Every night is movie night over the holiday period, and you don’t want to be wasting precious mince pie time frantically searching the TV guide for a festive flick. So, to help avoid any disgruntled family members, we’ve put together a rundown of the best Christmas films currently streaming on Netflix.
Note: Some of the selections may not be available in your country! For all Christmas movies and shows on Netflix in your region please see the following links:
Christmas on Netflix UK | Christmas on Netflix USA | Christmas on Netflix Canada | Christmas on Netflix Australia
For those who like their holidays with a little darkness, “A Christmas Horror Story” tells a “Trick ‘r Treat”-style themed anthology complete with killer Krampus and zombie elves. Christmas has long had a strange relationship with the horror genre (“Black Christmas” pretty much invented the slasher film), and this anthology is a spooky delight.
This musical special marked Netflix Original’s first real foray into Christmas programming, and who better to offer a deadpan twist on the holiday season than comedy icon Bill Murray. He brings with him a bevy of Hollywood stars to sing and be merry, including his “Lost In Translation” director Sofia Coppola calling the shots. This is just an hour long and will act as a perfect digestion aid before that third helping of Christmas pudding.
This delightful family film from Wallace and Gromit stop-motion masterminds Aardman Studios tells the story of Father Christmas’ clumsy son, who has to step in to save a girl’s Christmas. It comes with all the British charm and ingenious visual humour we’ve come to expect from one of the foremost animation studios in the world.
What better way to cope with the stresses of the Christmas period than with the catharsis of this crudely brilliant comedy? Billy Bob Thornton is on great form as a mall Santa conman. Don’t let the limp sequel put you off, this 2001 film still hits the funny bone.
“Elf” is one of the most enduring Christmas films of the century, mostly thanks to Will Ferrell’s delightful creation Buddy the Elf. And when better to taste test Buddy’s special spaghetti breakfast than Christmas morning?
“Gremlins” screenwriter Chris Columbus has a knack for capturing Christmas magic (the winter wonderlands of the first two Harry Potter films, for example). But this creature feature has a turbulent relationship with the holidays, encapsulated by Phoebe Cates’s Santa Claus speech, one of the darkest and most moving Christmas horror stories in movie history.
This American indie is for those of you who find sickly Christmas film sentimentality a bit much. “Happy Christmas” goes the other way and tells a quiet, thoughtful story that just happens to be set at Christmas time. Perennially immature Jenny (Anna Kendrick) moves in with her brother and his family after a rough break-up. The film also happens to feature one of the greatest baby performances ever.
Another left-field pick, “Hector” tells the story of a homeless Scottish man as he journeys down to London for his annual visit to a Christmas shelter. Peter Mullan is reliably excellent in the lead role and the film is a warm, moving ode to the Christmas forgotten.
One of my personal favourite Christmas films, “Love Actually”’s all-star cast and unabashed sentimentality are simply irresistible. Yes, it’s on the long side, but it’s the perfect mulled wine and mince pies tearjerker.
This is Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol like you’ve never seen it before, with Bill Murray as the selfish Scrooge-like TV exec. His ruthless business-mindedness may get him ahead of his competitors, but it leaves him a little short on Christmas spirit. Murray’s trademark deadpan cynicism makes him the perfect comedic curmudgeon.
Is “The Nightmare Before Christmas” a Halloween film or a Christmas film? Well, it’s both, of course. From the gloriously gothic mind of Tim Burton, this is an enchanting stop-motion masterpiece for older children.
Are there any hidden gems we missed? Let us know in the comments!