Skip to main content

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

30 best Christmas movies to stream right now

Hark those heralds and get the reindeer ready — it’s almost Christmastime! With season’s greetings comes an abundance of food, unwanted relatives, tinsel everywhere, shopping bills that won’t get paid until 2024, and more holiday movies than you can shake a candy cane at.

Since the sheer volume of Christmas movies can be overwhelming, it helps to have a handy guide to make sure each Christmas movie you are watching is worth your time. From classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story to newer films like Spirited and Bad Santa, these 30 movies represent the best Christmas offerings in 2023 that Netflix, Max, Hulu, YouTube, and other streamers have to offer.

Need more holiday viewing suggestions? Then please check out the best Christmas movies on Netflix, the best Christmas movies on Hulu, the best Christmas movies on Max, the best Christmas movies on Disney+, the best Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, 7 great Christmas movies you can watch for free, and 7 best funny Christmas movies you should watch this season.

Netflix

Love Actually (2003)

Bill Nighy as Billy Mack surrounded by girls dressed in Santa outfits in Love Actually.
Image via Universal Studios

Most romantic comedies tend to focus on one or two couples. Love Actually ups the ante with eight different couples throughout the film, and you might need a scorecard to keep up with them all.

One of the strengths of Love Actually is its ensemble cast, which includes Academy Award winners and many well-known actors. The ensemble features Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Martine McCutcheon, and Rowan Atkinson. Also popping up are Shannon Elizabeth, Claudia Schiffer, Denise Richards, and a pre-Mad Men January Jones. It all amounts to a movie that you shouldn’t like as much as you do, and you might feel guilty for falling prey to its shameless, melodramatic charms. After 20 years, the movie is still as charming as ever.

Love Actually is streaming on Netflix.

Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023)

Jason Biggs and Heather Graham in Best. Christmas. Ever!
Netflix

Best. Christmas. Ever! is the latest addition to this list, but its super cheesiness will make it a contender for a spot here every Christmas from now on. The story follows Charlotte Sanders (Heather Graham), a frustrated housewife who is jealous of her friend, Jackie Jennings (Brandy Norwood) because she’s found the success and happiness that have eluded her.

One Christmas, Heather’s son, Grant (Wyatt Hunt), gets his mother and father, Rob Sanders (Jason Biggs), to visit Jackie and her husband, Valentino (Matt Cedeño). When the Sanders family is snowed in and forced to stay longer, Heather tries to prove that Jackie’s life isn’t as good as she pretends it is.

Watch Best. Christmas. Ever! on Netflix.

Holidate (2020)

A man and a woman stand awkwardly next to each other in Holidate.
Netflix

Most people love the holidays. With themed parties and countless presents, the holiday season is a time to be with friends and family. Yet, Sloane (American Horror Story’s Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) despise the holidays. The duo hates awkward social outings and attending family gatherings without a significant other.

After a chance encounter, they to be each other’s “holidate” for every special occasion – New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc. But as we’ve all learned by watching countless romantic comedies, pretending to be a couple always works until someone gets feelings. Then, it gets complicated.

Stream Holidate on Netflix.

HBO and Max

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

The cast of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Warner Bros. Pictures

No other modern holiday movie gets the agony and ecstasy of Christmas quite as well as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The film is funny yet still grounded in the painful reality of sharing your home with other relatives, having terrible neighbors, and being disappointed by the weird gifts you get on Dec. 25. (Hint: don’t gift anyone a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club.)

Both Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as the Griswold matriarchs, with future Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis and The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki as Audrey and Rusty, respectively. Randy Quaid makes a hilarious appearance as Cousin Eddie, and yes, that’s a pre-Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Clark’s yuppie neighbor. Jeremiah S. Chechik directed the movie and runs at a thrifty 97 minutes, which is the perfect length for this type of movie.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is currently streaming on Max. It can also be streamed on Hulu.

A Christmas Story (1983)

A boy talks to Santa in A Christmas Story.
MGM

It’s now an annual requirement to watch this movie. There’s no denying the rose-colored nostalgia that A Christmas Story offers, and it’s the rare wholesome family picture that doesn’t make adults or cynics gag. The comedy is still fresh, and everyone can relate to the childhood traumas poor Ralphie goes through in the movie, like being bullied, not getting the present that he wants, and … yes, being forced to wear an embarrassing outfit the family insists he put on.

