A barrage of holiday movies arrives each year to fill our worlds with sweaters, youth, chaste kisses, and even Santa. It’s challenging to select a festive film that will satisfy all, like-ahem-some aunts. But at least one of the five titles below is sure to bring even the grouchiest of revelers into the holiday spirit.
Wired gathered various films from different streaming apps. Some have already launched, but if you search the listings, most of those are still in circulation.
Miracle on 34th Street
As Susan Walker, the wise-beyond-the-years daughter of Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara), a straight-shooting single mom executive at Macy’s, Natalie Wood is the epitome of precocious, who has often prevented her daughter from buying into make-believe.
But when Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) arrives into their lives with a Santa Claus look-alike (legally) called, he questions their mutual distaste for fairy tales, for the best.
Where to watch this film: Disney+
If you have hoped for a kinder, gentler period with the tension of 2020, few movies (holiday-themed or otherwise) are as saccharine as White Christmas. That’s not a little, really direct tip, that if you’re searching for a drop in skepticism, you’d best go somewhere else on Netflix.
This holiday romp is shamelessly nostalgic, part of its appeal, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and some of the fakest snow ever captured on video. What’s that about? Two WWII buddies-turned-big-time-showmen was putting on a dazzling Christmas time to help their former commanding officer, whose snow lodge in Vermont is about to go down.
Where to watch this film: Netflix
It was just a matter of time before they all got the Christmas bug, with the enhanced volume of original items that the big video networks such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are launching. That honor belongs to Hulu this year who gathered an incredible ensemble of actors who you wouldn’t normally want to see for the Happiest Season in a holiday rom-com (see: Kristen Stewart).
As Harper (Mackenzie Davis of Halt and Catch Fire) welcomes her girlfriend Abby (Stewart) home for Christmas, she declines to say her one thing: Harper has never said that she is homosexual to her ultra-conservative kin. Although it is a scenario that sounds like it might possibly hit the slapstick and double comprehension heights of Three’s Business, the earnestness with which it is performed by its stellar ensemble, including Dan Levy, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Mary Steenburgen, moves it nicely into the friendly gap between farce and family drama.
Where to watch this film: Hulu
Yeah, but we’re not going to say that the most family-friendly of holiday screenings is ThanksKilling, a slasher movie starring a foul-mouthed turkey. But since Christmas movies greatly outnumber Thanksgiving movies, it seems important to remember that this movie really exists, especially for those who don’t mind their pumpkin pie a little bit.
There is a sequel, ThanksKilling 3 (don’t inquire what happened to number 2), which is yours to rent on Amazon Prime, if you like what you see here.
Where to watch this film: Amazon Prime