That’s it, the Christmas countdown is on! With the year we’ve all had, it’s hard not to want to get shoulders deep into the festivities ASAP. Whether you have your decorations up, or are yet to dig them out of the cupboard, you can still get into the mood with our Netflix Christmas film Advent Calendar Countdown.
Originally, this article was just going to be run-of-the-mill top 10. However, there’s just so much festive Christmas content on Netflix, we thought we’d do our very own version of an advent calendar, the best way we know how… with films.
After watching the majority of the Christmas films on Netflix, below are 24 films we believe will get you in the festive mood between now and the big day. There is a mix of animations, classics and Netflix’s own to get your teeth into.
So, get out the mince pies, chocolates, or both, and don your Christmas onesie as you get ready for a film marathon like no other.
Tuesday 1st December watch:
The Holiday Calendar
The first on our list is a 2018, Netflix own, romantic comedy. The Holiday Calendar is the best way to start off our countdown as it’s about an advent calendar – what a match. It is also the perfect mix of cheesy Christmas acting and feel-good outcomes, with a dash of festive fantasy. After watching this film, you’ll be looking through your grandparents’ attic for your very own magic antique holiday calendar.
Wednesday 2nd December watch:
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
If you feel December 2nd is still too early for you to celebrate, you will be in good company with Dr. Seuss’ the Grinch. This version of the story has to be our favourite. Okay, Jim Carrey’s ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ is great. But the 2018 film not only has Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of The Grinch, but the talented Pharrell Williams as the narrator. This classic story is a must watch around this time of year and, just like the Grinch, Cindy-Lou Who and the villagers of Whoville will really get you in the Christmas mood.
Thursday 3rd December watch:
Let It Snow
When you think ‘teen movies’, you probably imagine coming-of-age, anxious young people trying to fit in. Lot’s of unrequited love, cliques, college worries, underage parties and unrealistic romance. Well, this movie has all this and more, including Joan Cusack, hanging around covered in tinfoil, being her perfectly quirky self… we love it. Following a Love Actually/Valentine’s Day style format, you follow several different stories about a group of teens on Christmas Eve. It’s heart-warming, funny and full of all the Christmas feels.
Friday 4th December watch:
It’s time for another Netflix original, and this one is an animation. An imaginative story of how Santa Claus came to be. It’s centred around a postman who was made to work in a very undesirable location called Smeerensburg. The original story is written and directed by Sergio Pablos, who also wrote the original storyline for Despicable Me. So you’re in good hands and got a lot of humour coming your way.
Saturday 5th December watch:
Holiday In The Wild
Taking you out of the winter snow and off to warmer climates is this 2019 romantic comedy, starring Sex and the City’s Kristin Davis. Holiday In The Wild is a simple, heart-warming story: there’s no bells or whistles, just elephants and a good ol’ fashioned romance.
Sunday 6th December watch:
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
If you’ve missed theatre this year, and could do with a festive family musical, Jingle Jangle is for you! From the first scene, you are transported into an imaginary world of wonder. New for 2020, you’ll join Jeronicus (played by Forest Whitaker), who was an eccentric yet brilliant toymaker. He is transported back to his glory days when his granddaughter Journey (played by Madalen Mills) comes to live with him. The film is full of bright colours, catchy songs and magic. There are also appearances from Hugh Bonneville and the voice of Ricky Martin.
Monday 7th December watch:
This one is a slightly different pace to the other films. The concept of a scary Christmas movie might sound odd, but it’s actually pretty good. It’s got everything you need in a good family scarefest. Including an unruly younger son, a creepy grandmother and a wise-cracking aunt who teaches the kids how to make cocktails (basically, who I aspire to be). Amongst the scares, the film has some comedic lines and scenes woven into the dialogue and visuals.
Beware: this one is not suitable for a younger family audience. It is a certified 15, similar to a good old 90’s Goosebumps episode in tone.
Tuesday 8th December watch:
Christmas with the Kranks
Let’s face it: at one point or another, I’m sure we’ve all wanted to skip Christmas. That’s exactly what Luther (played by Tim Allen) and Nora (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) tried to do in this 2004 festive classic. It’s hard to not get a little annoyed by their neighbours, as they try to force them to celebrate Christmas. Especially when it comes to the ‘Frosty The Snowman’ debacle (which you will understand when you watch it).