The film was directed by Bob Clark, who has one of the oddest résumés in film history. In the 1970s, he directed the terror classic Black Christmas (which showcases a different set of holiday horrors) before moving on to the ’80s teen sex comedy Porky’s. A Christmas Story is 94 minutes long and stars Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, and Jean Shepherd as adult Ralphie. It’s still as charming as ever, and will make you long for the days of ginger-haired bullies, Ovaltine, and Little Orphan Annie.

A Christmas Story is streaming on Max.

The Polar Express (2004)

People gaze at a Christmas tree in The Polar Express.
Warner Bros.

The Polar Express exists in the rare gray area of being both visually stunning and off-putting at the same time, because the human characters aren’t as convincing as the CG backgrounds. Those were the limitations of performance capture animation at the time when animators just didn’t have all of the tricks and advancements that they do now.

Regardless, director Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book The Polar Express has become a perennial favorite during the holiday season. Asteroid City‘s Tom Hanks lends his voice to several characters in the film, most notably the conductor of the Polar Express, a magical train heading directly for the North Pole that allows some lucky children to meet Santa Claus (Hanks) and have their Christmas wishes come true.

The Polar Express is streaming on Max.

A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)

A family sits around a fire and reads a book in a scene from A Christmas Story Christmas.
Max

Ralphie is back! Nearly 40 years after the original, A Christmas Story has finally gotten a proper sequel with A Christmas Story Christmas. (No, we’re not counting the dreadful A Christmas Story 2, a movie that’s best avoided). A now grown-up Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) returns to his old house on Cleveland Street to try to give his kids the kind of magical Christmas he experienced as a kid.

But between reconnecting with childhood friends and reconciling the passing of his Old Man, things don’t go as smoothly as Ralphie hoped. Yes, it’s not as good as the original, but A Christmas Story Christmas has its own kind of nostalgic charm.

A Christmas Story Christmas is streaming on Max.

Four Christmases (2008)

A man argues with a woman in Four Christmases.
Warner Bros.

For those craving a modern Christmas rom-com, look no further than Four Christmases. When you’re in a relationship, you have to spend Christmas with two different families. It’s stressful, right? Well, in Four Christmases, that idea is taken to its greatest extent as Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) get caught red-handed in their annual ruse of avoiding their families during the holidays.

Suddenly, each of their single parents knows Brad and Kate have been trying to get out of Christmas, and everybody wants a piece of them on Christmas Day. It’s all a bit chaotic, but the charm of the two leads help make this one a pleasant Christmas movie to watch while wrapping presents.

Four Christmases is streaming on Max.

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Arthur standing in the middle of many elves in Arthur Christmas
Sony Pictures

Here’s an animated Christmas movie that isn’t so well-known to the public. Everybody knows that each Christmas, Santa and an army of dutiful elves manage to produce and distribute gifts to children worldwide. But how do they do it? Well, Arthur Christmas tells you through the lens of Santa’s misfit son, Arthur (James McAvoy).

When one of the 600 million children to receive a gift from Santa gets mistakenly overlooked, Arthur takes it upon himself to execute an unauthorized mission to get the last present to the other side of the world before Christmas morning.

Arthur Christmas is streaming on Max.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

A man and a woman ride a sleigh in Christmas in Connecticut.
Warner Bros.

In the mood for a classic old Hollywood Christmas movie? Then you’re in luck with the 1945 comedy-drama Christmas in Connecticut. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Elizabeth Lane, one of America’s most famous food writers, who adopts a persona as a hard-working farm woman and perfect housewife and mother. Unfortunately, it’s all a lie. In real life, she’s an unmarried New Yorker who can’t use a toaster — she’s just been taking recipes from her friend, Felix (S.Z. Sakall).

So, when her magazine publisher decides to send a heroic sailor, Jefferson (Dennis Morgan), to spend Christmas with Elizabeth as a publicity stunt, she has to pull out all the stops to fake it until she makes it. Fun trivia: Arnold Schwarzenegger directed a cable TV remake in the ’90s. Don’t watch it!

Christmas in Connecticut is streaming on Max.

8-Bit Christmas (2021)

Neil Patrick Harris falls on ice near a Santa Claus in a scene from 8-Bit Christmas.
Warner Bros/HBO

This HBO Max Original takes place in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s. It’s something of a refresh of A Christmas Story as 10-year-old Jake Doyle (Winslow Fegley) makes it his life’s (or at least his Christmas) mission to get the latest 8-bit gaming system for Christmas.

