Best 12 Christmas Movies on Netflix (Christmas 2023)

Shikhar Jauhari

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Best 12 Christmas Movies on Netflix (Christmas 2023)

Time to watch Netflix Christmas movies! We’ve rounded up 12 great Christmas films available now on Netflix that everyone in your family is sure to enjoy this season; from classics to new releases – there’s sure to be something suitable.

12. Slumberland (2022)

Slumberland

Stream on Netflix

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 57m

Estimates suggest humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping, providing our brains a rest from everyday stressors and repairs. But what if your dream world became something else entirely? Slumberland by Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games), featuring Jason Momoa as Flip and Marlow Barkley as its protagonist, travels through dreams in search of her missing father while fleeing nightmares to search out its origin.

Slumberland is an exquisite visual treat, using brilliant hues to erect an enchanting world that’s both imaginative and whimsical. The characters resemble more those found in children’s books than real people – with Barkley providing earnest performances, Chris O’Dowd, Kyle Chandler, Weruche Opia, and India de Beaufort providing comedic relief but never truly becoming believable characters.

Set design and visual effects are among the film’s greatest assets. Yet, too often, its creators spend too much time using special effects tricks rather than telling a compelling tale – from overused green-screen settings for action scenes to generic smoke monsters representing nightmares.

11. Love Hard (2021)

Love Hard

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Genres: Comedy, Romance

Run Time: 1h 44m

The holiday season can be a time for long wish lists and accepting whatever less-than-ideal gifts come your way instead. That’s the essence of Netflix’s romantic comedy Love Hard, featuring Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries) and Jimmy O. Yang as lovers who find romance despite having been “catfished.”

In this 21st-century take on the classic romantic comedy plotline, Natalie finds the ideal man via an app and travels to his hometown to surprise him for Christmas. But when she discovers that her previous flame resides nearby, he offers to help her win him over by pretending they are romantically involved for just one holiday season – provided Natalie becomes his girlfriend for at least a couple of days.

This movie explores modern dating, not shying away from sentimentality, while taking viewers on an emotional journey of self-discovery. Furthermore, it serves as a celebration of diversity and Asian representation in Hollywood by breaking stereotypes with characters like Josh, who may not meet conventional beauty standards but exhibit kindness, compassion, and chivalry in equal measures.

10. Christmas with You (2022)

Christmas with You

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Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Run Time: 1h 29m

Christmas With You stars Lucifer actress Aimee Garcia and Scooby-Doo, and She’s All That actor Freddie Prinze Jr in his first comeback film since 1997. It follows a pop star as they fulfill one young fan’s wish of meeting them in small-town New York.

Burnt out by the pressure to write a hit single, Latina singer Angelina Costa (Garcia) needs to rekindle her fan base in the upcoming Christmas with You. When she finds a video of an adoring young fan from her hometown performing one of her songs, she decides to grant the girl’s wish.

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High schooler Cristina (Deja Monique Cruz) has a Christmas wish to meet her idol, Angelina, and she does just that. With a little help from the singer’s sweet widower father, Miguel (Freddie Prinze Jr.), they write the song that will revitalize her career and maybe even bring them together as well (not so spoiler-free).

Despite its low-energy vibe, Christmas With You is a family-friendly film with plenty of heart. It’s also a film that celebrates its lead actors’ Latinx heritage and features several Spanish-language songs.

9. The Noel Diary (2022)

The Noel Diary

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Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Run Time: 1h 39m

In The Noel Diary, set during the holiday season, best-selling novelist Jacob Turner (Justin Hartley) finds himself cleaning out his mother’s estate while meeting Rachel Campbell (Barrett Doss). Both characters hope to reconcile with their past through this encounter.

With the arrival of the holidays, Netflix has been filling up its lineup of new releases with a lot more cliche Christmas movies. But unlike previous films in this genre, The Noel Diary isn’t afraid to explore grief and forgiveness.

This film was filmed at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, the Griswold Inn in Essex, the New Canaan town hall, and Manchester Memorial Hospital. It was produced by Andrew Gernhard, who has made Christmas films in Connecticut for several years.

