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films to stream for the festive season (US)

streamUSxmas

What’s festive and what’s available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Amazon Instant Video

available on Prime

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Blackadder’s Christmas Carol: anyone with an ounce of sentiment will be thoroughly appalled by this gleeful, entirely mean-spirited savaging of Dickens; a welcome dose of cynicism in the sugarplum season [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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Joyeux Noël: devastating film about the “Christmas truce” of 1914 that saw French, British, and German soldiers leave their trenches to celebrate the holiday togther [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: cheesy 60s sci-fi adventure is so bad it’s must-see [at Amazon Instant Video]
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Scrooged: a witty satire on television, with Bill Murray exuded his usual combination of smarm, insouciance, and demented charm as an 80s greed-is-good Scrooge [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

for the whole family

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A Christmas Story: middle-American 1940s nostalgia is a big pile of wonderful [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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Home Alone: kiddie slapstick at its finest as little Macaulay Culkin battles Christmas burglars [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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Miracle on 34th Street: what if Santa were real? would it be crazy to believe in him? [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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The Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween honcho Jack Skellington takes over Christmas; musical comedy ensues [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

grownups only

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Bad Santa: Billy Bob Thornton is a bitter, drunken, misanthropic, sex-addicted department-store Santa/thief in the meanest, curmudgeonliest, blackest holiday movie ever [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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The Family Stone: smart, insightful flick about the tyranny a tight-knit loving family exudes when circling wagons to protect one of its own at holiday time [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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Love Actually: Richard Curtis’ delightful romantic roundrobin, with a fantastic all-star cast and a generous flavoring of Christmas spirit [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale: wonderfully bizarre Finnish movie based in pagan folklore about how the being we know as Santa Claus today was, in fact, a horrific medieval scourge [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

Netflix

grownups only

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Blackadder’s Christmas Carol: anyone with an ounce of sentiment will be thoroughly appalled by this gleeful, entirely mean-spirited savaging of Dickens; a welcome dose of cynicism in the sugarplum season [my review] [at Netflix]
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The Fitzgerald Family Christmas: bittersweet, down-to-earth drama about the familial upheaval that the supposedly happy holidays bring; a gem from filmmaker Ed Burns [my review] [at Netflix]
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Scrooged: a witty satire on television, with Bill Murray exuded his usual combination of smarm, insouciance, and demented charm as an 80s greed-is-good Scrooge [my review] [at Netflix]

for the whole family

green light
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween honcho Jack Skellington takes over Christmas; musical comedy ensues [my review] [at Netflix]

  • Jurgan

    Several Christmas movies are in the public domain and can thus be seen on youtube. Both the Alistair Sim and the George C. Scott versions of A Christmas Carol are available, and also It’s a Wonderful Life.