Not to be a total Grinch, but part of the reason the holidays are so exasperating is because we do the same things: watch the same movies, listen to the same music, eat the same food. But Elf isn’t that funny; the live-action Grinch gives me the heebie jeebies, and Home Alone gets old after watching it more than three times. But in the magical time between Christmas and before New Year’s Eve, there’s nothing better than putting than cozying up and watching movies — and that’s where non-Christmas Christmas movies work their magic. They are movies where Christmas isn’t the entree but maybe an appetizer, where there’s a feeling of Christmas without the plot explicitly being about Christmas. Read on for 16 of our favorite underrated Christmas movies to stream over the next week.
Johnny Depp is everyone’s favorite little weirdo who is most beloved — and useful — at Christmas, in this heartwarming scene where Winona Ryder looks outside and sees him crafting the most beautiful ice sculpture angel you’ve ever seen in your life as she dances in the ice. (Amazon Prime Video)
Bridget Jones perfectly captures how soul-draining the endless deluge of questions about what you’re “doing with your life,” and if you’re “seeing anyone special” that comes with Christmas. And also the antidote: partying a lot until you decide to slowly and methodically get your sh*t together! (Paramount+)
Harry Potter is Christmas-y because I can’t think of anything more Christmas than having a deeply dysfunctional family and drinking butter beer at a British Christmas market. So cozy! (HBO Max)
Can’t say enough good things about this movie: Sarah Jessica Parker is socially inept and even cringier than And Just Like That, Luke Wilson is the older brother who’d definitely smoke you out, Rachel McAdams is a downtrodden 20-something wearing a Dinosaur Jr. shirt, and Diane Keaton has an endless supply of impeccable at-home Christmas fits. (Peacock)
The only movie that does justice to Jack Black as a sexual being, The Holiday remains one of the greatest non-Christmas Christmas movies, where we get to watch Cameron Diaz dance wasted to “Mr. Brightside” and make out with Jude Law while Kate Winslet lives her best life in a Nancy Meyers California dream mansion. (Hulu)