Thanksgiving has passed and December is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing: now’s the time to stream some holiday classics! And yet, on Netflix, the seasonal pickings of yesteryear are fewer and further between that ever before — having been pushed aside in favor of new, shinier tales made by the streamer itself.
Since Netflix started producing original films at an increasingly rapid pace, the venerable streamer has slowly turned into the top market for original holiday films this side of the Hallmark Channel. Every November and December sees the addition of what can feel like hundreds of Christmas movies, ranging widely from cutesy rom-coms to kiddie fare to animated works to the surprisingly sexual escapades of the puzzling Emma Roberts holiday film “Holidate.”
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The struggle with Netflix’s Christmas films is sorting the good from the bad. Because the streamer releases so many Christmas movies, it’s difficult to sort the good from the bad — and most tend to be very, very bad. “The Christmas Prince” trilogy? A cinematic achievement best left unexperienced, and that somehow isn’t even half of the royalty themed Christmas movies that Netflix has in their archives. There’s nothing wrong with watching a bad Christmas movie; on the contrary, there’s a sugary stupidity to them that often is half of the appeal. But if you’re looking for a bad Christmas movie, you might as well as find the best bad Christmas movie, which Netflix makes awfully hard to track down.
With all that said, there’s still some genuinely good treats in addition to the coal inside of Netflix’s stocking, including some old favorites buried in with the new originals. As the season of giving approaches, IndieWire has gifted you a guide of holiday films to keep you busy this December, when you might be putting Netflix’s other great programs on the back-burner. For this list, we considered both films that are explicitly Christmas-themed, and ones set at Christmas time or have iconic Christmas moments. Here are the 10 best Christmas movies currently streaming on Netflix. Entries are unranked and listed in chronological order of release date.
With editorial contributions by Alison Foreman.
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