Nothing gets you in the festive spirit quite like a holiday movie marathon. And while the likes of Elf, Love Actually, Home Alone and Die Hard (yes, it’s a Christmas movie!) are classics for good reason, you might fancy watching something a brand new Christmas movie this year.
Fortunately, every year the best streaming services put together a slate of new Christmas movies, and 2023 is certainly no exception. Some of these new attempts to create an enduring Christmas classic probably won’t be remembered by Boxing Day, but a couple just might manage to challenge for a spot on best Christmas movie lists for years to come.
This year you can enjoy new Christmas movies from the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus and Peacock, and there’s even a festive special from Apple TV Plus starring Ted Lasso’s own Hannah Waddingham. Plus, an action-packed movie directed by John Woo is hitting movie theaters this December — and it looks like a very different kind of festive film.
So, if you can’t stand watching It’s A Wonderful Life for the sixth Christmas Eve in a row, or need an alternative when a relative suggests watching The Polar Express yet again, here are all the best new Christmas movies for 2023, and where you can watch them.
Best. Christmas. Ever! (Netflix)
Charlotte (Heather Graham) and Jackie (Brandy Norwood) are former childhood friends, but now only stay in contact via a boastful holiday newsletter that Jackie sends every year to a dissatisfied Charlotte. After fate brings the two back together, and forces them to spend the festive season together, Charlotte becomes obsessed with proving that her friend’s life is not as perfect as she portrays.
With her reluctant husband (Jason Biggs) in tow, Charlotte’s mission threatens to derail everybody's Christmas with predictably comedic results. This glossy holiday movie is the ideal pick for the whole family this Christmas.
Stream Best. Christmas. Ever! now onNetflix
Dashing Through the Snow (Disney Plus)
A new original family holiday comedy, Dashing Through the Snow stars Lil Rel Howery, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Teyonah Parris. It tells the tale of Eddie Garrick (Bridges), a kind-hearted social worker with an aversion to Christmas due to a negative childhood experience. Planning to work over the holiday period, his former wife, Allison (Parris) asks him to take their young daughter to work with him on Christmas Eve where the pair meet a mysterious man in a red suit (Howery). What follows is a magical adventure that just might restore Eddie’s faith in Christmas.
Stream Dashing Through the Snow now on Disney Plus
Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas (Apple TV Plus)
Celebrate the holidays in style with the Emmy-winning star of Ted Lasso, Hannah Waddingham. Filmed at the London Coliseum, Home for Christmas is a musical extravaganza that will see the actor perform various festive classics in front of a live audience.
Waddingham is accompanied by a spectacular band, and there will be appearances from plenty of special guests including Ted Lasso co-stars Nick Mohammed and Phil Dunster, as well as Luke Evans, Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ryder. It’s set to be a magical musical event that will have you leaping off the sofa to sing and dance along with the show-stopping tunes.
Stream Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas on Apple TV Plus from Nov. 22
Family Switch (Netflix)
If you think your family is dysfunctional wait until you meet the Walkers. Overworked mom and dad Jess (Jennifer Garner) and Bill (Ed Helms) are doing their best to keep the family unit together as their two children, CC (Emma Myers) and Wyatt (Brady Noon), grow older and more distant. But the Walker family is about to become closer than ever when a chance encounter with an astrological reader results in the family all switching bodies. And it just so happens to be the most important day of each family member’s life with a job promotion, a college interview, a record deal and soccer tryouts all on the line.
Stream Family Switch on Netflix from Nov. 30
Candy Cane Lane (Prime Video)
Chris Carver (Eddie Murphy) is desperate to win his annual neighborhood contest to determine who has the best-decorated home for the holidays. Chris is so eager to have his house reign supreme that he makes a deal with a charismatic shop owner named Pepper (Jillian Bell) to use festive magic to make his display really sparkle.
But the deal comes with a high price when it’s revealed that Pepper is actually a sinister elf with plans to turn Chris and his family into miniature plastic dolls. Now it’s up to this ordinary suburbian dad to find a way to break the deal before it’s too late.
Stream Candy Cane Lane on Prime Video from Nov. 30
A family comedy from Richard Curtis, the writer of Love Actually and Notting Hill, Genie is a remake of a 1991 British TV movie called Bernard and the Genie. In this fairy-tale story, Bernard (Paapa Essiedu) is a workaholic man given one last chance to fix his life with the assistance of a magical genie named Flora (Melissa McCarthy).
While Bernard has many wishes to wants to make — don’t worry he has more than three — winning back the affections of his disillusioned family and giving them the perfect Christmas is at the very top of his list.
Stream Genie on Peacock from Nov. 22
Silent Night (Theaters)
Silent Night follows a revenge-fuelled man (Joel Kinnaman) who witnesses the death of his young son on Christmas Eve after he gets caught in between warring gangs. Unable to speak due to a wound that cost him his voice, the man embarks on a bloody quest to seek to punish those responsible. This is director John Woo’s first American-produced feature since 2003, and as the name subtly implies the movie features no dialogue.
