Looking for a great Christmas movie to entertain family? Read on for the must-watch holiday flicks and romantic Christmas movies, recommended by students, friends and Expat Living staff!
From nostalgic silver screen classics, modern cheesy romantic comedies and action packed blockbusters, we have a selection to help you find the perfect Christmas movie. After all finding a festive film to suit everyone (including any grinches) is an important tradition for many. Plus, we have included where to find each movie on Netflix, Disney+ and more.
So, grab some popcorn, lay out the festive treats and get ready to jingle all the way to Christmas with our line up of family friendly flicks, romantic Christmas movies and off beat alternatives.
Best Christmas movies for the whole family
One of the best parts of Christmas is bringing the family together. Save yourselves from the annual debate about what Christmas movie to watch and have the final sleigh with the help of our recommendations. So settle down on the couch with a nice cup of hot chocolate and let your Christmas movie tradition begin.
“This is one of my favourite Christmas movies because it makes me laugh so much and it makes me feel awesome! Elf, who is called Buddy, is like a kid in an adult’s body. He goes to New York from Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole to find his Dad. My favourite parts were when Elf chugs a large two-litre bottle of Coke in ten seconds and then he lets out a twelve-second-long and a loud burp! I also like the part where he thinks a short man is an elf and the man gets so angry with him that he jumps onto the table then leaps onto Elf. Then they fall over and it’s so funny. There is another part where he is too tall for the Santa’s Workshop and he is massive and bashes all the guys over. In the end, Buddy and his Dad get along and Buddy saves Santa. You have to watch this movie. I would rate it 9.999999/10!”
– Stanley Good (9)
Home Alone (Disney+)
“Home Alone is a film that me and my family love to watch together at Christmas. It’s a funfilled, action-packed, hilarious movie for anyone who loves to watch silly comedies. The main character is a young boy called Kevin who is accidentally left ‘home alone’ in his house by his huge family in their rush to get to the airport for their annual family Christmas holiday. While they are away, two burglars plan to rob their house without realising that Kevin is still inside. Kevin has to come up with tricks and pranks to stop them every time they try to get in. It’s my favourite movie because it makes me howl with laughter when the two robbers just fall right into all of Kevin’s funny and clever traps. Will he be able to put an end to these two naughty thieves? Watch it and find out… ”
– William McCuin (9)
“It’s a classic!”
A Christmas Carol (Disney+)
“I like this movie because it’s Christmas time in London and everybody’s happy – except Scrooge. He is a stingy man and is bitter about Christmas and the spirit of giving. He just can’t stand the thought of spending his glorious money. His clerk is almost the opposite of him. He doesn’t own much, but he always has a smile on his face. Scrooge will not celebrate the happiness around him until he is visited by his old, dead business partner who warns him about changing his ways. I enjoy watching how Scrooge is accompanied by three spirits looking into his past, present and future, and how he changes his ways”.
– Elisabeth Demichelis (9)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney+)
“Tim Burton’s stop-motion animations are always magical (if a bit macabre) and the same goes for The Nightmare Before Christmas! It’s less campy than most other Christmas films but still manages to be delightfully amusing, with some fun musical numbers.”
– Cherylene Chan
Arthur Christmas (Netflix)
“This is an incredible movie. The big, high-tech sleigh must deliver two billion presents on the current Santa’s very last mission. While that is happening, Arthur gets a letter from a girl who lives at Mimosa Avenue and wants a pink twinkle bike for Christmas. An elf called Bryony finds a present that has not been delivered. So, Arthur, Grandsanta and Bryony go on the old sleigh to give the little girl her present. They have a lot of trouble on their way. First, they lose a reindeer, then they head to the wrong Mimosa Avenue. At the end, they arrive but the sun is up… I recommend this Christmas movie to people who like adventure, humour and happy endings. This movie is great for people of all ages.”
