Best 12 Christmas Movies Amazon Prime Video (Christmas 2023)

Shikhar Jauhari

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Best 12 Christmas Movies on Amazon Prime Video (Christmas 2023)

Nothing quite captures the holiday spirit like binging on holiday movie classics like Elf and Love Actually, yet each year brings new offerings that promise to create a wonderful festive mood. This year, Amazon brought us 12 amazing films sure to put everyone in a festive spirit this Christmas Season – there’s sure to be something here that everyone will love!

12. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2008)

the most wonderful time of the year

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance

Run Time: 1h 28m

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a 2008 movie starring Henry Winkler, Brooke Burns, and Warren Christie. The plot revolves around Jennifer Cullen – a single working mom struggling to find joy in Christmas due to all her tasks – who attempts to ignore it altogether. When her Uncle Ralph brings home a snowbound stranger with an affinity for Christmas celebrations, she must reconsider what Christmas means and discover what matters.

As her Uncle Ralph (Henry Winkler – Click) arrives with Morgan Derby (Warren Christie), whom he met on his flight, she initially finds it unwelcome – until she starts spending time with him and discovers that he is friendly and warm – suggesting Christmas may become even more magical after all!

This romantic holiday film exemplifies what to expect from a Hallmark movie. At the same time, its plot may be corny and its storyline slightly preposterous for such an adaptation, but its charm lies within Brooke Burns and Warren Christie’s wonderful onscreen chemistry, which pulls everything together nicely.

11. Christmas Comes to Willow Creek (1987)

Christmas Comes to Willow Creek

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 33m

Willow Creek, Alaska, has fallen on hard times after their cannery closed down, leaving many residents jobless and their holiday spirit dimming dramatically. Al Bensinger (Hoyt Axton is particularly endearing as Al), the owner of the trucking company they work for, devises a plan: He sends Ray and Pete (his estranged truck-driving brothers) from California to Alaska with special toys as a Christmas present to lift citizens’ spirits and spread some Christmas joy.

The trouble is, these brothers don’t get along; to add insult to injury, they also have Michael as their rebellious teenage son on board. So their trip to Willow Creek becomes the ideal opportunity to air their differences: arguments ensue, and arguments turn physical before finally reaching Willow Creek, where they restore some holiday spirit in this small town.

This classic family film marks one of two projects featuring John Schneider and Tom Wopat – both stars from The Dukes of Hazzard – before they would reunite later for The Outlaws on television. It was directed by Richard Lang and shot in Dawson City, Yukon, and Vancouver in British Columbia; other cast members include Kim Delaney, Zachary Ansley, and Joy Coghill.

10. The Christmas Candle (2013)

The Christmas Candle

Genres: Drama, Family

Run Time: 1h 40m

One England villager believes that an angel visits candle makers every Christmas to bless one candle. Anyone praying while holding that candle (either for healing, love, or riches) can hope an answer from above will answer their prayers.

Miracle seekers don’t always seem to get what they desire when it comes to health and wealth, so when Hans Matheson (of Clash of Titans and Sherlock Holmes fame) arrives as pastor in town, his denial of their legend hits hard with the villagers; particularly as he appears to believe miracles only take place through Jesus.

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Matheson excels at playing his character’s convictions convincingly; even secular filmgoers will find them convincing. Additionally, Matheson does an outstanding job showing that this preacher cares deeply for his parishioners – handing out food to the needy, finding an apartment for a pariah, and generally serving their community with dignity and kindness.

This charming drama boasts an outstanding cast, led by Samantha Barks from Les Miserables as the daughter of a candle maker, Hans Matheson, Lesley Manville, and Sylvester McCoy.

9. Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Run Time: 1h 41m

Scrooged marked Bill Murray’s return to film four years after Ghostbusters and five days before Groundhog Day (and ten before Rushmore), playing an intelligent yet comedic character. Murray brought his trademark goofiness but delivered an effective performance as Scrooged’s star: his violent, irrational meanness was both amusing and heart-rending, drawing laughs along the way before satisfying audiences at its conclusion with an outstanding twist ending.

Richard Donner brought Charles Dickens’ classic tale and updated it for television to create something that resonated with audiences of the late 1980s. By placing it within a television studio and making Frank Cross the protagonist a TV executive, Donner reflected upon our consumerist entertainment culture – providing an MTV generation Scrooge in Frank Cross.