This is not a holiday movie for the whole family, but Silent Night looks like it’ll be an adrenaline rush that the grown-ups will certainly enjoy.
Watch Silent Night in theaters from Dec. 1
Merry Little Batman (Prime Video)
A slightly different spin on the Batman mythos, Merry Little Batman sees Bruce Wayne’s (Luke Wilson) young son, Damian (Yonas Kibreab) left alone in Wayne Manor when the Justice League calls for his father. Desperate to prove his worth to his superhero parent, Damian transforms into “Little Batman” when a group of supervillains including the Joker (David Hornsby), Mr. Freeze (Dolph Adomian), The Penguin (Brian Geroge) and Poison Ivy threaten to ruin Christmas for all of Gotham City. This animated flick looks perfect for younger superhero fans and a spin-off TV series based on the movie is already in development.
Stream on Prime Video from December 8
The Sacrifice Game (Shudder)
Looking for a holiday movie that will give you Christmas-themed nightmares? Then horror streaming service Shudder has a present for you. The Sacrifice Game is set in the 1970s and follows two boarding school students, Samantha (Madison Baines) and Clara (Georgia Acken), who opt to stay behind over the holiday break. What was supposed to be the most fun Christmas ever descends into something far more sinister when a murderous gang breaks into the large school complex with plans to summon evil spirits. Held against their will by the murder cult, Samantha and Clara must fight for their lives if they want to see another Christmas morning. This movie will turn a Silent Night into one filled with terrified screams.
Stream on Shudder from December 8
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As a seasoned enthusiast with an in-depth knowledge of the film industry, especially in the realm of holiday movies, let me delve into the intricacies of the article you've provided. My extensive background in film and entertainment allows me to decipher and present insights into the concepts mentioned in the piece.
Firstly, the article highlights the anticipation surrounding the release of new Christmas movies in 2023. The author emphasizes the enduring appeal of classic holiday films such as Elf, Love Actually, Home Alone, and even controversially, Die Hard. This sets the stage for the introduction of a lineup of fresh festive films from renowned streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, and Peacock.
Let's dissect each film and its unique elements:
Best. Christmas. Ever! (Netflix):
- Synopsis: Charlotte and Jackie, played by Heather Graham and Brandy Norwood, revive their friendship during the festive season. The plot revolves around Charlotte's mission to unveil the imperfections behind Jackie's seemingly perfect life.
- Key Elements: Comedy, family dynamics, glossy holiday setting.
Dashing Through the Snow (Disney Plus):
- Synopsis: Starring Lil Rel Howery, Ludacris, and Teyonah Parris, the film follows Eddie Garrick's journey to rediscover the joy of Christmas after a negative childhood experience. A mysterious encounter on Christmas Eve leads to a magical adventure.
- Key Elements: Family comedy, rediscovering the spirit of Christmas.
Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas (Apple TV Plus):
- Synopsis: An Emmy-winning star, Hannah Waddingham, presents a musical extravaganza featuring festive classics. The performance, filmed at the London Coliseum, promises a magical and musical holiday experience.
- Key Elements: Musical, live performance, star-studded appearances.
Family Switch (Netflix):
- Synopsis: The Walkers, a seemingly dysfunctional family, undergo a bizarre transformation when they switch bodies after a chance encounter with an astrological reader. The plot unfolds on a day with pivotal events for each family member.
- Key Elements: Comedy, family dynamics, body-switching.
Candy Cane Lane (Prime Video):
- Synopsis: Eddie Murphy stars as Chris Carver, determined to win the neighborhood holiday decoration contest. A deal with a charismatic shop owner takes a dark turn, leading Chris on a quest to save his family from becoming plastic dolls.
- Key Elements: Comedy, holiday decorations, magical elements.
- Synopsis: A family comedy by Richard Curtis, the writer of Love Actually, featuring Paapa Essiedu as Bernard. The plot involves Bernard's interaction with a magical genie named Flora, aiming to fix his life and create the perfect Christmas for his family.
- Key Elements: Fantasy, family dynamics, Christmas wishes.
Silent Night (Theaters):
- Synopsis: Directed by John Woo, Silent Night takes a darker turn with Joel Kinnaman seeking revenge after the death of his son on Christmas Eve. The film, lacking in dialogue, promises an adrenaline rush for adult audiences.
- Key Elements: Revenge, action, adult-oriented.
Merry Little Batman (Prime Video):
- Synopsis: A unique take on the Batman mythos, this animated film follows Bruce Wayne's son, Damian, as he transforms into "Little Batman" to save Gotham City from supervillains threatening to ruin Christmas.
- Key Elements: Animation, superhero, Christmas-themed adventure.
The Sacrifice Game (Shudder):
- Synopsis: This horror film set in the 1970s, available on the Shudder streaming service, follows two boarding school students facing a murderous gang with plans to summon evil spirits over the holiday break.
- Key Elements: Horror, suspense, Christmas nightmares.
In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive overview of the diverse range of Christmas movies set to entertain audiences in 2023, catering to various tastes and preferences within the holiday movie genre.