Here's a look at all the content worth streaming over the holiday season.Read more…
The best Christmas movies you can stream for every holiday mood
Relax with our list of Christmas movies for every occasion.
Ah, the holiday season. A magical time to spend with 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 a few of the best Christmas movies in a single place. Bonus: they are all available to stream (even though lots are missing from Netflix). Even better? We've got a film for every mood. Whether you're jolly or grumpy, you'll find something to soothe you on our list.
1. For when you want a modern spin on a classic: Spirited
- Year: 2022
- Cast: Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, Sunita Mani
Lusting after delightful tunes, show-stopping musical numbers and a heartwarming plot? Enter Spirited, a modern update of the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol.
This time around, the plot follows The Ghost of Christmas Present, who is close to retirement. Before he goes out with a bang, he becomes adamant to complete the ultimate challenge: redeeming an unredeemable. He sets his eyes on a controversial media consultant and sets to work.
His results are mixed. The movie is never short of entertaining.
2. For when you need a tear-jerker: It's a Wonderful Life
- Year: 1946
- Cast: James Stewart, Henry Travers, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
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 him 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.
3. For when you’re feeling romantic: Love Actually
- Year: 2003
- Cast: Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley
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.
4. For when you’re feeling romantic (but hate Love Actually): The Holiday
- Year: 2006
- Cast: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black
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.
5. For when you just can’t feel the Christmas spirit: Elf
- Year: 2003
- Cast: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart
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.
6. For when you want a visual treat: The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Year: 1993
- Cast: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix
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.
7. For when you're drunk on eggnog: Falling for Christmas
- Year: 2022
- Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, George Young, Olivia Perez
This cheery movie centres on a newly engaged woman who has a skiing accident and loses her memories. Luckily, a charming cabin owner takes her in. Perhaps he can show her the true meaning of this special holiday?
If you're after a formulaic yet pleasant Christmas romantic comedy, Falling for Christmas perfectly fits the bill. It also acts as a comeback vehicle for Lindsay Lohan. That's what we like to call the cherry on top.
8. For when you need a movie to watch with children: The Christmas Chronicles
- Year: 2018
- Cast: Kurt Russell, Judah Lewis, Darby Camp
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.
9. For when you’re feeling nostalgic: Home Alone
- Year: 1990
- Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard
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?
10. For when you want to be scared: Christmas Bloody Christmas
- Year: 2022
- Cast: Riley Dandy, Sam Delich, Jonah Ray, Dora Madison
If you're looking to escape the festivities with a touch of horror, Christmas Bloody Christmas will satisfy your slasher cravings.
The plot follows Tori, a record store owner eager to have some fun. Unfortunately, her penchant for debauchery is put on hold when a robotic Santa Claus from a nearby toy store goes haywire. As the Santa goes on a killing spree, Tori is forced to fight for her life. Will she become a final girl to remember? Tune in to find out.
11. For when you just want to be left alone: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Year: 2000
- Cast: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen
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 an enchanting performance. Plus, How the Grinch Stole Christmas will 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.
12. For when you want a feminist twist: Noelle
- Year: 2019
- Cast: Anna Kendrick, Shirley MacLaine, Bill Hader, Kingsley Ben-Adir
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.
13. For when you’re feeling naughty: Bad Santa
- Year: 2003
- Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Brett Kelly
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.
14. For when you want to laugh and laugh: The Santa Clause
- Year: 1994
- Cast: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd
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.
For a timely follow-up, sequel miniseries The Santa Clauses is also available.
15. For when you're craving a hidden gem: Klaus
- Year: 2019
- Cast: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones
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.
16. For when you want to feel warm and fuzzy inside: Arthur Christmas
- Year: 2011
- Cast: James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent
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.
17. For when you miss the 80s: 8-Bit Christmas
- Year: 2021
- Cast: Winslow Fegley, Neil Patrick Harris, Steve Zahn, June Diane Raphael
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.
18. For when you can't escape the MCU: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
- Year: 2022
- Cast: Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Kevin Bacon, Chris Pratt
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has its own holiday special and it features some of the most appealing characters in the franchise.
When Mantis and Drax notice that Quill is down around Christmastime, they decide to head to Earth and find him a suitable present. They settle on bringing Quill actor Kevin Bacon of Footloose fame. He proves to be more difficult to pin down than expected.
Short and sweet, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special perfectly balances hilarity with heart. We would expect nothing less from this ragtag team of superheroes.
19. For when you would rather be in New York: Something From Tiffany's
- Year: 2022
- Cast: Zoey Deutch, Ray Nicholson, Kendrick Smith Sampson, Shay Mitchell
Love works in mysterious and unexpected ways. Don't believe us? Give Something from Tiffany's a shot.
A woman's life gets upended when she stumbles upon an engagement ring that was meant for someone else. Turns out, that special little box leads her to the person she's actually meant to be with. Swoon!
20. For when you want some light horror: Anna and the Apocalypse
- Year: 2017
- Cast: Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire
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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