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The Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Right Now


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The halls are decked, the season is jolly, and there are Jingle Jangles everywhere — Christmastime is officially upon us, which means it’s time to get in the spirit with all your favorite holiday films. There’s no shortage of ways to find Christmas movies for your viewing pleasure — streaming services are stocked up on Christmas fare and you can always count on FreeForm for their 25 Days of Christmas, but Netflix remains the king of the streaming game, so we’ve put together a list of the best Christmas movies you can watch right now.

Whether you’re looking for Old Hollywood, animation, horror, or a nostalgic classic, Netflix has a little bit of everything this year. Check out our rundown of the best Christmas movies on Netflix below.

The Christmas Chronicles

Director: Clay Kaytis

Writer: Matt Lieberman

Cast: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, Oliver Husdson, Lamorne Morris

Easily one of the best Netflix Christmas movies to date, The Christmas Chronicles rides on the charisma of Kurt Russell like magic and delivers a jolly dose of holiday cheer for the whole family. The film focuses on siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis), who have grown apart after their father’s death. With Teddy firmly on the track to juvenile delinquency and Kate one misplaced video tape away from getting some snitch-stiches, the brother and sister are at each other’s throats… until Kate catches a glimpse of Santa on her camcorder and the two get swept up in adventure to save Christmas. But that’s all secondary. What really matters is Kurt Russell plays Santa Clause, which is just way too much fun to behold. He even gets his own Elvis-inspired Christmas musical number! The Christmas Chronicles, or “the sexy Santa movie”, is perfect holiday cheese, elevated by Russell’s movie star charm on full blast. — Haleigh Foutch

White Christmas

Director: Michael Curtiz

Writers: Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank

Cast: Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes, Anne Whitfield

An all-time holiday classic, White Christmas is a grand Old Hollywood musical with an extra dose of sentimental seasonal cheer. The romantic tale stars Bing Crosby and Phil Davis as a song-and-dance duo who team up with sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show and save a rural Vermont Inn from going out of business. It’s absolutely saccharine sweet and, aside from the setting and titular song, doesn’t have all together that much to do with Christmas, but Edith Head’s costumes are divine and the crooning cast puts on a damn fine show. — Haleigh Foutch

Love Actually

Director: Richard Curtis

Writer: Richard Curtis

Cast: Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page

The “smash a dozen celebrities together for a holiday” genre has become sort of a joke, but Love Actually is just too damn charming, warm, and overwhelmingly British to not count as a rewatchable delight. The movie follows ten separate, occasionally interweaving stories around London at Christmas time, but they all basically boil down to the idea that love is Good, Actually, even if it makes you go batshit insane and show up to your best friend’s fiance’s doorstep holding stalker cue cards (a ballsy move by Andrew Lincoln’s Mark, looking 1000% less sweatily bearded than he does on The Walking Dead). If someone can’t find joy in a film that mashes up a drunken Bill Nighy, an adulterous Alan Rickman, and the best darn performance of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” there ever was—come at me, Mariah—then, as they say, give them a quid and tell them to bugger off. – Vinnie Mancuso
A Christmas Prince

Director: Alex Zamm

Writer: Nathan Atkins

Cast: Rose McIver, Ben Lamb, Alice Krige, Emma Louise Saunders, Sarah Douglas

Cheesy Christmas romances have become a thing and A Christmas Prince is sort of the Netflix godfather of this suddenly robust genre. Not that they didn’t exist before — Lifetime and Hallmark are old pros at this game — it’s just that holiday romances were never quite so unilaterally popular before Netflix got in the game. Let Rose McIver‘s oh-so-relatable everywoman wash over you, and transport yourself to the kingdom of Aldovia for the holidays, where fanciful romance and royal drama reign supreme. And settle in for the sequel, which arrives on Netflix soon. — Haleigh Foutch

Bad Santa

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Writer: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, John Ritter

Bad Santa is the perfect late night Christmas watch for after the kids are tucked in and your stuffiest relatives hit the road. Billy Bob Thornton knocks out an iconic performance rooted in the tradition of Scrooge and The Grinch as Willie, the world’s worst mall Santa. A foul-mouthed, booze-soaked misanthrope with a proclivity for getting naughty with the plus sized customers in the dressing room, Willie’s seasonal day job is the perfect cover for for a thief who robs the store safe after the busiest shopping season of the year.

