Only the grinchiest of souls doesn't feel even a glimmer of festive spirit when the holiday season rolls around. If you're that person, perhaps this list is not for you. But if, like most of the world, Christmas is the one time of year you reconnect with family and friends, eat too much and give zero fucks, and merrily watch a bunch of movies that celebrate the season of snow in all of its romantic glory, then it's fair to say Netflix is your friend.
Enough chat. You want ten of the best Christmas movies on Netflix in 2016? From the comic to the Gothic to the romantic, gather with your loved and luxuriate in these classic holiday movies.
10. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas
What is it? A classy Christmas drama in which the seven siblings of the Fitzgerland family prepare to spend the holiday with their father. The twist? They haven't seen him since he walked out two decades earlier. It's a little less sugary than most on this list, but it's not without a few glimmers of hope. American Horror Story's Connie Britton stars.
9. Happy Christmas
What is it? What Happy Christmas lacks with its shockingly unimaginative title, it makes up for with an uplifting story and a very sparkly lead performance from Anna Kendrick, whose party girl Jenny moves in with a married couple stuck in a rut. It's a classic odd-couple comedy, but probably not one for the kids (R-rated). As if to hammer that point home, Lena Dunham co-stars.
8. Christmas With The Kranks
What is it? This one, by contrast, is for the kids — adults might find themselves rolling their eyes a couple of hundred times at the just how coarse the humor is (this is by no stretch of the imagination one of the best Christmas movies on Netflix), but Christmas With The Kranks is good, old-fashioned family fun. Jamie Lee Curtis is as charismatic as always alongside Tim Allen and Dan Arkroyd.
7. 12 Dates Of Christmas
What is it? In 12 Dates of Christmas, Kate (the lovely Amy Smart) finds herself reliving Christmas Eve over and over again as the universe implores her to get her messy love life on the right track. It's nothing like Groundhog Day though, I promise. 12 Dates is a charming festive soufflé.
6. A Very Murray Christmas
What is it? Now we're talking. Last year, Netflix debuted A Very Murray Christmas, an original festive special from the one and only Bill Murray. Although technically a comedy, it's more about the joy of Christmas in song. Kick it with Murray and his celebrity friends, from George Clooney to Chris Rock and Miley Cyrus, and watch them perform a bunch of classic Christmas tunes. It's an absolute joy, and Miley Cyrus gives a truly unforgettable rendition of Silent Night. Sofia Coppola directs.
5. The Holiday
What is it? I have friends who swear that The Holiday is the ultimate Christmas movie. Personally I wouldn't go that far, but this rom-com one of those immense guilty pleasures that gets under your skin, until you realize with a sudden shock that you're enjoying a Jack Black movie. The premise is something about two women who swap homes over the holiday season, but the plot is not the main attraction here. Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jude Law all turn up looking beautiful and being charming, and that's just about enough to make The Holiday worth revisiting each Christmas.
4. Sleepy Hollow
What is it? Well, let's start with what it's not — Sleepy Hollow is not technically a Christmas movie, but this Tim Burton horror flick from 1999, before the director sunk into a creative rut which threatens never to end, has a kind of dark Christmas vibe, if Christmas was a Gothic nightmare filled with blood, gore and headless horsemen. Johnny Depp stars, obviously. And for a more traditionally festive Burton Christmas, you can't go wrong with The Nightmare Before Christmas.
3. Black Mirror
What is it? Considering Black Mirror's unrelentingly bleak outlook on what the near future and its technologies hold for humanity, it might seem like an odd choice for a holiday movie, but the 2014 Christmas special is a complete banger of an episode which doesn't go quite as dark as some of the series' best. Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin star in a story which goes in some very surprising directions.
Thinking about it, I lied. It's dark AF. My bad. Enjoy!
2. Love Actually
What is it? Oh, come on. If ever a Christmas movie needed no introduction, it's the delightful Love Actually, quite possibly the most insanely British thing this side of the Queen's Christmas Day speech. Richard Curtis's modern Christmas classic weaves together the stories of ten couples, families, lovers and hot lonely people (who in real life would never realistically be single at Christmas or any other time of year) in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
New Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) has a vaguely (read, massively) inappropriate workplace crush on his secretary; ageing rockstar Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) records a Christmas single and finds love in a surprising place and Mark (Andrew Lincoln) professes his feelings for his best friend's new wife in the most heartbreaking way. That scene kills me every time. The cast also includes Martin Freeman, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson (on sparkling form as a department store worker with a truly painful attention to detail — see the clip above), Chiwetel Ejiofor, and of course the late Alan Rickman. A joy from start to end.
1. White Christmas
What is it? Not only is White Christmas widely considered the ultimate holiday movie but it's also an all-time cinematic classic. A typically dapper Bing Crosby stars as Bob Wallace, a former WWII Captain-turned-successful Broadway producer who takes a shine to one half of a sisterly entertainment act.
Romantic troubles ensue and, disturbingly, there's no sign whatsoever of any snow falling — which gives rise to Crosby's legendary rendition of White Christmas. It's not really a spoiler to say that the white christmas he's dreaming of comes good in the end. If you've somehow made it this far in your life without seeing this movie, 2016 is the year to rectify that.
What's the best Christmas movie on Netflix, and which festive classics will you be checking in with in 2016?