Does he succeed? And can he escape a determined bully to attain the ultimate Christmas gift for any kid in the late 1980s: the Nintendo Entertainment System? Neil Patrick Harris stars as an older, not-much-wiser Jake, who still fondly remembers one of the best holidays he’s ever had.

8-Bit Christmas is streaming on Max.

Amazon Prime Video

This is Christmas (2022)

A man and a woman walk through snow in This is Christmas.
Sky

Never heard of This is Christmas? Don’t worry, no one else has either. Released without a peep in 2022, the genuinely sweet British comedy is one of the most charming movies you’ll see in a while. Harry Potter’s Alfred Enoch stars as Adam, a depressed commuter who, tired of taking the same train every day with the same people and not knowing any of them, impulsively decides to invite them all to an impromptu Christmas party.

What follows is a sweet, sentimental journey as Adam and fellow passenger Emma get to know each of their fellow commuters as they all plan for the party. Of course, this being a Christmas rom-com, Adam and Emma begin to develop feelings for each other, complicating things. While this may sound like a cloying Hallmark movie, This is Christmas manages to rise above the clichés and deliver a crowd-pleasing good time without overdosing too much on the sugar.

This is Christmas is streaming on Prime Video

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer in The Man Who Invented Christmas.
Bleecker Street

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 film dramatizes Dickens’ life when he struggles to write his next story before coming face-to-face with his 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.

The Man Who Invented Christmas is streaming on Prime Video.

Scrooged (1988)

A man confronts a fairy in Scrooged.
Universal

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.

Scrooged is streaming on Prime Video.

Last Christmas (2019)

Henry Golding and Emilia Clarke as Tom and Katarina looking up in the film Last Christmas.
Image via Universal Pictures.

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.

Last Christmas is streaming on Prime Video.

Violent Night (2022)

David Harbour dressed as Santa Claus, holding a sledgehammer.
Universal

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.

Violent Night is streaming on Prime Video.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

A man and woman dance.
RKO Radio Pictures

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 is streaming on Prime Video.

Hulu

Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell in Elf.
New Line Cinema

Twenty years ago, Ferrell starred in the still-great Elf, which has become the defining Christmas movie of the 21st century. From the memorable quotes (“Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?”) to laugh-out-loud scenes (Peter Dinklage in the boardroom), Elf is a Christmas movie with heart, humor, and love, three key ingredients we seek at the holidays.

Directed by Jon Favreau, Elf stars Ferrell as Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole. Unfortunately for Buddy, he struggles to fit in with the other elves due to his size and ineptitude in the art of toymaking. Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) reveals to Buddy that his father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan), works in New York City, but is unaware of his elflike son’s existence. To make matters worse, Walter is on the Naughty List. Convinced he can fix things, Buddy must travel to New York City and spread a little Christmas cheer in the Big Apple.

Stream Elf on Max or Hulu.

Happiest Season (2020)

Happiest Season - Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

A holiday rom-com, Happiest Season takes a distinct approach to the formula by telling the story of a relationship between two women, one of whom hasn’t come out to her parents yet. When the two go to visit her parents, they pose as friends, straining their relationship almost to its breaking point.

While there are plenty of genuinely funny moments in Happiest Season, which features stellar supporting turns from Aubrey Plaza and Dan Levy, Happiest Season is propelled by the chemistry between its two leads, Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, who combine to make this one of the best Christmas movies on Hulu.

Happiest Season is streaming on Hulu.

Disney+

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Michael Caine and the Muppets in The Muppets Christmas Carol.
Walt Disney Pictures

If you ever needed a reminder that Michael Caine is an actor’s actor, then watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. Caine gives an excellent performance in this movie as he plays Ebenezer Scrooge absolutely straight. Most of Caine’s co-stars may be famous Muppets, but Caine himself never breaks character as Scrooge or winks to the audience. Caine’s absolute commitment to the role elevates everything else about the movie.

The script is actually pretty close to the original story by Charles Dickens. On Christmas Eve, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future visit Scrooge and warn him to change his ways before it’s too late.

The Muppet Christmas Carol is streaming on Disney+.

Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

Kevin gets cornered by the bandits in Home Alone
20th Century Fox

No Christmas season is complete without at least one viewing of Home Alone, the 1990 comedy that’s become a hallmark of the holidays. After Kevin McCallister is inadvertently left home alone for Christmas, Home Alone follows Kevin as he initially revels in his time alone and eventually must ward off a pair of bandits who want to rob his home.