Scrooged also depicts how people perceive their jobs and relationships in corporate America. While other recent films that tell this tale usually occur in New York’s cosmopolitan and glittering neighborhoods, Scrooged shows us its darker side, one more often associated with bustling, hardworking cities than with beautiful vacation spots.

8. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

The Bishop's Wife

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Run Time: 1h 49m

Released in 1947, The Bishop’s Wife may have been one of Samuel Goldwyn’s most challenging movies ever produced. Loosely adapted from Robert Nathan’s 1928 novel of the same name, production issues plagued its creation; nevertheless, those who saw the film still consider it an enjoyable holiday classic that stands the test of time.

When it comes to Christmas movies, The Bishop’s Wife often gets overlooked compared with such classics as Miracle on 34th Street or popular classics such as White Christmas. This could be partly attributed to its production by Samuel Goldwyn not long after Cary Grant and David Niven had suffered their tragic daughter Primmie’s passing away; consequently, both actors may still have been grieving when filming began for this Samuel Goldwyn film, likely making their portrayals of downtrodden characters difficult for them.

Cary Grant shines as Dudley, the angel who comes to Bishop Henry Brougham’s aid when he prays for help obtaining funds for his new cathedral. While Dudley does his best to secure these funds, he also manages to restore Henry’s faith and happiness between himself and Julia (Loretta Young).

7. One Special Night (1999)

One Special Night

Genres: Drama, Romance

Run Time: 1h 32m

One Special Night is an underrated Christmas film from television that’s an impressive demonstration of Julie Andrews and James Garner’s incredible chemistry. While Robert’s family may seem overdone at times, most of the action in the cabin makes for an enjoyable viewing experience perfect for an inviting Friday evening movie night.

This romantic comedy about second chances at love is charming and heart-wrenching all at the same time. James Garner excels as the widower who finds his true love again with Catherine after losing everything else; Julie Andrews shines bright as ever as Catherine herself; their chemistry makes for an irresistibly enjoyable viewing experience!

This film follows a woman doctor as she meets a man visiting his dementia-stricken wife at the hospital. Following an initial flirtatious meeting, they form a rapport and offer to ride home together; however, due to snowfall, they get stuck together and must spend the night together at an area cabin instead. Over time, they discover they share more similarities than they originally believed.

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6. Little Women (1994)

Little Women (1994)

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Run Time: 1h 55m

Greta Gerwig will face an immense task this fall with her adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel Little Women on screen, as it has been done numerous times before – from its 1933 silent adaptation with Dorothy Miller to its 1949 talkie featuring Katharine Hepburn. However, the 1994 film version is widely considered superior due to writer Robin Swicord’s conversational dialogue, the warmth and informality of its young actresses, and director Gerald Armstrong’s sharp focus on dramatic essentials.

Although their father is away fighting in the Civil War, Meg, Beth, and Amy March must navigate issues of independence, romance, and virtue while under their mother, Marmee, and Aunt March’s watchful gaze (Susan Sarandon). Life becomes even richer when Christian Bale’s character Laurie joins their ranks alongside tutor Friedrich Bhaer (an amazingly charming Gabriel Byrne).

Little Women is a must-see film for fans of both the novel and cinema in general or anyone needing an enjoyable girls’ movie. Although at times deviating from its source material, this rendition remains true to its spirit. It is an important reminder that women had to fight hard in an unforgiving world to forge their paths.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

Run Time: 1h 36m

Miracle on 34th Street is an iconic classic that explores the story of department store manager Doris Walker and her daughter Susan as they encounter Kris Kringle, who claims to be Santa Claus. The film blends drama, fantasy, and comedy reminiscent of Frank Capra’s morality tales while exploring the tension between holiday spirit and commercialism while simultaneously emphasizing the value of believing something despite doubters around you.

This family-friendly film should be seen by anyone who has ever wondered, “Is Santa real?” O’Hara and Payne perform well, while Edmund Gwenn is outstanding as Santa. Due to its immense success, remakes were produced, including one featuring Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle in a 1994 theatrical release.

Macy’s Department Store in New York City serves as the setting of this film. Filming took place there during the autumn of 1947, and many scenes were shot over the Christmas season; the cast and crew often went window shopping together at night on Fifth Avenue when not working together on set. Even today, Macy’s uses footage from this movie in its annual Christmas parade while dedicating windows specifically for it.

