10 Christmas movies to stream if you're a grinch
Is our best Christmas shows list too festive for you? Check out holiday films that aren't as full on.
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Ah, the holiday season. A magical time to spend with our loved ones, whether you want to or not. This after struggling to wrap up everything at work, finding something to do on New Year’s Eve, purchasing all the gifts on Santa’s list and maybe even making it to a few social engagements. Fun!
To anticipate the festivities, we’ve gathered some of the best Christmas movies in a single place, so feel free to bookmark this page in case of emergencies. Bonus, they are all available to stream. Even better? We’ve got a film for every mood you’re likely to experience this holiday season. Whether you’re jolly or grumpy, you'll find something to soothe you on our list.
There's nothing quite like a few show-stopping musical numbers to put you in the Christmas spirit. Maybe a heartwarming plot? Decades after his apprentice betrays him, a once joyful toy maker finds new hope when his bright young granddaughter appears on his doorstep.
Colourful and full of wonder, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a treat for kids and adults alike. An instant classic, the movie boasts several memorable performances and is overflowing with holiday cheer. It doesn't get more magical than this.
A true holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life follows George Bailey, a man whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve prompts his guardian angel to take action. The angel takes George on a magical journey, showing him exactly how he touched the lives of those around and how much impact he had on his community.
Released in 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life is considered one of the greatest films ever made, for good reason. It's the perfect stream for when you’re feeling mellow and have a few tears to spare. It can be watched any time of the year, but its message has a better chance of landing around the holidays. If you haven’t seen this marvellous movie yet, it’s never too late to catch up.
Love Actually features 9 intertwined stories which examine the complexities of love, the emotion that connects us all. We’ve got a story revolving around a newly-elected British prime minister, one about a married man who is tempted by his secretary and another about a man in love with his friend’s wife, among others. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep and you’ll want to re-watch it immediately.
The best thing about Love Actually is the tremendously talented ensemble cast, which manages to inject whimsy even in the dullest of stories. It’s just a tad too mushy and bloated, but it’s a great holiday film overall.
As suspicious as it may sound, some people just can’t stand the phenomenon that is Love Actually. For them, we have The Holiday – a charming rom-com about 2 women who decide to swap houses in an effort to escape their dreadful lives full of heartbreak and spend a few days away, licking their wounds. To their astonishment, quite a few surprises are in store once they reach their destinations.
Touching and captivating, the movie has plenty of light humour and sweet romance to keep you glued to the screen. The cast is great, allowing viewers to truly connect with these oddball characters. Also, the story has enough depth to avoid it becoming too sappy.
A refreshing and feel-good comedy, Elf follows Buddy, a man who was raised by elves at the North Pole. When he finds out that he’s actually a human, Buddy decides to go looking for his biological father in New York, spreading plenty of holiday cheer along the way.
This movie is perfect to watch when you just can’t get into the holiday spirit, as Buddy’s enthusiasm is infectious enough to put a smile on your face. Will Ferrell is a hoot in the lead role, the dialogue is sharp and witty, the overall plot is as engaging as they come. You can’t stay grumpy for long when watching this film.
Directed by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas centres on Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's Pumpkin King. When he accidentally stumbles through a portal to Christmastown, Jack, who has grown weary of the same routine year after year, decides to take over Christmas and celebrate it, with a few twists.
The film is gorgeous to look at, a tremendous work of stop-motion animation, but the story is captivating as well, with stellar characters and deliciously gothic undertones. Plus, the soundtrack is the stuff of dreams. All in all, The Nightmare Before Christmas is pure poetry – original, macabre and beautifully animated.
Love Hard is the kind of rom-com with a ridiculous premise that shouldn't work in theory. However, in practice, it's a heartfelt and silly treat. Besides Christmas misadventures, you're also in for a top-notch updated version of classic song Baby, It's Cold Outside.
The plot follows Natalie, a dating columnist who falls for a seemingly perfect guy online. She decides to travel to his home to surprise him for the holidays, only to find out that she has been catfished. Regardless, she sticks around and the 2 grow closer as they pretend to date to appease the guy's family. Are they in for a happily ever after? Tune in to find out.
The Christmas Chronicles follows Kate and Teddy, siblings who plan to catch Santa in the act on Christmas Eve by setting up a camera and waiting for him to show up. One thing leads to another and they accidentally crash Santa’s sleigh, which takes them on a magical and unexpected journey. They now have to help Santa get on track in order to save Christmas, which is no easy feat.
The best thing about The Christmas Chronicles is Santa Claus himself, brilliantly played by Kurt Russell. He brings plenty of humour and energy to the role, making his portrayal of Father Christmas instantly memorable. Besides, the movie offers a thrilling ride for viewers young and old, taking them on an adventure for the ages.
A holiday classic, Home Alone follows Kevin, a young boy who is accidentally left behind when his extended family leaves for a Christmas vacation. He tries to enjoy the solitude at first, but soon discovers that a couple of robbers are targeting his house. As a result, he comes up with a complicated plan to protect his belongings.
