Entertainment

40 Christmas Movies On Netflix That'll Take You Beyond The 12 Days Of Christmas

We're all familiar with the Christmas greats — Love Actually, A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street — but these movies just scratch the surface of all the festive features that have come out over the years. A quick search of Netflix yields no fewer than 62 results, and this doesn't even include those, like Love Actually, that don't have the word "Christmas" in the title. More Christmas movies exist than days in which to watch them, so I've done the hard work for you and picked out the 40 best Christmas movies on Netflix this holiday season.

(For that matter, who says we have to stop watching on Dec. 25? I listen to Christmas songs like Joni Mitchell's "River" and Ingrid Michaelson's "Snowfall" year-round. There's no reason movies can't be the same.) That being said, this list should last you long past Christmas day.

Image: CBS

'A Christmas Carol'

This 1938 classic clocks in at just over an hour — a concise adaptation of Charles Dickens’ tale of the miserly Scrooge and his three Christmas visitors.

Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

'Christmas With The Kranks'

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen, Christmas with the Kranks is a sort of modern-day retelling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The grouchy Krank couple decides to skip Christmas entirely — no tree, no twinkling lights, certainly no presents — thereby incurring the wrath of their neighbors. A story of a few more hearts just two sizes too small. And don’t be put off by its 5 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Christmas with the Kranks is one of those so-bad-it’s-good affairs.Image: Columbia Pictures

'I'll Be Home For Christmas'

Not the song, but the movie — this 1998 film stars Jessica Biel and Adam Lavorgna, as well as Jonathan Taylor Thomas (the voice of Young Simba in the original Lion King film), who plays the titular college student coming home for Christmas.Image: Buena Vista Pictures

'Love Actually'

A movie hardly in need of an introduction, Love Actually is the holiday film we all deserve.

Image: Universal Pictures

'White Christmas'

Music is the centerpiece of this 1954 Christmas classic, which features the compositions of Irving Berlin (including his essential song “White Christmas,” from which the film draws its title). White Christmas, which features a rare acting performance by Bing Crosby, was adapted into a stage musical in 2004.

Image: Paramount Pictures

'The 12 Dates Of Christmas'

50 First Dates meets Groundhog Day: This could be the elevator pitch for The 12 Dates of Christmas, a festive 2011 rom-com starring Amy Smart of The

Butterfly Effect and Crank. Smart’s character Kate has 12 chances to get her Christmas Eve blind date with Miles right — one for each of the proverbial 12 days of Christmas.Image: ABC Family

'Dear Santa'

When Crystal Carruthers (Amy Acker) intercepts a little girl’s Christmas list, she decides to bring the holiday spirit to the child and her widower father. It’s directed by Jason Priestley, the Canadian actor best known for his role in Beverly Hills, 90210.

Image: Lifetime

'Holidaze'

Initially released as part of ABC Family’s annual "25 Days of Christmas" special, Holidaze stars Jennie Garth as a high-powered department store executive who returns to her small-town home with a business proposal. Meeting resistance, she takes a nasty fall that knocks her unconscious. She wakes up in another universe where she’s married to her high school sweetheart played by Carter Mathison.

Image: ABC Family

'A Holiday Engagement'

Ever wonder what happened to Hilary Duff’s sister Haylie? She showed up in the 2011 made-for-television film A Holiday Engagement, which adapts that well-trodden story about a woman who, afraid to admit she’s single to her family when they reunite for the holidays, hires a stand-in. Real romance ensues.

Image: Hallmark Channel

'The Legend Of Frosty The Snowman'

Years after the original Frosty the Snowman, the denizens of Evergreen have grown accustomed to a Footloose-esque lockdown on fun. So when Frosty returns to town, the mayor does everything in his power to prevent the magical secret from getting out — with little success. The Legend of Frosty the Snowman is narrated by screen legend Burt Reynolds.Image: Cartoon Network

'The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas'

If The Legend of Frosty the Snowman is your speed, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas may be, too. Clocking in at just under an hour, it’s an endearing little parable featuring everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss character.

Image: PBS Kids

'Bad Santa'

This black comedy features a heavy-hitter cast of Billy Bob Thornton, Lauren Graham, and Bernie Mac. Sex addiction, Santa Claus fetishes, and ill-begotten heists play a starring role, but Bad Santa is a surprisingly good film for all its dodgy inspirations.

Image: Dimension Films

'Happy Christmas'

Before Digging for Fire, Anna Kendrick collaborated with director Joe Swanberg on Happy Christmas, a deceptively excellent Christmas film that also stars Melanie Lynskey of Heavenly Creatures and Lena Dunham of Girls. Kendrick’s character Jenny moves in with her brother (played by Swanberg) to recover from a breakup, forcing all involved to adapt to the new cohabitation situation.

