‘Tis the season to unwind and bask in the holiday spirit with a Christmas movie. Whether you favor timeless classics like Home Alone or family favorites such as Elf, nothing captures the essence of the season quite like a festive film. Netflix is spreading holiday joy throughout December with a dedicated section featuring a diverse array of Christmas movies. From romantic comedies and adult dramas to animated delights, there’s something for every taste. Below, explore our thoughtfully curated selection of the top five Christmas movies on Netflix that you won’t want to miss, including a renowned romantic comedy/drama ensemble, a delightful family adventure with Santa, and an Academy Award nominee.
Love Actually 2003
The reevaluation of Love Actually’s history has become increasingly exaggerated. The Christmas romantic comedy has generated numerous opinions and analyses asserting that Love Actually is fundamentally flawed. Some plotlines, such as those involving Sarah, Karl, Michael, Colin, Tony, and the American girls, face criticism for their perceived weaknesses. The Juliet-Peter-Mark storyline is deemed somewhat unsettling, despite introducing Andrew Lincoln and his memorable cue cards.
Nevertheless, despite these acknowledged imperfections, Love Actually remains a cherished film even two decades later. The heartwarming scenes of Liam Neeson assisting his stepson in wooing his school crush continue to exude charm. Colin Firth’s romantic declaration of love for his Portuguese housekeeper as he marches through the streets of a French town still holds emotional resonance today. Lastly, Hugh Grant’s performance illustrates why he was an impactful leading man in the 1990s and 2000s, showcasing British wit, looks, and charm.
The Christmas Chronicles
image from pioneerscoop.com
Is there anything Kurt Russell can’t do? From Snake Plissken and R.J. MacReady to Elvis Presley and Wyatt Earp, Russell’s versatility is legendary in Hollywood. The only frontier left for Russell to conquer was a Christmas movie, and so the veteran actor took on the role of the most iconic character of the holiday season—Santa Claus—in “The Christmas Chronicles.“
Eleven-year-old Kate Pearce (Darby Camp) and her older brother, Teddy (Judah Lewis), embark on an ambitious mission: to capture Santa Claus on videotape. On Christmas Eve, the siblings devise a plan to trap Santa on video in their living room. The plan succeeds, capturing Santa (Russell) on camera while he delivers presents. However, when Santa attempts to escape, Kate and Teddy stow away in his sleigh. In midflight, Santa discovers the two kids, and the sleigh crash-lands in Chicago, with his magic hat, presents, and reindeer scattering in different directions. With time running out on the night, Santa, Kate, and Teddy must collaborate to retrieve all the missing items, ensuring the delivery of the remaining presents and preserving the holiday spirit. Fortunately, Christmas is a time when miracles can happen.
The Noel Diary (2022)
For all devoted “This Is Us” fans, “The Noel Diary” is a tailor-made cinematic treat. Justin Hartley skillfully channels his inner Kevin Pearson as he embodies Jacob Turner, a charismatic public figure on a quest for meaning in “The Noel Diary.” In this heartwarming tale, Hartley’s character, Jacob, returns to his hometown after two decades to settle his late mother’s estate, inheriting everything, including her Connecticut home.
Amidst cleaning the house, Jacob stumbles upon a diary belonging to his nanny, Noel (Essence Atkins). Shortly thereafter, Rachel Campbell (Barrett Doss) appears at Jake’s doorstep, seeking answers about her birth mother—coincidentally, the same Noel known to Jake. United by a shared quest, Jake and Rachel set out to unravel the mysteries surrounding Noel’s decision to give her daughter up for adoption. Little did they anticipate that this journey would lead to a romantic connection.
Catch “The Noel Diary” streaming on Netflix.
Santa Claus has his roots in Saint Nicholas of Myra, a religious figure from the Roman Empire whose benevolent gift-giving inspired numerous Christmas traditions. However, the animated Netflix film “Klaus” takes a unique approach by presenting an alternative origin story set in the fictional town of Smeerensburg in 19th-century Norway. Jesper Johansen (portrayed by Jason Schwartzman), having failed to leave a mark as a postman, is assigned to Smeerensburg, a remote island off the Arctic Circle. Jesper must overcome the challenge of posting 6,000 letters within a year to secure his departure from Smeerensburg.
Upon arrival, Jesper discovers the town is divided by two feuding families. However, his fortunes change when he encounters Klauss (voiced by J.K. Simmons), the town’s hermit and a skilled carpenter who crafts toys in his spare time. Jesper seizes an opportunity with Klaus’ toys to meet his letter-posting quota. Children writing letters to Klaus receive a toy in return, giving rise to the origin of Santa Claus. Intriguingly, both “Klaus” and “I Lost My Body” achieved historical significance as the first animated movies from a streaming service to earn nominations for an Academy Award at the 2020 Oscars.
Experience the magic of “Klaus” on Netflix.
Midnight at the Mangolia (2020)
For enthusiasts of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, “Midnight at the Magnolia” brings Netflix’s charming take on a delightfully cheesy romance. Childhood friends Maggie (Natalie Hall) and Jack (Evan Williams) co-host a popular Chicago radio show dedicated to dating advice, harboring dreams of achieving national syndication.
In an attempt to breathe new life into their fathers’ struggling jazz club within the Magnolia Hotel, Maggie and Jack hatch a plan to host a New Year’s Eve show at the Magnolia, inviting their respective significant others. However, their intentions take an unexpected turn when both are unceremoniously dumped just days before the event. Confronted with the challenge of boosting their ratings and securing syndication, Maggie and Jack decide to play pretend as a couple, with plans to unveil their supposed relationship at the event. As anticipated, the situation starts off light-hearted but takes a turn into deeper emotions as genuine feelings come into play. With its familiar formula and the compelling chemistry between the lead actors, “Midnight at the Magnolia” is set to become your next guilty pleasure.
Savor the enchantment of “Midnight at the Magnolia” on Netflix.