Funny and perfectly cast, Home Alone stands the test of time as a highly enjoyable holiday hit. What’s better than watching a small boy best 2 grown-ups over and over again?
The Kranks scandalise everyone when they declare that they won't be celebrating Christmas. Yet, when their daughter decides to come home, they get off on a mad rush to organise a spanking holiday last minute.
Look, is Christmas with the Kranks a great movie? Definitely not. However, it has a solid cast and it brings on the laughs, so there's no harm in having it run the background while you decorate cookies.
A fantasy movie based on the classic Dr. Seuss story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas revolves around Grinch, who lives in solitude just outside Whoville. He hates the townsfolk and despises Christmas. Yet Cindy Lou, a 6-year-old girl who believes in the spirit of the holiday, sets out to reform him.
Jim Carrey shines in the lead role, offering a performance to remember. Plus, How the Grinch Stole Christmas will likely appeal to anyone who wants to enjoy the holidays in peace, maybe by catching up on sleep or finally making a dent in their watchlist. Oh, there's also a dog in this and he is awesome.
Is our best Christmas shows list too festive for you? Check out holiday films that aren't as full on.
Noelle stars Anna Kendrick as Kris Kringle's daughter, who is full of Christmas spirit and a little salty that her brother will inherit the family business and become the next Santa. But when her brother disappears, Noelle has to go to great lengths to find him before a lot of children end up disappointed.
This Disney Plus original is fun and silly, with a solid cast and enough charm to keep you glued to the screen until the very end. It can get corny at times but, at the end of the day, that’s pretty much a given as far as holiday movies are concerned.
For lovers of black comedy, it’s difficult to find a holiday movie more appropriate than Bad Santa. The plot follows a con man who teams up with a friend to run a special scam each year during the holiday season. But when he gets a job as a mall Santa, he finds it hard to stay on target due to his potty mouth and general disdain towards... everybody.
Bad Santa is like an antidote to forced holiday mushiness – it's outrageous and profane. In other words, it’s like a breath of fresh air for the right audience. It doesn’t hurt that the movie is hilarious as well.
This feel-good holiday flick centres on Scott, who finds that he's inadvertently become the next Santa Claus. However, his ex-wife doesn’t take the news so well – in fact, she makes Scott undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Tim Allen is universally beloved, so this movie is a fun watch for the entire family, especially if you’re low on Christmas spirit. The Santa Clause is lightweight entertainment, the kind of flick you can run in the background while you’re having dinner or falling asleep on the couch while the kids rejoice.
A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. That's the premise behind this amazing animated film – which just happens to be an alternate Santa Claus origin story.
When Smeerensburg's new postman befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions, leading to Christmas as we know it today. Wonderfully animated and exceptionally engaging, the movie is a joyous treat.
Few Christmas flicks manage to feel as earnest as this one. Arthur Christmas revolves around Arthur, Santa’s clumsy son, who discovers that a little girl will be left without a Christmas present because of a mishap. He decides to save the day and goes on an adventure with a little help from his grandfather, an enthusiastic elf and a fleet of untrained reindeer.
Arthur Christmas has a lot going for it, including some great animation. The story is clever and emotional, the jokes land, the characters have plenty of personality and the effects are wildly imaginative. You’ll be filled with holiday joy in no time.
A fun movie that celebrates childhood adventures, 8-Bit Christmas will appeal to viewers of all ages, regardless of how much of the 80s they actually remember. However, it works best if you were a child during those times, since it allows you to look back fondly on all that madness.
The movie kicks off as Jake, now an adult, tells his daughter the magical story of how, back in the 80s, he struggled to get the latest and greatest video game system for Christmas. Turns out, it was no easy task.
After her husband ends their marriage, Kate embarks on a solo second honeymoon in Africa. There, she and Derek, a pilot, rescue a baby elephant. While nursing the elephant back to health, Kate discovers how much she loves her new surroundings. She might stay a while.
While the movie is a romance, it also shines light on the harsh lives of orphaned elephants. When their parents are slaughtered by ivory poachers, the little ones need help to make it on their own. It's wholesome and undemanding, which makes it a perfect holiday flick.
Happiest Season revolves around a lesbian couple, Abby and Harper. They're heading off to spend the holidays with Harper's family and Abby plans to propose. Unfortunately, her plan is derailed when she finds out that Harper hasn't come out to her parents yet. They'll be in for an awkward festive season.
With committed performances and plenty of holiday hijinks, Happiest Season is the perfect stream to help you escape your relatives and enjoy some quiet time by yourself. The cast is excellent.
Described as Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land, Anna and the Apocalypse is set around Christmas. As a zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven, young Anna and her friends are forced to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones.
Anna and the Apocalypse is whimsical and light, filled with characters you'll root for immediately. It's pretty much the zany zombie high-school musical you never knew you needed and has "cult favourite" written all over it. We highly recommend you give it a go.
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