Top Christmas Movies for 2022

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If you wish to pack the remaining weeks of 2022 with enough holiday cheer to get you through the rest of winter, you have our permission — and our suggestions.

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Our list of the best Christmas movies to watch in 2022 has been updated to include the most recent streaming services. It includes childhood favorites such as Elf and A Christmas Story, timeless classics such as A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life and new releases such as 8-Bit Christmas and Happiest Season. Check out our guide to every Christmas movie and special airing on TV or streaming on your preferred streaming service, as well as our list of the best new Christmas movies on Hallmark, Parmount+, Hulu, and everywhere else, for more Christmas spirit.

8-Bit Christmas

Starring: June Diane Raphael, Neil Patrick Harris, and Sophia Reid-Gantzert

Refer to it as A Christmas Story for the modern generation. This 2021 HBO Max original holiday film stars Neil Patrick Harris as a man recalling how, as a child in the 1980s, he desperately wanted a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas, a gift that could never shoot out his eye. It is a heartwarming story drenched in nostalgia and Christmas spirit, told from the perspective of the people who love Christmas the most: kids who only care about receiving gifts.  

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Where to Watch : HBO Max

The Polar Express

Voiceover by Tom Hanks

Movie by Warner Brothers

Considering how far computer animation has come in the years since this film was released, the visual style of this film is now quite dated, but at the time of its release, it was a huge deal that Tom Hanks, who plays the train conductor, performed the motion capture for his character. A young boy’s journey by train to the North Pole on Christmas Eve is depicted in the film, which is still quite charming.

Where to Watch: HBO Max

A Christmas Story

Movie by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The 24-hour TBS marathon of this classic on Christmas is available to stream, or you can watch it whenever you want. A Christmas Story is one of the most ubiquitous films in our culture, revolving around a young boy who wants nothing more than a BB gun for Christmas. Does one of these leg lamps belong to you? I’m sure you know someone who does if you don’t.

Where to Watch: HBO Max

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Starring: Beverly D’Angelo and Chevy Chase

Easily the most memorable of the Vacation film series, this is primarily a Christmas-themed film about a variety of things going wrong for the Griswold family. Chevy Chase portrays the beleaguered patriarch who is determined to enjoy the holiday season despite the presence of his wife’s eccentric cousin, his thankless job, and malfunctioning string lights. 

Where to Watch: HBO Max

Home Alone

Starring: Macaulay Culkin

Home Alone, the film about Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), who is accidentally left behind when the rest of his family goes on vacation for the holidays, is as Christmassy as it gets. I remember this film most fondly for its bumbling villains: Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as the Wet Bandits, two burglars who become embroiled in a dangerous feud with Kevin.

Where to Watch : Disney+

A Boy Called Christmas

Starring : Henry Lawful

While the majority of new Christmas films are comedies, romances, or David Harbour sporting a Santa beard and violently destroying terrorists, few attempt to capture the enchanted spirit of the season. The 2021 British film A Boy Called Christmas tells the origin story of one of the most well-known Christmas figures. In addition, it features a cute talking mouse.

Where to Watch : Netflix

Elf

Starring : Will Ferrell and Ed Asner

Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, is a human raised by elves in the North Pole who travels to New York City one Christmas to find his biological father. I dare you to find anyone on earth who hasn’t at least seen a frame of this film, which, despite being released in 2003, seems to have been around since the dawn of time.

Where to Watch : HBO Max

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Starring : Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey portrays the iconic Christmas-hating character created by Dr. Seuss, who emerges from his cave to ruin the holiday for the citizens of Whoville. Here, Carrey is at his most Carrey-like, hamming it up while covered in green fur.   

Where to Watch: HBO Max

Die Hard

Starring : Bruce Willis

Even though we’re inundated with articles about how Die Hard is actually a Christmas movie every year (is anyone really disputing that at this point? ), that doesn’t diminish the film’s greatness. Bruce Willis portrays John McClane, a cop attempting to rescue his wife and other hostages from German terrorists at a holiday party.  

Where to Watch: Starz

Love Actually

Starring : Hugh Grant

Similarly to the annual Die Hard discourse, someone always attempts to bring up the annual Love Actually discourse, and I’m not interested in hearing about it! I enjoy this over-the-top romantic comedy about a number of intertwined love stories during the holiday season because it is so over-the-top. Every famous British person ever born in this world has a role in the film, but Bill Nighy’s story is the most touching.    

Where to Watch:  Peacock

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Starring : Macaulay Culkin

Why not check out Home Alone’s sequel after you’ve finished watching it? Lost in New York, in which Kevin (Culkin) becomes separated from his family at the airport and ends up on a plane to New York City, has a strong case for being superior to the original.

Where to Watch: Disney+

The Family Stone

Starring : Dermot Mulroney ; Everett Stone ; Sarah Jessica Parke

The Family Stone, like so many holiday films, is extremely bizarre, but this only makes it more lovable. Sarah Jessica Parker plays an uptight New York City businesswoman who visits her boyfriend’s (Dermot Mulroney) family for Christmas. Then they are all incredibly pleasant, and there is no conflict whatsoever… haha! His family, played by Diane Keaton as his mother, Rachel McAdams as his sister, and Luke Wilson as his brother, are quite critical, prompting SJP to ask her sister (played by Claire Danes) to assist her. The remainder of the film is a ticking time bomb of bizarre family dynamics, all set against the backdrop of the holidays, which I will not reveal.

