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5 best Christmas movies on Netflix you need to watch

The holiday season is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and throw on a Christmas movie. Whether it’s an iconic classic like Home Alone or a family favorite like Elf, nothing will increase your holiday spirit quite like a Christmas movie. Netflix is celebrating Christmas throughout December with a special holiday section featuring a wide selection of festive movies.

There are multiple options for Christmas movies, ranging from rom-coms and adult dramas to animated comedies. Below, we picked out the five best Christmas movies on Netflix you need to watch, including a well-known romantic comedy/drama ensemble, a family adventure with Santa, and an Academy Award nominee.

Love Actually (2003)

Andrew Lincoln as Mark holding a card that says "Merry Christmas" in Love Actually.
Image via Universal Studios

The revisionist history of Love Actually is getting out of hand. The Christmas romantic comedy has inspired hundreds of hot takes and think pieces about why Love Actually is, in fact, bad. Some of the storylines are weak, including the one with Sarah, Karl, and Michael and Colin, Tony, and the American girls. The Juliet-Peter-Mark arc is borderline creepy, even if it gave us Andrew Lincoln and his cue cards.

Despite these imperfections, Love Actually is still great 20 years later. Watching Liam Neeson help his stepson win over his school crush is still as adorable as ever. Colin Firth marching through the streets of a French town to declare his love for his Portuguese housekeeper works to this day. Finally, Hugh Grant shows you why he was such an effective leading man in the 1990s and 2000s, thanks to his British wit, looks, and charm.

Stream Love Actually on Netflix.

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Kurt Russell in The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Is there anything Kurt Russell can’t do? From Snake Plissken and R.J. MacReady to Elvis Presley and Wyatt Earp, Russell’s versatility is legendary in Hollywood. The only thing left for Russell to conquer was a Christmas movie, so the veteran actor decided to play the most iconic character of the holiday season, Santa Claus, in The Christmas Chronicles.

Eleven-year-old Kate Pearce (Darby Camp) and her older brother, Teddy (Judah Lewis), set out to do the impossible: catch Santa Claus on videotape. On Christmas Eve, the siblings devise a trap to catch Santa on video in their living room. The plan works, as Santa (Russell) is captured on camera while delivering presents. When Santa tries to escape, Kate and Teddy hide in his sleigh. After Santa discovers the two kids while in midflight, the sleigh crash-lands in Chicago, with his magic hat, presents, and reindeer scattering in different directions. With time winding down on the night, Santa, Kate, and Teddy must work together to retrieve all the missing items so they can deliver the rest of the presents and keep the holiday spirit alive. Thankfully, Christmas is a time when miracles can happen.

Stream The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix.

The Noel Diary (2022)

A man puts his hand on the steering wheel in a car in a scene from The Noel Diary.

Calling all This is Us fans: The Noel Diary is a movie tailor-made for you. Justin Hartley channels his inner Kevin Pearson to play another charming famous person who searches for meaning in his life in The Noel Diary. Jacob Turner (Hartley) is a bes-selling author who returns home for the first time in two decades to settle his estranged mother’s estate after her death. Jacob inherits everything from his mother, including her Connecticut house.

While cleaning her house, Jacob finds a diary that belonged to his nanny, Noel (Essence Atkins). Almost immediately after finding the diary, a woman named Rachel Campbell (Barrett Doss) shows up on Jake’s doorstep, looking for answers about her birth mother, who happens to be the same Noel who knew Jake. Together, Jake and Rachel set out on a trip to find answers about Noel and why she gave her daughter up for adoption. What they didn’t expect was for the journey to bring them together romantically .

Stream The Noel Diary on Netflix.

Klaus (2019)

A group of animated characters stand around Klaus.

Santa Claus is based on Saint Nicholas of Myra, a religious figure who lived during the rule of the Roman Empire and whose secret gift-giving inspired many Christmas traditions. Klaus, the animated movie from Netflix, takes the idea of Saint Nick and gives him an alternate origin story set in the fictional town of Smeerengsburg in 19th-century Norway. After failing to impress as a postman, Jesper Johansen (Asteroid City’s Jason Schwartzman) is stationed at Smeerensburg, a remote island off the Arctic Circle. To leave Smeerensburg, Jesper must post 6,000 letters within a year.

When Jesper arrives, he learns two feuding families run the town. All hope seems lost until Jesper meets the town’s hermit, Klauss (J.K. Simmons), a lonely carpenter who makes toys in his spare time. Jesper sees the toys as his way to post letters. If kids write Klaus a letter, they will receive a toy with their response. Hence, the origin of Santa. Fun fact: Klaus and I Lost My Body were the first animated movies from a streaming service to be nominated for an Academy Award, both at the 2020 Oscars.

Stream Klaus on Netflix.

Midnight at the Magnolia (2020)

A man and woman go down a sled on a hill.

For lovers of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, Midnight at the Magnolia is Netflix’s version of a cheesy romance. Childhood friends Maggie (Natalie Hall) and Jack (Evan Williams) host a Chicago radio show specializing in dating advice. Due to their increasing popularity, the radio show has a chance to be syndicated nationally.

To help their fathers’ struggling jazz club located inside the Magnolia Hotel, Maggie and Jack plan to host a New Year’s Eve show at the Magnolia and bring their significant others. Much to their surprise, they are both dumped days before the event. Desperate to boost their ratings and gain syndication, Maggie and Jack pretend to be a couple and plan to announce their relationship at the event. We all know how this goes. It’s all fun and games until things get serious and feelings become real. Thanks to a familiar formula and chemistry between the two leads, Midnight at the Magnolia will be your next guilty pleasure.

Stream Midnight at the Magnolia on Netflix.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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