It’s almost a ritual by now. Christmas movie marathons have become a popular activity during the holiday season along with family dinners and exchanging presents. And why resist the temptation, when you have everything you need at home? All it takes is a streaming service, a bowl of popcorn and perhaps a cozy blanket to keep warm.
Here is a list of the season’s top films, including premieres, classics and must-watch items for your holiday film fest. Best of all, they are all available on major US streaming platforms.
Christmas movies on Netflix
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (2022)
Scrooge, the classic character from Charles Dickens’s novel, has been adapted for the big screen multiple times. In this version, the grumpy old man returns in an animated Netflix film. It tells the life story of a selfish, sullen, disenchanted and even mysterious man who undergoes a transformation after old ghosts visit him. Although it can be overwhelming and suspenseful at times, it’s a family-friendly and thought-provoking movie about the value of generosity and human kindness. Very Dickensian.
Falling for Christmas (2022)
Lindsay Lohan returns to the movies in this Netflix film. She plays a fun and fitting role for an actress who has appeared in many romantic comedies. Inherited millionaire Sierra Belmont (Lohan) is a spoiled young woman who loses her memory after a skiing accident on Christmas. She doesn’t remember who she is and, as a widower’s daughter takes care of her, Sierra adopts a new personality. It’s not hard to guess how the story ends.
This animated tale combines Christmas themes with human drama in this case, being pressured into a certain occupation. A father who loves his job at the post office forces his son to follow in his footsteps by threatening to disinherit the boy if he refuses. Through the Christmas spirit, Jesper, the unhappy son, finds a way to follow his own destiny without disappointing his father.
Christmas Movies on HBO Max
8-Bit Christmas (2021)
Based on the novel of the same name, this film stars the versatile Neil Patrick Harris, June Diane Raphael and David Cross. The movie takes place in the 1980s and tells the story of a boy who is determined to get a Nintendo system before everyone else. The movie ultimately shows that such attitudes, which sometimes get the better of adults, too, do no good.
Christmas Is Canceled (2021)
Released last year, director Prarthana Mohan’s film takes on a somewhat controversial but familiar plot. Emma’s father falls in love with his daughter’s friend after he becomes a widower. The story is reminiscent of the darker (and not Christmas-related) film American Beauty (1999), which stars the now-controversial Kevin Spacey.
Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
Over the years, this film starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis has become a Christmas classic. It’s a family comedy that is typical of this millennium’s early years and features bizarre moments and off-color jokes. Based on a novel by best-selling author John Grisham, you must see this film to satisfy your curiosity.
Christmas Movies on Prime Video
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
This is perhaps the most popular film in the Christmas genre. Based on Dickens’ texts, this classic is a mainstay of Christmas-themed entertainment. Beloved by generations of viewers, the movie is always worth rewatching with a critical eye to notice how much society has changed since then, or simply to have a good time.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Jim Carrey played the role of the evil and frustrated grinch, who is a caricature of certain anti-values. Carrey realized that this film wasn’t just a Christmas movie but rather a standard for how important social issues would be treated in the new millennium, which was just beginning when the movie was made.
Christmas movies on Disney+
Home Alone (1990)
If Home Alone isn’t already a classic Christmas movie, it will be soon; it’s unlikely to go out of style. The irreverent character of Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) represents everything that the Christmas movie genre is all about: adventure, detachment, learning, kindness and lots of fun.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
The original film came out in 1947; almost 50 years later, Mara Wilson played the role of little Susan in the remake. Like any curious child seeking answers, Susan has questions about the meaning of Christmas and one of its key figures, Santa Claus. But Susan’s doubts are laid to rest when she finds meaning in the illusion of believing.
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