Image: Magnolia Pictures

'White Reindeer'

Joe Swanberg is back at it — acting, rather than directing — in this 2013 dramedy about a woman (Suzanne, played by Anna Margaret Hollyman) dealing with the murder of her husband in the midst of the holiday season. Like salt in the wound, she soon learns that he was having an affair at the time of his death. But when she meets the woman with whom he’d cultivated a relationship — a stripper named Fantasia — they grow close through shared loss and embark on a few memorable escapades.

Image: IFC Films

'A Christmas Kiss'

A falling elevator and a spontaneous kiss set the scene for Wendy Walton’s (Laura Breckenridge) Christmas season. But it turns out, the handsome stranger who briefly swept her off her feet is her domineering boss Priscilla’s (Elizabeth Röhm) boyfriend and soon-to-be fiancé. But the boyfriend knows he and Priscilla aren’t really compatible, so Wendy might really stand a chance.

Image: Ion Television

'An Evergreen Christmas'

A family owns a Christmas tree farm that's in jeopardy — it doesn’t get much more holiday-spirit than that.Image: ARC Entertainment

'Silver Bells'

Another Christmas tree salesman, Christy Byrne (Tate Donovan) travels from Nova Scotia to New York each year to sell his wares, accompanied by his children Danny and Bridget. Danny remains uninspired by the family biz, choosing instead to focus on photography. After an impassioned Christmastime fight with his father, Danny runs away, leaving his father and sister to return to Canada without him. They don’t speak until the following year, when Christy returns to New York to sell trees by day and go out searching for his missing son by night. As Christmas miracles would have it, they’re reunited on wholly different terms.

Image: CBS

'Radio City Christmas Spectacular'

A long-running Manhattan holiday staple, the annual Rockettes show is now available on Netflix in case a trip to snowy New York isn’t in the cards this Christmas.

Image: Time Life Entertainment

'Christmas Angel'

Watch an entire class of school children see their Christmas wishes come true — including one girl who hopes for her father to return home for the holiday — in this made-for-television movie that can only be described as squishy yet heartwarming. It also features Tamera Mowry, of Sister Sister fame.

Image: Mission Pictures International

'The Fitzgerald Family Christmas'

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas boasts its share of high-profile names considering that it’s a relatively under-the-radar production. Ed Burns directs and stars alongside Connie Britton in a movie that received generally positive reviews when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival a couple years ago.

Image: Tribeca Film

'Dead Snow'

Dead Snow is a holiday film for all you misanthropes out there. It features zombies, Nazis, zombie Nazis, and very little holiday spirit save for its setting in the mountains of Norway during a ski vacation. Loosely based on Scandinavian lore, it’s a surprisingly decent slasher film.

Image: Euforia Film

'Sleepy Hollow'

This adaptation of the classic yet haunting Washington Irving tale is perhaps the best known, populated as it is by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and directed by Tim Burton. It’s not precisely a Christmas movie, but it’s moody and wintry and the sort of creepy tale that deserves to be told around a fire in the depths of a blizzard.

Image: Paramount Pictures

'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

Possibly the best Tim Burton film out there, The Nightmare Before Christmas envisions what might happen were the reigning king of Halloween, Jack Skellington, to stumble on the place where Christmas magic happens. When Skellington discovers Christmastown, he decides to spread the Christmas cheer by acting as Santa himself — but being the ruler of Halloweentown, he’s perhaps not the best-equipped to distribute joy rather than fear.

Image: Buena Vista Pictures

'All I Want For Christmas'

If you Google “All I Want For Christmas movie,” you’ll find there are actually at least three recent films of the same name as the Mariah Carey classic. Netflix offers the second of three, the 2007 made-for-television film in which a young boy wins a national contest by wishing for a Christmas romance for his mother. “All I want for Christmas is a husband for my mom,” he writes, as if that’s the key to her happiness. And they say feminism isn’t dead.

Image: Hallmark Channel

'The Christmas Card'

The Hallmark Channel has become a veritable Christmas movie factory, churning them out year after year and then punting them to Netflix. The Christmas Card is the soldier-returns-home take on the genre that sparks a love triangle between a young woman, her worldly fiancé, and the soldier she finds herself irresistibly drawn to. It all culminates on Christmas Day.Image: Hallmark Channel

'Christmas Crush'

What holiday movie would be complete without romance? The 2012 movie Christmas Crush follows in the vein of all those holiday rom-coms that came before, and all that succeed it, in fostering an aw-worthy on-screen budding romance between Rachel Boston as Georgia and Jon Prescott as Craig, her high-school boyfriend. But between them is Georgia’s best friend Ben (Jonathan Bennett, AKA Aaron Samuels), who, in John Hughes style, has been in love with her all along.