Wednesday 9th December:
Now, while it may not have quite achieved the popularity of Love Actually (which isn’t on Netflix). The Holiday is arguably up there as one of the best Christmas rom-coms. Again, they went all out with the casting on this one, with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz playing the leading females, and Jude Law, Jack Black and, one of Hollywood’s greats, Eli Wallach, as their male counterparts. This 2006 film, truly is a winter warmer and should definitely be on everyone’s list.
Thursday 10th December watch:
A lot of the films on this list, and indeed on Netflix, are romantic comedies – after all, Christmas is the season for love. However, Christmas is also the season for families and for being together, and that definitely comes across in the 2019 Netflix Original, Holiday Rush. There’s a light smattering of romance, but this film is more about looking around at who you have in your life, rather than what you’ve got.
Friday 11th December watch:
If by 11th December, you’re still not feeling the festive cheer, it’s time to get out the big guns… all three of them! Nativity 1, 2 and 3 are all on Netflix, and the perfect Christmas films to watch. They are full of quintessential British humour and cute children. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve watched them all before, as they are so rewatchable and a true Christmas classic. Plus, the first one stars Martin Freeman before he was Bilbo Baggins.
Saturday 12th December watch:
Christmas Made to Order
Who doesn’t love a bit of unrealistic romance this time of year? It’s nice to let go of our inner cynic and believe in true romance, something made much easier with this 2018 romantic comedy. Christmas Made to Order is full of comedic and sentimental moments, and it’s got a great soundtrack.
Sunday 13th December watch:
This film is made by Hallmark. So you should know what you’re getting yourself into when you press play. There will be a lot of cheese, romance and warm Christmas feelings, with a dash of predictability. It’s perfect for a cold Sunday afternoon.
Monday 14th December watch:
A Christmas Prince
Just like with Nativity, A Christmas Prince is the Christmas film that just keeps giving. There are now three of them. So you choose between A Christmas Prince, A Christmas Prince – The Royal Wedding and A Christmas Prince – The Royal Baby, or just binge all three! You might have seen films like this before (cough The Prince and Me cough). But these films are slowly gathering a cult following, and I’m pretty sure next year there will be A Christmas Prince 4 of some description. Maybe A Christmas Prince – The Royal Twins? You never know.
Tuesday 15th December watch:
Operation Christmas Drop
This year, another Netflix romantic Christmas movie hit the playlist: Operation Christmas Drop. It’s a bit of a change to your normal Christmas film setting as, instead of snow and hot chocolate, there’s sun, sand and helicopters. But, there is still romance and the odd Christmas hat.
Wednesday 16th December watch:
We couldn’t have a list of Christmas films without a shout out to the singles that are fed up with being single over the Christmas period. The Netflix description of this film is: “All they want is someone to drunk-mock strangers with on the holidays. No pressure. No romance. And no chance it’ll lead to love.” You may read that and think ‘this look’s predictable’… and you would be right. But it’s still a great movie, full of laughs and it’s Christmas, so why not indulge?
Thursday 17th December watch:
El Camino Christmas
Tim Allen is back, with an action/black comedy film that will get you giggling in your eggnog and doing shocked faces to your elf on the shelf. If you’re like us, who believe Die Hard is a Christmas movie (it is!), then this one’s for you.
Friday 18th December watch:
Christmas with the Coopers
This film is set around a family Christmas the way it should be: pure chaos! It is packed full of famous faces, including Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms and Family Guy’s Lois Griffin – Alex Borstein – just to name a few. The film shows four generations of Coopers, all with their own stories, coming together for a reunion on Christmas Eve.
Saturday 19th December watch:
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
Come on, who doesn’t love Dolly? If you liked her Heartstrings series, you will love this! As you may have guessed, this is a musical. The film is a light take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring Christine Baranski, Jenifer Lewis and, of course, Dolly Parton herself. Now, it may be a little cheesy in places, but it is very entertaining, heart-warming and full of Dolly tunes. See, what’s not to love?
Sunday 20th December watch:
The only film we’ve included on this list without watching, at the time of writing, Angela’s Christmas is yet to be released. However, judging by the trailer, this 40-minute short film is going to be one of this year’s must-watch Christmas animations. The film will be released on 1st December.
Monday 21st December watch:
A Bad Mom’s Christmas
2017’s A Bad Mom’s Christmas is as funny (if not more) as the original Bad Mom’s film and has such an incredible cast. Alongside our original moms, Mila Kunis, Kirsten Bell and Kathryn Hahn, are acting legends Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines. All 6 actresses bring a huge dose of humour, some drama, a little conflict and a stocking load of Christmas cheekiness. Just what we have come to expect from our bad mums.