Best-selling romance novelist Jacob Turner (Justin Hartley) is returning home to clean up his mother’s estate around the holidays when he meets Rachel Campbell (Barrett Doss), who is seeking to find out more about her birth mother, Noel, who once worked as Jake’s nanny. Upon meeting and spending some time together, they end up on a road trip that slowly builds their relationship.

8. Single All the Way (2021)

Single All the Way

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Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Run Time: 1h 39m

Single All the Way features Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers as two best friends who decide to pretend they’re romantic partners in order to please their overbearing families. It mixes several classic holidays and romcom tropes into its plotline but remains quite formulaic overall. However, director Michael Mayer is a Tony Award-winning theatre director who knows how to bring depth and nuance to his films.

The movie is a wholesome family Christmas film that features a plethora of festive decor without overdoing it. It also features some great performances from everyone involved, particularly Dan Finnerty, who plays Kevin the Snow Plow guy.

Peter (Urie) is a social media manager for a big Hollywood studio who is perpetually single. He’s desperate to avoid his meddling family nagging him about his single status, so he convinces his best friend Nick (Chambers) to fake date him for the holidays. But when Carole (Najimy), Peter’s mother, sets him up on a blind date with her spin instructor, James (Luke McFarlane), it doesn’t take long for Peter and Nick’s plan to deceive his family into believing they’re dating to go wrong.

7. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

The Christmas Chronicles

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Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy 

Run Time: 1h 44m

Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis), two youngsters who hop aboard Santa’s sleigh for some mischief-making, try their hardest to deliver presents in time to save Christmas by giving all the gifts on time. Can they succeed? Will they be able to convince Santa to come down from his loft at the North Pole to join them?

The Pierce family has a difficult Christmas, especially because their beloved father, Doug (Oliver Hudson), was killed earlier in the year while saving strangers from a fire. This leaves their mother, Claire (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), struggling to keep her children alive and focused on the holidays. But she’s called in to work on Christmas Eve, leaving tyrannical younger sibling Kate alone with her brother.

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While Kate reminisces about the old home videos of her parents’ Christmas, she convinces Teddy to follow her around and catch Santa in the act. The siblings’ plan to capture Santa on camera quickly turns into a journey that most kids would never be able to dream up.

6. A Boy Called Christmas (2021)

A Boy Called Christmas

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Genres: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 46m

When children are left alone with a relative such as Maggie Smith as Aunt Ruth, they’re quickly engaged by stories told to them by Aunt Ruth herself.

A Boy Called Christmas is an imaginative and gorgeous tale set against Scandinavian folklore that explores an alternative Santa origin story. Starring Henry Lawfull, Toby Jones, and Kristen Wiig, as well as Stephen Merchant voice-acting as Nikolas’ mischievous pet mouse Miika (voiced by Stephen Merchant himself!), A Boy Called Christmas avoids syrupy sweetness while providing important lessons to children.

On Christmas Eve, three bereaved siblings find themselves in the care of their Aunt Ruth. After reminding them that “the universe is made of stories, not atoms,” she spins a tale about a young boy in medieval Finland who takes off on a quest to find the fabled city of elves.

He sets out with his faithful pet mouse (voiced by Stephen Merchant) and headstrong reindeer Blitzen on the long trek to Elfhelm, the magical land where he can find out more about his father. Along the way, he makes new friends, including a chipper pixie, a wisecracking mouse, and a truth pixie who can tell the truth.

5. Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday (2016)

Pee-Wee's Big Holiday

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Genres: Comedy, Family

Run Time: 1h 30m

Pee-wee has been trapped in the 1980s since she was frozen; therefore, she has lived in a time mirror. But then a motorcycling stranger shows up out of the blue! A Very Joyful Season Commences. Joe Manganiello plays a hip New Yorker who moves to town and quickly realizes that he and Pee-wee have a lot of similar ground. He talks him into going to New York for his birthday.

Reubens’ character gives the bank robbers his Fiat 600 to make up for the first film’s lack of a traveling salesman. The females go a bit wild (in a good way) and take the vehicle. Afterward, they endeavor to reconcile with Joe following their separation. Towards the film’s end, there’s a funny scene where Pee-wee visits a snake farm.

