Escape into the blissful holiday genre with a list of films that will last you until at least January.
57. The Princess Switch & The Princess Switch 2 (watch)
In 2018, Vanessa Hudgens made her Netflix Christmas debut with The Princess Switch, the streaming giant's foray into Hallmark holiday fare that would mark a new era for the star and the genre. Long story short, Hudgens plays double duty as a princess and a normal Chicago baker who'd given up on love. And it was a hit. The film ushered in the Netflix Original Christmas Movie Cinematic Universe, in which Hudgens met a Christmas knight and also returned for a Princess Switch sequel.
56. The Snowman (watch)
The perfect length for a quick watch before tucking in, The Snowman is a gorgeous animated tale of a young boy’s short-lived adventure with his snowman. Though it’s based on Raymond Briggs’s children’s book of the same name, the film’s themes of impermanence and innocence make it a tear-jerker for any age.
55. Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (watch)
Another Rankin-Bass stop-motion classic, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town tells the off-beat backstory of Kris Kringle himself, voiced by Mickey Rooney, with a postman-narrator voiced by none other than Fred Astaire.
54. A Christmas Prince (watch)
A Christmas Prince was one of Netflix’s first forays into the Christmas genre, and upon first glance, it’s full-on Christmas garbage. But if you really sit back and let go of the fact that you can call literally every twist and turn, then you come to realize that A Christmas Prince is actually the perfect Christmas movie. There’s no plot to follow or anything: it’s just full on Christmas spirit, bottled in the story of a journalist and a rogue prince in a country that isn’t even real.
53. One Magic Christmas (watch)
Before there were Netflix holiday movies, there was this forgotten 1985 Disney release, which flopped at the box office, in which the iconic Harry Dean Stanton plays an angel who watches over a struggling working-class family whose matriarch, played by Mary Steenburgen, experiences some close calls as she learns the true meaning of Christmas. It has the rare mix of grit and sentimentality, borrows heavily from It’s A Wonderful Life and, call us crazy, contains shades of Groundhog Day, which wouldn’t come out for another eight years.
52. Last Holiday
Queen Latifah kills it (pun intended) as a terminal patient mistakenly diagnosed by a faulty MRI machine. What ensues is a woman who has always played it safe taking her savings and embarking on a European vacation to meet her culinary inspiration. The problem with all of that is, when you don’t have a terminal disease and spend all your money, what comes next? You have to watch.
51. White Reindeer
Right before Christmas, Suzanne's world is turned upside-down when her husband Jeff dies unexpectedly. But things are thrown into even more upheaval when she discovers that he had been having an affair with a stripper—in whom Suzanne finds an unlikely friend (if potential bad influence), turning this indie feature into a sweet, sad, and raunchy sex comedy.
50. Office Christmas Party
T. J. Miller and Jennifer Aniston play feuding siblings who have different perspectives on how to run the company they inherited. Tasked with winning the business of a high-stakes client, Miller's Clay sets out throw the office Christmas party to end all office Christmas party—an event so debauched that it might end their company, too.
49. The Night Before
The Night Before is messy in the way you’d expect any Seth Rogen movie to be, but it’s also the stoner-Christmas movie that’s worth putting on your list. It’s also a perfect story for those guys you know who just refuse to grow up and eventually have time come and kick them in the ass to remind them that they’re not kids anymore, and if they were, Santa would absolutely not be stopping at their houses.
48. Jack Frost
Sure, Michael Keaton gets a Christmas movie, too. He plays a man literally named Jack Frost, who lived his life as a bitter, aging rocker and meets a tragic end in a car accident on Christmas Day. A year later, his son plays a song on his old harmonica and brings him back to life; this time as a snowman. Bad special effects might make this one more of a horror film than a heartwarming Christmas movie, but nonetheless, here it is.
47. Four Christmases
Let’s give Reese Witherspoon some play at Christmastime. In this 2008 movie, she and Vince Vaughn play a couple who have to do a grand tour of all four of their divorced parents’ homes. Have you ever wanted to analyze your childhood so much?
46. Batman Returns
Sure, it's the kind of action movie that isn't really about Christmas despite being set during the holiday season. Tim Burton's second chance at a Batman film has all of the trimmings of his similarly gothy Christmas tale, The Nightmare Before Christmas—only this one is violent, dangerous, and sexy (we dare you to name a more memorable mistletoe moment on screen).
45. Just Friends
Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart play Jamie and Chris, old high school friends wrapped up in a similar plot: Chris is in love with Jamie, and Jamie just wants to be friends. Ten years later, Chris returns to his hometown at the holidays and tries to win Jamie’s love.
44. Happy Christmas
Christmas gets the mumblecore treatment with Joe Swanberg's indie feature, which sees the flighty young Jenny (Anna Kendrick) descending upon her brother and his wife's idyllic, grown-up life and creating a fissure in their tight-knit domestic bliss.
43. The Holiday
Nancy Meyers is the Queen of Cozy, and this Christmas-set romantic comedy might be her most warm and snuggly film yet. Two women—one in London (Kate Winslet), one in Los Angeles (Cameron Diaz)—face simultaneous romantic disappointments, which leads to them swapping apartments over the holidays and, in turn, finding new men to swoon over.
42. Love Actually
Richard Curtis's star-studded ensemble romantic comedy is probably equally beloved and reviled. Even if you're a hater, you can't deny the multi-narrative film's influence on holiday-centered comedies over the last decade—and it's as cheesy of a Christmas movie as you can get on the big screen.
41. Jingle All the Way
Arnold Schwartzenegger plays a busy man who has continuously let his young son down, and promises, this Christmas, that he will get him the Turbo-Man action figure, the most coveted toy of the holiday season. But he’s not the only dad who’s made this promise, which leads to a real showdown with another father, hilariously played by Sinbad.
Jessica Riggs discovers a hurt reindeer in the woods. She soon discovers that this reindeer might be, indeed, a magical reindeer. This sound terribly saccharine, but this film also touches on some class and familial grief issues.
39. Mixed Nuts
This Steve Martin movie is an underrated Christmas flick clearly unappreciated in its time. Co-written by Nora Ephron just one year after Sleepless in Seattle, it’s got all the best qualities of an Ephron film: smart comedy, quippy lines, and a well-known leading man. At the time, this movie, about a man who manages a suicide-prevention hotline, might have been a little dark for the Rudolph-sweater-wearing set, but it’s certainly something different.
38. Happiest Season
Clea DuVall's Happiest Season is a new type of Christmas film that merges the complex world of coming out with the complex world of... you know, just hanging in there when you go to visit your family for the holidays. Starring Kristen Stewart, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, and more, the film is like a love letter to queer people depicting, a world that feels deeply familiar and aspirational at the same time.
Read the original article at www.esquire.com.