With just a week until Christmas, we have finally reached that time of the year when we go last-minute shopping for presents, gulp down eggnog, relax in fuzzy socks and live out every typical Hollywood Christmas stereotype we can. We do it all under our gigantic Christmas tree while bingeing on films with our families.
Besides partaking in family chatter and sumptuous meals, a more significant part of our Christmas holidays involve Holiday movie marathons that make up a crucial part of “quality time” among friends and family. Netflix has always been big on producing Christmas content every year and tends to release them early to propel our Christmas spirit.
2021 has been no different as the streaming service has tried its best to produce a variety of Christmas Original films, mainly rom-coms, many of which also have a sprinkle of magic, stardust and other fantasy elements. While films like Robin Robin have managed to win our hearts, we have been less kind to recurring franchises like The Princess Switch.
Before we ring in Christmas with our families, check out these five Christmas releases of 2021 on Netflix that we have ranked in the ascending order of likeability:
Ranking the 5 best 2021 Christmas releases on Netflix
5. A Castle for Christmas – Mary Lambert
For a director who is known for her works like Pet Sematary and Pet Sematary II, Mary Lambert sure does know how to add fluff to her newest Christmas release on Netflix. Based on Ally Carter and Kim Beyer-Johnson’s screenplay, the film revolves around a well-known author named Sophie Brown, who travels to Scotland to escape the growing scandal around her book.
Interested in buying a castle, she meets the bitter and taciturn owner, Duke Myles, with whom she eventually falls in love. While the film abounds in certain Christmas cliches and questionably bad Scottish accents, it is visually enchanting and good enough to set one’s Christmas spirit into motion.
4. Love Hard – Hernan Jimenez
Unlucky in love, LA journalist Natalie decides to fly to New York to meet a guy she has been talking to on a dating app. However, when she arrives, she realises that it is not Tag but his friend Josh who has been catfishing her all this while. The film, starring Nina Dobrev, Josh Lin and Darren Barnet, sees the duo navigate their feelings and emotions in this light-hearted rom-com.
Cheesy and flawed, Love Hard is yet another Netflix Original that will sit well with you once you’re curled up in a blanket with a cup of steaming hot cocoa. Sappy, the film deals with catfishing and romance, which upset certain viewers. However, the romantic aspect of it won them over due to the various moving points in the film that made up for its tiny mistakes.
3. A Boy Called Christmas – Gil Kenan
Nikolas’ father is on a mission to find the fabled and legendary village of the elves, Elfhelm, in the distant North. Nikolas decides to track his father down and sets out along with his loyal pet mouse and reindeer on an extraordinary adventure to find his father before he comes across The Truth Pixie.
An endearing tale of faith, loyalty and determination, this magical tale of a boy’s search for his father lays out the origin story for Father Christmas. Starring Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Toby Jones and others, the film nestles in itself the flavour of old Christmas tales in a charming yet wise manner.
2. Single All The Way – Michael Mayer
In Netflix’s first-ever gay Christmas rom-com film, the streamer keeps the feel-good factor of the holiday alive in this fluffy story of two best friends eventually finding love in one another. Tired of being called out for being single, Peter brings his best friend Nick posing as his boyfriend to his family celebrations. Although Peter’s plans go awry, the two eventually fall in love.
With its endearing family-friendly content, one will realise that sometimes all we need for Christmas is a delightful rom-com coated in candy canes, love and warmth. As the two leads, Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers, had fantastic on-screen chemistry, and the viewers will find themselves rooting for them amidst the usual hubbub of Christmas festivities and a choreographed Britney Spears song number.
1. Robin Robin – Michael Please, Dan Ojari
Produced by the acclaimed studio Aardman comes Netflix’s one of the two animated specials, the 30-minute-long Oscar-contending Robin Robin, whose heartfelt premise is enough to move one and all. A story about uniting despite differences, the short film documents the journey of a robin named Robin who wants to fit into her adoptive mice family who had taken her in as an egg.
Robin’s quest for self-discovery and her search for identity is rooted in her yearning for belonging. While the tale is not completely original, the tropes remain timeless, and the underlying message celebrates the strength of finding oneself and their family. With splendid animation, the musical film is a pleasantly immersive experience that reinforces the spirit of the Holidays. We wish Netflix would market the film more as it is exactly the kind of Christmas original that deserves our immediate attention.