Tuesday 22nd December watch:
Another easy Christmas romance is this Netflix Original. It’s a classic, humbling riches-to-rags story about a wild child that’s soon to inherit the title of CEO from her dad. But, after some bad behaviour, she is sent to her dad’s hometown to hopefully learn something from the locals in the lead up to Christmas.
Wednesday 23rd December watch:
By far, one of the best Christmas animations, and one of the best underdog stories. Perfect for the whole family, Sony Pictures Animation really knocked it out of the park with this one. The animations, storyline and characterisations are top-notch. Plus, there are some amazing one-liners we’ll be repeating for Christmases to come, such as “everything’s better with a bow” and “Hey Soldier, get off your baubles”. It’s another one with a host of famous voices, including James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy and Ashley Jensen, among many others. If you haven’t watched it, you need to.
Thursday 24th December watch:
The Christmas Chronicles 1 and 2
We’ve saved the best until last. You can’t get to Christmas without watching this epic adventure. Even though this film was released in 2018, it’s reminiscent of the classic 90s films, such as Santa Clause: The Movie and Home Alone. Netflix has done a great job with this film, as it’s funny, heart-warming, full of adventure, and casting Kurt Russel was a good choice, as he plays the best cool Santa.
If this film leaves you wanting more, Netflix has only gone and dropped The Christmas Chronicles 2 into our stockings. And this time, we get more Goldie Hawn too. Maybe save that for the big day itself; it sounds like a perfect Christmas evening watch to me, after the Queen’s speech, of course!
Wrapping up Christmas
So, there you have it for our Christmas Countdown! I hope it gets you ready for the big day.
How did we do? If you have any other Netflix films you think should have been on this list, let us know below. Also, let us know what you thought of the films!
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Check out more or our Netflix articles HERE.
Read IMDB information about Christmas Chronicles 2 HERE.
9 Movie Remakes That Should Never Have Been Made
Let’s have a look at nine movie releases remakes that definitely shouldn’t have never been made to seen the light of day.
It seems that in recent years, Hollywood have run out of original movie ideas. There has been remake after remake of films that were initially successful. As it often the case, film execs decide to cash in and remake these films for a new audience.
Now, sometimes this works. Oceans Eleven; The Jungle Book and Woman in Black are some examples that come to mind.
But sometimes it can go spectacularly wrong. This can be due to poor box office sales or being critically panned by the critics. Or it could just be the fact that the writing is utterly diabolical.
9. The Omen (2006)
If you’re going to have a pop at remaking a horror classic, then you have to bring something new to the table. The David Seltzer-penned 1976 original is a horror classic. Brooding and sinister, it doesn’t rely on shock scares. Instead, it uses atmosphere; some fantastic actors; a great script and an Oscar-winning musical score. This remake from 2006 didn’t live up to its predecessor’s brilliance. In fact, there’s no good reason why it was made. The plot follows almost the exact same story as the original film. A large majority of the scenes are practically identical, which seems pointless. You can’t blame the cast as there was some fine actors involved – Mia Farrow, Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon to name a few. But their acting skills were not enough to make this movie good.
It adds nothing new to the original story; it’s just the same film with a different cast. It did make a healthy profit at the box office ($120 million), but the critic reviews were not good for the reasons I’ve mentioned. Fan-reviewed websites also have pretty poor reviews for it, so don’t just take my word for it.
8. Robin Hood (2018)
There have been a few Robin Hood movies over the years. Some are better than others, but this remake from 2018 is truly terrible. There are many factors involved and the two lead men are fine actors, but just not in this movie. Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx have a great filmography, but their ham acting is just cringeworthy here. Blame should also go to the script, which is cheesier than a large cheese pudding. There is plenty of action sequences, but the costumes and dialogue are all anachronistic. This all adds to the clunkiness of the whole debacle. It was also a box office bomb and universally panned by critics. If you want a good Robin Hood movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, watch Robin Hood: Men in Tights from 1993.
7. Get Carter (2000)
The 1971 original is often hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time. A lot of that had to do with the charismatic Michael Caine as the lead character. A gritty Londoner out for revenge after the murder of his brother. In 2000 the movie was remade, but this time it’s set in Seattle with Sylvester Stallone as the lead character. The premise is still the same as the original film, but Sly Stallone kicking butts in Seattle just doesn’t have the same impact. Yes, there are some cool fight scenes and Sly does a good job on the acting front. But it doesn’t have the coolness or panache of the original. It just another Sly fronted action-thriller with little substance. Critics and audiences agreed, and it was universally panned. It also lost $40 million at the international box office.