While Home Alone is mostly a wacky comedy and is sure to keep your kids engaged on that level, it’s also surprisingly thoughtful about the holiday season, and about recognizing that your neighbors might not be as scary as they seem. Home Alone is an urging not to judge one another, and it’s one worth returning to every holiday season. It’s also still incredibly funny, and will make you think twice about walking around barefoot. A sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, is almost as charming, if slightly reduant.

Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York are now streaming on Disney+.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Jack Skellington in Nightmare Before Christmas.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

What’s this? What’s this? Why, it’s The Nightmare Before Christmas! If you’ve got a kid who is fairly nightmare-resistant and into spooky-adjacent movies, then The Nightmare Before Christmas might be right up their alley. And even if you don’t have one, you should watch it anyway to satisfy your inner child.

The debate about whether this movie is a Halloween or Christmas movie will rage forever (that’s because it’s both), but the story of Jack Skellington’s discovery of Christmas and his attempt to run it himself has endured for 30 years for a reason. The movie features vibrant, astounding stop-motion animation and several classic songs to boot.

Stream The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney+.

Apple TV+

Spirited (2022)

Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell sing and dance in Spirited.
Apple TV+

Ferrell is so talented and funny that any co-star who can match his wit and energy will thrive next to the comedian. Enter Ryan Reynolds, one of the more underrated comic actors in Hollywood. Ferrell and Reynolds collaborated on a retelling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol in Apple TV+’s 2022 movie Spirited.

Every Christmas Eve, the Ghosts of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell), Past (Sunita Mani), and Yet to Come (Loren G. Woods) pick one soul to redeem. This year, the ghosts select Clint Briggs (Reynolds), a lonely and controversial media consultant. The roles are reversed in Spirited as the ghosts become the ones to examine their past, present, and future. Oh, did I mention it’s a musical comedy? And you can now belt out all the songs in the singalong version of Spirited.

Stream Spirited on Apple TV+.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Charlie Brown and Snoopy decorating a tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Lee Mendelson Film Productions

First broadcast in 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas is still watched yearly as the holly goes up and the carolers start singing. Yes, it’s over a half-century old and the animation is dated (or retro, depending on your point of view), but it’s charming as can be, and perfect for anyone to get in the mood for Christmas.

Plus, it’s funny! You forget how many laughs are packed in these Peanuts specials, and Schultz is at his best with this special. Who can forget Lucy’s wayward advice to poor Charlie or any of Snoopy’s antics? A Charlie Brown Christmas taps into nostalgia for a “simpler time” without being too heavy-handed about it.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is streaming on Apple TV+.

Paramount+

Bad Santa (2003)

A kid visits Santa in Bad Santa.
Bad Santa Columbia Pictures

Bad Santa is one of the more unconventional holiday movies on this list, but it’s the Christmas movie for the cynic in your life. Telling the story of a con man who runs an annual con in which he poses as Santa, the movie is really a redemption story about whether a man who uses Christmas to get over on other people can be saved.

Billy Bob Thornton is great in the central role, and Bad Santa benefits from being much more clear-eyed about the nature of Christmas than your typical holiday fare. It may end happily, but at least it’s willing to acknowledge the holiday’s seedier underbelly.

Bad Santa is streaming on Paramount+.

Peacock

Krampus (2015)

A family looks up at a monster in Krampus.
Universal

Not every Christmas movie has to be full of merriment and Santa Claus. For those moviegoers looking for something scary and off-kilter around the holidays, check out Krampus, the 2015 horror comedy about the horned beast who terrorizes naughty children and those who lose the Christmas spirit.

A few days before Christmas, the Engel family is in shambles. Dysfunction is at an all-time high, causing the youngest son, Max (Emjay Anthony), to denounce his family and Christmas. When he tears up a letter to Santa, Max unknowingly summons Krampus, a demonic monster who wreaks havoc on the neighborhood. To prevent tragedy, the Engel family must band together and fight back against Krampus if they want to survive.

Stream Krampus on Peacock. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who talk while standing next to each other.
Universal Pictures

“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.” Who better to star in the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas than Jim Carrey, one of the most physical and elastic comedians of his generation? Ron Howard’s adaption of Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book came to life in 2000 with Carrey playing the Grinch, the green, foul-mouthed creature who lives in a cave on Mount Crumpit overlooking the town of Whoville. The Grinch hates happiness, but he despises Christmas even more. This year, the Grinch is determined to ruin the holiday spirit for the citizens of Whoville.

