Get us in your inbox

Jingle Jangle
Photograph: Gareth Gatrell, courtesy of NetflixJingle Jangle

The best Christmas movies on Netflix in the UK

Have yourself a merry little Christmas with our guide to the best festive movies on Netflix UK

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Andy Kryza
Contributor
Phil de Semlyen
Advertising

Christmas is no time for cinematic Scrooges. If you’re looking for complicated emotions and realistic plotting, you’re just going to have to wait until the pine trees hit the curb and the talk turns to awards season. For now, your options are bubbly rom-coms with scenarios that have never once occurred on planet Earth and movies underscoring the importance of friends, family and togetherness with all the subtlety of a giant decorative candy cane smashing you in the head – and damn it, you’re going to like it!

It’s the kind of holiday fluff Netflix specialises in. Over the last decade, the streamer has challenged Hallmark as the main producer of yuletide cheer, cranking out all manner of cheery, peppermint-scented originals while also loading up on a few Christmas classics. Sure, no one’s going to argue that most of these movies for Oscar consideration, but that’s not what this time of year is about. It’s about throwing on your most garish sweater, picking the cheesiest-looking title you can dig out, and letting it warm your core like the hottest of cocoa. To that end, here are the best Christmas movies currently streaming on Netflix in the UK.

Recommended:

🎅 The 50 best Christmas movies of all-time
🎄 The best kids Christmas movies to watch this year
🤶 The best Disney Christmas movies to stream for the holidays
😱 The 18 best scary Christmas horror movies

Best Christmas movies on Netflix UK

Falling for Christmas (2022)
Image: Scott Everett White/Netflix

1. Falling for Christmas (2022)

Let the Lindsay Lohan renaissance begin! The talented child star turned troubled starlet has a few Netflix originals on the horizon, but there’s no quicker way back to the public’s good graces than starring in a shamelessly cheesy Christmas movie. It’s a classic Hallmark-esque plot: Lohan plays a spoiled hotel heiress – possibly a dig at her old pal Paris Hilton? – who gets amnesia following a skiing accident and is cared for by a hunky outdoorsman (Chord Overstreet) who teaches her not to be such a snob. It’s the cornball rom-com of the season that everyone has to watch, preferably while two-fisting hot cocoa and a glass of rose. 

  • Film
  • Family and kids

Playwright David E Talbert enters the Christmas canon with this Netflix original starring Forest Whitaker as an aloof toymaker tasked with caring for his estranged granddaughter on Christmas. An old-school musical fantasy brought to life through new-school VFX and cutting-edge choreography, the film is extremely busy and a little unfocused – not that most viewers would notice. They’ll be too busy being dazzled by the explosive visuals and genuine heart at the core of the film.

Advertising
Single All the Way (2021)
Photograph: Netflix

3. Single All the Way (2021)

Easily the best of Netflix’s avalanche of original holiday content in 2021, this might also be the year’s best romcom: the story of a man who convinces his best buddy to pretend to be his boyfriend in order to placate his matchmaking family. Any film featuring cinematic treasure Jennifer Coolidge as Glinda the Good Witch in a community theatre Christmas pageant is instantly watchable, but it’s the great big heart at the centre that positions Single all the Way for perennial status.

Klaus (2019)
Image: Netflix

4. Klaus (2019)

This oddball origin story of Santa Klaus is the first animated feature from Netflix, and it's a doozy. Featuring Oscar-winner JK Simmons as a grizzled proto-Santa who loves toymaking but isn't interested in children, Jason Schwartzman as an incompetent postal carrier and Rashida Jones as a cynical teacher, the film’s eye-popping art direction scored the streamer a Best Animated Feature nomination. And if the setup sounds like a grump-fest, don't worry: Icy hearts melt, fast.

Advertising
  • Film
  • Horror

What could be more festive than a film about a demonic spirit-cum-goat-man who hunts down people who have lost that Christmas feeling? That’s the premise of this comedy-horror, that takes its story from Austro-Bavarian folklore and which has all the hallmarks of a classic B-movie. The all-star cast – including Adam Scott and Toni Collette – brings the screams and laughs, and there’s even a horrifying clown that eats children, making this a deliciously macabre heir apparent to Gremlins's holiday horrors. 

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
Photograph: Netflix

6. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Why it took until 2018 for someone to cast Kurt Russell as Santa is a mystery, but thank Klaus Netflix did so in this slight but lovely live-action tale of two kids determined to capture the St Nick on camera. The 2020 sequel one-ups that inspired casting by bringing in Goldie Hawn as Mrs Claus. Somewhere, a Netflix exec is surely thinking of ways to entice Wyatt Russell and Kate Hudson into elf costumes for a threequel. 

Advertising
The Princess Switch (2018)
Photograph: Netflix

7. The Princess Switch (2018)

For some unknown reason, former High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens has become the face of Netflix’s Christmas original movies. The Princess Switch comes complete with all the hallmarks of a trashy, cheesy and irresistible festive favourite. Set in the fictional Kingdom of Belgravia (yes, really), Hudgens plays Stacy DeNovo, a Chicagoan who discovers that she bears a striking resemblance to Lady Margaret Delacourt (also played by Hudgens), the Duchess of Montenaro and fiancée of Crown Prince Edward of Belgravia. Naturally, like a candy cane take on Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, the pair agree to swap lives and romance ensues. Even better, last year Netflix released a sequel, The Princess Switch: Switched Again, last year, and will drop The Princess Switch: Romancing the Star in time for Christmas 2021. 

