Best 12 Christmas Movies on Hulu (Christmas 2023)

Shikhar Jauhari

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Best 12 Christmas Movies on Hulu (Christmas 2023)

No holiday celebration would be complete without cozying up on the sofa with one of Hulu’s best Christmas movies, whether to watch Hallmark holiday classics, feel-good comedies, or romantic holiday romance flicks – something here will please every viewer! From classic fairytales to heartwarming rom-coms – these movies on Hulu will put the holiday spirit right back in you this holiday season.

12. Home Alone 3 (1997)

Home Alone 3

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Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Family

Run Time: 1h 42m

With Macaulay Culkin entering his teenage years, studio executives needed something new for this third installment, so they opted for a younger lead character and a different storyline, thus creating Home Alone 3.

Alex Pruitt is an anxious young boy left behind when his family travels to New York City on vacation. To ease his nerves, he watches television. He meets up with some friends before becoming alarmed to hear that some spies have stolen a microchip that could control sensitive electronic devices around him. After tracking them down, he discovers they have been breaking into homes looking for it.

At first, Alex attempts to foil their plans using his pet cat and homemade booby traps constructed out of everyday household objects. Alongside these efforts lies some delightful pratfall humor that will appeal to children and some hilarious slapstick comedy scenes that will entertain adults, too! Rated PG with some violence (spies use dangerous weapons near Alex’s head at times, also smacking him with metal poles or hitting him with boards), there’s some mild language (there’s some cursing, too).

11. The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express

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Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical

Run Time: 1h 40m

Robert Zemeckis’ computer-animated version of Chris Van Allsburg’s classic children’s story, The Polar Express, delivers an emotionally charged experience for viewers of all ages, transcending its usual limits of filmmaking and captivating them for years.

Tom Hanks stars as the train conductor who guides an orphan searching for Santa in the North Pole. Other ensemble cast members (all voiced by Hanks) offer help and comfort on their journey, assisting when faced with various dilemmas on their travels to Santa’s depot. Furthermore, The Polar Express is an essential lesson about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Zemeckis’ signature computer animation style shines in this film, providing mesmerizing visuals and a dynamic soundtrack. However, as with most classic holiday films, its final act drags as its sugary tone becomes more present.

Although no one could dispute the technical wizardry that went into The Polar Express, its director, William Broyles Jr., added far too many additional characters and circumstances that took away from its core message of believing in what can’t be seen – adding unnecessary layers that took away some of its appeal and diminished some of its charm along the way. As a result, The Polar Express lost some of its charm.

10. The Family Stone (2005)

The Family Stone

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Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Run Time: 1h 43m

An overlooked classic, The Family Stone stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a Manhattan career woman who brings her sister from Connecticut to meet up with their bohemian family for Christmas. It brings something new and refreshing to holiday movie watchers; its blend of humor, poignance, and tears make this movie timeless – a holiday film experience worthy of repeat viewing year after year.

The film is inspired by a true tale about an unconventional New England family named the Stones. Living together in their sprawling New England house where boundaries among members can often blur, old relationships will disintegrate over the holidays while new ones form. Secrets will be exposed, while love brings them all closer.

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Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, and Craig T Nelson make up a stellar cast in The Family Stone movie, each providing memorable performances that make this holiday classic a delight. Sarah Jessica Parker fans must see this film every year! With so much great acting, it should be part of your holiday viewing lineup! The Family Stone will definitely become one of your must-watch films this Christmas.

9. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

miracle on 34th street (1994)

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Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 54m

As we approach Christmastime, it is only natural to revisit some timeless classics that have come to define the holiday – from songs, plays, animated TV specials, books, and movies – back.

Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson made headlines worldwide when their 1994 Miracle on 34th Street movie adaptation with Richard in the role of Kris Kringle and Mara in Susan Walker was first released theatrically based on Valentine Davies’ novella.

Like its original version, this remake is filled with holiday spirit. All the characters are delightful, while Attenborough’s portrayal of Kris Kringle is perfect. He captured Edmund Gwenn’s Oscar-winning turn without becoming carbon copies; Wilson is charming and winsome in her performance as Doris Walker; both actors do an admirable job.

Les Mayfield keeps the film racing with his compelling script and direction of musical numbers that bring out Kringle’s trials, orchestral music that adds atmosphere and sets different scenes, and an overall theme of generosity. However, most people ultimately strive to do good deeds for others.