Dressed as Santa Claus, the Grinch plans to steal every gift, ornament, and decoration in Whoville so the townspeople have nothing to commemorate Christmas. Just as she does in the book, Cindy Lou Who (Gossip Girl‘s Taylor Momsen) helps the Grinch understand the true meaning of Christmas, a lesson we all need to remember during the holidays. While not the best version of the Grinch, it’s so far the only live-action one, and it’s beloved by the Gen Z generation for some reason.

Stream How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Peacock starting December 20. 

YouTube

A Christmas Tale (2008)

Matthieu Amalric and Catherine Deneuve as Henri and Junon at mass in the film A Christmas Tale.
Image via Bac Films.

Renowned director Arnaud Desplechin (Kings and Queen) directs French icon Catherine Deneuve and a stellar supporting cast in the 2008 comedy-drama A Christmas Tale. A tale of dysfunctionality like no other, the film follows a family gathering for Christmas after learning the matriarch has leukemia.

Morbid, sardonic, and wickedly humorous, A Christmas Tale is a biting examination of the ties that bind us. Led by a commanding Deneuve, the film explores the thornier sides of family dynamics, delivering a refreshing take on a well-known trope. A Christmas Tale might not be necessarily depressing, but it’s certainly gloomy and pessimistic, with a truly cynical and uncompromising ending.

A Christmas Tale is available to watch on YouTube.

Tubi

The Christmas Tree (1969)

William Holden as Laurent Segúr talking to a child in bed in the film The Christmas Tree.
Director: Terence Young

Instead of feeling cheerful this holiday season, are you inclined to cry instead? There are bleak Christmas movies, and then there’s Terence Young’s 1969 tearjerker The Christmas Tree. William Holden stars as Laurent Ségur, a French millionaire who learns his 10-year-old son Pascal is dying after being exposed to radiation. Together with his new girlfriend, Laurent tries to fill Pascal’s last days with joy and adventure.

The Christmas Tree is dark, but strangely unsentimental. Unlike the Julia Roberts tearjerker Stepmom, a film that wants you to sufferThe Christmas Tree wants you to analyze and feel blessed about what you have because others have it worse. However, the film is not subtle with its imagery (spoiler: the kid dies , but the way he goes is equal parts emotional and slightly absurd). Still, The Christmas Tree is as grim as Christmas movies come, a slice-of-life story about a life that is ending.

The Christmas Tree is available for free on Tubi.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
Like the hit Hulu series Shōgun? Then watch these 5 great movies right now
Soldiers ride on horseback over fallen bodies in Ran.

Against all odds, FX's Shōgun has emerged as the best new TV series of the year so far. Based on James Clavell's 1975 novel of the same name, the miniseries is a big-budget, sprawling exploration of early 1600s Japan that feels, at times, alternately like a measured political thriller, samurai adventure, and Game of Thrones-esque tale of brutality, honor, and sacrifice. It's about as visually impressive as a TV series can get, but it backs up its surface-level pleasures with enough narrative and thematic complexity to keep viewers coming back for more.

Even in our current Prestige TV era, shows like Shōgun still seem rare. However, there are a few epic movies that feel like spiritual cousins to the FX drama, including the following five films, all of which are titles that both cinephiles and casual viewers should seek out.
Ran (1985)

Read more
F1 live stream: How to watch Formula 1 online for free
F1 2021 racers on track.

The 75th F1 World Championship is underway now and there are months of Formula 1 racing to look forward to. If you're keen to watch Formula 1 racing online, we've got everything you need to know about how to catch every lap on your laptop or mobile device, no matter your location. Take a look below at all you need to know about how to watch Formula 1 online, how much it costs, and whether there's a free F1 live stream for you to catch. We also have a full Grand Prix schedule so you know exactly what to expect.
Watch the free F1 live stream

The 75th F1 World Championship is being aired for free in Austria and Luxembourg. This is great news for those in the countries, but not so great for residents traveling abroad who want to watch the action unfold live in their local language -- especially when it's free to watch at home. It's only fitting that an Austrian currently in the United States would want to watch the race in Austrian and not English, right? This is completely safe (and legal) to do with a VPN.

Read more
The 10 most popular shows on Max right now
Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 12 | Official Trailer | Max

HBO and Max may soon miss Larry David now that Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming to an end. Since the premiere of the 12th and final season, David's iconic comedy series has rocketed to the top of the most popular shows on Max. Meanwhile, True Detective: Night Country is holding on at no. 2 despite the fact that the season is already over. This suggests that audience interest remains high, which would explain why HBO was so quick to renew it.

Read more