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The best Christmas movies on Amazon Prime Video right now

Most of the major streaming services are currently overflowing with cheesy Christmas movies that never saw the inside of a movie theater. Instead, their Christmas flicks are either streaming originals or films that migrated from Lifetime, Hallmark, or any other TV network that pumps out dozens of Christmas movies every year.

Amazon Prime Video has a lot of those films, too. Fortunately, Prime Video is also the home of actual Christmas classics that offer so much more than these made-for-TV flicks. For this holiday season, we’re throwing the spotlight on The Man Who Invented Christmas, Scrooged, Last Christmas, and Violent Night as they join our roundup of the best Christmas movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.

Looking for more holiday picks? We’ve also assembled guides to the best Christmas movies on Netflix and the best Christmas movies on Hulu.

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

The Man Who Invented Christmas
60%
7.0/10
pg
105m
Genre
Drama, History, Comedy, Family
Stars
Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce
Directed by
Bharat Nalluri
Watch on Amazon

The Man Who Invented Christmas’s title might be giving Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) too much credit, but he really did play a major role in how we celebrate the holiday season. That’s how much influence Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has had over the last 180 years. This particular film dramatizes Dickens’ life when he struggles to write his next story before coming face-to-face with his own creation: Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer).

The visions of Scrooge and other characters from A Christmas Carol may not be real, but the emotions they bring out of Dickens force him to reconsider his story and his relationship with his own family. From there, a classic novel is born.

Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged
38%
6.9/10
pg-13
101m
Genre
Fantasy, Comedy, Drama
Stars
Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe
Directed by
Richard Donner
Watch on Amazon

Scrooged is basically A Christmas Carol, but modernized and played more for laughs with Bill Murray in the leading role as Frank Cross, a Scrooge-like network executive at the IBC Television network. On Christmas Eve, Frank forces his employees to work on A Christmas Carol broadcast while giving them chintzy gifts for Christmas.

In other words, Frank is a perfect candidate for some Christmas Carol magic to find any humanity under his sleazy exterior. The Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen), the Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane), and the Ghost of Christmas Future (Robert Hammond) are really going to have their hands full trying to convince Frank to change.

Last Christmas (2019)

Last Christmas
50%
6.5/10
pg-13
102m
Genre
Comedy, Romance
Stars
Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh
Directed by
Paul Feig
Watch on Amazon

Warning: If you’ve been trying to avoid hearing Wham!’s Last Christmas this holiday season, you will be Whamed several times in this film. The name of the movie really should have been a dead giveaway. Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke goes the full rom-com here as Kate Andrich, a young woman whose recovery from a life-threatening illness has left her working at a year-round Christmas store with no prospects in her life.

Kate soon takes a liking to Tom Webster (Henry Golding), a handsome guy who disappears from her life for days at a time. And while Kate finds that aggravating, she is also inspired by Tom’s innate goodness to become a better person herself. The only thing that Kate can’t understand is why she and Tom can’t be together as a couple.

Violent Night (2022)

Violent Night
55%
6.7/10
r
112m
Genre
Action, Comedy, Thriller
Stars
David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Beverly D'Angelo
Directed by
Tommy Wirkola
Watch on Amazon

Unless your kids are old enough to see a candy cane turned into a lethal weapon without running away screaming in terror, then Violent Night may not be the perfect family Christmas film for you. Once you look past the over-the-top action and grisly deaths of the bad guys, you may see that this movie really does get what Christmas is supposed to be about. It’s also very easy to sympathize with David Harbour’s burnt-out Santa Claus.

Santa is ready to call it a day on Christmas for good when he finds himself trapped in a rich family’s home on Christmas Eve while a thief calling himself Scrooge (John Leguizamo) and his men threaten their lives. Because one of the family members, Trudy (Leah Brady), really believes in both Santa and Christmas, Santa embraces his inner John McClane in the best Die Hard-adjacent film we’ve seen in years.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life
89%
8.6/10
pg
130m
Genre
Drama, Family, Fantasy
Stars
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Directed by
Frank Capra
Watch on Amazon
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the holiday mainstay It’s a Wonderful Life. The immortal classic stars James Stewart as George Bailey — a man ready to end it all before the intervention of an angel (Henry Travers) reveals to him exactly how the lives of the people of Bedford Falls would have unfolded without him. The vision is a revelation to George, whose second chance at life comes with rare, ecstatic gratitude. Ironically, It’s a Wonderful Life was a commercial bomb upon release, while today it’s as much a mandatory part of our annual traditions as A Christmas Carol.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies

Christmas Lodge (2011)

Christmas Lodge
6.0/10
pg
86m
Genre
Drama, Family, TV Movie
Stars
Erin Karpluk, Michael Shanks, Rukiya Bernard
Directed by
Terry Ingram
Watch on Amazon
Mary Tobin (Erin Karpluk) grew up going to her family’s Christmas Lodge every Christmas and she harbors precious memories about those special times. But when she arrives for a weekend vacation as an adult, she finds the lodge has fallen into disrepair over the years. Not only that, but the family wants to put the lodge up for sale. Lacking funds and under pressure, Mary makes it her mission to perform a Christmas miracle and revitalize the lodge to its former charm — all while finding love along the way.

