Last Updated: December 14th
Christmas movies are a staple of the holidays. Whether it’s enjoying the same films you watched when you were little or just finding something to bring your relatives together for 83 minutes, everyone has a different reason to love those movies. The bad news is that Netflix is really lacking in holiday spirit nowadays, at least the spirit we grew up with. Where once we had Christmas classics like Elf to warm our hearts during those long winter nights, today’s selection is bare, bleak, and packed with direct-to-video sequels you’ve never heard of. Sure, Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups might work for the littlest ones in your family, but everyone else might be better off putting on the endless fireplace stream.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some worthwhile titles hidden out there, though. But who has time to sift through it all? That’s why we put together a list of the six best Christmas movies on Netflix right now, ranked.
6. White Christmas (1954)
White Christmas is one of those holiday movies that most casual Netflix watchers have probably never gotten around to watching. It was 1954’s most successful film, however, and it’s packed with some of the biggest stars of the time. It’s that one with Bing Crosby tap-dancing with Danny Kaye you may have heard about. When their army buddy characters join a sister act of performers, they’re forced to sing and dance their way to saving an unsuccessful inn run by their old military general. It’s a lovely light vehicle for Crosby and Kaye along with Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen to just do what they were known for, and the undeniable charisma of each lead carries White Christmas during the brief times between tunes.
5. The Santa Clause (1994)
A man (Tim Allen) accidentally kills Santa Claus and is then forced to take the position of international gift-giver/break and enter-er, all the while learning what Christmas and fatherhood is really about. It’s simplistic holiday favorite with lots of PG-rated shenanigans, despite being centered around a somewhat strange precedent. (For instance, what if a serial killer offed Santa? Would he really be the person we want sneaking into our homes and leaving presents for naive youths?) Tim Allen is what makes this movie works as this premiered in his Home Improvement/Toy Story hay day, even though he wan’t even the first choice (Bill Murray) or even second choice (Chevy Chase) for the role. But it’s hard to picture anyone else as the lead in this Christmas tale.