8. A Christmas Carol (1984)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

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Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 40m

A Christmas Carol stands out from other adaptations as daring and unique, earning itself an esteemed place in classic cinema. It is a bit more severe than Alastair Sim’s 1951 version, yet maintains strong integrity by not shying away from any dark or disturbing details Dickens included in the novel.

Scrooge begins his story as Jacob Marley’s funeral procession takes place and warns his former business partner not to follow in his footsteps and change. At that point, the Ghost of Christmas Past appears and takes Scrooge on an adventure through time, which shows what life would be like without all of his past mistakes and misdeeds – the Ghost reveals what life might look like without all the financial gainerism of Scrooge’s ancestor’s ways.

The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the dire consequences of continuing on his current path, showing him Tiny Tim, who will become poor if Scrooge does not change his ways. Finally, another appearance shows Scrooge his death and theft from him before leaving him face-to-face with the sight of himself lying dead on a bed, which shakes him to his core.

7. Happiest Season (2020)

Happiest Season

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Genres: Comedy, Romance

Run Time: 1h 42m

Happiest Season is a charming lesbian romantic comedy film from 2020 that showcases some of the top talents in LGBTQ filmmaking in one of the most stereotypically heterosexual genres imaginable: holiday romantic comedy. The narrative revolves around two people falling in love and then meeting each other’s families before facing up to coming out – which may seem familiar in today’s LGBTQ community. Yet, Happiest Season utilizes this narrative effectively, creating an original tale that’s both funny, sweet, and charming.

The movie follows Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), two residents of Pittsburgh. Harper is a political reporter for their local paper, and Abby studies art history at Carnegie Mellon University. Together, they form a robust and affectionate couple who enjoy each other’s company while celebrating Christmas traditions in Pittsburgh.

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Abby finds herself completely overwhelmed when she discovers Harper has not informed her conservative family members of her sexuality – this causes an outpouring of emotions and hilarious mishaps involving everyone from Harper, Sloane (Alison Brie), Ted (Victor Garber), and her uptight sister Sloane to Sloane and Ted themselves!

6. It’s a Wonderful Binge (2020)

It's a Wonderful Binge

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Genres: Comedy

Run Time: 1h 38m

Hulu has made available the sequel to 2020’s The Binge, an amusing take-off on The Purge movies with drugs and alcohol. Its first trailer premiered Friday, while Syracuse MOST’s premiere event took this theme further with fake drugs, beer bong helmets, weed stickers, and empty kegs decorating its red carpet for Saturday’s premiere event – with Skyler Gisondo, Eduardo Franco, Dexter Darden, Nick Swardson all starring.

Jordan VanDina directed and wrote the original film of It’s a Wonderful Binge, featuring all drugs and alcohol being banned during most of the year, except on one day called Binge Day when it becomes legal to party—for its sequel, Binge Day moved to Christmas Eve instead. It centered around Hags (Marta Piekarz) and Andrew (Zainne Saleh), both struggling in their relationships – Andrew trying to gain approval for his proposal from her family. At the same time, Hags finds comfort from an ex-lover who broke her heart.

This movie contains some incredible scenes, such as Mayor Dennis McCarthy discouraging bingeing, Danny Trejo’s portrayal as an aggressive prisoner, and an individual throwing handful of cocaine like LeBron James doles out talcum powder before games. Although entertaining, its script and characters could have been more robust in this sequel.

5. Dear Santa (2020)

Dear Santa

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Genres: Drama

Run Time: 1h 30m

Dear Santa was released as a movie in 2020 by Dana Nachman. Thousands of children send letters to Santa via the USPS every year, and the Operation Santa program helps make those wishes come true. Filmmaker Nachman showcases all those involved, from children writing letters to Santa themselves to those involved with making them come true – including volunteers known as mail elves who make that dream possible in her uplifting and heartwarming documentary film Dear Santa.

Dear Santa is an eye-opener. Produced and directed by Dana Nachman – and featuring many wonderful people like herself (Batkid Begins, Pick of the Litter), Dear Santa highlights some genuinely kind-hearted individuals such as New York City ironworkers volunteering through their union to Operation Santa helpers, California families displaced by Paradise fires resettling after moving there, families affected by disaster relief efforts in Texas, etc. It follows several groups who volunteer through Operation Santa’s helplines and much more besides.

