Okay, let's talk the best films on Netflix over the Christmas holidays. Yeah, yeah we know it's subjective but there are a few films that are an exception to that rule... you know the ones. Your best mate's favourite film that you swear you despise but secretly harbour as a guilty pleasure? Well, we're hoping to provide on that front, as well as many more.
We've done a round up of the best films on Netflix (that'll be available on Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and we are positive that we've found something for everyone. We consider ourselves Netflix aficionados, so don't worry – we aren't blindly launching into this article based on online feedback alone... no, sir.
From all time classics to guilty pleasures, from kids' favourites to only adults allowed, this guide to navigating Netflix in the Christmas holidays will ensure you can bring the cinema experience to your front room. So, grab some popcorn, have a little scroll, and get lost in the wonderful world of film!
- Oops! Need a new TV before Christmas? Find all the best TV deals in our guide
- Maybe a streaming device would help you access these movies? Don't miss our pick
10. Nativity! (2009)
If there's one thing that the Christmas holiday is about, it's family festive feels! This film featuring Martin Freeman as a Scrooge-esque primary school teacher hits the nail on the head when it comes to light-hearted, warm, energetic, family cinema. Packed full of Christmas tunes and good vibes, this story follows a primary school Nativity production with a musical extravaganza... and we kind of love it for all it's easy-watching, happy feeling. If you're entertaining little ones, just press play!
9. About Time (2013)
Richard Curtis fills his films with characters he "knows and likes", which is what makes this film such a cosy, feel-good choice for the Christmas holidays. Being let in on the secret of time travel by his father (Bill Nighy), the main character of this film uses his new-found capacity to find love. It's silly and it's lovely, as are all of the best RomComs (and Richard Curtis' are famously the best of the best). You'll laugh and cry in equal, light-hearted measure and that's why this is the movie for a rainy day... 'cos let's face it, you've been scrolling for an eternity to find one.
8. Just Go With It (2011)
Just Go With It is a fab film for families with teen kids and older. It features Jennifer Aniston as Adam Sandler's work assistant, roped in to play his pretend ex-wife for a weekend to impress his new girlfriend... which turns into a hilarious Hawaiian holiday with her entire family. It ticks all of our family film Boxing Day boxes: it's easy to watch, fun and funny (and the comedy comes from everyone from Jennifer Aniston to her cheeky, dramatic children). We recommend this film if you just want to laugh without thinking.
7. The Hunger Games (2012)
A dark, dystopian, adventure film which presents a world in which a totalitarian state dictates and makes teenagers fight to the death for TV entertainment. The Hunger Games film was released in 2012, based on a novel by Suzanne Collins, and was snatched up immediately by an audience of all ages. Exposing the dark underbelly of reality TV in a way that is palatable and accessible to a young audience was what gained this film a whole load of Teen's Choice Awards (as well as MTV and People's Choice awards). Basically, it's a must-watch and Netflix is here to help.
6. Hitch (2005)
Some people hear the word RomCom and just think... no. All they can picture is soppy, big-eyed, swooning teenage girls. However, everyone (whether they admit it or not) appreciates a good one now and again. Hitch is one of the good ones. In fact, Hitch is a great one. Will Smith is the star of the show, playing a smooth-talking date doctor and you'll love his hilarious bromance with client Albert Brennaman (described by critic Nancy Groves from the Guardian as "Bridget Jones with a beer belly"). Its refreshing twist, designating the hopeless romantic trope to the men of the film, makes this movie a fantastic watch and a god-send to Netflix!
5. Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special (2008)
Sooo, this isn't quite a film but we just couldn't leave it out! Gavin and Stacey is a comedy TV series written by James Cordon and Ruth Jones, showing the unlikely, messy and hilarious coming together of two families from Billericay, England and Barry, Wales. If you've never seen it before, beware - you'll become quickly hooked!
If you're familiar with Gavin and Stacey, we're sure that just the mere reminder of its existence on Netflix has filled you with joy and the Christmas Special (followed by the line "Ohhhh just one more!!") will be on the telly, accompanied by the inevitable sound of your howling laughter intertwined with Nessa's indifferent grumbling and Pamelar's excitable Christmas spirit.
4. Nanny McPhee (2005)
The film you need is Nanny McPhee. (Ha... you'll get it when you watch the film). If there was ever a holiday watch that will have the kids giggling without having you snoring, it's this high-spirited fairy tale like story featuring Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and a whole load of naughty children. Emma Thompson plays the wart-ridden old super-Nanny, employed by magic to teach Firth's unruly gaggle of mad children how to behave. The plot contains magic, laughter and bonkers kids... probably somewhat like your own home. As children's films go, you shouldn't miss this one.
3. Lion (2016)
Based on the true story and memoir of Saroo Brierley (A Long Way Home), Lion is a film which follows the riveting and tragic story of a young man who goes on a quest to find his family in India from whom he was separated 25 years earlier. It is brilliantly acted and powerfully impactful; Dev Patel portrays the sentiment of displacement captured in Brierley's novel so well, showing that despite living a life of comfort and happiness, his character cannot be at peace until he comes to understand the true meaning of the word 'home'. It'll bring you to tears!
2. The Theory of Everything (2014)
The Theory of Everything is a historical period drama that unveils the true story of the life of Stephen Hawking, depicted by Eddie Redmayne. This movie is compassionate and important, done really well and a great way to spend a lazy day if you're a film buff with a knack for knowledge. The science is still digestible and the love story is compelling, so if you have a few hours free and want to immerse yourself in fantastic cinema, this is your film! Definitely one of the best on Netflix, supported by its BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Academy Awards.
1. Shrek (2001)... Shrek 2 (2004)... Shrek the Third (2007)... Shrek Forever After (2010)
Shrek is one of those films that is loved by all ages. When it came out, believed to be intended for children, many parents were sat with their little ones howling with laughter (at all the bits made for the kids not to clock onto). We're delighted to inform you that you can enjoy a Shrek movie marathon on Boxing Day, if you so wish, because the cynical but lovable Ogre (Mike Myers) and his hilarious companion, Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) have graced the Netflix movie list. This fairy tale parody will have you laughing and crying and begging for more... which is why we're so glad that Netflix also has Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After.