December has finally dawned, which means the holiday season has officially begun. Dollarama be damned, even though they had their Xmas stuff out since November 1st, all of us respectable folks waited until now, and for your good behaviour Netflix is rewarding you with some quality holiday films to watch.
Okay, so maybe Netflix doesn't really care about when you started celebrating the holiday season, but either way, everyone's favourite streaming-service is still cranking out a fair amount of Xmas viewing fun in December 2015.
Like with many of the additions Netflix makes throughout the year, some movies/shows are duds, and others are amazing (#JessicaJones). To make sure you don't get stuck watching some crummy Xmas flick, I've assembled some of the best Christmas/holiday movies to watch this December.
Read on below.
A Very Murray Christmas
Reinventing the classic holiday variety show, everyone favourite funny-man Bill Murray has assembled a crew of comedy genuises (and Miley Cyrus) for Netflix's very own Christmas special.
The star-studded cast includes George Clooney, Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Rashida Jones, and more. Oh, and the whole thing is directed by Oscar-nominated director Sofia Coppola, if you weren't already sold.
Jingle All The Way
Something very special happens when Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in a comedy role. Lacking any acting skill or comedic timing, the Terminator happens to be hilarious without even trying to be, and that's pretty much what carries this 90s Christmas movie you probably remember from your childhood.
The plot is thin as hell so it doesn't even deserve talking about, but it's worth nothing that, somehow, the movie ends with Arnie in a superhero costume...outfitted with a rocket pack. Yeah, get ready for some holiday silliness.
Apparently there's a psuedo-sequel to Jingle All The Way, starring Larry the Cable Guy, that's also on Netflix. I haven't seen it, so I can't tell you whether it's good or bad, but if its anything like the original, it could be so-bad-it's-good.
Since you can't watch "Love, Actually" on Netflix anymore, you're going to have to look elsewhere for your Xmas-RomCom-realness, and "Holiday Engagement" is your best bet.
Following the story of a recently-dumped woman with an overbearing mother (is there any other kind?) who (for some reason) needs to have a boyfriend for the holidays, she gets an actor to play the role of her fiancé. As is always the case, hi-jinks ensue when the fake-lationship gets a little real, and everything works out in the end in true holiday form.
"Holiday Engagement" won't blow you away, but if you need some happy feels (or to kill an hour with your SO), it will do the job.
About A Boy
Scratch that, I lied, the next best thing to watch instead of "Love, Actually" on Netflix is watching "About A Boy," starring Hugh Grant and a very young Nicholas Hoult.
Technically the film isn't entirely centered around the holidays, but the mildly douchy protagonist does support his lavish lifestyle solely through grants from a Christmas song his father wrote. Plus, the movie ends (after a few life lessons and emotional revelations, obvi) with an Xmas scene, which is enough to make "About A Boy" something of a Christmas movie.
As an added bonus, you can feel super creepy watching 11-year-old Nick Hoult while you're thinking about banging his sexy modern-day self throughout the entire film. Yay?
Somehow, Happy Christmas, starring "Pitch Perfect's" Anna Kendrick and Lena Dunham of "Girls" fame, went completely under the radar when it was released last year. Well, at least my radar, anyway. Either way, it's kind of a shame, because the film is a fairly smart, well-acted, and funny Xmas movie you'll actually enjoy.
Kendrick plays Jenny, the classic "not getting her life together" twenty-something protagonist, who goes to Chicago to live with her filmmaker brother Jeff, his novelist wife Kelly, and their infant son. Jenny's inherent kookiness rocks the family unit's boring existence, and her BFF Carson (Dunham) joins the action to reinvigorate Kelly's life.
"Happy Christmas" isn't anything groundbreaking, nor is it side-splitting-level hilarious, but it's decent all around. Then there's the added benefit of getting to watch Anna Kendrick for 82 minutes, a Christmas miracle unto itself.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Like you even need a reminder of why you should be watching our Canadian - Jim Carrey in "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," because if you haven't already seen the movie, you no doubt know the classic Dr. Seuss story.
