With time in such short supply, we've done the dirty work for you. Yes, there are more holiday movies on Netflix than what is listed here. However, for you to go through them all would take you the entire holiday season. Do you really want to start watching your Netflix holiday list in February? Didn't think so.
So, we have muddied through all the holiday movies for you. Copious attention has been paid to what viewers want. What is trending? What is going to retain the most eyeballs on a given film? And we even, gulp, used some common sense. Alright, enough of the gas baggery. We're talking about holiday movies not brain surgery, right? Let's all relax and enjoy 11 holiday movies to make the season extra special.
This time worn tale of a father trying to get his son a special gift truly sparkles this season. The special gift turns out to be an animal called a Mogwai. Its name is Gizmo. And Gizmo is lovable as all get out! The only issue is when he gets wet... he multiples. Then, if he eats after midnight... watch out because he becomes a Gremlin. This film truly turns the holiday film on its ear as it sometimes gets into horror territory. At the same time, that is what makes it such a special holiday film. Sometimes you need a little spice in your holiday fare (as you will discover as you move further down the list) and Gremlins gives you that in spades! Watch here.
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Okay, we all know the tale of the Grinch. He hates Christmas. He despises the holidays. Yet, ultimately through the love of the season, he will do a 180. And seeing Jim Carrey as the man who hates Whoville is truly a spectacle to behold. However, this Netflix gem is more than that. It is the kind of film that doesn't need the holiday season to make it relevant. Rather you can play this film at any time of year and you will still get the warm fuzzies. How many movies on this list can boast that? Watch here.
Bad Santa (2003)
Bad Santa seems to be a true holiday film anomaly. First off it is rated R (and in this film's case it could be a hard R). Secondly, its main character gives new meaning to the world deplorable. Bad Santa follows a conman (Billy Bob Thornton) who's only holiday goal is to rob a department store. Well, nothing goes as planned because the conman helps a wayward youth and draws scrutiny from the store's head of security. As you can guess, nothing about this film follows the holiday movie trope system and that is what makes it perfect for this Netflix list. Watch here.
The Ref (1994)
All Denis Leary wants to do on Christmas Eve is rob a house. Sadly, he just happens to wander into a home that features a feuding family. Let the arguments commence. Anybody that knows anything about Denis Leary knows that he can argue with the best of them. What The Ref shows us is just how much of a diffuser of tension he can be... or not. Like Bad Santa, The Ref feels like an accidental holiday movie. However, this is what makes the democracy of Netflix's offerings so special. Just like the gifts you might be receiving, there really is something for everyone. Watch here.
Get Santa (2014)
This oddball film features Santa crashing. Santa running from the police. And a father and son getting on the same page to make sure that Christmas still happens. Honestly, who thinks up this stuff? Director Christopher Smith has brought a dark, almost green-like tone to this Netflix offering. While Get Santa doesn't feature anything we haven't already seen before, it does show us a flawed Santa Claus that just might give the Santa in Bad Santa a run for his money. There are many holiday films but how many can boast a Santa trying to stay out of the big house? Watch here.
A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
With an anthology of horror shorts A Christmas Horror Story certainly plays against type. Yes, Grandma may leave the room (however, seeing William Shatner in this might just be enough to make her stick around). Yes, this anthology features zombie elves, Krampus and other holiday icons. And yes, blood and the holidays usually don't go hand in hand. The only reply I can give is that we live in different times. Holidays mean different things to different people and kudos to Netflix for trying to cater to that. Even if that means their content might cause more fights than discussing politics at the dinner table. Watch here.
Fireplace and Melodies for the Holidays (2001)
Put on this virtual fire place and get ready to hear some holiday standards that are sure to get you in the giving mood! Yes, this is 2 hours of a fireplace burning logs. Look at it this way, though... you don't have to hurt any trees, you don't have to put smoke into the environment, AND you're getting to hear some great tunes to boot! Now, nobody is saying you actually have to sit and watch this Netflix offering from start to finish, but it could be a good thing for some really small children to ingest as they wait to ingest their holiday meal. Watch here.
A Christmas Prince (2017)
While we often hold Netflix Originals to a higher standard, this one easily makes this list because it is so festive, wishing everyone a happy holidays. Set around the holidays (why else would it be on this list, right?), A Christmas Prince sees a young journalist assigned to cover a young prince. This prince is headed for a kingship and, as most kings do, he has certain ideas about how the world works. He and the journalist meet and suddenly everything they think they want from the holiday season (and themselves) is called into question. Like I said, we want Netflix Originals to be better than something Disney might spew out, but A Christmas Prince is more than a worthy entry for this list. Watch here.
A Very Murray Christmas (2014)
Netflix has kicked the holidays into high gear with what is a variety show from none other than Bill Murray. Directed by Sofia Coppola, Lost In Translation this is not. Rather we get performances from Miley Cyrus, Michael Cera, George Clooney and the enigmatic Murray himself. There's a lot of glitz, a lot of white, a lot of dancing and the classic Billy Murray sense of humor that has made him one of the most beloved performers working today. Plus plenty of traditional Christmas music. Given the Netflix platform to be himself, A Very Murray Christmas is already an instant holiday classic! Watch here.
A Dogwalker's Christmas Tale (2015)
With people feeling that their pets deserve the same treatment as actual living, breathing humans, A Dog Walker's Christmas Tale is a timely offering to this list. Luce is a spoiled girl. She suddenly has her entitlement mentality tested when she is a asked (by a hot guy no less) to help save a dog park. Admittedly, this Netflix offering isn't going to change the world. However, it truly feels like a movie that your favorite four legged friend (or whatever pet you have) can watch with you. Watch here.
Trading Places (1983)
"Merry New Year"! What would the holiday season be without Trading Places. That this film encompasses Christmas and New Years makes it that much more special for everybody involved. The film follows a hustler (Eddie Murphy) and an investor (Dan Aykroyd) as they trade places to live life in the other person's shoes. That our main characters have no choice in the trade soon comes back to haunt the evil men pulling their strings in the shadows. In light of the fact that we have one of the best known investors currently running the great USofA, Trading Places takes on a special immediacy. Sure, this is a very funny film. Yes, it it is filled with holiday cheer and that makes it the perfect holiday movie. At the same time, it plays as a cautionary tale. That being said... be careful what you wish for, you may find it on Netflix. Watch here.