Director Terry Zwigoff dispenses of the saccharine sentimentality of the standard holiday fare, and yet underneath all the butt sex and excessive swearing Bad Santais ultimately a warmhearted story about redemption and the satisfaction of generosity over greed. It’s one of the funniest, hardest-R Christmas movies ever made, and watching Brett Kelly‘s socially hopeless “The Kid” help teach Willie the meaning of Christmas never loses its charm. – Haleigh Foutch

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Jeffrey Price

Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, Bill Irwin, Taylor Momsen, Clint Howard

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is a far from a perfect movie, but it is something of a direct ticket to Christmas spirit. The best part about Ron Howard’s adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss book is the way it transports you into the realm of Whoville and their abundant Christmas cheer. Jim Carrey does an excellent job as the green-tinged grump, making the inherently unpalatable holiday-hating character into a comedic figure worth following around for a feature-length film — as opposed to the iconic animated short — and there’s even a pretty great original Christmas song (a feat many have attempted and failed), but it’s the sets, makeup, and costumes that do the heavy lifting and bring the whimsical Whoville to life on screen. It’s a bit forgettable, but a fine way to dose up on holiday cheer. — Haleigh Foutch

A Very Murray Christmas

Director: Sofia Coppola

Writer: Sofia Coppola

Cast: Bill Murray, George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Michael Cera, Paul Schaffer, Rashida Jones, Jenny Lewis, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman

An old-fashioned, star-studded showcase, A Very Murray Christmas is strung together with a bare minimum plot – Bill Murray, starring as himself, is worried that a snow storm will keep people from his TV show, so he calls in all his famous friends for company and holiday cheer. Really though, it’s just an excuse to watch Bill Murray lounge around Bill Murray style at Christmas, and rock around the Christmas tree with tons of famous people. It’s a simple song and dance, a bit of merry little pageantry, and while it’s not quite the homerun we may have hoped for from a Sofia Coppola/Bill Murray Christmas movie, it’s a fine way to fill up on holiday spirit. — Haleigh Foutch

The Princess Switch

Director: Mike Rohl

Writers: Robin Bernheim, Megan Metzger

Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Nick Sagar, Sam Palladio, Susanne Braun, Alexa Adeosun

Netflix’s latest Christmas fluff The Princess Switch is one of their most delightful sugar-spun holiday confections yet. Vanessa Hudgens stars in dual roles as a Stacey, a Chicago baker, and Margaret, Duchess of the fictional kingdom of Montenaro (eat your heart out Aldovia). When the two identical women meet by happenstance one day at a royal baking competition, they concoct a plan to change identities and accidentally wind up falling in love while living out their body swap fantasies. It’s a three-for-the-price-of-one fantasy story! You get a royal romance, a best friend romance, and an identity swap comedy all cooked up in one scrumptious and light holiday confection. — Haleigh Foutch

Get Santa

Writer/Director: Christopher Smith

Cast: Rafe Spall, Jim Broadbent, Kit Connor, Warwick Davis, Jodi Whittaker, Joanna Scanlon, Stephen Graham, Nonso Anozie

It’s a downright Christmas crime that this little holiday gem wasn’t seen and appreciated by more people when it came out in 2014. Just look at that cast! Somebody convinced Jim Broadbent to play Santa! Marvelous. Writer/director Christopher Smith is best known for his offbeat horror properties like Severance and Triangle, but he brings his knack for set-pieces and genre-bending to a spirited family adventure that finds an ex-con reuniting with his son just in time to save their relationship… and Christmas. There’s some juvenile humour packed in for the kids, but overall, this is a delightful Christmas caper with one of the most convincing, twinkly-eyed Santas you’ll ever see on film — even after he gets his prison makeover. If The Christmas Chronicles has you craving more North Pole adventures, I highly recommend you check this one out. — Haleigh Foutch

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

Directors: Jun Falksenstein, Alex Mann, Bradley Raymond, Toby Shelton

Writers: Charlie Cohen, Scott Spencer Gordon, Tom Nance, Carter Crocker, Richard Cray, Temple Matthews, Thomas Hart, Eddie Guzelian, Alex Mann

