so I hope you have or will take advantage of the opportunity to see this movie that you have already seen. My favorite part is when the drunk man has a mustache.
  • Val Kilmer's elbow thing is, as always, mesmerizing.
  • The Usual Suspects (1995)—Everybody has a different way of weird talking. Start with the weirdest (Benicio del Toro, who got his start in movies in Big Top Pee-Wee and was in the "La Isla Bonita" video as a person sitting in a car) and then go down the list, eliminating by order of weirdness. The person that's left is still not Keyser Söze. You have been tricked.
  • Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless (2010)—The whole thing is a fucking thrillride but once you actually reach the state of Fearlessness it kicks into high gear. Sometimes the journey is all that matters—but not this time, motherfucker!

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