Need your festive film fix? Here are 12 Christmas movies and where to stream them
We’ve scoured Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+, NOW TV and Sky Cinema for everything from this year’s new releases to your all-time Christmas classics.
Reasons to watch Love Actually, let’s see… Well, if it’s not for that scene between Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson (we still haven’t forgiven him), Hugh Grant’s shimmy-shakes, or for the giant card-flips on Keira Knightley’s doorstep, then maybe just watch it for the octopus present at the birth of Jesus Christ, (eight is a lot of legs, David).
Don’t know what we’re talking about? THEN WATCH IT ALREADY!
Amazon, Apple TV and Disney+
We never get bored of eight-year-old troublemaker Kevin MacCallister and his holiday hijinks at this time of year.
When Kevin’s family accidentally leave him behind on their vacation to Paris, he suddenly finds himself (spoiler alert) home alone. But what starts off with a little festive fun in indulging in all the things he normally isn’t allowed to do – ordering pizza, jumping on his parents’ bed, making a right old mess – Kevin soon finds himself the man of the house, and the only one who can protect his family home from the schemes of two dedicated but not-so-capable burglars.
A Boy Called Christmas
Based on the first in a series of children’s books by bestselling author and mental health campaigner Matt Haig, A Boy Called Christmas tells the story of the origins of Santa Claus.
A young boy named Nikolas ends up on a magical quest to discover the fabled village of Elfhelm. Joining him on his journey are his loyal mouse, Miika, and a headstrong reindeer. With a supporting cast that includes icons Jim Broadbent, Dame Maggie Smith and Toby Jones, this new release promises to be as Christmassy as it comes – and is a sure-fire future classic.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Amazon and Apple TV
Everyone should watch a festive classic at least once a year and Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the best there is.
Jimmy Stewart plays frustrated businessman George Bailey who, after a run of bad luck, has to wade through a river-load of misery. But when a gentle angel named Clarence comes down from heaven, he shows George what life would have been like if he had never been born – with some startingly revelations.
A black-and-white classic with a heart of gold, you’re guaranteed to be feeling all warm and fuzzy when the credits roll.
Definitely a surprisingly heart-warming rom-com – for more unexpected reasons than a Hollywood love story – The Holiday became a festive smash-hit back in 2006 and has stayed in our top 10 Christmas movies ever since.
The premise? British journalist Iris (aka woman, myth, legend Kate Winslet) and LA-based movie trailer maker Amanda (Cameron Diaz) house swap for the holidays, after they both find themselves in desperate need of a little R&R. But what happens is that both women end up with the other’s emotional baggage – leading to two unexpected love stories.
It’s a right Christmas pudding this one: nice to look at, gooey in the middle and a heart of gold.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Amazon, Disney + and Apple TV
We’re not sure what it says about us when our favourite adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carolfeatures Kermit the frog, Miss Piggy and co., but hey ho – we are what we are.
Gonzo takes on narrating duties as Dickens, while Kermit is Bob Cratchit and the legendary Michael Caine stars as Ebenezer Scrooge – a cold-hearted, bad tempered and bitter old miser who is visited by three spirts on Christmas Eve and must find redemption.
Last Train to Christmas
Sky Cinema and NOW TV
Good Omens star Michael Sheen and Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel both appear in Sky’s intriguing new time travel comedy, Last Train to Christmas.
Beginning in 1985, we follow nightclub manager Tony Towers as he grabs a train to Nottingham for a family reunion with his fiancée Sue and brother Roger. However, something appears very strange about this journey. As Tony moves up and down the train, he finds himself travelling forwards and backwards though his life – with his actions in some carriages affecting his life in the next.
A romantic comedy based entirely around the music of George Michael, so you already know you’re onto a winner.
GoT’s mother of dragons, Emilia Clarke, plays Katrina: an aspiring singer recovering from a major operation, who spends her days working a dead-end job as a Christmas Elf in central London, her evenings flirting and getting as wasted as possible and her nights sofa-surfing among her ever-dwindling friendship group. That is, until she meets the tall, dark and handsome Tom Webster…
Amazon and Apple TV
Here’s another traditional festive delight and it’s absolute quality. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play army buddies and former Broadway stars, who finds themselves singing and dancing for the troops on Christmas Eve 1944.
Directed by Michael Curtiz – who brought us one of the most famous wartime romances ever with Casablanca– and with songs by legendary composer Irving Berlin (including the world-famous titular tune), if you love the golden age of Hollywood then White Christmas is for you.
Perhaps unexpectedly, Elf very quickly became a cult Christmas classic. But it’s certainly not hard to see why. Packed full of laughs, sweet moments and holiday cheer, it’s a movie many of us come back to year after year for our festive film fix.
Buddy (Will Ferrell) is (unknowingly) a human who just so happened to be raised by Santa’s elves. But when he finally discovers the truth, he embarks upon a journey to New York City in an attempt to find his birth father, who is also on Santa’s naughty list. From Buddy experiencing the delights of the Big Apple to his childlike view of the world, Elf truly is a healthy dose of Christmas magic.
Amazon, Apple and All 4
This one has a special place in our hearts. From David Bowie’s intro to the amazing musical score by Howard Blake, the rendition of ‘Walking in the Air’ to the colourful, swirling pastel animation, The Snowman is pure Christmas charm.
At a mere 26 minutes long, the adaptation of Raymond Brigg’s wonderful book is exquisite and deserves to be seen again and again by children (and adults) of all ages.
The Amazing Mr Blunden
This remake of the classic family ghost story is set to be one of the highlights of Sky’s festive offering this year.
After a chance encounter with a mysterious old man, modern London teenagers Jamie and Lucy – along with their mother – find themselves the new caretakes of a supposedly haunted country mansion. Sure enough, when they arrive, Jamie and Lucy discover a pair of ghost children who, it soone emerges, have travelled back from the past with a vital message: they are going to be murdered by a wicked couple, and need urgent help.
And so, with Mr Blunden’s help, Jamie and Lucy must travel back to 1821 on a crucial rescue mission – but will their help be too late?