The 8 Most Underrated Holiday Movies Ever

We all have our favorite holiday movies that we watch every single year, without fail. Let me guess – your list might include Love Actually, The Holiday, The Grinch, What A Wonderful Life, and Home Alone. Don’t get me wrong, these are great movies and definite classics for good reason. If you have any streaming platform service though, there are definitely some underrated holiday movies you should be watching right now. You might not even realize some of them are holiday movies! I sure didn’t, until I scoured these platforms for holiday movie alternatives. I don’t know why nothing says “holidays” more than “movies,” but here we are. Whatever your path is to Christmas, whether it’s secular or religious, most of us have incorporated movies in our holiday traditions for some reason and honestly? It’s kind of my favorite part of this time of year.

Since streaming services are constantly being updated, some of your festive favorites might not be around. What you watched and loved last year might not be available in right now. The same things are true for the movie marathons on TV. Is anyone else feeling the need to switch it up a bit? The less obvious choices for Christmas movies are surprisingly full of the same amount of holiday cheer, whatever your tastes in movies are. So yeah, even if your favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard (yes, it’s technically a Christmas movie), there’s something different for your that matches. See for yourself: these are eight underrated holiday movies you should (and totally can) watch right now.

Happy Christmas

Indie holiday dramedies for the win! In this film, Anna Kendrick's character breaks up with her boyfriend and moves in with her brother, his wife, and their baby during the holidays. She acts super immature and tries to get herself out of her holiday heartbreak in a new city while not wrecking Christmas for her family. And in a shocking turn of events, Lena Dunham plays the sane, stable friend. What?! How do you have a happy Christmas when everything is awful and everyone's constantly getting on each other's nerves? Wait, was that a little too close to what actually, magically happens on Christmas every year? Too close to home? Too soon? Okay cool, this is just a movie... but, you should definitely still watch it.

Watch it on Netflix

The Family Man

Oh, the early 2000's really hit it big with this one. A take on the holiday classic, It's A Wonderful Life, Nicolas Cage plays an investment broker with a ton of money and an unrealistically hot girlfriend, gets a Christmas Eve make-a-wish via Don Cheedle and wakes up married to his college sweetheart and their two kids gleefully jumping on their shared bed. It's a feel-good sappy movie with some love story fueld Christmas cheer. It's something palatable you can feel okay watching with your parents and cheesy as hell: what every Christmas movie probably should be.

Watch it on HBOGo

Just Friends

This is a Christmas movie! Ryan Reynolds plays the formerly overweight and geeky BFF of Amy Smart's character, who becomes super hot and successful. He had a crush on her then and comes home and tries to win her back. Since he bungled telling her how he feels at a Christmas party in high school, it's so apropos that he reemerge as the super sexy new version of himself years and years later, also on Christmas. What a neat bookend, right? Except Anna Faris plays his current unhinged girlfriend who is honestly comedy gold in this movie. It's a fun alt throwback holiday movie to put on if you also like your holiday movies to smash Nice Guy entitlement in the face.

Watch it on Netflix


Although very textbook "manic pixie dream girl," this movie doesn't rub me the wrong way. In fact, it's so sparklingly beautiful and heart warming that the cynic in all of you will melt upon seeing this movie. Basically, a Brit in New York for the holidays meets up with an American. Both in relationships with someone else, they decide if they're meant to be, they'll be, leaving time-capsule like momentos for each other all over the city for "one day" when they will find each other again (maybe) by a happy accident, aka serendipity. Christmas past v. Christmas present intersect via serendipity, hence the title of the movie, and this movie is honestly such a Christmas classic for me, it's so weird that it isn't such a holiday favorite.

Watch it on Netflix

Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton plays a scheming mall Santa who routinely robs the places he works in and that's how he makes his money throughout the year. He's also the actual worst person, except some random child thinks he's the real Santa and saves him from a fist fight, so now what? Well, this trash bag has to fake being Santa for this kid and his mom, Lauren Graham, who obviously hooks up with Billy Bob despite a severe attractiveness gap. If you want your holiday movies to be a little less gleamingly perfect and more jacked up and funny, you should definitely stream Bad Santa this holiday season.

Watch it on HBOGo.


A selfish, awful TV executive who hates Christmas gets visited by some ghosts on Christmas Eve, much like A Christmas Carol (because this is a direct retelling of that story, hence "Scrooged."). It's Bill Murray at his best - he even delivers an incredibly heart warming speech at the end on live television, like the original Scrooge, and it's just the best. Sorry if that was a spoiler, but the original story's been out for a hundred years or so. Oops. An awesome blend of hope and cynicism, this movie is less bright and cheery than most Christmas fare and stays further away from Cheesy than the rest of these movies, which is great if that's not really your thing.

Watch it on Netflix


What a cheesy cheese fest of a movie. If you seriously miss Paul Walker and Robin Williams, and you haven't seen this movie - see it. In the vain of Love Actually, Noel is the story of (*whimsical clarinet music*) four New Yorkers on Christmas, who could not be more different, wind up colliding and effecting each other's lives forever *jazz hands*. Yes, even the trailer looks that cheesy. So do all the reviews. You're not getting ground breaking cinema, but your heart might swell a few sizes all in the name of holiday cheer, which is what any good Christmas movie does. This movie has all your famous faves and classic extra cheesy very typical scenes.

Watch it on Netflix.

American Psycho

Bet you didn't know this was a Christmas movie, did you? Well, it takes place during the holidays and includes an office Christmas party scene where Reese Witherspoon carries around a pet pig (that's the back of her head). It's a gore-fest of a movie with a ton of shirtless Christian Bale that's also an American classic. What's not to love? Want to technically be watching a holiday movie while simultaneously enjoying a horror/thriller with an awesome story behind it? Definitely watch American Psycho if you haven't already.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Which of these movies is already your fave? What are your favorite holiday movies? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.


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