Where to Watch: Starz

While You Were Sleeping

Starring : Peter Gallagher and Sandra Bullock

People will attempt to convince you that this Sandra Bullock romantic comedy is absurd, and they will be correct, but make no mistake: this is one of those absurd films that actually works. Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a transit worker who saves Peter (Peter Gallagher), a man she has a crush on, from being struck by a train on Christmas Day. Lucy becomes unwittingly involved in an elaborate lie when Peter’s family believes she is his fiancée following his coma. She goes along with the deception, further complicating matters as she grows closer to his brother.

Where to Watch: Disney+

Just Friends

Starring : Anna Faris and Ryan Reynolds

In all of its extremely mid-2000s comedy-ness, this film is somewhat hit or miss, but I think it’s actually quite good, and it’s even more enjoyable during the holiday season. An early Deadpool Ryan Reynolds plays an overweight high schooler who returns home for the holidays ten years later, reuniting with his high school crush (Amy Smart) who rejected him at their graduation party. Exist a great deal of jokes that would not fly today? Of course. Does Anna Faris also deliver a flawless performance as the eccentric pop star girlfriend of Ryan Reynolds’s character? She sure does. Sometimes that is sufficient.  

Where to Watch:  Peacock

Jack Frost

Starring : Michael Keaton , Kelly Preston , Joseph Cross , Mark Addy ,Andrew Lawrence , Eli Marienthal . Will Rothhaar , Mika Boorem.

Michael Keaton portrays a husband and father who dies in a car accident and is resurrected as a snowman; the film was a flop when it was released in 1998, but it has since become a holiday classic for many.   

Where to watch: HBO Max

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Voices of Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown), Christopher Shea (Linus), Tracy Stratford (Lucy), Sally Dryer (Violet), Karen Mendelson (Patty)

Our society could use more Charlie Brown Peanuts Christmases since they deal with depression during the most wonderful time of the year. There are numerous reasons why this cartoon has been a dependable classic for so many years, including the music, the dancing, and Linus’s adorable speech about the true meaning of Christmas. It just never gets old.

Where to Watch: Apple TV+

Last Holiday

Starring: Queen Latifah

Even if there were such a thing as too many holiday romantic comedies, this one would still make our list. After learning she has only three weeks to live, Queen Latifah plays a conventional single woman who decides to make the most of her last Christmas on Earth. She leaves her mundane department store job, takes an extravagant European vacation, and eventually falls in love with LL Cool J. It is just absurd enough to succeed.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+

White Christmas

Starring :  Bing Crosby,  Bob Wallace,  Danny Kaye, Phil Davis, Rosemary Clooney 

Two sisters with a song-and-dance act become professionally and romantically involved with two singers, and the four band together to save a failing inn. This is a simple, wholesome musical if you’re into that sort of thing.

Where to Watch : Netflix

Krampus

Starring : Adam Scott

This is the perfect film for those who can’t stand the holiday spirit and are already looking forward to next Halloween. It is based on German folklore about Krampus, a demon who comes to kill bad children, and focuses on a dysfunctional family who must band together to protect themselves from the monster. There’s a scene in which a bunch of gingerbread cookies comes to life, for instance, but that’s part of the film’s charm. Also entertaining: Toni Collette and Adam Scott star!

Watch it where:  Peacock

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Cast : Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, David Rudman, Don Austen , Robert Tygner.

This is not only the best adaptation of A Christmas Carol ever made but also one of the best Christmas films ever made, period. You are already familiar with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (portrayed by Michael Caine), but the presence of Kermit, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy instantly improves it.

Where to Watch: Disney+

The Princess Switch

Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, The Princess Switch Netflix

Why settle for one Vanessa Hudgens when two are available? At this point, Netflix has so many Christmas films that it’s difficult to know where to begin, but we recommend starting here. Hudgens portrays a duchess who switches places with a baker from Chicago (also portrayed by Hudgens) who is her exact doppelganger, and then — you won’t believe this — things get complicated. If you enjoy this film’s insanity as much as we do, there are two more in the series.. 

Where to Watch: Watch on Netflix

Little Fockers

Starring : Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro

Little Fockers, the third installment in the Meet the Parents franchise, is technically a Christmas film because it takes place during the holiday season. It’s a fact. The plot begins five years after the conclusion of Meet the Fockers and is essentially a comedy of errors about a man (Ben Stiller) who tries far too hard to impress his father-in-law. It is by far the worst of the three films, but if you’re a fan, you’re a fan.

Where to Watch: Peacock

Happiest Season

Starring: Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis

Abby (Kristen Stewart) goes home for the holidays to meet her girlfriend’s (Mackenzie Davis) family, only to discover that her partner is not out, forcing them to conceal their relationship. Please produce more gay Christmas movies. 

Where to Watch: Hulu

Love Hard

Starring : Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang

The most crowd-pleasing of 2021’s made-for-streaming Christmas romantic comedies was this Netflix original starring Nina Dobrev as a relationship advice columnist who — you won’t believe this — has her own love life problems, so she takes a chance on an online suitor and surprises him around the holidays. However, she was catfished by a shy guy (Jimmy O. Yang, who successfully transformed into the romantic comedy’s protagonist). As an apology, he tries to help her get the guy (Darren Barnet) she thought she wanted. You know what happens next, but this legitimately funny film succeeds in making you believe it.   

Where to Watch: Netflix

Conclusion 

These were our top suggestions for the Christmas holidays. Do let us know if we have included your favorite in the list. 

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