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10 Festive Movies To Binge This Holiday Season

Dec 24, 2020

It's the most wonderful time of the year... It's holiday season, baby! Before you endure that family dinner with your cool auntie and weird uncle, rip open your presents, and pump Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' 24/7, embody the holiday spirit by watching some festive films. We've got cult classics to new hits, and even if you don't celebrate Christmas, they're all bound to be an entertaining watch for any Screen & Media junkie while you're in the no-responsibilities zone.

 

Happiest Season (2020)

This year has been a watershed moment for queer holiday stories; see A New York Christmas Wedding, The Christmas Setup, etc. But among them all, Happiest Season—starring huge names like Kirsten Stewart, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and more—has been the one to generate the most hype. Directed by legend Clea Duvall, the film revolves around Abby and Harper, a lesbian couple who spend the holidays with Harper's family, only for Abby to discover that Harper has yet to come out. More than just a Christmas tale, you're bound to shed a sad AND happy tear while watching.

You can watch it in: Theatres

 

Dash & Lily (2020)

Ok, so it isn't a movie; we're cheating! But Dash & Lily is worth it: an eight episodes long series about two teenagers who learn to embrace life by trading dares, dreams and desires through a notebook they pass back and forth. Avoiding the New York City tourist traps, the show has been praised for its sincerity and genuineness that goes beyond the average holiday story; a "You've Got Mail for Generation Z".

You can watch it on: Netflix

 

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

This one's perfect for the families, and especially if you want to turn away from reality and experience that old-school Christmas spirit. Centred around a toymaker who's lost his magic, young and bright Journey is the one who helps Jeronicus the inventor reclaim his inspiration. It's maximalist, colourful, and over-the-top; a musical comedy-drama with an all-Black cast featuring Forest Whitaker and Keegan-Michael Key

You can watch it on: Netflix

 

Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020)

Did you think we weren't going to put the new Dolly Parton special on this list?? The country queen is here to offer you a campy reimagined Scrooge musical. Following Christine Baranski's character—a Christmas hater—and set to 14 original Dolly Parton songs, this version of A Christmas Carol  has the internet freaking out about all its plot twists and cheesiness. 

You can watch it on: Netflix

 

The Christmas Chronicles 1 & 2 (2018 & 2020)

Back when the original Christmas Chronicles was released in 2018, people were expecting another bland movie with jokes that never landed. Instead they got what felt like a new holiday classic. Now, the sequel has just appeared on the scene, with much of the original cast retained, alongside the perfect addition of Goldie Hawn as the Mrs. Claus to Kurt Russell's Santa Claus (both are married in real life).

You can watch it on: Netflix


Noelle (2019)

Disney has always been at the helm of Christmas movies, so it's no surprise they've released the feel-good Noelle this year on their exclusive streaming platform. Bill Hader — who has been killing it in the industry lately — stars as Nick Kringle, a Santa-in-training who just doesn't have that holiday spirit. When his sister Noelle (played by Pitch Perfect icon Anna Kendrick) suggests he take a break, he disappears, and she sets off on a search mission to Phoenix, Arizona to find him. With a cute fish-out-of-water plot set against a kitsch background, it's the perfect film for Christmas-obsessors who need a cheer-up before they go back to work.

You can watch it on: Disney+


Klaus (2019)

Santa has never looked so cool in Animation. Netflix's first original animated feature Klaus is a Spanish-American comedy written and directed by Sergio Pablos from SPA Studios, who has worked on Disney classics like Aladdin, Hercules, Tarzan, and more. It follows the tale of lazy postman Jesper (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) who teams up with an old toy-maker named Klaus (J.K Simmons) to gift toys to nice children in a small icy village. Not only is it a fresh take on the story of Santa Claus, but the animation embraces new technologies while harking back to the hand-crafted films of the past.

You can watch it on: Netflix


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Just as Die Hard is a Christmas film for the non-Christmas lover, so is Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Even if you're not into neo-noirs or black comedies, it's worth it to see a young Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in brilliant comedic roles. The former plays Harry, a thief who accidentally lands a Hollywood role as a private investigator, and the latter as a P.I who is hired to give him on-the-job experience. They find themselves wrapped up in a real case, and the murder mystery is set against a festive background of red and green decorations and fairy lights. If you liked The Nice Guys, you'll definitely enjoy this.

You can watch it on: YouTube, Google Play


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Tim Burton is a legend in creating off-beat, magical worlds that we've never seen before, and The Nightmare Before Christmas is no different. Both a Halloween and Christmas movie, the film follows Jack Skellington, the leader of Halloween Town, who discovers a portal to Christmas Town and decides to take over the holiday. It goes horribly wrong, but with the mesmerising visuals (for which it won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects) and engaging story, this is one that never gets old.

You can watch it on: YouTube, Google Play, Foxtel, Disney+


Home Alone (1990)

You can't have a holiday movie list without the iconic Home Alone and the catchy one-liners that have persisted throughout the years. Macaulay Culkin plays eight-year-old Kevin McCallister who's accidentally left at home while his family rushes to the airport for a trip to France. When two burglars try to rob the home, Kevin fends them off with a series of booby traps and slapstick humour. Written by legendary '80s movie connoisseur John Hughes, you can't not have Christmas without Home Alone.

You can watch it on: YouTube, Google Play, Foxtel, Disney+

hONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Love Actually, Elf, Christmas With The Kranks, Die Hard, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Jingle All The Way, Polar Express, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and all the Hallmark movies.

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