Although the overemphasis on Pee-wee’s Big experience is a bit of a letdown, the experience serves as a delightful reminder that despite the film’s flaws, it is still packed with reasons to like. Netflix is the perfect home for the comic legend’s signature brand of offbeat humor, and this pleasant return to form will surely please viewers.

4. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)  

Jingle Jangle A Christmas Journey

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Genres: Family, Fantasy, Musical

Run Time: 2h 2m

With its ensemble cast and enthralling plot, Jingle Jangle is a modern take on a traditional holiday musical. Jingle Jangle is a refreshing change from the white-centric holiday fare that Hollywood usually produces.

Forest Whitaker’s performance as master inventor Jeronicus Jangle is emotionally riveting. Jangle’s faith and motivation are questioned after an untrustworthy apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key) steals his work. On the other hand, Journey (Madalen Mills) plays a crucial role in assisting Jangle in recovering both. Their lives could be forever altered as they work together to create a miraculous device.

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Jingle Jangle, a charming musical directed by David E. Talbert and set in the made-up village of Cobbleton, tells the story of a hopeful grandfather and his energetic granddaughter. Jingle Jangle, starring Keegan-Michael Key, Sharon Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Kieron Dyer, Justin Cornwell, Lisa Davina Phillip, and Hugh Bonneville, is an upbeat musical production that will feature John Legend’s songs.

3. Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical (2022)

Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical

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Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Music, Musical

Run Time: 1h 57m

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical movie will hit theatres in 2022, telling the inspiring tale of a little girl with extraordinary mental powers who lives with uncaring parents and an intimidating head teacher. Starring strong young actors such as Taraji P. Henson as Matilda herself with Minchin’s comedic songs as musical director Matthew Warchus delivers a satisfying adaptation of this Tony-winning stage show. It’s not a direct sequel to the 1996 film by Danny DeVito, but it does a good job of reinvigorating the beloved story.

Based on the children’s novel, the stage musical follows the story of Matilda Wormwood (played by Alisha Weir) as she develops telekinetic powers that help her find her way through her painfully oppressive surroundings.

She soon discovers that she is, in fact, a gifted writer, which makes her the envy of the school and, in turn, a target for bullying by the cruel headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. After Matilda’s parents and teachers try to take her away from the books she loves, she finds an ally in her new friend, Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch), and begins writing a book about them.

2. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Stream on Netflix

Genres: Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical

Run Time: 1h 57m

Guillermo del Toro’s rendition of this timeless tale stars Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, and Christoph Waltz for an exciting stop-motion experience.

Del Toro’s puppet characters in this adaptation stand out for their attention to detail, and Sebastian is more fully realized than in previous adaptations of this tale. In this version, he isn’t just a voice actor. He is an integral part of the story and helps Pinocchio open his heart to love.

The film also explores death and its effects on human lives. This is especially true of Pinocchio, who finds out he will outlive everyone he ever comes to love. When a giant fish swallows up Geppetto, Pinocchio saves him and gets sent to an afterlife, but when he dies in a land mine explosion, he realizes that the human race must face up to their demons.

In this movie, a fox (played by two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz) is the main antagonist. He lures Pinocchio away from Geppetto and sets the rest of the story in motion.

1. Klaus (2019)

Klaus

Stream on Netflix

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 36m

Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me) delivers a heartwarming tale that shows children and adults alike the impact that one selfless act can have on another. It features beautiful hand-drawn animation, with voices including Jason Schwartzman, Joan Cusack, JK Simmons, and Rashida Jones.

The story is set in an isolated, cold, and depressingly evil town named Smeerensburg. Its inhabitants are constantly engaged in war and trickery due to a centuries-old feud between two rival clans. When a young postman, Jesper Johansen, is sent to Smeerensburg to deliver letters to the locals, he meets a lonely toymaker by the name of Klaus. He quickly becomes Klaus’ friend, and together, they help spread Christmas cheer across Smeerensburg, melting the town’s decades-long feud and bringing joy to the entire region.

Aside from the fantastic story and endearing characters, what really makes Klaus stand out is its amazing animation. It is a mix of both 2D and 3D; at times, the character models look like classic hand-drawn 2D models set within a mostly computer-generated 3D environment.

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