4. Arthur Christmas (2011)

Arthur Christmas

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

Run Time: 1h 37m

Arthur Christmas from the creators of Wallace and Gromit is one of those timeless Christmas classics that remains on audiences year after year, becoming an annual family tradition. James McAvoy brings earnestness as Arthur, while Bill Nighy delivers perfectly pitched sarcasm as GrandSanta, who insists upon Steve upgrading his tech and reindeer, all to great effect in this animated feature film.

The script is entertaining, updating many myths about Santa while adding some surprises, while the animation (done using CGI rather than clay) was lively and crisp. Unfortunately, however, the second act started to drag as writers relied too heavily on silly gags for entertainment value.

Hugh Laurie stars as Steve Claus, running the high-tech operation at the North Pole and responsible for providing presents to children across the world; Imelda Staunton plays Margaret Claus – GrandSanta’s wife and mother to Arthur and Steve; Marc Wootton voices Peter, while Ashley Jenson portrays Bryony Shelfley from Giftwrap Department.

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Arthur Christmas relies heavily on its two leads’ chemistry and heartwarming and humorous messages to stand out. While some sexist comments by characters (Arthur refers to himself as Santa’s “chubby little elf”) may raise eyebrows, its overall message of integrity and compassion shines through even in its darkest moments.

3. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Run Time: 2h 10m

It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most beloved holiday movies, beloved by viewers of all generations and time zones alike. Re-watching makes this timeless classic better; some say it holds up better on television than at the theater.

Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and You Can’t Take It With You), in collaboration with Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story and booklet The Greatest Gift, self-published in 1943, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol tales, created this film. Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, he gave up his dreams of running his family savings and loan company instead in a small town before considering suicide after making a mistaken business decision – only for Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) to remind him how much the world would miss having him around!

Capra’s first film post-World War II was It’s a Wonderful Life, reflecting his enthusiasm for celebrating ordinary Americans who strive to do good. Unfortunately, its release received poor reviews upon its debut in December 1946, ultimately leading to Liberty Films folding due to losses they incurred.

2. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Edward Scissorhands

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 57m

Edward Scissorhands was released as a dark fantasy romance film in 1990 by director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp as their inaugural collaboration. This dark fantasy romance follows an artificial humanoid with scissor blades for hands who adopts a suburban family and falls head over heels for their teenage daughter. Edward Scissorhands has endured through thirty years since its initial release, boasting an unforgettable soundtrack by Danny Elfman and great performances by Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Kathy Baker, and Alan Arkin.

Beginning with The Inventor (Vincent Price), who creates Edward, the animated character with a heart-shaped cookie. He raises Edward in an idyllic home environment before his untimely demise leaves Edward alone in his mansion with huge scissors for his hands. Soon afterward, an Avon door-to-door saleswoman named Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest), who drives through the neighborhood encounters his house and decides to adopt Edward as her charge.

Peg’s husband Bill (Alan Arkin) and their son Kevin initially fear the arrival of Edward into their household, but eventually, they warm to him as part of the family. Johnny Depp gives a heartwarming performance as Edward, embodying a sweet innocence that endears him to viewers; Ryder makes for an appealing love interest; Wiest, Arkin, and Baker offer excellent support as supportive family members.

1. Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977)

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 1h 57m

The team (which included Paul Williams – later to compose songs for The Muppet Movie) crafts an emotional love story at Christmastime that’s an updated take on O. Henry’s classic The Gift of the Magi. With three-dimensional platform sets and an ensemble cast consisting of puppets representing Emmet Otter himself, it makes for a truly delightful world that comes alive during Christmastime!

Emmet and Ma demonstrate what it means to have true family love – risking their livelihoods to make one another happy on Christmas. This lesson serves both kids and adults well alike. Emmet and Ma both participate in the talent contest and perform admirably (though they must frantically switch songs during their performances).

When they learn that the winner will receive $50 prize money, they decide to use this as an incentive for each to buy each other gifts – guitar for Emmet and piano for Ma. To meet their goal of purchasing these presents without making sacrifices – Emmet risks his tools while Ma hocks her washtub – with each making one sacrifice toward reaching their goal.

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