More than any other streaming service, Netflix has gone for original Christmas content, including some hidden gems. Pair them with some classic Christmas titles, and Netflix has plenty of Christmas movies worth watching. Here are the top 10.
The early days of Santa Claus are reinvented as an epic fantasy in A Boy Called Christmas . Maggie Smith plays an eccentric aunt who tells her nephews and nephews the story of Nikolas (Henry Lawfull), a boy living in ancient Finland who sets out on a quest to seek hope in a dark time. Nikolas’s story combines familiar Christmas elements (elves, reindeer, gifts) with a great adventure saga, in which Nikolas faces a sinister elf leader (Sally Hawkins).
It’s a silly but entertaining new take on a Christmas tale, turning Santa into the kind of hero who could team up with Harry Potter.
It’s kind of hard to believe that no one would have thought of casting Kurt Russell as Santa Claus before The Christmas Chronicles . Russell plays a great version of St. Nick, who is annoyed by his popular portrayal of fat and doesn’t like to say “ho, ho, ho.” When a couple of kids see him on Christmas Eve and get on his sleigh, they end up damaging the various magical implements that Santa uses to deliver his gifts. Santa and his unseen new helpers embark on a late-night adventure to save Christmas, complete with a blues jam in jail and visits from strange Santa elves like Minion.
Christmas is a dangerous and bloody time in German black comedy Christmas crossfire . An unfortunate literature teacher meets an attractive and assertive young woman in a bar, and soon accompanies her to the small town where she grew up. When they arrive, the pair are caught in the, well, crossfire of a group of petty criminals, getting into deeper and deeper trouble with each attempt to escape.
The violence escalates in morbidly hilarious ways, all as the dilapidated city holds its meager Christmas celebration, finding bits of Christmas cheer amidst financial hardships.
Christmas is not the only holiday in the cute romantic comedy Holidate , but it is fundamental to the concept. Two perpetual bachelors (played by Emma Roberts and Jake Lacey) decide to be each other’s “vacation” after enduring unpleasant romantic pressure at Christmas. They come up with a no-strings attached plan to accompany each other on various vacations, but of course by the following Christmas they fell completely in love. Roberts and Lacey provide the right balance of cynicism and sentiment to make predictable romance easy to enjoy.
The Oscar-nominated animated film Klaus presents a new kind of origin story for Santa Claus. Here, Klaus (voiced by JK Simmons) is a lonely hermit living on the outskirts of a remote island town. The city’s new postmaster (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) recruits Klaus as part of a plan to increase mail delivery, having children write letters requesting toys that Klaus will make and hand deliver.
The film is full of beautiful and pictorial images, along with strange characters that populate the city, where an old feud between two clans is about to be undone by the spirit of Christmas.
A variety of teen romances unfold on Christmas Eve in the sympathetic Let it snow , a kind of throwback to the youth comedies of the 80s and 90s, with a Christmas twist. In Laurel, Illinois, a sleepy, snowy little town, attractive teenagers hang out, break up, put on makeup, and have fun, as the local restaurant becomes a hot spot for the holidays.
The attractive cast includes Kiernan Shipka, Isabela Merced, Liv Hewson, Odeya Rush, Shameik Moore, and Jacob Batalon, plus Joan Cusack as the mysterious tow truck driver who carries aluminum foil and gives surprisingly helpful advice to teenagers in love.
John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale play a couple of busy shoppers who find themselves cute at Christmas in the charming romantic comedy Serendipity . They spend a magical Christmas night together in New York City and then agree to meet again if a series of seemingly arbitrary coincidences can bring them back together. This is a Christmas rom-com, so of course the universe conveniently conspires to bring these two handsome and attractive lovebirds together. By putting the idea of romantic inventions at the center of his plot, Serendipity play with the genre while still delivering the necessary happy ending.
The stoner buddies played by John Cho and Kal Penn return in A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas . Now adults who have been apart for years, former best friends are reunited on a quest to acquire the perfect Christmas tree for Harold’s holiday family reunion. They mend their broken relationship while, of course, they get completely baked and have one more run-in with the insane fictional version of Neil Patrick Harris (who once again plays himself). It’s a funny and surprisingly sweet conclusion to the stoner trilogy.
More vibrant than a movie, A Very Murray Christmas is Bill Murray’s version of the classic Christmas special, directed by filmmaker Sofia Coppola and featuring an eclectic list of celebrity guests. Murray plays himself, Snowed in at a New York City hotel where he is supposed to be airing a Christmas special. With the broadcast finally canceled, he checks in with hotel guests, sings a few songs, and gets drunk.
The story is based on Murray’s endearing and laid-back presence, along with appearances by Chris Rock, George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Maya Rudolph, and many more.
He is still mostly known for his beloved title track, but White christmas it’s more than just the melody written by Irving Berlin. The gracious musical stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as a pair of army buddies teaming up as nightclub entertainers after WWII. They fall in love with a pair of singers (played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen), and the four of them spend Christmas at a quaint Vermont inn, where they put on a show to attract guests to the snowy getaway. Various misunderstandings ensue, but Christmas romance and generosity prevail in the end, of course.