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Christmas movies aren’t always good. Sometimes they’re bad. You have to sift through a lot of sugar and schlock to find the digestible stuff. Thankfully, we’ve done that part for you. Here are the best Christmas movies on Hulu this season, some of which will require that you add HBO or Showtime to your Hulu account. Thankfully, both offer free trials.
The best Christmas movies on Hulu
Is it a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie? The filmmaker believes it to be the latter, but that doesn’t mean people don’t watch this Tim Burton–produced cult classic and animation staple around Christmas too. Nightmare isn’t just for Hot Topic fans anymore. Director Henry Selick’s stop-motion tale of Jack Skellington and his quest to understand Christmas has become an essential film for an entire generation. It’s still widely viewed today, and the music from composer Danny Elfman is instantly recognizable to many. —Chris Osterndorf
There’s been debate as to whether this 2001 film jumpstarted the modern ugly Christmas sweater craze, thanks to a pivotal scene in which Bridget (Renée Zellweger) is reacquainted with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) during a holiday party. While that scene is a good table-setter, revisiting the film nearly 20 years later is an interesting cultural experiment. —Audra Schroeder
This 2004 curiosity stars James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara, Ben Affleck, and Christina Applegate as a cobbled-together family forced to spend the holidays together. It’s a pretty slap-dash slapstick comedy, and certainly falls in the best-worst category, but where else will you find a Christmas movie that also stars Udo Kier and Tom Kenny? —Audra Schroeder
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What if it’s Christmas Eve, but you’re stuck in an elevator? This elevator pitch got made into a movie and now we have Christmas Eve, which focuses on people who get trapped in six different elevators across Manhattan after a power outage. Patrick Stewart, Cheryl Hines, and Jon Heder star, and the film was co-produced by talk-show host Larry King. And yes, someone says, “But it’s Christmas Eve,” after getting fired. —Audra Schroeder
You might only know Black Christmas from its cheesy ‘00s remake, but the original is where it’s at. Whether you’re watching at the holidays or during Halloween, Black Christmas is one of the scariest slasher films around, which is even more impressive when considering it predates the slasher boom by several years. Black Christmas was directed by Bob Clark of A Christmas Story fame, but don’t think that means it pulls its punches. From its lurid phone calls to a terrifying suffocation scene, Black Christmas is a gift for fans of all stripes. —John-Michael Bond
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The renaissance of Robert Downey Jr. and writer-director Shane Black began with this underseen 2005 neo-noir gem. The story is a twisty meta-narrative featuring an actor training for a cop role, the real cop charged with training, and the real murder they’re trying to solve. You may get lost in all the convolution, but that’s part of the point, and you’ll be laughing too much to care anyway. —Eddie Strait
It’s right there in the title: Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are forced to abandon their holiday getaway and visit their respective divorced and remarried parents on Christmas Day—and that means four Christmases! This 2008 film wasn’t a hit with critics, but Vaughn and Witherspoon are engaging enough, and it’s a commendable dark dysfunctional family rom-com. —Audra Schroeder
Still not sure what to watch on Hulu? Here are the best movies on Hulu, what’s new, the best shows on Hulu, the sexiest movies you can stream on the service, Hulu documentaries, anime, and the must-see Hulu originals.
Looking for something more specific? Here are the best thrillers and action movies to get your heart racing, classic movies when you want a blast from the past, sad movies when you need a good cry, and funny movies on Hulu when you need a good laugh.
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Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.