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Top Ten Best Christmas Movies To Watch (And Where to Stream)

Our guide counts down the best Christmas movies to watch with your friends and family this holiday season!

The holiday season is a great time to kick back with family and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while watching all the holiday classics. Whether you’re into Hallmark holiday rom-coms, prefer stop-motion films, or enjoy nostalgic classics, there’s something to get everyone in the holiday spirit. We’ve put together a list of ten of the best Christmas movies ranked by Rotten Tomatoes score — as well as some honorable mentions — and where you can stream them!

Celebrating Chrismukkah? Check out our list of the top 10 Hanukkah films for more recommendations!

How to Stream Your Favorite Christmas Films

The options are endless when it comes to streaming all the best Christmas movies this holiday season. Many ISPs offer streaming packages that can be bundled with your cable to make sure you don’t miss a single holiday movie, no matter where you get your content. There are plenty of free, safe streaming options available, such as freevee, in addition to the more well-known streaming services, like Disney+, Paramount+, Netflix, Apple TV+, and Peacock. All you need is a fast, reliable Internet connection to enjoy your favorite holiday movies anywhere!

The Best Movies to Enjoy this Christmas

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) - 49% Rating

A live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss's classic tale. The Grinch (played by Jim Carrey) has been an outcast all his life and has finally had enough of the holiday cheer coming from Whoville. He decides to ruin Christmas for the Whos with his helpful, albeit forced, loving dog Max. In the process he reluctantly befriends Cindy Lou who tries her best to bring him joy, include him in the festivities, and make him feel special.

Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Taylor Momsen

Streaming: Max (formerly HBO Max), VUDU, Amazon Prime Video

9. The Polar Express (2004) - 56% Rating

This animated film, inspired by the cherished children’s story, features a boy who has lost his belief in the magic of Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, a magical train shows up outside his home and whisks him, as well as many other children, to the North Pole. He is skeptical but makes friends along the way on his journey to rediscovering the magic.

Cast: Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, Nona Gaye, Daryl Sabara

Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Max, VUDU, and AMC+.

8. Love Actually (2003) - 64% Rating

This romantic comedy, set in London, tells multiple stories of individuals navigating the holiday season. As it turns out, many of them are linked in different ways. The story is a heartwarming tale of the complexities of the emotion that binds us all : love. It features themes of taking chances and grand gestures all for the glory of love and happiness, especially during the holidays.

Cast: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman

Streaming: Showtime, Fubo.

7. Home Alone (1990) - 65% Rating

In this film, we watch as Kevin McAllister’s family sets out on their Christmas journey to Paris and accidentally leaves him behind. He is now the man of the house and able to do whatever he pleases, including go through his brother’s belongings and eat whatever he wants. However, all the fun comes to an end when he is forced to defend his home from two conniving burglars.

Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

Streaming: Disney+, VUDU, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu.

6. The Santa Clause (1994) - 73% Rating

This adorable family film features Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) as a successful but divorced dad who is responsible for Santa falling off his roof on Christmas Eve while home with his son Charlie. When Scott puts on Santa’s suit, he and Charlie are whisked to the North Pole where they are informed he is now Santa Claus. Despite his best efforts to brush it off as a dream, he slowly but surely begins to realize the magic of Christmas and strengthens his relationship with his son in the process.

Cast: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Eric Lloyd

Streaming: Disney+, VUDU, Amazon Prime Video

5. White Christmas (1954) - 77% Rating

This musical features two song-and-dance acts and follows sisters Betty and Judy and Army vets/friends Bob and Phil. After WWII, Bob and Phil became successful performers on Broadway and are asked by one of their war comrades to check out his sisters’ act. The pairs team up to travel to Vermont and perform a Christmas show for the troops at an inn, which they come to learn is run by the men’s former commander. The group must work together to save the inn which is on the brink of bankruptcy due to a lack of snow and no visitors.

Cast: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen

Streaming: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, VUDU

4. Elf (2003) - 85% Rating

A comedy about a lovable elf named Buddy, a human raised by elves, who must travel to New York City in order to save Christmas. He is distraught when he discovers that his biological father, who is unaware of Buddy’s existence, is on the naughty list and must find him to get him back in good standing. He gets into all kinds of shenanigans as he explores the city, meets his family, and finds love, all in the name of Christmas cheer.

Cast: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel

Streaming: Max, Amazon Prime Video

3. A Christmas Story (1983) - 89% Rating

A nostalgic comedy set in a small town about a young boy named Ralphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Ralphie navigates his cross father and adoring mother in the hopes of his dreams coming true with that one special present. Along the way he runs into all kinds of trouble and humorous situations — leg lamp anyone?

Cast: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

Streaming: Max, VUDU, Amazon Prime Video, and TBS during the holiday season.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) - 94% Rating

When George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) wishes he had never been born amid financial distress, a guardian angel shows up in Bedford Falls to enlighten him. The angel, Clarence, transports George to a world in which he never existed, leading him to realize the impact he’s had on those around him and his community.

Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Henry Travers

Streaming: Available for purchase on various platforms like Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and Google Play.

1. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - 96% Rating

In this American classic, Kris Kringle is persuaded to play Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. After his stellar performance, he is hired to serve as Santa at the 34th Street Macy’s in NYC. He becomes a crowd favorite for his positivity, honesty, and helpfulness, bringing new customers into the store. Eventually he insists he’s the real Santa, putting his sanity into question and leading to a court case where he must prove his identity.

Cast: Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara, Edmund Gwenn

Streaming: Disney+, VUDU, Amazon Prime Video

Honorable Mentions

There are so many great Christmas movies to enjoy that we couldn’t include them all, so here are some extras that we love to watch this time of year!

  • A Christmas Carol (1984) : In this adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, angry, old man is visited by three Christmas ghosts who try to inspire him to find the Christmas spirit and become more generous.
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) : The Griswolds are preparing for Christmas, including hosting their extended family. But nothing is ever smooth sailing for Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) as he navigates finding the perfect tree, dealing with obnoxious houseguests, setting up the perfect decorations, and trying to snag a holiday bonus.
  • Falling for Christmas (2022) : Sierra (Lindsay Lohan) is a spoiled heiress with the perfect life following her recent engagement. Following a ski accident that causes amnesia, she is rescued and cared for by a handsome stranger and his daughter.

Looking for More Christmas Films?

Didn’t see your favorite Christmas movie? Sad to see that Die Hard wasn’t included? Don’t worry, you can discover even more holiday classics in our holiday streaming guide. You’ll find many more Christmas films to watch based on genre and rating and where to stream them, so you can find the options that are just right for you and yours this season!

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