Image: Lifetime

'The Mistle-Tones'

Another “25 Days of Christmas” production, The Mistle-Tones is a holiday musical starring Tia Mowry as a talented young woman set on joining a Christmas-themed musical group called the Snow Belles. Yet the jealous lead singer Marci throws up obstacles at every step of the process, prompting Mowry’s character Holly to start her own group — with unexpected consequences.Image: ABC Family

'A Very Murray Christmas'

This upcoming Netflix-Bill Murray-Sophia Coppola collaboration premieres on December 4. It’s a whole musical extravaganza that will also feature Miley Cyrus, George Clooney, Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, and Michael Cera, among others, so it’s one to watch out for.

Image: Netflix

'A Russell Peters Christmas'

A variety show much like the upcoming Bill Murray special, A Russell Peters Christmas stars Canadian comedian Russell Peters alongside appearances by Pamela Anderson and Michael Bublé.

Image: CTV

'Trading Places'

Boasting a movie poster adorned with dollar bills and a title worthy of a Michael Lewis book, Trading Places looks like an unlikely holiday favorite. Yet the Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd film is surprisingly funny and festive, it has auspicious roots in Mark Twains The Prince and the Pauper, and it also features the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis. The woman can do no wrong.

Image: Paramount Pictures

'Planes, Trains, And Automobiles'

Okay, so Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is technically a Thanksgiving movie. It’s still festive, so sue me. The John Candy and Steve Martin movie is one of the funniest home-for-the-holidays films around, and honestly it’s astonishing that this near-perfect comedy hasn’t been remade yet. Oh, also, John Hughes.

Image: Paramount Pictures

'Get Santa'

On the other side of the pond, British Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent) crashes in the back yard of a nine-year-old boy, who he enlists to help Santa retrieve his reindeer (running rampant through the streets of London) in order to return north in time to save the holiday.

Image: Warner Bros.

'I Am Santa Claus'

There’s an early gag in the recent film Love the Coopers that features Santa — and all his peers lined up in their Santa suits. As everyone knows past about the third grade, Santa Claus can be any number of middle-aged men with beards and a fluffy red suit. So who are those men behind the beard? I Am Santa Claus is a documentary that examines the private lives of Santa Claus impersonators who work at shopping malls throughout December.Image: Virgil Films

'Chalet Girl'

Not everything Ed Westwick touches turns to gold — just see his recently axed series Wicked City for reference — but between Gossip Girl and Chalet Girl, he’s got the teen drama on lock. The all-star ensemble of this movie also includes Felicity Jones as the protagonist Kim, Bill Nighy and Brooke Shields as Westwick’s character Johnny’s rich parents, and Sophia Bush as his girlfriend Chloe.

Image: IFC Films

'Snowmen'

This Tribeca Film Festival pick is a surprising crowd-pleaser. Three boyhood friends, one of whom has cancer (and perhaps just a short time left to live), attempt to break the record for most snowmen built inside of a day. They fail at first, but continue to recruit helpers and (spoiler!) they eventually succeed.Image: ARC Entertainment

'One Magic Christmas'

Catch Harry Dean Stanton playing a Christmas angel in One Magic Christmas, a 1985 classic about Christmas wishes and broken families. As it sounds, One Magic Christmas confronts some pretty dark themes for the holidays, but important ones nevertheless.

Image: Buena Vista Distribution

'Santa Buddies'

Santa Buddies is part of the Air Bud series, those Disney films about the amazingly talented golden retriever who helps his human become a basketball prodigy. In Santa Buddies, though, the pups are all about saving the holidays, not scoring the final point. Santa Paws, Santa’s trusty canine companion, watches belief in Christmas slowly dwindle, and his son Puppy Paws and friends must help dogs and humans alike rediscover the spirit of Christmas.Image: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

'The Ref'

Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis play a married couple in trouble in The Ref. The movie opens on Christmas Eve in marriage counseling (an unsuccessful session), and when they get home (just to add insult to injury) they find themselves in the middle of a hold-up by an armed jewel thief. Yet somehow, the robber, named Gus (Denis Leary), helps the couple work through some of their deeper issues. It’s kind of absurd but great fun.Image: Buena Vista Pictures

'While You Were Sleeping'

Perhaps not a Christmas movie in the strictest sense, While You Were Sleeping, that classic Sandra Bullock rom-com, opens on Christmas Day when her character Lucy rescues a commuter named Peter (Peter Gallagher) who has been pushed onto the tracks of an oncoming train. Romantic shenanigans ensue when Peter, newly awakened from a coma, finds Lucy posing as his fiancée — and he has no memories either way.

Image: Buena Vista Pictures

'Fireplace For Your Home'

To round out this list, there’s the ambient Fireplace For Your Home: Winter Wonderland For Your Home. Put simply, it’s a series of wintry shots of frosty landscapes set to Christmas music. A whole half-hour of it!Image: Netflix

140