21 Netflix Christmas Movies, Ranked

December 23, 2014

Christmas movies, right? There are so many to choose from, and there are tons of new ones being made every year. So how do you know what’s good and what’s garbage? It turns out, most of them are garbage. High budget or low budget. TV specials or blockbuster releases. Big name actors or nobodies. It doesn’t really matter much.

But if you sit down to watch a ton of them, as my wife and I did this Holiday season, you’ll find something to like about almost all of them. And something to hate about almost all of them. But I have to say that this exercise did put me in the Holiday spirit. We picked movies, pretty much at random, by what sounded good to us at the moment and was also available on Netflix. We ended up getting through 21 movies, only 2 of which I’d seen before

Lots of these movies are pretty much the same. If you’re looking for some clichés to incorporate into your next Holiday film, here are some that we noticed:

  • Single moms with kids trying to find them a new husband
  • Plays at the end
  • Women who are in their mid-twenties and are too busy with their careers to find the right man
  • Terrible people from any walk of life can be visited by 3 ghosts

Anyway, we hardly made a dent in the Netflix Christmas collection, but here’s my incredibly arbitrary ranking of the movies I did watch:

21. Christmas with the Kranks


Bad. A couple decides not to celebrate Christmas, and does a poor job communicating the reasons to their neighbors who are crazy. There’s a twist, but it isn’t interesting.

20. Snowglobe


Bad. Girl can’t find a relationship and falls in love with a dude in a snow globe. Non-hilarity and annoying family dynamics ensue.

(Snowglobe and Christmas with the Kranks were the first two movies we watched on this marathon. I wonder if they were actually the worst, or if I just wasn’t in the Bad Christmas Movie Spirit yet)

19. Happy Christmas


Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick. What’s not to like? For me, the answer to that question is almost always Lena Dunham. And also, Anna Kendrick’s character is kind of unlikeable in this film. But everyone learns something in the end, and this movie isn’t really about Christmas. It might be a decent movie, but it probably won’t bring you the Christmas spirit.

18. Christmas Cupid


The girl from Snow Globe is back … well, not her character, but the same actress (and Cash Money Records Recording Artist). Also an ABC Family Movie. It’s the worst version of the Christmas Carol on this list. (There are 4.)

17. All I Want For Christmas


Fine. Two kids get their parents back together for Christmas and it works. I wasn’t really paying attention during this one.

16. Holidaze


Not a stoner holiday movie, unfortunately. This movie tells women they shouldn’t pick careers over marrying and having children. Or tells them they can do both. Or something. Also, Walmart is bad. Small town businesses are good.

15. I’ll be home for Christmas


Meh. JTT is at a boarding school in California. He has to be home by Christmas Eve at 6pm to get his Dad’s Porsche. Along the journey, he finds out that some things are more important.

14. A Christmas Kiss


An artsy type, but also up & coming decorator or something accidentally makes out with her boss’s boyfriend. Love trumps career or something.

13. Dear Santa


A 30 year old woman who didn’t graduate from college and has been mooching off her parents and living in Manhattan for 8 years, I guess, doesn’t have a job. Under the threat of being cutoff by her parents, she finds a man. It turns out well. Kind of cute.

12. All American Christmas Carol


Wow, another Christmas Carol… who cares? YOU WILL, when you watch this terrible white trash version. There are 3 ghosts, and the ghost of Christmas Past is a 17 year old girl who gets wasted at a party when she’s supposed to be teaching a lesson. What’s not to love?

11. The Nightmare Before Christmas


What’s the bigger sin? That I had never seen this movie before, or that I didn’t really pay attention while it was on? Either way, this seemed pretty good. Had some good musical numbers. Maybe will watch again some time. Sticking this in the middle of the list.

10. Love, Actually


I used to argue that Love Actually wasn’t a Christmas movie, but after watching so many Christmas movies this year, I take it back. It is at least as Christmasy as most of the movies on this list. I also used to not like this movie, but I take it back. It’s at least as enjoyable as half the movies on this list. It is also the only movie on this list with nudity, including the one with Lena Dunham.

9. Scrooged


Bill Murray plays a modern-day scrooge as a TV executive… the catch is that they are putting on a live TV musical of A Christmas Carol. It’s pretty good, but not as good as you might hope Bill Murray in a Christmas movie would be.

8. 12 Dates of Christmas


Speaking Of Bill Murray, this is a Christmas take on Groundhog Day. Also, not as good. But plenty cute enough, I think. A girl eventually finds love on Christmas and learns a life lesson or something.

7. Holiday Engagement


A girl’s fiancé dumps her right before Christmas, and she hires an actor to play her fiancé. It’s fun. Things work out.

6. 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue


Some stuff happens. They put on a play and save a dog adoption place and keep dogs from getting killed or abused as race horses. It takes place in the 30s maybe, but they do a poor job keeping the piece in the right time-frame. There’s a cute play at the end.

5. Christmas Angel


This is a cute one. A little girl finds that the Christmas wishes of her friends are magically coming true. Also, just like in a lot of these movies where there’s a kid, there’s a single mom who finds a new husband.

4. Holiday in Handcuffs


This is the campier lower-budget version of Holiday Engagement. Naturally, I liked it more. Clarissa Explains what it’s like to kidnap a dude to impress your family, and have it all work out in the end. Good.

3. Coming Home for Christmas


Surprisingly good. Though, if you’re picking it because there’s a dog on the cover, you’re going to be a bit disappointed. Two sisters have a big falling out, and 5 years later they decide to start talking to each other again, to fix their parents marriage at Christmas time.

2. Switchmas


Favorite new (to me) Christmas movie of the year. Two kids who kind of look alike and get shipped off by their parents to visit other relatives meet in O’Hare, and decide to switch destinations. One is Jewish and celebrating Hannukah. One is Christian and celebrating Christmas. There’s a play at the end.

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol


I almost feel bad including this on a list. It is in a league of its own, especially amongst the other crappy Christmas Carol stories on this list. Funny, touching and brilliant. Almost makes me want to read the book, which I’ve never done.


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