Narrated by: Kelsey Grammer

You’ll find a few Mickey-hosted Christmas specials on Netflix, including Mickey’s Magical Christmas and Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas, but Mickey’s Once upon a Christmas has the most old-fashioned holiday spirit. Mickey and his friends tell three Christmas stories: “Donald Duck: Stuck on Christmas,” which is a Groundhog’s Day style reminder that Christmas is so special because it only comes once a year; “A Very Goofy Christmas”, which finds Goofy trying to teach his son the joys of Santa Claus; and “Mickey & Minnie’s Gift Of The Magi”, which recreates the classic tale with the Disney icons. — Haleigh Foutch

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups

Director: Robert Vince

Writer: Robert Vince, Anna McRoberts, Philip Fracassi

Cast: Cheryl Ladd, George Newbern, Pat Finn, Danny Woodburn, Obba Babatunde

The sequel to The Search for Santa Paws, which is technically the sequel to Santa Buddies (both of which are also on Netflix), Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups is about a bunch of white, fluffy puppies doing Christmas stuff. That’s really the only reason to watch it. It’s just adorable. None of the “Buddies” movies are good, but they sure as hell are cute, and Santa Paws 2 does better than usual at giving a somewhat entertaining narrative to pin together the cute dog stuff. But really, it’s just all about the cute dog stuff. — Haleigh Foutch

The Holiday Calendar

Director: Bradley Walsh

Writers: Carrie Freedle, Amyn Kaderali

Starring: Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, Ethan Peck, Ron Cephas Jones, Genelle Williams, Ali Hasan

Netflix gets a little subversive with The Holiday Calendar, which plays on the tropes of the Christmas romance genre to fly in the face of the “handsome perfect guy sweeps average lady off her feet” archetype in favor of a whimsical tale of realizing love was right in front of you all along. When photographer Abby Sutton (Kat Graham) receives an old-fashioned advent calendar from her grandfather, something strange keeps happening — every day she pulls a new figurine and something happens in her real life to match, each new piece leading her to the handsome doctor she can’t stop running into (Ethan Peck), but when their chemistry doesn’t spark, she realizes she might have been reading the clues wrong. — Haleigh Foutch

Chill with Bob Ross

Director: Sally Schneck

Starring: Bob Ross

Some genius and good samaritan combined all the winter-themed episodes of The Joy of Painting into a single Bob Ross-tastic collection for your seasonal viewing pleasure with Chill with Bob Ross. With episodes like “Icy Lake”, “Snowbound Cabin”, and “Splendor of a Snowy Winter”, you’ll get all the happy little birds and ASMR relaxation you can handle with a winter flourish. So make yourself a soothing cup of hot cocoa — or you know what, don’t even bother because the dulcet tones of Bob Ross are just as relaxing all on their own. — Haleigh Foutch

Santa's Apprentice / The Magic Snowflake

Director: Luc Vinciguerra

Writers: David Freedman, Alexandre Reverend, Luc Vinciguerra

Cast: Jack Versace, Nathan Simony, Benoît Allemane, Vincent Grass

This French-Australian-Irish double feature takes a global approach to Christmas magic and the legend of Santa Claus. The first film, Santa’s Apprentice finds a reluctant Santa Claus on the eve of an unwanted retirement when he’s faced with the task of finding his apprentice out of a pool of a million children. There’s a few rules to chose the lucky kid: he has to be named Nicholas, be an orphan and have a pure heart, but the perfect pick lacks the confidence to get the job done.

Spoiler alert, that all works out OK, because the follow-up, The Magic Snowflake, follows the young lad Nicholas as he trains to become Santa Claus when a new crisis threatens the North Pole’s magic. They’re sweet, enchanting animated features for the whole family that reinforce the classic concept — Christmas magic is in all of us (as long as you’re an orphan named Nicholas). — Haleigh Foutch

The Spirit of Christmas

Director: David Jackson

Writer: Tracy Andreen

Stars: Thomas Beaudoin, Kati Salowsky, Jen Lilley, Joanna Herrington, Steven A. Miller

Look, if you’ve seen one Christmas romance you’ve kind of seen them all. At least that’s what I used to think until I witnessed The Spirit of Christmas, which is about a lawyer who doesn’t think she can fall in love until she meets… a ghost. A Christmas ghost, no less. If you’ve had enough of royalty fantasies, Christian mingles, and handsome doctor/lawyers sweeping beautiful young women off their feet, this is a welcome reprieve. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a cheesy love story, but it’s also got a murder mystery and a sexy ghost who looks like every hipster barista you know. — Haleigh Foutch
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