Dear Santa is an enjoyable Christmas movie for both kids and adults. Reminding viewers that giving is better than receiving is an important message we could all use more of today, particularly given our increasingly inhuman world.

4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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Genres: Comedy

Run Time: 1h 37m

Vacation 3 follows Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) during Christmas as his family attempts to plan an old-fashioned celebration, only to go wrong due to disgruntled relatives and sheer bad luck. This hilarious comedy offers hours of enjoyable family entertainment!

This installment of Christmas Vacation offers an insightful commentary on various holidays that every family experiences, such as hunting for the ideal Christmas tree, struggling at department stores, or dealing with difficult family members. Director Jeremiah S. Chechik made his feature film debut with Christmas Vacation before directing heartwarming romantic comedies and psychological thrillers.

Even though this movie contains crude and offensive humor, it remains suitable for children aged seven or above. There may be one or two scenes too intense for younger viewers to handle, such as when the family drives around looking for somewhere to cut down their tree, when one of the men gets into an argument with another driver, or when the cat chews through an entire string of Christmas lights in an unsettling climactic scene.

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3. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The Muppet Christmas Carol

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Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical

Run Time: 1h 25m

The Muppet Christmas Carol stands as one of the finest films ever produced by Jim Henson’s production house, with its blend of comedy, songs, and literary adaptation. Michael Caine excels as Ebenezer Scrooge; Bob and Emily Cratchit, Tiny Tim, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Yet To Come were all beautifully cast; such was the meticulous attention given in choosing which Muppet would play each role – something awe-inspiring when you consider all that went into it.

Music and sets are lively and captivating, and the Muppets bring warmth, joy, and good cheer as they combine with Charles Dickens’ classic tale to produce a movie as timeless as its message.

As opposed to live-action versions of this tale, this fuzzy one is family-friendly, with just enough muppet madness and kindness to keep kids entertained. Familiar faces from The Muppet Show fill out its supporting cast (Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beeker as charity collectors; Miss Piggy and Gonzo as Bob and Emily Cratchit; Statler & Waldorf as Jacob and Robert Marley who heckle in old age; as well as new Muppets created for this movie).

2. Elf (2003)

Elf

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Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Run Time: 1h 37m

With Christmas fast approaching, now is the perfect time to dust off your elf costume, rewatch Elf, and spread some good cheer.

Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, an innocent baby who accidentally found his way to Santa’s North Pole workshop. Later, realizing he is human, Buddy embarks on an adventurous search trip in full elf attire for his real father in New York City – James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and Zooey Deschanel all play vital roles. It’s pure holiday magic! Will Ferrell kept everything running smoothly throughout this spirited adaptation.

Elf is an unexpectedly moving tale about parental rejection and its effect on love. This movie also sends an important message about being yourself while being humorous and entertaining for viewers of all ages.

There’s an apparent distinction between family movies and kids’ movies: while one tends to offer well-rounded entertainment for all audiences. At the same time, the latter are usually tailored specifically for young viewers. Elf is an outstanding example of both types, showing Will Ferrell is capable of adult comedy and family entertainment.

1. Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard

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Genres: Action, Thriller

Run Time: 2h 12m

Die Hard is one of the longest-running action movies ever, offering audiences a unique take on its genre. Not a pulsing muscle film like Commando or James Bond, Die Hard stands out with its gritty yet wisecracking approach; Bruce Willis proves himself to be an action star of note. Adding personal shortcomings, vulnerability, and fallibility into its narrative has cemented audiences’ attachments to McClane over two-and-a-half decades.

Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp tells the tale of off-duty NYPD detective John McClane, who travels to Los Angeles for a company Christmas party at Nakatomi Plaza skyscraper and becomes involved with Hans Gruber and his men as they attempt a terrorist takeover attempt against it. Though some changes from its original novel (such as renaming its main character and dropping one daughter altogether) were made to keep things relevant, the film remains true to its roots while maintaining an enjoyable atmosphere filled with laughter that helps balance its intense action scenes.

Comedy comes from not only its main characters, with Bonnie Bedelia as Holly McClane, Reginald VelJohnson as a supportive cop, and Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart keenly aware of the fun contrast between McClane’s street smarts and Gruber, who seems decades ahead in terms of classical education and sophistication.

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