Want to keep the peace this Christmas? Look no further. I’ve picked out the best Christmas movies to bring your family together, whatever their taste. There’s definitely something for everyone. So, no lumps of coal in my stocking this year.
If you decide you want something different, we’ve got plenty more for you to pick from. Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Streaming!
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On to the turkey!
Jingle All The Way (HBO via Hulu)
It’s definitely not the best Christmas movie, yet it’s so bad it loops back and becomes a watchable guilty pleasure. It’s the worst flick on this list, but watching Arnold Schwarzenegger KO a reindeer never gets old.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a tragic 15 percent, which is generous. Arnie is awful — he’s not built for comedy, despite Twins being great. Swap The Terminator for Jim Belushi, who plays a mall Santa in this, and it would have been better.
One last thing: Turbo Man sucks. No wonder Jake Lloyd turned to the dark side…
Bad Santa (Hoopla)
Billy Bob Thornton you glorious miserable, stone-faced b*stard. One expression for every occasion, and it’s perfect each time.
With Mr. Thornton, you know what you’re getting. But when it came to Bad Santa, I didn’t expect his one expression could be so moving. It’s gotta be that adorable kid.
If you’re looking for a movie that’ll clear a room of anyone with delicate sensibilities, Bad Santa is the streaming option you should be reaching for. Be warned, it’s not suitable for all the family.
Noelle is cliche, kid-friendly, and high on the festive spirit. If your house is in need of some uplifting Disney magic, Noelle‘s got you covered.
The movie is about Santa’s job being passed down to his son, who disappears when needed. Leaving Noelle, Santa’s daughter to fix the problem.
If you’re in a house full of young girls, Noelle has some strong social messages. It’s a great break away from the usual Christmas movies about women needing a man.
With some great performances from Anna Kendrick, Billy Eichner, and Bill Hader, it’s only poor visual effects that let it down. Despite this one flaw and a cliche plot, the movie is a satisfying Christmas watch.
Love Actually (HBO Now)
Hugh Grant. Emma Thompson. Colin Firth. Keira Knightley. Liam Neeson. Could it be any more British?
Love Actually is Pulp Fiction, made by Richard Curtis rather than Quentin Tarantino. It’s a collection of stories that cross over leading into a kid’s talent show at Christmas. Stories include a couple of extras standing in for the lighting of a movie’s sex scene, a work love-affair, and a backpacker seeking excitement.
The best of those stories places Hugh Grant as the awkward UK Prime Minister. He meets Martine McCutcheon, a maid working at No. 10 Downing Street. This newfound love leads to him to prove he’s got moves — and I’m not talking about that 20-year old sex worker story.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (Hoopla)
The critics loved it. Audiences loved it. Even I loved it, at the time. It’s still funny, charming, and romantic. Fact. You’re not going to find a better love-triangle Christmas movie out there!
Starring Renée Zellweger. We all know how talented she is. An Oscar winner for Cold Mountain, Golden Globe winner for Chicago, — and Nurse Betty. Then there’s Colin Firth and Hugh Grant: both in 2001 were hot stuff and dashing. According to my sisters.
But its tone in 2001, when it released, was edgy. Not anymore. The level of crude innuendo in a female-led comedy has evolved. Bridget Jones lost her “I can’t believe she did that!” magic. Compare it to something like Fleabag, the outrageous TV show starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Luckily, you don’t want something too crude to watch with loved ones. So despite losing that edge, it actually makes for one of the best Christmas movies available. Hurrah!
My wife is a huge Christmas movie fan. The only thing she loves more is horror movies. And yes, she probably loves both more than me. So when she says “check out this Christmas horror” — I’ve gotta.
The movie is about a family coming together at Christmas and clashing. So far, so accurate. This beef causes a kid called Max, played by Emjay Anthony, to turn his back on Christmas. This unleashes Krampus and all the other horrors we decorate with.
Want to know where you’ve seen Emjay Anthony before? He’s Percy out of Jon Favreau’s Chef movie. Thank god for Jon Favreau.
I watched this movie without reading reviews. I recommend you do the same. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics and audiences don’t like it. It’s not the best Christmas movie ever, but I thought it was refreshing — like a shot of heavily liquored eggnog. C’mon, it’s a horror Christmas movie.
The Christmas Chronicles (Netflix)
If you’ve got an eclectic gathering this Christmas, Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles should be your go-to movie. It’s a bonafide crowd-pleaser that’ll keep everyone around your big screen TV happy.
It’s got action junkies covered with fighting elves and car chases. For the romantic, there’s plenty of crying as missing family members are reflected on. Finally, it’s got comedy in the bag with Santa one-liners delivered by the always cool Kurt Russell.
Like most Christmas movies, plots are cliche but its acting, visual effects, and style make this a hit with adults and kids alike. Put this movie at the top of your watchlist this December.