– Amelie Follett (9)
It’s a Wonderful Life (Amazon Prime)
“To me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without watching the story of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) learning that his seemingly unimportant life has had major impact on all those around him. My mom and I used to snuggle up on the couch and watch this black and white classic every year. Now? I’m planning to introduce it to my kids this year, snuggling my own kids and feeling like my mom is right there with us.”
– Melinda Murphy
Christmas Chronicles (Netflix)
“This movie is about a brother and sister who make a plan to capture Santa on Christmas Eve. The plan doesn’t go accordingly so the children get together with Santa and his elves to save Christmas. I enjoyed watching this because the action makes you feel like you’re actually a part of the movie itself. Another part I like about the movie is that it makes me believe that Santa is really an actual real person.”
– Neha Basra (10)
Most romantic Christmas movies to get you in the holiday spirit
There’s just something about Christmas time when Orchard Road lights up and the shops are decorated with sparkling ornaments. Plus, the chance of standing under some mistletoe is at a yearly high. So there’s nothing better than experiencing heart flutters while snuggling on the couch watching a romantic Christmas movie.
With such a large selection of holiday rom-coms to pick from, here are our recommendations for the best Christmas movies for romantics to watch or stream this year!
Love Actually (iTunes)
“No matter your age, you can relate to the characters in Love Actually and what they are experiencing – unrequited love, betrayal, romance and, above all, hope. It’s set around Christmas time, so it’s the perfect Christmas movie. With so many of the top British actors in it, it’s got to be good – and it’s always nice to have a change from the generic Hollywood bunch. There’s going to be at least one character you can relate to – Bill Nighy is mine. It must be because I’m also an old groover!’
– Rebecca Bisset
Four Christmases (Netflix)
“I love Four Christmases. The dysfunctional family madness is always entertaining, and the church nativity scene (‘swaddle that baby!’) is laugh-out-loud hilarious every time I watch it.”
– Amy Greenburg
Bridget Jones’s Diary (HBO)
“Bridget Jones’s Dairy – the first one!”
– Amy Brooke-Partridge
The Holiday (Netflix)
“This one is one of my favourites ones to get me in the festive spirt. There’s an absolutely solid cast with Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Kate Winslet. It all begins with two girls from different countries who swap homes for the holidays to get away from their relationship issues. It’s funny and charming – watch it!”
– Michaela Bisset
The Princess Switch (Netflix)
Starring Vanessa Hudgens (that’s a good enough reason to watch on, right?), this is a lighthearted Christmas rom-com that keeps you coming back for more despite its slightly clichéd plot. The switch in the title refers to the Duchess of Montenaro and a baker named Stacy who happen to look exactly the same, and who transfer their identities as the festive season nears. Surprisingly, the Duchess begins falling for Stacy’s friend Kevin, while Stacy develops feelings for the Duchess’s fiancé. It’s fun and funny, and not too predictable – a feel-good movie for a cosy Christmas.
– Yimin Huang
Alternative Christmas movies to try
So you are tired of watching the same films every December, romantic Christmas movies aren’t your thing or you want something festive and fresh. We have some slightly off beat but just as good movie recommendations. From action packed blockbusters and magical fan favourites to laugh out loud classics, here are the best alternative Christmas Movie suggestions for you.
Harry Potter (HBO)
“During the holidays, I love watching any of the Harry Potter movies because they remind me of the UK – grand scenes of the British countryside, often snowy, with lots of magic woven in.”
– Amy Brook-Partridge
Die Hard (Amazon Prime)
I don’t care what people say, Die Hard most definitely IS a Christmas movie. It has all of the classic Christmas storylines. First up, Bruce Willis is trying to get home to his wife and family for the festive season. Then there’s the German terrorist villain trying to steal the joy of Christmas and millions of dollars along the way – did someone say Grinch? And the soundtrack contains some of the most iconic Christmas hits of all time. Yippee Ki-Yay – Let it Snow!
– Georgina Hockley
Dinner for One
“Every New Year’s Eve, we watch Dinner for One, a 1963 black-and-white sketch comedy that never ceases to make me laugh out loud!”
– Danielle Rossetti
Looking for more on the festive season?