christmas movies netflix


The best Christmas movies on Netflix

'Tis the season for streaming.


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Oct 14, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 4:11 am CDT

It’s always the right time of year for Christmas movies on Netflix.

Whether you’re in the mood for Christmas dramas, comedies, rom-coms, or animation, Netflix has something for you to get lost in this holiday season. Here are the best Christmas movies on Netflix.

The best Christmas movies on Netflix

1) Love Actually

Yes, I know it’s not cool to like Love Actually anymore. But whether you love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that it lives up to its tagline of “The ultimate romantic comedy.” This story of intersecting relationships in London around Christmas is both one of the definitive rom-coms and one of the definitive holiday movies of our time. —Chris Osterndorf

2) White Christmas

Although the famous Irving Berlin song was first popularized in the 1942 Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire vehicle Holiday Inn, many Americans more closely associate with this 1954 classic, with which it shares a name. Crosby is back, but this time he’s paired up with Danny Kaye. The two play a song-and-dance team who fall for two sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen). The plot is as silly as you might expect, but the songs, again supplied for Berlin, are wonderful, and the movie is a delightful old-timey treat to watch around the holidays. —Chris Osterndorf

3) Bad Santa

Bad Santa may just be the darkest Christmas movie ever made. Featuring Billy Bob Thornton in one of his best roles, the film follows a horny, depressed, suicidal, alcoholic, grossly inappropriate mall Santa named Willie and his inadvertent road to redemption leading up to Christmas Eve. Bad Santa also has a terrific supporting cast, including Tony Cox, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, Cloris Leachman, Alex Borstein, Billy Gardell, Octavia Spencer, and Gilmore Girls’ very own Lauren Graham as Willie’s Santa-fetishist love interest. Chris Osterndorf

4) In Bruges

Martin McDonagh’s 2008 film might unseat Die Hard as the most debated Christmas movie that’s not about Christmas. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star as two hitmen sent to Bruges to hide out after a botched assassination attempt. The gilded city is decorated for the holidays, and the film takes place before Christmas, but that’s about the extent of its celebratory tone. The film is more about boredom and guilt, and there is a lot of swearing, most of it courtesy of Ralph Fiennes as the world’s worst boss. Boredom, guilt, and swearing are really the foundation of Christmas. —Audra Schroeder


5) A Christmas Prince

This Netflix original got some crafty PR when it debuted in 2017, and while you definitely won’t want to watch it 18 days in a row, it does make for agreeable background viewing at a holiday party. After a journalist (iZombie’s Rose McIver) is sent to cover the crowing of a new prince (Ben Lamb) in the made-up country of Aldovia, she goes deep undercover to get a scoop and ends up finding… love! Yes, the female journalist falling for her subject storyline is pretty tired, but there is some charm in A Christmas Prince’s low-budget kitsch, suspension of reality, and gaping plot holes. —Audra Schroeder

6) How the Grinch Stole Christmas

There have been many reimaginings of Dr. Seuss’ Grinch, but this one has Jim Carrey as the titular misanthrope. Directed by Ron Howard, this 2000 film also stars Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who and the great Christine Baranski as Martha May Whovier. But Carrey obviously steals the scenes here, and even though this is a kids’ movie, he’s kind of scary as the Grinch. —Audra Schroeder

7) BoJack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish

BoJack Horseman is probably the most cynical show on television, and the Christmas special doesn’t fail to live up to that. Sort of a show within a show, Sabrina’s Christmas Wish finds BoJack (Will Arnett) reminiscing, as he often does, over an old episode of his sitcom Horsin’ Around, accompanied by friend/roommate/freeloader Todd (Aaron Paul). The ensuing 25 minutes are a fun diversion from the larger arcs of the series, but it still maintains its deeply bittersweet (and occasionally just bitter) tone. Chris Osterndorf

8) White Christmas (Black Mirror episode)

White Christmas takes the form of three interlocking stories starring Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones, The Hour), and Rafe Spall (Prometheus). It relies on a couple of clever futuristic tech conceits but wisely spends more time developing the main characters than reveling in technobabble like many sci-fi dramas. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


9) Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special

Now this is a Christmas special. Grace Jones, Joan Rivers, Oprah Winfrey, Little Richard, Cher, and more stop by Pee-wee’s Playhouse for an animated hour of holiday cheer, musical numbers, cartoons, and Charo singing “Feliz Navidad.” —Audra Schroeder

10) Slow TV: National Firewood Night

Six hours of Norwegians chopping wood and making a fire for you to sit in front of in your pajamas. Check out Slow TV: National Firewood Morning as well. Audra Schroeder

Still not sure what to watch tonight? Here are our guides for the absolute best movies on Netflix, must-see Netflix original series, documentaries, docuseries, and movies.

Looking for something more specific? Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, true crime, food shows, rom-coms, LGBT movies, alien movies, gangster movies, Westerns, film noir, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, old movies when you need something classic, and standup specials when you really need to laugh. Or check out Flixable, a search engine for Netflix.

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*First Published: Oct 14, 2018, 6:30 am CDT