The best Christmas films to watch now

Bethan Rose Jenkins
·7-min read

From Good Housekeeping

Christmas is a time for curling up on the sofa with a hot drink and plenty of chocolate to see the chilly evenings through. And what better way to bed in the season than getting cosy in front of the telly with a heart-warming festive flick?

Of course, you don't need to wait until December 25th to enjoy a Christmas movie - there are so many to tune into, you can watch them right through autumn.

From newer titles on Netflix like A Christmas Prince, known for their outlandish storylines, to classics of the genre like It's A Wonderful Life, that pull at the heartstrings, there's something for everyone.

If you're in need of some Christmas movie inspiration, we’ve put together the best of the bunch so you can dive right in...

Christmas films on Netflix

A Christmas Prince

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

This relative newcomer is a Netflix favourite and has since inspired two sequels. It follows an aspiring journalist, Amber as she goes undercover to suss out whether abdication rumours surrounding a dashing young prince are true.

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The Christmas Chronicles

Kurt Russel is the refreshingly straight-talking Santa Claus on a mission to save Christmas, after a squabbling brother and sister duo hijack his Santa sleigh.

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The Holiday Calendar

A feel-good Christmas flick about an aspiring photographer who receives a mysterious advent calendar. Each window seems to predict an event for the day ahead, as she goes on a journey of romance and self-discovery.

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Nativity!

It’s impossible not to smile through this adorable film, with kid-fuelled chaos at every turn. Martin Freeman plays a grumpy primary school teacher whose boast about Hollywood producers coming to watch the school nativity gets out of hand.

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The Knight Before Christmas

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Festive magic causes a medieval knight to appear in modern day Ohio, where he meets a high school teacher who's been burned by love previously. The two strike up an endearing relationship just in time for the holidays.

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A Bad Mom's Christmas

The seasonal sequel to the hilarious comedy about three American moms who are fed up trying to get everything right. When their own mothers turn up for the holidays, the friends club together to rebel against the perfect Christmas

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Let It Snow

This modern Christmas movie follows the lives of American high schoolers in the run up to Christmas. It's heartwarming and perfect for families with teens.

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Christmas On The Square

Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski star in this brand-new for 2020 Netflix festive film about a cold-hearted woman who tries to sell land in her hometown during the holiday season. Can a little magic change her mind? On Netflix from 22 November.

Christmas films on Amazon

Elf

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

An absolute delight for all ages with laughs-a-minute from Will Ferrell as Buddy, the 6ft2 elf on a mission to find his real dad and spread Christmas cheer in New York City.

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Home alone

This 1990 classic is a hilarious family favourite starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, the boy mistakenly left behind while his family fly off for Christmas. With two burglars on the loose, Kevin must get inventive to defend his home.

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Gremlins

Keep them away from bright light, don’t get them wet and whatever you do, don’t feed them after midnight. If the three rules for keeping a Gremlin aren’t followed then, as Steven Spielberg’s film reveals, chaos ensues.

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Miracle on 34th Street

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

With Santa Claus in jail, it’s up to Susan, her mum and their friendly lawyer neighbour to prove Kris Kringle really is Father Christmas. The 1994 remake stars adorable Mara Wilson, who you’ll recognise from Matilda.

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Happy Christmas

Irresponsible Jenny moves in with her brother, his wife and their baby after a break-up. Set in Chicago in the run up to Christmas, there are rocky beginnings as the family come together and learn how they can support each other.

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How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

What would the holidays be without the Grinch? Jim Carey plays Dr Seuss’s moody green monster as he takes revenge on Whoville by attempting to steal Christmas. It’s up to Cindy Lou Who to stop him.

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Frozen

This magical, musical tale about a reclusive Queen hiding her secret power is set in a winter wonderland and is perfect family viewing come Christmas time.

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Last Christmas

Kate works as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop and lives a chaotic life. When Tom enters her world and seems to see straight through the barriers she puts up, he seems too good to be true...

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Tim Burton’s eerie yet enchanting animated film follows the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, as he attempts to commandeer Christmas.

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Christmas films on Sky

Nativity Rocks!

Photo credit: NBC Universal
Photo credit: NBC Universal

The fourth instalment of Christmas nativity chaos sees the latest class competing in a rock concert to win the Christmas town competition. Expect another exhausted teacher, child-like teaching assistant and even Craig Revel Horwood thrown in.

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Love Actually

A kaleidoscope of heart-warming love stories which interlink together. Starring everyone from Keira Knightly as a bride caught between two best friends, to Hugh Grant as Prime Minister (we could get on board with that)

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The Holiday

Photo credit: Photo Credit: Simon Mein - Sky
Photo credit: Photo Credit: Simon Mein - Sky

This yuletide staple will have you booking aCotswolds cottage (or an LA escape) before the film is over. The loveable rom-com follows two women (Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz) swapping homes for the holidays with the added bonus of a dreamy Jude Law.

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It’s a Wonderful Life

The emotional 1946 classic stars James Stewart as a man who has given up on a life. Then, a guardian angel shows him what the world would have been like if he was never born.

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Sony Movies Christmas channel

If you can't decide what to watch and want to camp out with back-to-back yuletide classics, head to Sky Channel 319 from late September. Here, you'll find a non-stop loop of festive flicks on the 24 hour Christmas channel. You’re welcome.

Christmas films on NOW TV

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

See Charles Dickens' classic tale retold by the cast of the Muppets. Michael Caine is the miserable Ebenezer Scrooge, taken on a journey by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Bah humbug.

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The Polar Express

Tom Hanks voices this charming animation about a boy who wakes up on Christmas Eve to find a magical train waiting to take him to the North Pole.

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Die Hard

Not quite the fuzzy festive classic you might be expecting, but Die Hard has become a staple of the season nevertheless. Bruce Willis stars as John McClane in the action thriller which inspired four sequels (so far…)

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Bad Santa

If you’ve had enough of the family-friendly Christmas cheer, put the kids to bed and settle down for Bad Santa. A comedy about a terrible shopping centre Father Christmas who befriends a bullied kid.

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Jingle All The Way

Photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox
Photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Two stressed-out dads (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad) compete to purchase a Turbo-Man action figure for their respective sons on a last-minute shopping spree on Christmas Eve.

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Christmas films on Disney+

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas

When Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town stumbles on Christmas Town, he becomes obsessed with celebrating the festive holiday. A dark and fantastical classic.

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A Christmas Carol

This 2009, computer-animated version of the classic Dickens tale stars the voices of Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.

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The Santa Clause

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a man who finds himself becoming Father Christmas, despite his desire to continue living his normal life. Filled with heart, it's a must-watch.

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Frozen II

Set three years after the first movie, the sequel stars all the story's most beloved characters as they venture out of Arendelle on a quest to find out the origin of Elsa's power and save the kingdom.

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