Get us in your inbox

Love Actually
Photograph: StudioCanal

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

Written by
Andy Kryza
Advertising

This year, Netflix is making a play to dominate your holiday queue, unleasing more than a dozen brand-new original films for the holiday. But while the jury is still out on whether Love Hard and A Boy Called Christmas will join such classics as A Christmas Story as holiday mainstays, Netflix is already loaded with fantastic yuletide fare. From guilty pleasures to perrennial favoites, cheesy romances to horror comedies, these are the besst Christmas movies on Netflix right now. 

Recommended: the best Christmas films of all time.

Christmas movies on Netflix UK

  • Film
  • Comedy

Like a box of chocolates that you gobble up before Christmas dinner is even served, this cutesy romcom – in which Cameron Diaz romances Jude Law in an English country cottage – should make you feel queasy. But there’s something unbearably lovely about The Holiday that reels you in. It doesn’t hurt that the LA-set secondary plot features Kate Winslet on top form as a British journalist who forges an unlikely friendship with an aging Hollywood director and gets cosy with Jack Black.

  • 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
Klaus (2019)
Image: Netflix

3. 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.

  • Film
  • Comedy

Christmas is at the heart of this unconventional but charming British romantic comedy. Hugh Grant plays Will, a grumpy and jaded bachelor who lives off the royalties of a Christmas song that his father wrote. When he meets the teenage Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), the pair become unlikely comrades, and it’s through this friendship that Will’s icy heart begins to understand the value of family Christmases. Promise it’s not as schmaltzy as it sounds: This is based on a Nick Hornby book, so you can bet that the feelgood vibes are counterbalanced with some solidly acerbic humour. 

Advertising
  • Film
  • Comedy

Richard Curtis’s ensemble comedy has become a perennial favorite for the holiday set despite the fact that a fair number of the principal characters border on sociopathy. But hey, on the holidays you take the good with the bad, and if that means balancing a tweenage meet-cute with watching Andrew Garfield stalk Keira Knightly, well, so be it. With Bill Nighy’s aging rocker Billy Mack strutting through the margins with a boozy novelty song in his heart, it’s easy to get sucked into the vibes and shrug off the fact that the Prime Minister is probably looking at abuse-of-power charges come New Year. 

  • 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. 

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. 

  • 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.

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

9. 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.

A Christmas Prince (2017)
Photograph: Netflix

10. 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.

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
        Advertising