Greatest Christmas Motion pictures on Netfilx Proper Now

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.

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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.

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Alien Xmas

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Image via Netflix

Director: Stephen Chiodo

Writers: Kealan O’Rourke, Dan Clark, Noah Kloor

Cast: Keythe Farley, Dee Bradley Baker, Kaliayh Rhambo, Michelle Deco, Barbara Goodson, Jessica Gee-George

A kids’ Christmas movie from the filmmakers of Killer Klowns from Outerspace? Say no more, I’m in. Adapting from the 2014 book of the same name, co-written by director Stephen Chiodo, the Chiodo brothers put their stop-motion sorcery to work in a sub-hour Christmas special that updates the charms of the classic Rankin & Bass stop-motion Christmas specials for a new generation. With powerhouse producers like John Favreau and Karen Gilchrist on board, Netflix’s Alien Xmas had all the right WTF factors to ensure I tuned in as soon as it was available, and happy to report, it’s a charming Christmas treat that’s a bit thin, but thanks to the 40-minute runtime, never stretches its charms beyond their payoff.

Imagine The Grinch, except its little kleptomaniac aliens coming to steal your Christmas spirit and you’ve pretty much got the gist of it. If you’re not familiar, the Chiodo Bros are some of the most spectacular stop-motion craftsmen in the biz, having provided the enduringly disturbing puppets for Team America: World Police and the North Pole segments of Elf, and in keeping, Alien Xmas features some pretty stunning animation. — Haleigh Foutch

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square

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Image via Netflix

Director: Debbie Allen

Writers: Dolly Parton and Maria S. Schlatter

Cast: Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Josh Segarra, Jenifer Lewis, Jeanine Mason, Mary Lane Haskell, Treat Williams, Selah Kimbro Jones

Do ya want to spend Christmas with Dolly Parton? Yeah, of course you do. It’s not that Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square is a good movie. It’s definitely not. But it knows that and it’s okay with it, and so am I because that’s not what either of us showed up for. There are, however, two very good reasons to show up for this one. Obviously, Dolly, who’s singing all original songs she wrote for the film. They’re not her best work, but when Dolly sings, I listen. Second is the wonderful Christine Baranski, who makes a meal of every line delivery as a Scrooge-y owner of a small town that learns to embrace the Christmas spirit with some help from a Dolly Parton angel. It’s all very campy, a Christmas pageant with a Netflix budget – and yes, it’s all very Godly, but when the message of faith and kindness comes from a bonafide samaritan and a track record of good deeds as long as Dolly Parton’s, you know its earnest. And that’s the real trick to Christmas on the Square, it’s such a product of genuine Good Will Towards Men, overflowing with Parton’s pure spirit (and some squee-worthy sequined angel costumes, while we’re at it) that you can’t help but feel a little cheerier when it’s over. — Haleigh Foutch

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

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Image via Netflix

Director/Writer: David E. Talbert

Cast: Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, Anika Noni Rose, Madalen Mills, Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Davina Phillip, Ricky Martin

I’m just gonna say it: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a new holiday classic; an instant addition to the canon; the most recent family-friendly Christmas film to so thoroughly capture its audience’s heart and soul since Elf. But unlike Elf, which is rife with childlike glee and slapstick set pieces, Jingle Jangle has another, more unorthodox fuel powering its steampunk-flavored sleigh: Melancholy. Jingle Jangle is a story of loss, of betrayal, of casting aside dreams, of keeping the house standing when the lights have long dimmed, and only eventually of regained hope. Yes there are catchy pop-MT bangers lensed and choreographed with panache, yes the production design is eye-poppingly gorgeous, and yes, every child performer in the film is unstoppingly adorable, optimistic, and joyful. But the center of Jingle Jangle, its silly name and all, is Forest Whitaker’s courageous, unexpected, and frankly bizarre performance. As our central inventor whose greatest products were stolen by a vengeful Keegan Michael-Key (wonderful; he should play villains more often!), Whitaker is a shell of a man, a human reduced to a ghost. He plays this character with a sense of false strength that betrays his inner flimsiness, and gives us no lifeline to the potentially fantastical world around him. It’s astonishing work, one that will no doubt affect kids in unexpected ways – and when he finally let’s go of his traumas to sing, dance, and love his way to a brighter future again, the tears welling in my eyes throughout Jingle Jangle can hold no longer. Put in on the boards, it’s a new Christmas classic. – Gregory Lawrence

Let It Snow

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Image via Netflix

Director: Luke Snellin

Writers: Laura Solon, Victoria Strouse, and Kay Cannon

Cast: Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Liv Hewson, Odeya Rush, Jacob Batalon, Kiernan Shipka, Joan Cusack

If you’re in the mood for some seasonal romance, Netflix delivered a bit of a Love Actually for the teen set with Let It Snow, a breezy holiday rom-com that finds a series of overlapping love stories on one fateful Christmas-season snow day. It’s a sweet film from top-to-tail, as interested in the dramas of teen friendship and domestic struggles as it the blossoming romances, and it’s filled with delightful performances from a knockout cast of young up-and-comers. A lot of the Netflix Christmas romances follow in the Hallmark channel vein, and absolutely no judgment if that’s your preferred thing, but for those who want an old-fashioned feel-good holiday romance, Let It Snow is just the ticket.– Haleigh Foutch

The Christmas Chronicles

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Image via Netflix

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

Klaus

Image via Netflix

Director: Sergio Pablos

Writers: Sergio Pablos, Jim Mahoney, and Zach Lewis

Cast: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Neda Margrethe Labba, Sergio Pablos, Norm Macdonald, and Joan Cusack

With Klaus, Netflix made a bona fide original Christmas classic without a single holiday switch (incredible, I know). Co-written and directed by Sergio Pablos, a Spanish animation master who began working for Disney in the Paris outpost before moving to America and contributing incredible performances and designs for characters as varied and unrelated as Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Dr. Doppler in Treasure Planet before becoming a one-man idea farm, coming up with the initial concepts that gave way to Despicable Me and Smallfoot. With Klaus, which tells the origin story of Santa Claus (J.K. Simmons) via his relationship between a small-town mailman (Jason Schwartzman), Pablos cannily mixed traditional, 2D hand-drawn animation with cutting edge computer animation. The resulting film is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before; it’s like watching a magic trick and being unsure how it was accomplished but being transfixed just the same. (It was nominated for the Best Animated Feature and had a good shot at winning, too.) And the story, with warring villagers and a commitment to giving a grounded, emotionally resonant portrayal of the beginnings of the legend (call it Santa Claus Begins) means that it never tips into gooey sentimentality. This is the rare Christmas classic that can be watched any time of year and will still fill you with that singular holiday magic. – Drew Taylor

A Christmas Prince

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Image via Netflix

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

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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Image via Universal Pictures

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

Image via Netflix

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

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Image via Netflix

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

Image via Netflix

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

The Holiday Calendar

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Image via Netflix

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

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About The Author

Haleigh Foutch
(3183 Articles Published)

Haleigh Foutch is a writer, editor, host, actor, and cat enthusiast based in Los Angeles. She’s currently Senior Editor of Content Strategy and Analytics at Collider, where she’s been climbing the ranks and screaming about the unsung genius of Grosse Pointe Blank for nearly a decade. She also oversees Collider’s horror content and co-created The Witching Hour podcast, previously appeared as a regular panelist on Movie Talk, and has written for Rotten Tomatoes, Complex, Birth.Movies.Death., and more. You can usually find her sharing Buffy the Vampire Slayer memes on Instagram, rehearsing the Five Movements from The OA, and asking people about their pets.

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