Christmas is a magical time of year, and it has inspired some truly spectacular movies that, even with some flaws, are worth watching every single year.
It's also inspired a whole lot of junk: bad sequels, poorly thought out premises, and downright creepy characters that should've never seen the light of day.
Want to see some great holiday movies worth streaming, here's our list of the best 20 Christmas and holiday movies streaming online now. Want to see what a Christmas-themed trainwreck looks like? Proceed.
1. The Santa Clause 3
Released in 1994 featuring Tim Allen at the height of his popularity, The Santa Clause is an enjoyable and rewatchable family flick that only feels creepy when you think about it too long. Given how well the original did, the sequel is mostly a harmless, forgivable excuse to get the band back together eight years later.
The Santa Clause 3? It's just bad, and that's from someone who really gets Martin Short. I'd explain why in detail, but I'll just say that it takes the basic premise of the first two movies and adds time travel to mix things up. Enough said.
2. A Christmas Story 2
Another ill-advised sequel that has no business being in the same league as the original, A Christmas Story 2 is a complete waste of time. Whenever a sequel a) goes direct to video and b) has to append "The official sequel" to the end of the title to inform you that it's not a knockoff, you know you're in for a ride.
3. Die Hard 2
Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie. And I hate to say it, but that makes Die Hard 2, with its Christmas Eve setting, one too. I'd explain why this movie is so bad, but the tagline of the movie is "Die Harder" so I think it pretty much speaks for itself (also the trailer is literally the entire movie in two minutes).
Since that's all the time this horrid movie deserves, here are some fun facts about the original Die Hard:
- Despite the Christmas setting, Die Hard debuted in July.
- Frank Sinatra, in his 70s, contractually had first dibs on the lead.
- Fox also offered the role to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- The shot of John McClane falling down the elevator shaft was a real accident with his stunt double.
4. Christmas With the Kranks
Christmas With the Kranks has a whopping 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it's simply one of the worst movies ever made. The plot is nonsensical, it's mean-spirited, and the jokes almost never land. Ever get stuck at a party with someone intent on explaining to you why something you really like is actually terrible for 99 minutes? It's the movie version of that.
Or, as one critic put it, "Stinks like the unrefrigerated ham its studio sent me as a promotion several months ago."
5. Surviving Christmas
Remember the brief moment in time when people thought Ben Affleck had a future as a comedic actor instead of a director? Yeah, this movie put an end to that. Coming out just slightly before Christmas With the Kranks and ranking at a lovely 7% on the Tomatometer, the only miracle is that we as a society decided to keep making Christmas movies after 2004.
6. Deck the Halls
Deck the Halls is profoundly unfunny, off-putting, and features some talented and once-charming actors phoning in poorly written (and surprisingly sexualized) dialogue. This movie isn't just bad, it's weird and sad and we should just stop talking about it now.
7. The Nutcracker in 3D
While most of the movies in this list feature a thin, poorly executed premise draped in holiday splendor, The Nutcracker in 3D is unique—it's a thin, poorly executed premise draped in holiday splendor in 3D! It's also really, really bad.
Rather than do what movies like Polar Express did and rely on technology to dress up an otherwise harmless adaptation of a Christmas classic, The Nutcracker in 3D goes all in. It features absolutely no ballet whatsoever and it converts the Rat King and his army into techno-futurist Nazis who electrocute sharks in the middle of musical numbers. Shockingly (no pun intended), it has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and it lost over $70M.
If you never heard of the movie before now or had somehow put it out of your memory then I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. A half hour into watching it you'll be jealous of the shark.