Love Hard (2021)
Image: Bettina Strauss

8. Love Hard (2021)

No, it’s not a Die Hard prequel about John McClane meeting his wife… although honestly, that’s not a bad idea. The premise is, frankly, a little more screwed up than that. A woman (Nina Dobrev) flies across the country to surprise the guy she met online for Christmas, only to discover that he’s not the ruggedly handsome bro from his dating profile photos but Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O Yang. Yep, she’s been catfished. But rather than jumping on the next plane home in horrified disgust, she agrees to let her faux beau hook her up with the dude she thought she was texting, who happens to live in town. It’s a little weird, and you can clearly see where it ends up from the synopsis alone, but it has a certain ditzy charm ideal for this most ditziest time of the year.

Advertising
  • Film
  • Comedy

It’s a tale as old as time: an ill-placed and cranky authority figure has their cold heart melted when they agree to put on a performance of some kind with a group of young people. Director Debbie Isitt’s festive take on the genre doesn’t quite do it as well as Sister Act or School of Rock, but there’s enough quaint English charm and Christmassy spirit in this film about a cantankerous primary school teacher (Martin Freeman) who directs his school’s nativity play to keep you entertained while the turkey is cooking.

Let It Snow (2019)
Photograph: Netflix/Steve Wilkie

10. Let It Snow (2019)

Based on the young adult novel by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle, this ensemble romantic comedy is frothier than a glass of eggnog and just a calorific. Set on Christmas Eve, it follows a group of teenagers from Laurel, Illinois who are all embroiled in various romances. There’s some cute LGBTQ+ representation, an outlandish plotline involving a pop star plucked straight from fan-fiction forums and an endgame party at a waffle house where all the romantic conflict is tied up with a ribbon.

Advertising
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020)
Image: Netflix

11. Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020)

Say no more – if Dolly Parton is involved, well, what else do you need to know? If you’re one of those curmudgeons who needs a little more info before committing to a night of twangy amusement, this is essentially an updated musical take on A Christmas Carol, with Christine Baranski as a Scroogey real estate developer and Parton as the benevolent angel pushing her to change her ways. Really, though, the whole affair is just an excuse for Dolly to lead some extended musical numbers extolling the virtues of Christmas cheer. Hey, that should be enough for anybody. 

A Christmas Prince (2017)
Photograph: Netflix

12. A Christmas Prince (2017)

There’s more plot stuffed into this so-bad-it's-good Netflix original Christmas movie than sage and onion into a turkey. Amber Moore (Rose McIver) is an ambitious young journalist who wants the scoop on Richard, the playboy prince of Aldovia, who is rumoured to be rejecting his ascent to the throne. Amber heads to Aldovia to investigate, only to get mistaken for young Princess Emily’s new tutor. In a move that would likely cause an inquest into journalistic ethics, Amber decides to play along, getting closer to the royal family and, most importantly, Prince Richard, whom she falls in love with. But when she discovers a royal secret, it threatens to expose her own lies and brings the future of the Aldovian royal family into question. As the first film in a trilogy, you won’t want to miss A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, which somehow take the concept and crank up the craziness. Which is to say, this is a series best paired with a generous pour of nog. 

Advertising
  • Film
  • Animation

Benedict Cumberbatch frees Dr Seuss’s Christmas-hating anti-hero from the grip of Jim Carrey for this computer-animated take on the beloved holiday favourite. Cumberbatch plays the Grinch as a grouchy American, all prissy and nasal and mischievous but with a sad, soft aspect too. He’s still a grump, of course, but this is the twenty-first century, so he’s a grump with issues and a bit of a backstory. This version also features Pharrell Williams as the narrator, who dips in and out of Dr Seuss’s warming rhymes, binding the film to its authentic source. And while kids will love the film, there’s enough inbuilt seasonal cheer to semi-defrost the hearts of more demanding adult viewers, too.

Christmas Crossfire (2020)
Image: Netflix

14. Christmas Crossfire (2020)

Die Hard isn’t the only Christmas-adjacent action movie out there. (Another one, Violent Night, starring David Harbour as an ass-kicking Santa, is in theatres this year.) In this German production, a guy inadvertently foils a murder plot and becomes the killers’ new target as a result, sending him on the run along with the woman he happened to hook up with the night before. All right, so it’s no Die Hard, but it balances comedy and thrills effectively enough, and leans harder into the holiday theme – no one is going to argue if this is a Christmas movie or not, so that’s a relief.   

The best Christmas movies of all time

The 50 best Christmas movies
  • Film

From psycho Santas and home-invading thieves to feelgood fireside frolics and cockle-warming cosiness, our cinematic sack is bulging with treats.

Recommended

    More on Christmas

      You may also like
      You may also like
      Advertising

      The best things in life are free.

      Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

      Loading animation
      Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

      🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

      Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!