If you're some unicorn that isn't familiar with either, here's the bare-bones breakdown: Jim Carrey is a green, furry Christmas hater (or Grinch, if you will) that wants to stop the holiday cheer in the fictional Xmas-obsessed town of Whoville, and nearly does before seeing the error of his ways.
Carrey is in top form in this classic Christmas movie, which simply begs to be re-watched every holiday season not just in 2015.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A Halloween-Christmas hybrid, which is perfect for Canada because we basically get thrown into Xmas-mode right after October 31st, this is probably my favourite holiday film of all time.
"The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a little darker than most Xmas movies, but its executed so well that the entire film is equal parts spooky, touching, and fun. Most of the characters are incredibly well-rounded, more so than in many dramas, and I've personally wanted to marry Jack Skellington since I was 5.
Fun fact: Tim Burton actually didn't direct "The Nightmare Before Christmas" as many think, he only thought of the idea and produced the film. Henry Selick is the guy who deserves the director-credit.
Not to be confused with "Santa Paws," another title available on Netflix that no-doubt follows the exact same plot, "Santa Claws" is a movie about cats and Christmas, as you could probably already tell.
There's really not much else to say about this holiday flick. But hey, since you're already obsessed with cats like the rest of the internet is, and you've got Xmas on the brain, you may end up loving the inherent ridiculousness of "Santa Claws."
Be warned if you share your Netflix account, though, because "Santa Claws" will show up in your "Continue Watching" list, and you will be judged, harshly.
Premieres December 16th on Netflix
Bojack Horseman Christmas Special
A strange blend of depressing, crude, and funny, Bojack Horseman is loved by some and misunderstood by others. If you're not all that familiar with the show (which is a Netflix original, so feel free to binge), the plot focuses on washed-up actor Bojack, who is a horse.
Yeah, the show is pretty weird, but also incredibly insightful, though it may make you cringe as much as it makes you laugh. The holiday special is no exception.
If you're already a fan of Bojack, then you should already have the Christmas Special in your queue. Those unfamiliar should watch a few episodes to get a feel for the show's humour first, or just watch the trailer above.
Kung Fu Panda: Holiday
In my opinion, Kung Fu Panda is one of the best children movie's of recent memory, although I'm a little biased given my obsession with martial arts films and Jack Black. Still, even if you don't have a penchant for over-the-top battles between CGI-animated animals, Kung Fu Panda is a pretty solid flick, and so is the holiday special.
With a voice cast including stars like Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, and, of course, Jack Black, the 26-minute special is enjoyable even if you just want to play "name that actor!" while you watch it with a younger sibling. Just don't be surprised if you totally get into it.
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
Now, if you really want a childhood flashback, or you need to entertain your young cousins over the holidays, throw on "Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas."
In all honesty, I haven't watched this animated flick, but it's Curious George, so even if it isn't all that enjoyable to a twenty-something, it'll still wash you over with waves of nostalgia. For folks more advanced in age, that may not be the best thing, as Curious George might just remind you how damn old you are.
What? Why is a movie titled "Ninja Assassin" on this Christmas list? Well, let me break it down for you.
Each and every holiday, sometime after your extended family arrives and before you're drunk enough not to be annoyed with anyone, there comes a moment where you think to yourself "wow, I want to murder everyone here."
That's where "Ninja Assasin" comes in. Instead of acting on your urge to decapitate your annoying uncle, just put this movie on, and vicariously live through the protagonist as he exacts bloody revenge on scores of people he once considered family. See? "Ninja Assassin" is totally a holiday movie.
An added bonus is getting to watch a sexy (and sometimes shirtless) Japanese dude kick ass, while also getting a break from all that damned infuriating Xmas cheer.
Bonus: Fireplace For Your Home
When you're not busy bingeing, here's something to throw on the screen to add a homey holiday vibe.
Happy holidays everybody!