World Features

The Best and Worst of 2021’s Netflix Christmas Movies

In the last couple of years, Netflix has dominated the Christmas movie space by releasing a whole range of movies for the festive season. Starting from early November, viewers are bombarded with over-the-top, cheesy romantic films set amidst snowy, picturesque landscapes. Movies like A Christmas Prince and Holidate are testament to this.


This year, the streaming platform released over 15 such movies in a span of two months. Some of them were new releases, while some were older Christmas films that Netflix chose to distribute, in time for the festive season. For instance, the Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding starrer Last Christmas (2019) arrived on Netflix in mid-November. The film’s plot was drab and it ultimately turned out to be a disservice for its viewers, due to its shocking twist at the end of the movie.

The streaming platform continued its tradition of releasing Christmas movies in other languages as well, this year. 1000 Miles from Christmas is a Spanish film, while The Claus Family (2020) was in Dutch.

As this year’s Christmas season comes to a close, Silverscreen India ranks all the new Christmas movies released by Netflix in 2021 from best to worst.

1. A Boy Called Christmas

Based on Matt Haig’s bestselling book of the same name, A Boy Called Christmas is the origin story of Santa Claus. Three young children are left in the care of their aunt Ruth (Maggie Smith), after their single father is called away on urgent business. To keep their spirits up, aunt Ruth tells them a story of how Christmas traditions came into being. She spins a tale of a young boy Nicholas (Henry Lawfull) who has lost his mother recently. After his woodcutter father Joel (Michiel Huisman) disappears to find the mystical land of Elfhelm, Nicholas tries to find him with his trusty mouse and reindeer.

While the plot of A Boy Called Christmas is not groundbreaking, its heartfelt storytelling from Maggie Smith, endearing characters, a star-studded cast including Kristen Wiig and Stephen Merchant, and great visual effects make it the best Christmas movie of this year.

2. Love Hard

Starring Nina Dobrev as a perpetually single journalist Natalie Bauer, Love Hard is a Christmas movie about a catfish situation. In order to get out of her dating rut and find someone good, Natalie signs up on a dating app where she discovers Josh Lin’s (Darren Barnett) profile. Feeling that she has finally found the one, she flies to his hometown to surprise him and discovers that she has been catfished. Moreover, she finds that the real Josh (Jimmy O Yang) is nothing like she expected him to be. (Well, obviously).

It might be surprising to see Love Hard rank so high on the list but it is a breezy and lighthearted film that does not take itself seriously. The plot is riddled with cliches but the movie does capture the Christmas spirit through montages of caroling, traditional dinners, and matching Christmas pajamas.

3. Single All The Way

Last year when queer romantic comedy The Happiest Season was released during the Christmas season, it managed to boot every rom-com cliché in the book. While Single All The Way sticks to a conventional plot, its queer-focused romantic storyline is refreshing and the movie does it effortlessly.

Social media manager Peter (Michael Urie) is planning to go home for the holidays but does not want his parents to think that he is still single. So, he persuades his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to pose as his new boyfriend.


As we said, there is nothing new about this plot and the acting and dialogues could seem cringey, at times. But in the spirit of Christmas, it is a fun holiday movie watch, with an added bonus of Jennifer Coolidge’s performance as aunt Sandy.

4. A California Christmas: City Lights

The sequel to last year’s A California Christmas, this film follows the wealthy Joseph (Josh Swickard) and his girlfriend Callie’s (Lauren Swickard) relationship. After dating for a whole year on Callie’s farm, Joseph proposes marriage. However, the engaged couple has a tough time ahead of them after Joseph is called to San Francisco due to familial obligations.

The movie relies on the easy chemistry between the leads and it works. The problems between the couple are non-existent but it is still engaging to watch, as the film deviates from the usual snow-covered setting that Christmas films thrive on. It is almost always warm and this is a refreshing change. A California Christmas: City Lights is yet another sappy romantic comedy but this time around, it does not make for a bad watch.

5. A Castle for Christmas

A renowned author Sophie (Brooke Shields) faces a career crisis after receiving backlash for killing her series’ main character. In order to escape from this, she travels to Scotland to find the castle where her father worked as a groundskeeper. She falls in love with the castle and wishes to buy it but finds herself at loggerheads with the duke who owns it.

Nothing ever happens in A Castle for Christmas and this is exactly why the film is tolerable and ranks in the middle. Plus, Brooke Shields and her enviable eyebrows are always fun to look at.

6. David and the Elves

In this Polish comedy, David is a young boy whose parents never seem to have time to celebrate Christmas. When he runs into Albert, an elf who has left the North Pole, the two team up to try and track David’s grandparents.

David and the Elves is one of those movies that you can watch while you are in the next room and one would not have missed a thing. With a bland storyline, mediocre performances, and a surprising number of profanities from the characters, this movie fails to invoke the Christmas spirit.

7. Father Christmas is Back

Four sisters reunite for Christmas vacation in a mansion but they just do not seem to get along. To make matters worse, their estranged father shows up out of the blue, casting a huge shadow over their holiday plans.

Ideally, Christmas movies are supposed to be joyful to watch but this film is filled with endless amounts of drama and bickering that it almost becomes frustrating for its viewers. It is also ironic that all their surnames are Christmas but none of their actions seem to invoke any sense of warmth or merriment.

8. 1000 Miles from Christmas

1000 Miles from Christmas is riddled with so many cliches that it becomes hard to overlook it, in the spirit of its genre. A 30-something man Raul (Tamar Novas) who is cynical about the festival is sent to a small town for work. Over there, he meets a woman who sets out to change his perspective on the holiday.

A typical story of the Grinch who hates Christmas and the village that adores it, this film is boring and unoriginal. Plus, the main character Raul’s unlikeable and cynical nature is the driving force for why viewers will not be able to sit through the film.

9. The Princess Switch 3: Romancing The Star

Ranking last, this last installment in the Princess Switch series is unbearable from start to finish. Perhaps, it is the non-existent plot and conflict, bad writing, or the fact that there are three Vanessa Hudgens personas. A precious Christmas artifact gets stolen in the fictional land of Montenaro, and the three Vanessa Hudgens team up to retrieve it.

The film is a mind-numbing watch with endless swapping among the three (apparently, different) characters and the supporting cast doing very little to entertain the audiences. If Princess Switch 3 teaches us anything, it is that the makers should have stopped with the first one.

All the films are currently streaming on Netflix.