The holidays are upon us, which means one question is being asked by Netflix subscribers everywhere: Which Original Netflix Christmas Movies are actually worth the time to watch? The question is a bit more complicated than the newcomer to made-for-TV Christmas movies may realize, so we've taken it upon ourselves to explain which of Netflix's movies are the absolute best to start watching now - and which ones should be slid lower down the queue.
We've already broken down the absolute worse Christmas movies on Netflix, so these Originals should be given credit as the best of the best. And we would obviously hope so, with Netflix recruiting Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, and taking more than one not-so-subtle shot at Hallmark's Christmas movies with an eerily similar premise. The selections vary from spirit-inspiring Christmas adventure to making us wonder how quickly the holidays were ignored in favor of a royal wedding, and everywhere in between (and yes, our Hallmark Christmas Drinking Game works just as well for Netflix movies, too).
So without further ado, we present Netflix's Original Christmas Movies, Ranked Worst To Best.
6. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
The surprise sequel to Netflix's first Original Christmas movie, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding makes its main problem known in the title. Granted, the first movie was made with a clear enough sense of fun to forgive the sidelining of a real "Christmas" feel, in favor of royal family intrigue. The same is true for the sequel, but even without commercial breaks, trying to deliver a satisfying holiday story while competing with the an economic crisis in Aldovia AND the stress of a state wedding is impossible.
There's certainly more of what the original offered, so those Netflix users who watched A Christmas Prince every day for a month should be happy. But if we're being honest, keeping the word "Christmas" in the film's title is more of a formality than a sign of what it's actually aiming for. More of a reunion and second party with characters, a sense of humor, and an at-times self-aware approach to royal melodrama is always a recipe for entertainment. All things considered, the film may highlight the inherent problem with planning a wedding on Christmas, period. It does, however, have the ugliest Christmas tree we've ever seen. Which is better than nothing.
5. The Holiday Calendar
The casting of Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham is a good sign of the tone being targeted for The Holiday Calendar, and Netflix deserves credit for taking nowhere near as long as Hallmark in casting non-Caucasian actors for their holiday tale. The basic premise is exactly what Christmas movies fans will be after: young woman is gifted an Advent Calendar that once belonged to her grandmother, and soon finds the items inside coinciding with a holiday quest for new romance. Which is what makes the movie's shift away from its title object a bit disappointing.
With Netflix forced to choose between a story of Christmas magic and a CW-esque love triangle, the holiday magic never really stood a chance. Still, ACTRESS is as charming as ever, and the movie is still technically set at Christmas, with all of the beloved family traditions and window dressing. So even if The Holiday Calendar isn't "about Christmas" at all, it's going to have plenty of fans.
4. A Christmas Prince
The movie that started it all for Netflix's current crop of holiday-themed original movies, and one which remains superior to the sequel (like so many impossible-to-follow classics). The story of an everyday New Yorker going undercover in the royal family of an unspecified English(?) nation may have been old hat to Hallmark veterans, but Netflix struck gold. With Rose McIver starring in what turned out to be National Treasure: Undercover Christmas at the Palace and matched with Ben Lamb's brooding - but in an English way - the feels were real, the romance up to snuff, and the intrigue positively palpable.
A Christmas Prince still works as a standalone film, which manages to be equally about the Christmas holidays AND finding love with a soon-to-be king. Is it as good as Iron Man? No. But is it as important to history, as an enjoyable success that launched Netflix's game-changing Christmas Movie Universe? Definitely. We would call it a guilty pleasure, but... we don't feel guilty about it at all.