We Watched and Ranked All of Netflix's Original Holiday Movies

Netflix has proven they're a major player in the holiday movie game, but which movies are actually good? We'd like to present our ranking.

By Lauren Piester Dec 22, 2020 8:37 PMTags

'Tis the season (and the year) for hunkering down at home to take in a cozy holiday tale. 

The options are truly endless, with Hallmark and Lifetime having been in the holiday movie business for years. Netflix is a more recent addition, but it's certainly got some movies that are not to be missed. In fact, it has its own cinematic universe, thanks to the neighboring countries of Aldovia, Belgravia and Montenaro, their dramatic royal families, and everyone's choice for movie night. 

(For example, A Christmas Prince is a movie in the world of The Princess Switch and several other Netflix movies, but A Christmas Prince and The Princess Switch also appear to exist within the same universe and occasionally reference each other as real events. Anywho...) 

There are also some movies that are perfectly fine to miss, since even on Netflix, not all holiday movies are created equal. But you also could watch them all and you wouldn't be mad about it. We certainly aren't! 

Best Classic Holiday Movies

So, without further ado, here is our ranking of Netflix's holiday movies from worst to best—though if we're being honest, even the worst ones will probably get watched again if they haven't already. 

21. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)

We just simply don't care about business and protocol as much as this movie cared about it. The worst in the Christmas Prince trilogy, but don't worry—the other two are way higher ranked on the list. 

20. A California Christmas (2020)

It's...fine. A business man pretends to be a ranch hand to swindle a woman out of her family's ranch while her mother is sick with cancer. Sure, they fall in love, but that premise is a real bummer. 

19. Christmas Inheritance (2017)

Christmas Inheritance came out before Netflix really hit its stride with the cheesy holiday romcoms, and it's simply also fine! 

18. Operation Christmas Drop (2020)

If you're gonna be into a military-themed movie about a real military operation, you're gonna be into this movie. It's a heartwarming tale! 

17. Holiday in the Wild (2019)

Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe are a delightful pair, but it's hard to ignore that this story is about a rich white woman who goes to Africa to find herself after divorce and ends up falling in love with a white man and saving elephants. But if you can ignore that and focus on the romance and the elephants, sure.

16. Holiday Rush (2019)

Holiday Rush is fine, but not quite good enough to do well by its cast, including Romany Malco and Sonequa Martin-Green. They deserve better, but we'd still happily watch them in more subpar holiday romcoms if they would like to star in them. 

15. The Holiday Calendar (2018)

There's so much potential here but it really could have used a little more Christmas magic or just something to make it a little more exciting. 

14. The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again (2020)

Three Vanessa Hudgenses is SO many Vanessa Hudgenses. At one point there's a scene where two of the Vanessa Hudgenses get transformed into the other Vanessa Hudgens while that Vanessa Hudgens transforms into one of the other Vanessa Hudgenses and we got real lost here. If a third one adds a fourth Vanessa Hudgens we simply will not be able to watch. 

13. Holidate (2020)

Never have we experienced a holiday romcom that starts off quite so aggressively as Holidate does. It's just a weird tone and a pretty predictable holiday romcom, but Emma Roberts is always fun. 

12. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (2019)

After The Royal Wedding lost a little bit of the fun in favor of unintelligible royal business, The Royal Baby brought the fun back to this goofy franchise. What we wouldn't give to be celebrating Christmas in Aldovia this year...

11. The Christmas Chronicles Part 2 (2020)

Not quite as good as the first but certainly still worth watching. Goldie Hawn is a great addition, even if the animated elves really freak us out for some reason. 

10. A Christmas Prince (2017)

The one that started it all—the Netflix Christmas Cinematic Universe, that is. It's cheesy, it's ridiculous and Amber (Rose McIver) is a bad journalist who does not know how to take notes. However, no one said a movie had to make sense to be a good time! 

9. The Princess Switch (2018)

Feels a little hyperbolic to say that The Princess Switch changed the face of holiday movies, but also The Princess Switch changed the face of holiday movies...to Vanessa Hudgens' face. It's the best kind of absolute Christmas nonsense but as soon as the pandemic's over, we're on the first flight to Montenaro.

8. Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020)

We can't really say for sure that Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square was good, but we can say we had an incredible time watching it. By the end, we felt like we were high as a kite and we were stone cold sober, and sometimes that's all you need—plus Christine Baranski giving it her absolute all. 

7. The Knight Before Christmas (2019)

It's like a comedic reverse Outlander without all of the horrifying sexual assault, and Vanessa Hudgens is also here. We unabashedly love this silly movie. 

6. Alien XMas (2020)

A really adorable animated story about an alien who saves the world and also Christmas. If you're looking for a fun update on those stop-motion Christmas classics, this is pretty much perfect. 

5. Let It Snow (2019)

It's a little like teen Love Actually, which is to say we love it and we will be adding it to our holiday rotation. Just a really pleasant, entertaining time. 

4. Dash & Lily (2020)

Dash & Lily is, of course, a TV show and not a movie, but we're counting this cute teen holiday romcom because it was absolutely adorable and worthy of a spot among the Netflix greats.

3. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

Not sure how much more fun you could have with a Christmas musical. Sure, this one doesn't have Dolly Parton as an angel pretending to be a homeless woman, but it does have Keegan Michael Key as a duplicitous toymaker and a brand new Christmas story that puts a bit of a spin on the season.

2. Klaus (2019)

Simply a delightful animated movie about an alternate origin story for Santa with help from a struggling postman. It's got a stellar voice cast led by Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones and J.K. Simmons and it's just a really good movie, y'all. 

1. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

A genuinely delightful Christmas romp, featuring Kurt Russell as a confusingly sort of hot Santa. What's not to love? This has all the makings of a Christmas classic for years to come.