I’m going to open with the same point I made earlier in this article. If you are going to remake a classic movie, then be innovative and do something new. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 original is a masterpiece of creepy psychological filmmaking. Unfortunately, this 1998 remake failed to improve on any of that. Vince Vaughn played the Norman Bates character with Anne Heche playing Marion Crane. They do a fair job in portraying these iconic characters but bring nothing new to them. I guess seeing the film in colour helps bring a modern feel to it; especially as fake blood was used as opposed to chocolate sauce in the original. But interesting facts aside, it’s pretty much a shot-for-shot remake of the original.
Even the director Gus Van Sant admitted later it was an experiment to see if a shot-for-shot movie would work. It didn’t, as was proved by the critical and financial failure of the film. Then it barely made back half of its $60 million dollar budget. It was also given several Golden Raspberry awards for worst director and worst remake. This proves that you don’t mess around with Alfred Hitchcock.
5. Robocop (2014)
I remember walking into the cinema to watch this full of excitement. I left the cinema two hours later full of popcorn, but also full of disappointment. The original 1987 film is a cult classic. It’s mix of action; violence and satire made it one of the best movies of the decade. This remake from 2014 failed to hit any of those spots. Yes, it had some small elements of political satire and philosophical touches from the original, but little else. People with weak stomachs will applaud the lack of gore, but without it, the film seems too melodramatic. The updated effects make this remake look better, but the substance and excitement just aren’t there. Critics were overwhelming negative of the film too. There is also another reboot in the works. Why?!
4. The Fog (2005)
Enveloping fog has always been a good premise from a horror film. John Carpenter also thought so and made a creepy such film in 1980. The plot revolves around a mysterious fog that brings dead sailors to haunt and terrorize a Californian town. Sometimes the passage of time can allow for the special effects to improve, and it does here. But the gaps between the various grisly deaths are just dull. The characters are wooden, and you don’t end up caring when they meet their untimely demise. John Carpenter did produce this remake so it’s surprising there isn’t more depth to it. It did make a small profit at the box office but was universally panned by movie critics. If you do have to watch it just don’t engage your brain.
3. Total Recall (2012)
Another movie that tried to reboot an iconic sci-fi action film. 1990’s original was set on Mars and featured Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role. At the time, it was one of the most expensive movies ever made. This remake from 2012 had Colin Farrell in the lead role, supported by the brilliant Kate Beckinsale. This is another film that’s enjoyable to watch, just don’t try thinking whilst watching. There are plenty of spectacular action sequences that fizz, pop and bang, but don’t expect substance. It lacks any depth to the plot and misses the mark on the dry humour and character development that the original had. Pretty much all the movie critics agreed as well.
2. Bangkok Dangerous (2008)
Ah, Nicolas Cage. His movies in recent years have been a bit, well, hit and miss. And that’s being generous. It’s a shame as he is genuinely a great actor. But in recent years he’s picked terrible films to be in, and often dials in a performance. This remake from the Pang brothers Thai original from 1999 has none of the unique hallmarks of the original. For example, Nic Cage’s character is no longer deaf and mute like he was in the original. This seems odd as the brothers also directed this remake. A meandering plot; wooden performances and clunky cinematography make this a flop. It also received poor reviews and barely broke even at the box office.
1. Death Wish (2018)
The Charles Bronson 1974 original was a violent but successful vigilante movie. It also hit a chord with Americans at a time of increasing urban violence. It spawned several sequels, but this 2018 remake had Bruce Willis dishing out the justice. The original film had a point to make about taking the law into your own hands and did it with a visceral bang. The film was shocking at the time with its violence and rape scene, but it was relevant to explain how the lead character changed through the film. This remake doesn’t explore any of this.
It’s a brainless revenge movie that doesn’t have the same impact as the original and Bruce Willis dials in a lacklustre performance. It doesn’t add anything to the original film, and you’re left feeling empty after watching it. The whole thing seems pointless and morally bankrupt. In fact, it makes the 1974 original seem almost philosophical. It also received criticism for being released a few weeks after the Douglas High School shooting in Florida and for glorifying guns. It also barely made a profit at the box office and overwhelmingly received negative reviews.
And that’s our list of nine movie remakes that should never have been given the green light. Did we miss any? do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments below.
Read about what went wrong with the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street HERE.
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