By Teresa Ugarte
All of Netflix’s Original Christmas Movies, Ranked
It’s December, and that means we all get to indulge in what is undoubtedly one of the best parts of the holiday season: Christmas movies! Netflix has been pumping out original content like there’s no tomorrow, and this year the streaming giant leaned into the holiday genre with five new original films (in addition to their two from last year). Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain ugly. So without further ado, here’s all seven of Netflix’s holiday-themed original movies rated on a scale of one to ten candy canes and ranked from worst to best.
- “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”
*Spoilers for “A Christmas Prince”* In the sequel to “A Christmas Prince”, protagonist Amber Moore moves into the palace a week before her wedding, where she clashes with the Royals over nuptial details. Meanwhile, King Richard’s modernization plan is losing the country money, and his royal duties leave him with no time to spend with Amber. There’s no need to sugar-coat this: this movie sucks. And not in a fun way. Whatever little chemistry Amber and Richard had in the first movie is completely gone. The “plot” (calling it a plot is generous, it’s more like a series of semi-related events) isn’t fun or interesting, it’s just depressing. It’s pretty disappointing considering what a hit the first movie was, but I guess it’s hard to capture that bad-movie magic twice. 1/10 candy canes for letting me down.
- “Christmas Inheritance”
Aloof but good-hearted Ellen Langford must prove that she’s worthy to inherit the family company by taking a trip away from her big-city life to the small town where her father made his start. This was Netflix’s first attempt at a Christmas movie, and it’s about the same as any movie you would find on the Hallmark channel. It’s not really bad enough to laugh at, but not good enough to fully enjoy. There’s nothing about it that makes it particularly special, but it’s kind of cute and kind of Christmassy, and overall not the worst way to spend an hour and a half. 4/10 candy canes being just okay.
- “The Holiday Calendar”
Struggling photographer Abby is gifted a magical advent calendar that may be predicting the future, and leading her towards the love of her life. This is definitely a movie you have to watch with friends; had I been alone I don’t know if I would have made it past the first twenty minutes. Nevertheless, if you stick with it, it does have its moments. Abby is a delightful protagonist, and while none of her suitors are really on her level, watching her try to find her path in love and in her career is at least mildly entertaining. 6/10 candy canes for being harmless and fun.
- “El Camino Christmas”
A corrupt small-town cop tries to frame an out-of-towner by staging a liquor store holdup on Christmas Eve. This movie is essentially “Diehard” in that there’s nothing Christmassy about it besides the fact that it’s set on Christmas Eve. However, since “Diehard” is undeniably a Christmas Movie, “El Camino Christmas” has to be one too. I don’t really know what this movie was trying to do tonally (I’m still trying to figure out if it wanted to be funny or not) but I’m not mad at it. There’s a distinctive beginning, middle, and end, which is more than can be said of 90% of the movies on this list. It’s a pretty good flick, but it won’t exactly put you in the Christmas spirit. 6.5/10 candy canes for shaking it up.
- “The Princess Switch”
When Stacy, a by-the-book baker from Chicago, wins a trip to the small European country of Belgravia and discovers she looks exactly like the impulsive, soon-to-be-princess Margaret, they decide to switch places to experience each other’s lifestyles. It’s a very fun movie, but I did have to watch it with just the subtitles and no sound for over half of it because it’s so awkward. It’s very funny, but the humor is embedded in embarrassing moments, which made it hard for me to enjoy it. If you’re like me and suffer from strong second-hand embarrassment, stay away; otherwise, you’ll probably have a great time. 7/10 candy canes for being good but making me so uncomfortable I couldn’t fully enjoy it.
- “The Christmas Chronicles”
Siblings Teddy and Kate are swept up on a magical adventure after sneaking onto Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. This movie is charming and engaging, taking the “saving Christmas” trope in a fun direction. Kurt Russell’s Santa Claus is probably the best rendition of St. Nick since Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause,” and while the child actors aren’t amazing, they’re not unwatchable. The worst part of this movie is undoubtedly the animated elves. Without these minion knockoffs, this movie probably would have been number one, but they’re so unbearable I had to bump it down to number two. 9/10 candy canes for 90s classic Christmas movie vibes.
- “A Christmas Prince”
Wannabe journalist Amber Moore gets shipped to Aldovia (a small European monarchy) to cover playboy Prince Richard and his potential abdication of the throne. She infiltrates the royal family to get the scoop and ends up with a bigger story than she bargained for. This movie is the gem of the collection. It knows exactly what it’s trying to do and it does it perfectly: the acting is pretty bad, the plot doesn’t make a lick of sense, and everyone but Richard’s little sister is kind of a moron. Yet there isn’t a single second of this movie that isn’t entertaining in some way. “A Christmas Prince” is stupid, funny, and absolutely doesn’t need to exist, making it the perfect way to spend a lazy December afternoon to get in a Christmas mood. 10/10 candy canes for a delightful holiday romp.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix’s Facebook page.
Teresa Ugarte is a freshman journalism and English major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.