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The 25 best festive films on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more

15. A Christmas Carol (2009) 

Where to watch it: Disney Life (UK), Amazon Video (UK/US)

This CGI-animation is based on the famous Christmas tale by Charles Dickens. Not only that, it's also Disney's third adaptation of the film after The Muppet Christmas Carol and Mickey's Christmas Carol. The big difference in this retelling is the use of motion-capture, bringing a new edge to the well-trod story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his visit from the Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future. After putting on a festive frown as the Grinch, Jim Carrey gives his second cranky Christmas performance as Scrooge with Colin Firth, the late Bob Hoskins and Gary Oldman in supporting roles. This is one for the whole family to settle back and enjoy. 

14. Just Friends (2005)

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime (UK/US)

While the Deadpool 2 Christmas spin-off, Once Upon a Deadpool, is due to hit theaters soon, you might be wanting to bring his, ahem, special brand of seasonal cheer into your home. Luckily enough, Ryan Reynolds pretty much did just that with 2005's chrimbo comedy, Just Friends. He might not be called Wade Wilson, but Reynolds' character Chris Brander behaves just like the Merc with a Mouth. Once a portly teen, Brander is now a suave, smooth, and sophisticated music industry guy who returns home to woo the girl he once loved (Amy Smart). The Christmas setting ups the romance factor and the addition of Anna Faris as a bonkers pop star ups the chuckles. 

13. Love Actually (2003)

Where you can watch: Amazon Video (UK), Netflix (US)

With the help of an A-list British cast Richard Curtis tells several Christmassy tales at once, all centred on the theme of - you guessed it - love. Hugh Grant is the fun-loving Prime Minister with a crush on his assistant, Emma Thompson is the hard-working wife whose husband (Alan Rickman) has eyes for another, Andrew Lincoln is the best man who's in love with his friend's wife (Keira Knightley), and Liam Neeson is the widower whose son is falling in love for the first time. Don't miss Bill Nighy's embarrassing old rocker routine too. Cheesier than a gigantic wodge of brie, but charming in its own way. 

12. A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime (UK), Showtime (US)

A Bad Moms Christmas is, like the first movie, honest about its aspirations. It’s not trying to reinvent the wheel, only to cram as many gags as possible into the mouths of its three leading ladies. This time around, the question facing them is simple. How do moms handle the festive season along with the regular stresses of modern living? The answer: not too well when their own moms show up. Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski, and Cheryl Hines roll into town at the last minute, each bringing their own baggage with them, making the holidays even more nightmarish for Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn. The story isn’t unique, and that’s fine, because this is all about the jokes. And there are loads. It’s easy to picture this comedy morphing into a seasonal tradition. 

11. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Where you can watch: Amazon Video (UK), Shudder (US), Hoopla (US)

An all-American small town is terrorised by loads of seasonal monsters. Who doesn't like the sound of that? Nah, I'm not talking about Gremlins but a bunch of mythic creatures from Christmas lore who descend upon Bailey Downs which, ahem, sounds like a bit of a riff on Bedford Falls. The whole gang of seasonal baddies are included in the merriment. There's Krampus, zombie elves, a pregnant ghost nun, and some of your bog standard evil spirits. Oh yes, and William Shatner takes a leading role in one of this anthology's vignettes as a DJ. See? Simple yet brilliant. 

10. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) 

Where you can watch it: Amazon Video (UK), Hulu (US)

This festive remake tugs at the heart strings, with its sentimental story about a young girl who helps save Santa. Richard Attenborough dons the red suit and big black boots as Cole's resident Kris Kringle. When the department store's former Father Christmas goads the old guy into a fight, the police put him behind bars. It's down to Matilda's Mara Wilson and her mum's boyfriend, lawyer Bryan Bedford (Dylan McDermott), to convince the courtroom that Kringle is the real Santa Claus, and that miracles do actually exist. Awww. Yes, it's a tad on the sweet side, but if you're gonna watch at least one super lovey seasonal flick, make it this one.

9. Bad Santa (2003)

Where you can watch: Now TV (UK), Sky Go (UK), Netflix (US), Hoopla (US)

Alcoholic sex-addict Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) slips on a Santa suit so he and his dwarf assistant (Tony Cox) can rob shopping malls at night. In a nutshell? That's the plot of Bad Santa. Crude, lewd, and rude, the film follows Stokes as he befriends a hopeless kid, with the superb name of Thurman Merman, and learns a few life lessons along the way. Puking, shouting, and shagging, this guy makes the Grinch look positively cherubic. If you're looking for something a bit alternative this Christmas, or want to really give your auntie a shock, give this one a whirl. 

8. The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

Where you can watch: Netflix (UK), Amazon Prime (US)

Everyone knows A Christmas Carol. Even if you don’t know it intimately, it’s such a well-loved tale that you probably know it as something else. It’s A Wonderful Life? Scrooged? They’re but two movie versions of the story, repurposed into modern tellings, bringing festive cheer and goodwill to all. But what of the man behind the story? Charles Dickens is the focus of this new seasonal flick, that casts Dan Stevens as the prolific scribe, who brings much frivolity to the role. A lightweight, fun frolic that doesn’t dabble too heartily in the darker elements of Dickens’ biography, the movie nevertheless gives an entertaining spin to the backstory of the author’s most famous work. It shows how Dickens plucked inspiration from his everyday life to populate the novel with true-to-life characters.

7. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Where you can watch: Now TV (UK), Sky Go (UK), Disney Life (US), Amazon Video (US)

Who doesn't love a good Muppet movie? They've taken over Manhattan, travelled to outer space, and here they put an animated spin on the classic Charles Dickens tale. Michael Caine gives a great grumpy performance as Ebenezer Scrooge, who - as the story goes - is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Kermit the Frog plays his book-keeper Bob Cratchit, while fellow Muppets Rizzo the Rat, Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy all make an appearance in this colourful adaptation. Jim Henson's cuddly clan come highly recommended at Christmas. What more could you want from a tale of fuzzy puppets during the holiday season?

6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Where you can watch: Amazon Video (UK), Google Play (UK), Netflix (US)

Everyone knows that tales of old curmudgeons are popular at this time of year. It's part of the spirit of the season - overcoming miserly inclinations. For this Oscar-winning movie adaptation of the Dr Seuss children's story, we follow one such figure, the grumpy old Grinch, played by Jim Carrey, who attempts to cancel Christmas. With Ron Howard in the reins this film is a festive treat, boasting bright colours and impressive make-up artistry. Dressed from top to toe in green fur with animal like features, Carrey is barely recognisable as the conniving creature who - spoilers - eventually learns the importance of Christmas. Awww. Well, you didn't think he'd still be a moody old snipe did you?