It’s safe to say that 2022 was a great year for holiday movies. We’ve seen hilarious comedies, heartwarming romances, lots of scary new horror flicks, and even a few insightful documentaries. They’ve made us laugh, cry, shake, cheer, and, above all else, fully embrace the holiday spirit. So, we had the toughest time narrowing them all down for this yearly round-up. But after lots of thought, the Rent-A-Christmas Elf Squad finally picked out ten amazing films to showcase how incredible 2022 was for holiday movies.
Without further ado, here are the Elf Squad’s favorite holiday movies that came out in 2022.
1. A Christmas Story Christmas (HBO Max)
You know we had to mention this one first. We’ve waited years for this sequel to A Christmas Story, and now it’s finally here. A Christmas Story Christmas saw a grown-up Peter bring his family to his childhood home for the holidays. We even got to catch up with his best friends and see what happened to all his old bullies. Despite a few changes, the humor, warmth, and sense of nostalgia were just what we needed for Christmas.
2. Falling for Christmas (Netflix)
Like millions of other viewers, we couldn’t get enough of this surprise holiday hit. It’s funny, heartwarming, and perfect to watch at the end of the night. And Lindsay Lohan, playing a spoiled heiress taken in by a handsome stranger after an accident, is on her way towards a remarkable comeback. We can’t wait to watch it every holiday season, and see what else Ms. Lohan does.
3. Spirited (Theatrical Release/Apple TV+)
While there are countless adaptations of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ this one is sure to be a long-time favorite. Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell star as a modern day “Scrooge” and the Ghost of Christmas Present, in this latest version of Charles Dickens’ classic. And did we mention that it’s also a musical? We know we’ll be singing “That Christmas Morning Feelin” every December 25th.
4. Violent Night (Theatrical Release)
The Elf Squad always loves a good action and horror flick. And from the moment Violent Night debuted at New York Comic Con, we knew this was gonna be a good one. David Harbour makes the perfect gritty, worn-out Santa Claus as he takes on a gang of mercenaries holding a family hostage. If Die Hard is one of your holiday favorites, then you’re definitely gonna love this one.
5. Three Wise Men and a Baby (Hallmark)
A Christmas movie list wouldn’t be complete without something from the Hallmark Channel. And Three Wise Men and a Baby was definitely one of the best they gave us this year. Aside from being a festive remake of the 80’s comedy, the incredible chemistry between the three brothers absolutely made the film. And adding Margaret Colin to the cast didn’t hurt either.
6. Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (Select Theaters/Netflix)
The second Christmas Carol adaptation on our list went slightly more traditional, with an animated twist.This time, Luke Evans voices Ebeneer Scrooge, with Johnny Flynn, Olivia Colman, Jonathan Pryce, Trevor Dion Nicholas and Jessie Buckley rounding out the incredible cast. While it does take a lot of liberties, the core story and message of charity are still there on full display.
7. The Noel Diary (Netflix)
Based on the best-selling novel by Richard Paul Evans, The Noel Diary took us all on an emotional ride. When an author returns home to settle his deceased mother’s estate, he discovers a diary containing new information about his past. Throughout this journey, he helps a young local woman learn more about her own family. And together, they find themselves on their way towards a brand new future.
8. Christmas With You (Netflix)
Sure it may be filled with all that standard rom-com tropes, but Christmas With You made us love them all over again. And while so many Christmas movies are still predominantly white, this one completely centers around Latinx culture. And it’s all brought together with great music and an amazing cast, led by Aimee Garcia and Freddie Prinze Jr.
9. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Disney+)
James Gunn brings the whole gang back for Christmas in this funny-yet-sweet MCU special. Peter Quill shares his favorite holiday with his new found family, while Drax and Mantis try — in their own way — to make it extra special for him. We even got a brand-new favorite Christmas song, “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here),” co-written by Gunn himself and the band Old 97’s. Our only complaint is that we wish it lasted a little bit longer.
10. Santa Camp (HBO Max)
This last one is a little different: it's a documentary about the underrated icons of Christmastime. Every summer, Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and elves from around the country head to a camp in the middle of the New Hampshire woods to learn new tricks of the trade. The documentary highlights how Santas are becoming more diverse every year, which means more kids can find a Santa who speaks to and understands them in a much more relatable way.
With several Christmas movies announced already for the 2023 holiday season, including Red One starring The Rock & Chris Evans and A Biltmore Christmas at Hallmark, we can't wait to see all the wonderful holiday movies that will top our list this year!
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