Watching Christmas movies on Netflix, regardless of the device, is a great way to enjoy the holidays, especially if you want to immerse yourself in the season. And don’t worry about your connection, as there are many ways to improve your Netflix stream.
Netflix has so much content it’s often difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. So, to help you out over the holidays, we have selected 12 Christmas movies worth watching on Netflix.
1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a great movie for when you just want to sit back, relax with your family, and watch something that the kids can enjoy while staying within the Christmas spirit.
In this film, the Christmas-hating Grinch ruins the holiday for the inhabitants of Whoville, but when one thing leads to another, he learns that Christmas is about more than just shallow gifts and selfish consumerism. We all need such reminders every once in a while, don’t we?
2. Bad Santa (2003)
Bad Santa is a crime comedy film that follows a has-been department store Santa Claus who uses his position to break into safes and steals all of the money made during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
This isn’t a movie for everyone, what with its black comedy and dark moments. But if you’re looking for a Christmas movie that isn’t like the rest, then Bad Santa may be right up your street. That it stars the late Bernie Mac is just icing on the cake.
3. The Ref (1994)
We start with a movie much loved by Netflix reviewers. The Ref is a Christmas black comedy released in 1994. The movie stars Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey, and centers around a thief who kidnaps a wealthy and annoying couple on Christmas Eve.
Soon enough, the burglar realizes that he is in over his head when trying to deal with a couple on the verge of divorce, and presses his luck during the entire movie. While you hopefully cannot relate to this film, you can most certainly enjoy it on Netflix during the holidays.
4. Happy Christmas (2014)
Happy Christmas is a low-budget comedy drama that only saw a limited theatrical release, so you may have never heard of it. But it’s a smartly written film with excellent performances and is absolutely worth a watch, especially if you’re tired of the same old mainstream flicks.
Happy Christmas centers on a filmmaker-and-novelist husband-and-wife couple whose lives are upended when an irresponsible sibling shows up at their doorstep unannounced and moves in. It’s funny, but loaded with so much more than empty comedy.
5. A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
A Very Murray Christmas features the one and only comedic genius that is Bill Murray, among a whole host of other Hollywood A-listers. The movie, pitched as a fake documentary, is hilarious and an “irreverent twist on holiday variety shows.”
The trailer should be all you need to know whether you’d like to check this one out for yourself. However, George Clooney is in it, so we’re guessing that’s half the population sold on it already.
6. White Christmas (1954)
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas movie is certainly a classic. The movie features Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye who start up a song-and-dance routine after the war and become wildly popular. The two then join a sister act, played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, and head to Vermont to finally experience a White Christmas.
What makes this movie great, aside from the movie itself, are the nostalgic memories you may enjoy while watching it, as it has been regularly broadcast for many, many years during the holidays.
7. Gremlins (1984)
Gremlins is a comedy horror film that has turned into a cult classic over the years. When a boy receives a strange, furry creature as a gift for Christmas, all hell breaks loose as the local town is ravaged by destruction.
This film has some big names behind it, including Steven Spielberg as executive producer and Chris Columbus as writer (known for directing Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, and the first two Harry Potter films). Note that even though Gremlins is rated PG, it does have a few violent scenes that may be unsuitable for younger children. But overall, it’s a fun and funny ride!
8. Pete’s Christmas (2013)
Capturing a bit of the magic that made Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day an instant classic, Pete’s Christmascenters around a teenager’s neverending, almost cheesy Christmas Day curse.
This time-loop of a movie stars great acting by Zachary Gordon and Bailee Madison, two up-and-coming performers, alongside favorites Bruce Dern and Molly Parker.
Produced in 2013, Pete’s Christmas is quietly becoming a must-see Christmas movie during the holiday season. If you feel like watching a family-friendly movie and haven’t yet given this a chance, you should. It will get you feeling nice and warm just in time for the holidays.
9. Dear Santa (2011)
Dear Santa is a straight-to-TV romantic drama movie starring Amy Acker and David Haydn-Jones. Yes, it’s a Lifetime channel movie, but don’t let that turn you away: Dear Santa is above average for what it is, and perfect for the holidays.
The story follows a well-off woman in her mid-30s who lives off of her parents money. But when one day she happens to read a letter addressed to Santa and written by a seven-year-old girl who recently lost her mother, she begins down a path that changes her life.
10. Get Santa (2014)
Get Santa is a British-based movie with British-based humor. The movie was released in 2014 and features a top notch group of actors and actresses, including Jim Broadbent, Kit Connor, Warwick Davis, and Rafe Spall.
What makes this movie eminently watchable is that it can be enjoyed by kids as well as adults. It also features an interesting plot that will really get the kids in the family cheering for Santa. As if they weren’t doing so already.
11. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
Halloween isn’t the only holiday for horror films! A Christmas Horror Story is an anthology film, comprised of four different stories interwoven together, related because they’re all told by a radio DJ played by William Shatner.
A few things to note before watching: it’s a slow-burning movie that takes its time, it has some pacing problems, and the filmmaking quality isn’t the most consistent from start to finish. But it’s still a fine film, especially considering how rare Christmas horror flicks are.
12. The Legend of Frosty the Snowman (2005)
If you’re looking for something even the kids can enjoy, look no further than The Legend of Frosty the Snowman. As you may have guessed, it’s a story that’s been around for awhile. And for good reason.
This 2005 take on the classic original is very popular, with the same Christmas cheer and melodic songs that inspired generations of children to love Frosty, the magical snowman.
While Netflix hasn’t added the 1969 version, its modern remake is surely one that you’ll want to watch during the Christmas season.
What Christmas Movies Are You Watching?
If you’re looking for more great Christmas movies to watch on Netflix, just click on “Genres,” then “Holiday Favorites” to find more hand-picked holiday films available to watch right now. And then come back here to tell us what gems you found.
What Christmas movies are you looking forward to watching on Netflix over the holiday season? Are you a fan of the flicks featured in the list? Or are you desperate to tell us about a Christmas movie we should have featured? Please let us know in the comments below!
Originally written by Shay Meinecke in December 2015.