There are only a few weeks left until Christmas. How are you celebrating one of the biggest holidays of the year? If you're not watching some of the best Christmas movies you can find, then you should absolutely remedy that. Sure, according to Buddy the Elf, singing Christmas carols might be the best way to spread Christmas cheer, but nothing beats curling up with some hot chocolate and your favorite Christmas movie.
But which one do you choose to settle down with and watch? That's a difficult question. There are a ton of holiday movies available on streaming platforms alone, and a service like Max (formerly known as HBO Max) boasts a massive catalog of films old and new all its own. Unfortunately, though most Christmas movies are nice to sit down and turn off your brain with, they aren't all complete winners. That means finding the right Christmas movie can quickly become as difficult as finding the right Christmas present for that one family member who swears up and down they don't want anything. So that begs the question: What are the best Christmas movies on Max?
Don't worry, we've got your back. We've done all the heavy lifting for you. We browsed everything Max has to offer and chose the cream of the crop to help you figure out what's worth your precious time this season. What did we come back with? A whole slew of different options for you to choose from. There are romantic Christmas movies oozing with relationships, situationships, and plenty of sappiness. Family Christmas movies sure to become seasonal traditions for kids young and old. Of course, the holiday wouldn't be the holiday without plenty of off-the-wall Christmas comedies, too. However you choose to celebrate the yuletide season, there's something special for you to watch.
So grab a tall glass of egg nog (maybe splash a little bourbon in there, too), scroll through our carefully curated list of the 15 best Christmas movies available on Max. And you can even watch some of these movies all year round. We won't tell if you won't.
'8-Bit Christmas' (2021)
Directed by Michael Dowse and based on the novel by Kevin Jakubowski, the movie takes viewers on a delightful journey back to the 1980s, where a young boy named Jake Doyle embarks on a quest to obtain the most coveted gift of the season: the Nintendo Entertainment System. Narrated by an adult Jake (Neil Patrick Harris), the film captures the essence of the era, celebrating the magic of childhood, friendship, and the enduring allure of video games. "8-Bit Christmas" blends humor, sentimentality, and retro gaming culture, making it a delightful holiday treat for both gamers and those seeking a nostalgic escape.
Talk about a gift gone wrong. If you're feeling, uh, chaotic, this holiday season, Gremlins is an excellent pick. This Spielberg-produced cult classic has it all: An adorable creature (think Baby Yoda, but with fur), booby traps and gadgetry, an unsuspecting small town and a gaggle of hilarious, but truly spine-tingling monsters. A salesman gifts his son, Billy (Zach Galligan), a "mogwai" for Christmas, a Furby-like creature that should never be fed after midnight. Billy (predictably) breaks the rules, and mayhem breaks out on the whole town on Christmas Eve. So much for silent night...
'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' (2000)
Ron Howard's live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss' iconic story is a feast for the eyes. Jim Carrey stars as the notorious grouch who descends from his mountain abode to terrorize the Christmas-obsessed people of Whoville. Only the impossibly sweet Cindy Lou Who (and her gravity-defying bouffant) can pierce through the Grinch's tough exterior. The film is jam-packed with iconic moments. One man's toxic waste is another man's potpourri. (You're kidding me!) It's because I'm green, isn't it? (Underrated banger.) And, of course: Betty! Hiiii. An all-time great line delivery. Plus, Mariah Carey wrote the film's original song, "Where Are You, Christmas," an enduring classic.
'A Hollywood Christmas' (2022)
'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' (2005)
Nothing beats Christmas at Hogwarts. Sure, the first film in the franchise, "Sorcerer's Stone," is more of a proper Christmas movie, but "Goblet of Fire" has arguably the greatest Christmas scene in the whole of the Wizarding World: The Yule Ball. It's an exquisite winter wonderland - not to mention a brief reprieve from the high-stakes main plot. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is forced to compete in the Triwizard Tournament, and things do not go well for Robert Pattinson's Cedric Diggory. But that Yule Ball! (And, of course, Hermione's frilly violet dress.) That's the Christmas spirit.
'Tom & Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers' (2014)
Tom & Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers" is a delightful holiday animation that follows the timeless rivalry between the mischievous cat Tom and clever mouse Jerry. In this festive adventure, the duo unexpectedly find themselves at the North Pole, where they join Santa's workshop team. Chaos ensues as they try to help the overworked elves prepare for Christmas. The movie cleverly blends slapstick humor and heartwarming moments, making it an ideal choice for family viewing during the holiday season. With a sprinkle of fun and a dash of warmth, "Santa's Little Helpers" captures the spirit of giving and proves that even enemies can come together to make Christmas magical.
'My Gift: A Christmas Special from Carrie Underwood' (2020)
A festive extravaganza that pairs the country superstar's powerful vocals with the warmth of the holiday season. Filmed with a blend of charm and elegance, it features timeless Christmas classics and original songs from her album "My Gift." The special not only showcases Underwood's remarkable talent but also invites viewers into a magical winter wonderland of music and holiday cheer. With heartwarming storytelling and captivating performances, it's a joyful treat for all ages that brings the enchantment of Christmas to life and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
'Santa Camp' (2022)
'A Christmas Story Christmas' (2022)
Peter Billingsley is back as Ralphie Parker in this year's "A Christmas Story Christmas," a follow-up to 1983's "A Christmas Story." The film, directed by "The Christmas Chronicles" helmer Clay Kaytis, follows Ralphie back to Cleveland Street as he mourns the passing of his beloved Old Man. Ralphie is now the authority on all things festive in the Parker household, and it's up to him to make the season magical for his two kids and aging mother. But even the best-laid Christmas plans go awry.
'Nothing Like the Holidays' (2008)
The film unfolds in a tight-knit Puerto Rican community in Chicago, where the Rodriguez family reunites for the holidays. Long-held secrets and tensions simmer beneath the surface as the family grapples with their diverse aspirations and challenges. Through laughter, conflict, and heart-to-heart conversations, the movie explores themes of love, tradition, and the power of coming together. It's a tale of rekindling bonds and rediscovering the true spirit of the holidays, offering a mix of humor and poignant moments that resonate with anyone who values family and togetherness.
There's no way you haven't already seen "Elf." But just in case you haven't, you're definitely going to want to read further. Will Ferrell shines as Buddy, a man raised by elves in the North Pole. Buddy's life takes a turn when he goes to New York City to meet his biological father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan). His elfin upbringing collides hilariously with the hustle and bustle of city life, especially as he struggles with the city's less-than-magical portrayal of Santa and his helpers. He soon wins over Walter's skeptical family, and sparks a romance with Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), all while spreading his unique brand of Christmas cheer. Don't miss it, you cotton-headed ninnymuggins.
'Four Christmases' (2008)
Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) are a couple who have mastered the art of dodging family holiday gatherings. But this Christmas, their plans are exposed, which creates a whirlwind of festive family obligations. Suddenly, they find themselves navigating not one, but four separate family Christmases - each with its own brand of crazy, courtesy of their divorced parents. How will they deal? You'll have to watch and see.
'The Polar Express' (2004)
Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's children's book is a sweet tale that the whole family will lvoe. Tom Hanks plays multiple characters, most notably the charismatic conductor of the Polar Express, a magical train on a journey to the North Pole. It gives a group of fortunate children the chance to meet Santa Claus, voiced by Hanks, and experience the fulfillment of their Christmas dreams. It may feature dated animation, but it's still one of the best Christmas adventures for viewers both young and old.
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