The 10 Best Movies to Watch on Netflix This Holiday Season
The holiday season is best spent curled up on the couch with a warm cup of cocoa, a cozy blanket, and a heartwarming movie. But in 2020, with endless streaming services at your fingertips, it can be overwhelming to even think about scrolling through the hundreds of titles available to you in order to pick the perfect thing to watch. So here it is—a definitive list of the best movies on Netflix to watch this holiday season.
Now, just because this is a list of movies to watch during the holidays doesn't mean they're all holiday movies. This list has a little bit of everything—from actual Christmas-themed movies to family-friendly fun. And they’re all guaranteed to give you that same warm and fuzzy feeling, even when there's no mention of Santa Claus, falling snow, or the winter season at all.
1. Christmas on the Square (2020)
Leave it to Dolly Parton to put a new spin on A Christmas Carol with her original Netflix film, Christmas on the Square. The musical, featuring original music by the queen herself, is the perfect holiday watch for those who love a good old-fashioned story about embracing the spirit of Christmas, wrapped in campy, sappy, and music-filled packaging. The movie stars Christine Baranski as businesswoman threatening to evict an entire town who learns the power of love and empathy thanks to a few holiday angels.
2. A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)
For those looking for a more R-rated option, there’s A Bad Moms Christmas, the holiday-themed sequel to Bad Moms (don’t worry, you don’t have to have seen the first film to enjoy the sequel). In this installment, moms Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) rebel against Christmas traditions and expectations pushed on them by their own mothers, who come into town to celebrate the holiday—and critique their daughters along the way. Plus, Justin Hartley of This Is Us fame appears as a Santa stripper.
3. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
Another Christmas musical, Jingle Jangle is probably one of Netflix’s best original Christmas movies to date. (Sorry, A Christmas Prince!) The movie has everything you want in a holiday classic: toys, magic, family—not to mention song and dance and enough Christmas-coordinated outfits to have you seeing everything in red and green.
4. Klaus (2019)
Netflix’s original animated film, Klaus, rewrites the Santa Claus legend to be about two men—a postman and toymaker—who team up to spread joy in a town clinging to despair and sadness. It’s kind of a modern update on the old Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town from 1970, just with J.K. Simmons voicing Klaus instead of Mickey Rooney.
5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
While not a traditional Christmas movie, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. is actually the perfect holiday flick. It’s all about friendship and learning to love those who are different from yourself, even if they’re a literal alien. It’s also a movie about being lonely and desperate to reunite with your family, which is something most of us can unfortunately relate to this holiday season.
6. The Princess Switch (2018)
For those who love a good Hallmark Christmas movie, Netflix’s The Princess Switch is a great option. The movie takes the whole “swapping lives with an identical stranger” trope to a whole new holiday level when a baker switches places with a princess. And they both manage to fall in love!
7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
How The Grinch Stole Christmas is one of Netflix’s more traditional holiday offerings. This 2000 adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s beloved book stars Jim Carrey as the titular Grinch, and it’s definitely one-of-a-kind. It’s also the only movie adaptation of the book on Netflix.
8. Back to the Future (1985)
For some non-Christmas family fun, there’s Back to the Future. Admittedly, this movie about a high school kid who goes back in time and accidentally throws his own parents’ love story into jeopardy has nothing to do with the holidays. But thanks to Michael J. Fox’s endless supply of charm, Back to the Future is basically a heated blanket in movie form.
9. Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Another family movie, Mary Poppins Returns stars Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins. While it lacks the originality of the Julie Andrews version of Mary Poppins, it more than makes up for it in magic and flair. It’s also one of the rare Disney films still available on Netflix, so stream it while you can.
10. White Christmas (1954)
For nearly 70 years, watching Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and Danny Kaye croon about our days being merry and bright has become a holiday tradition for millions of people. With its catchy song and dance numbers, its nostalgic (and sometimes silly) storyline, and all-around charm, it's no wonder White Christmas is one of the most celebrated holiday movies of all time.