A Snow Globe Christmas (2013)

A Snow Globe Christmas
5.5/10
pg
89m
Genre
TV Movie, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Stars
Alicia Witt, Donald Faison, Trevor Donovan
Directed by
Jodi Binstock
Watch on Amazon
Alicia Witt and Donald Faison star in this Lifetime Christmas movie about a cynical TV executive (Witt) who wakes up after a blow to the head to discover a completely different life. She’s settled in a seemingly perfect little town, married to her former sweetheart (Faison) with two children. But the little snow globe fantasy isn’t real, and the executive has to decide what’s really important to her between this fantasy and the real world.

The Christmas Toy (1986)

The Christmas Toy
8.0/10
50m
Genre
Family, Fantasy, Music, TV Movie
Stars
Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Kathryn Mullen
Directed by
Eric Till
Watch on Amazon
You can’t go wrong with a family-friendly flick about toys coming to life — particularly not when the Jim Henson Company is involved. Originally airing on ABC in 1986, The Christmas Toy chronicles the adventures of a group of toys causing trouble on Christmas Eve. Rugby the Tiger was Jamie’s favorite toy last Christmas, and he’s not about to be replaced by some new guy. Rugby sneaks out to hide among the new toys, hoping to once again be the favorite, but he doesn’t realize that as a toy, if he’s found out of place, he’ll be frozen forever. Apple the Doll leads a group of toys into the house to rescue Rugby. Funny and as wholesome as you’d expect from a Jim Henson Company production, The Christmas Toy is perfect viewing for the kids (even if “the kids” are fairly grown-up).

Christmas in Mississippi (2017)

Christmas in Mississippi
6.5/10
93m
Genre
Romance, TV Movie
Stars
Jana Kramer, Wes Brown, Faith Ford
Directed by
Emily Moss Wilson
Watch on Amazon
They say you can never go home again, but in Christmas in Mississippi, Holly (Jana Kramer) learns differently. A hurricane struck Gulfport five years ago, and that was the last time the town put on its popular Christmas light show. Holly wants to help make sure it happens this year, as does her high school sweetheart Mike (Wes Brown). Considering how poorly he treated her heart last time, Holly doesn’t want a repeat performance. But with her mother (Faith Ford) pushing her in one direction and Mr. Kriss (Barry Bostwick) joining in for good measure, it won’t be long before these two old lovebirds start flying together once more

A Bride for Christmas (2012)

A Bride for Christmas
6.6/10
g
90m
Genre
Comedy, Romance, TV Movie
Stars
Arielle Kebbel, Sage Brocklebank, Peter Benson
Directed by
Gary Yates
Watch on Amazon
Jessie (Arielle Kebbel) has just broken up with her third — that’s right her third — fiancé. Commitment, she decides, just isn’t for her. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Aiden (Andrew W. Walker), who hardly ever gets to the “going steady” phase before moving on to the next woman. Indignant when his friend Matt (Peter Benson) claims women can tell that he’s unwilling to commit, Aiden agrees to a strange bet — that he can get a woman to agree to marry him before Christmas. Matt already knows about Jessie’s recent ban on long-term relationships, so he steers Aiden in her direction. Matt thinks he’s got things sewn up, but he’s in for a surprise in this Christmassy romantic comedy.

Christmas on the Bayou (2013)

Christmas on the Bayou
6.2/10
pg
86m
Genre
Romance, Drama, TV Movie
Stars
Hilarie Burton, Tyler Hilton, Randy Travis
Directed by
Leslie Hope
Watch on Amazon
Sometimes life comes at us with impossible choices, and Katherine (Hilarie Burton) has some to face in the romantic comedy Christmas on the Bayou. Katherine has worked hard to become a successful marketing executive, but she starts to think all of the time she spends at work is having a negative impact on her son Zack (Brody Rose). She decides that bringing Zack with her back to her hometown for the holidays would be a welcome change for them both. While she’s there, she runs into her old childhood love Caleb (Tyler Hilton), who does everything he can to convince her to leave the big city behind and come back home. Shot dead center by Cupid and seduced by a less hectic way of life, Katherine will need the guidance of her mother (Markie Post) and the wise Papa Noel (Ed Asner) to figure out what path to take.
Movie images and data from:
Michileen Martin

Michileen Martin has written about pop culture in general and comics in particular for two decades. His work has appeared in numerous sites including Looper, PopMatters, Popdose, and nerdbastards.com. He probably knows more about the Incredible Hulk than you.

Nick Perry

Nick Perry is a freelance writer who bounced from Hollywood to Silicon Beach to pajama pants. His work has been featured on Digital Trends, Good Morning America, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and more media outlets.

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