Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The best Christmas movies available to stream, from ‘Home Alone’ to ‘Scrooged’

It’s that time of the year again! Time to snuggle up in front of the fire with some cocoa (or some king of booze) and argue with your extended family about the merits of eggnog. Once you’ve split into your competing factions, one cradling cups of the creamy goodness, and the other scratching their heads as to why anyone would enjoy such a sickly sweet concoction, you might find yourself at a loss about what to do next. We have the answer: Watch Christmas movies, of course.

Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, it’s getting harder and harder to find your favorite movies from a streaming source — without having to pay for a costly rental, anyway. Heck, Fortune even wrote a story about the problem. But never fear, there are still some great movies full of holiday cheer that are available through your favorite streaming sites, and we’ve rounded them up for you. These are the best Christmas movies you can stream for free with a subscription (eggnog optional).

It’s A Wonderful Life

It s A Wonderful Life | Official Trailer

Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a down-on-his-luck real estate developer whose suicide attempt takes a strange turn when an angel named Clarence comes calling, vowing to show George just how life would have been if he’d never been born. It’s a Wonderful Life is the most classic of Christmas classics, and no holiday season is complete until Clarence has earned his wings and you’ve spent an evening bawling your eyes out.

Amazon Prime

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How The Grinch Stole Christmas Trailer HD

The first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted into a full-length feature film, Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become a quintessential Christmas movie. In many ways reminiscent of the 1966 animated special, the film stars Carrey as the pessimistic, Christmas-loathing creature himself. Expanding on the classic cartoon in a way only Carrey can, the film features a few additions to the original, including a larger role for Cindy Lou, but the broader story remains whimsical and heartwarming.

Netflix

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Equal parts Halloween and Christmas movie, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a holiday classic for everyone. The iconic stop-motion film follows the story of Jack Skellington, a resident of Halloween Town who longs for something more. When he stumbles upon a portal to the neighboring Christmas Town, hijinks ensue as Jack tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Hulu

Bad Santa

If you’re forced to watch a Christmas movie, but can’t take an ample helping of the warm fuzzies, Bad Santa is your answer. This hilarious black comedy challenges the giving nature of the holidays in all sorts of ways. Billy Bob Thornton stars as a lowlife who, with the help of his elf assistant, Marcus (Tony Cox), dons a Christmas disguise in order to rob the mall where he works as a Santa. It’s pretty raunchy and definitely not a kid’s movie, but it might just be the perfect antidote to those sick of traditional Christmas cheer.

Netflix

White Christmas

Along with the eponymous song, which is one of the most famous Christmas tunes ever written, White Christmas also features a score of other toe-tapping musical numbers, excellent on-screen chemistry between all the principal players, and a fun escape to the Christmas of yesteryear. The 1954 musical, starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, proves the lasting quality of Christmas movies.

Netflix

A Very Murray Christmas

A Very Murray Christmas - Trailer - Netflix [HD]

While not technically a Christmas “movie,” this Netflix special has Bill Murray making the best of a canceled production by bringing together an all-star cast to celebrate the holiday. Featuring appearances by George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Maya Rudolph, Chris Rock, and many more, this musical special is the perfect homage to the Christmas variety shows of old.

Netflix

Home Alone

When the 15-person McCallister family leaves on their Christmas vacation to France in a panic, they manage to leave Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) behind. While Kevin doesn’t seem to mind the time alone, a pair of cartoonish thugs threaten to interrupt his solitude, so he sets up elaborate traps all around his house. Wholesome and lighthearted (if more violent than you might remember) Home Alone is a modern classic for the whole family.

Starz

Scrooged

Scrooged - Trailer

A self-centered and misanthropic television executive just wants to get through his live production of A Christmas Carol, but three goofy ghosts decide to show him the error of his ways. Bill Murray is at his curmudgeonly best in this modern (well, okay, ’80s) adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, which also stars Karen Allen, Carol Kane, and Robert Mitchum, and features a whole host of celebrity cameos.

Starz

Looking for additional streaming suggestions? Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the best movies on Netflix, HuluAmazon Prime, and HBO.

Editors' Recommendations

Brie Barbee
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brie is a writer from Portland, Oregon. She received a bachelor's degree from Portland State University in 2016, where she…
The best comedies on Netflix right now
Carl Weathers as Chubbs with his arm around Adam Sandler as Happy Gilmore, the two men looking at one another in a scene from Happy Gilmore.

Comedies are never out of favor at Netflix, even though some of our favorite comedy movies like Step Brothers, Dumb and Dumber, Fletch, Twins, and The Burbs are all leaving at the end of April. There aren't any modern comedies to replace them this month, but Netflix has added three films from the 1990s: Happy Gilmore, Beverly Hills Ninja, and Blue Streak. On top of those three, we're also taking a look back at the '80s comedy Repo Man.

It's too soon to say which films Netflix will add in May, but the rest of the best comedies on Netflix right now include a mix of classic and modern films, as well as a handful of Netflix originals that are just as funny as anything you would have seen in a theater.

Read more
The best thrillers on Netflix right now
Willem Dafoe and Denzel Washington in Inside Man.

When it comes to thrillers on Netflix, April is apparently Denzel Washington month. Washington stars in three of our new picks for the best thrillers on Netflix, including Inside Man, Devil in a Blue Dress, and The Little Things. This is clearly a genre that plays to Washington's strengths, as he's been headlining thrillers for decades now.

The other new addition to our list this month is Body Double, a 40-year-old thriller that will hopefully be rediscovered now that it's on Netflix. If you're looking for even more thrills, then keep reading for all of the best thrillers on Netflix right now.

Read more
The best anime on Netflix right now
Red-Haired Shanks and Luffy in key art for One Piece Film: Red.

Netflix is increasingly becoming a more compelling platform to watch the best anime. Alongside its usual live-action original content, the streamer's anime catalog is growing across film and TV. With such a diverse selection, seasoned and prospective fans are guaranteed to find something to pique their interest.

Still, Netflix's impressive selection of anime can make it tough to parse through. Thankfully, our anime guide streamlines the platform's offerings down to the highlights. This guide is also curated monthly to update fans on the best anime to watch on Netflix right now.
If you want more options, check out our other guides to the best anime on Hulu and the best anime available on Amazon Prime Video.

Read more