Christmas is a time for spending some quality time with your sofa, and Netflix has made it dangerously easy to stew in your own sofa juices. Here's our selection of the new additions and festive favourites on Netflix UK this December – ideal for watching with a belly full of turkey.
Into The Woods
If you’re after a Christmas panto of sorts, you can hardly do better than this 2014 musical hit, which adapted the Stephen Sondheim Broadway success into a toe-tapping blockbuster. Meryl Streep earned her annual Oscar nomination as The Witch, while Emily Blunt, James Corden, Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick bring a chocolate box of Grimm Brothers fairy tales to life. Bound to better than your local Widow Twanky, anyway.
Iron Man 3
How’s this for a Christmas stocking filler? Arriving on the big day itself is this highlight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which reteamed the Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang duo of Robert Downey Jr. and Shane Black. In Marvel movie league tables, this one always ranks highly, and that’s largely due to having Black’s sharp-as-knives dialogue on Downey Jr.’s fast-talking lips.
Available December 25th
Blackadders’ Christmas Carol
Sometimes, all this festive sentimentalism needs to be met with a bit of good old fashioned British cynicism. And so we must turn to the thin-lipped sarcastic scorn and wit of Edmund Blackadder. For this one-off special, he’s restyled as ‘Ebeneezer Blackadder’, in a flip-reversal of the Dickens novella, which sees a kindly shopkeeper encouraged to be cruel and conniving. The eventual lesson? “Bad guys have all the fun.”
Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Finish off the year with the best film of the year, as decreed by Empire. Taika Waititi followed up his sublime vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows with this charming and hilarious adventure through the New Zealand bush, which plays like an Antipodean Up. Definitely worth seeing what all the fuss is about.
Available December 31st
There are some Christmas movies which are perennial, dusted off every December to generate a bit of automatic yuletide cheer. This ‘90s family favourite is firmly within that category, teaching the twin lessons of family togetherness and extreme violence in one lovably schmaltzy package. Macaulay Culkin’s ever-resourceful hero continues to inspire generations of children to beef up their home security – by any means necessary. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.
There have been more adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol than there have been hot dinners. But for many, Richard Donner's take – transposing Victorian London to 1980s New York – is the cream of the crop, with Bill Murray at the peak of his considerable powers, as slick and sleazy as they come.
Back in 2011, Bristol's Aardman Animations waded into the Crimbo movie market alongside Sony with this extremely likeable effort about Santa's son, Arthur, who makes it his mission to deliver a missing present and save a little girl's Christmas. Michael Palin's elf, Ernie Clicker, is a highlight.
Eddie The Eagle
Forget what you think you know about underdog stories. This is a true underdog story: about a man who was demonstrably not very good at what he did. Dexter Fletcher’s heart-on-sleeve crowdpleaser tells the story of infamous ski jumper Eddie Edwards with inspirational relish. About as British as they come, in every conceivable sense.
Available December 31st
Jingle All The Way
Look, we know this isn't technically what you'd call A Good Film. But the immortal “put that cookie down!” scene makes it an essential watch.
Inarguably the greatest action movie of all time, Die Hard is also officially the best Christmas movie of all time. It is, therefore, your solemn duty as a film fan to come out to the coast and have a few laughs with John McClane and his festive terrorist pals. Yipee-ki – and indeed – yay.
Knowing Me, Knowing Yule With Alan Partridge
There’s no need to shop around for your festive entertainment – simply put your feet up and peruse this chatalogue. That pun comes courtesy of Norfolk’s favourite broadcaster, whose Christmas special parody remains an eminently quotable classic, over twenty years on.
Straight in at number 14 on our list of the best films of 2016 is this slice of stop-motion sorrow from everyone’s favourite misanthrope Charlie Kaufman. The writer-director’s uniquely pessimistic outlook on life is sure to put your family’s bitter annual Christmas dinner argument in a new perspective.
Available December 11th
The Little Prince
A sparkly new animated Netflix original that's already embedding itself into the consciousness of a generation. Based on the poetic 1943 novel, the film mixes stop-motion with CGI techniques to tell the story of 'The Aviator' and how he encountered cosmic royalty in the Sahara desert.
Fireplace For Your Home
For technology-obsessed Millennials who don’t want to waste time or money on chimney sweeps, there’s this hour-long static shot of a fireplace, which recreates the crackling noise and rich ambience – if not the warmth – of a homely winter fire. Features more character development and plot twists than Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, if nothing else.