15 Best Holiday and Christmas Movies on HBO Max (May 2024)

‘Tis the season to cozy up with loved ones, sip on hot cocoa, and indulge in heartwarming tales of holiday cheer. With the advent of streaming services, finding the perfect Christmas and holiday movies has never been easier, and HBO Max stands out as a treasure trove of festive cinematic delights. This article will take you on a joyful cinematic journey through some of the best holiday and Christmas movies available on HBO Max. From timeless classics to modern favorites, these films will bring merriment and warmth to your holiday season. So grab your blanket, pour another cup of eggnog, and get ready to discover the festive magic waiting for you on HBO Max.

15. Last Christmas (2019)

Inspired by George Michael and Wham!, from which the title is also borrowed, ‘Last Christmas’ is directed by Paul Feig. It follows Kate (Emilia Clarke), who works at a year-round Christmas shop in Central London as an elf and aspires to be a singer. Struggling both in her professional and personal life, the latter of which includes her strained relationship with her sister Marta and mother Petra, who suffers from depression, she wonders whether her life will amount to anything. This is when she meets a guy named Tom (Henry Golding), who volunteers at a homeless shelter and drives a cab for a living. Being with him makes Kate look at life better, and she volunteers at the shelter. But what’s curious is that the staff at the shelter have never met Tom. What’s even stranger is that Tom disappears for days without notifying Kate. Unbeknownst to Kate, a secret binds them, one that can either take her by surprise or shock. To find out what that is, you can watch ‘Last Christmas’ here.

14. Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays (2012)

Directed by Victor Cook, this animated special follows Hanna-Barbera’s iconic Mystery Gang that includes Scooby-Doo (voiced by Frank Welker who is the voice of Megatron in the ‘Transformers’ movies; he has also voiced Fred in the film), a male Great Dane along with his human friends Shaggy Rogers (voiced by Matthew Lillard), Fred Jones, Daphne Blake (voiced by Grey DeLisle), and Velma Dinkley (voiced by Mindy Cohn), as they take part in the holiday parade of Menkle’s Toy Store. But as expected, something dark comes their way after a scary snowman turns up and brings along a giant blizzard. It is up to the gang to discover the truth behind the snowman and find a way to stop him. To find out how they do it and in the endeavor, take a short trip down your childhood lane; you can stream ‘Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays’ here.

13. Prancer: A Christmas Tale (2022)

A must-watch Christmas flick, ‘Prancer: A Christmas Tale’ follows a grandfather-granddaughter duo (Bud and Gloria) who come across a mysterious magical reindeer on Christmas. Bud (James Cromwell) is widowed and is about to close his hardware store after having an accident. But Gloria (Darcey Ewart) realizes that Prancer might just be able to help them save the store, and thus starts planning for a Christmas that shall be genuinely magical not just for their family but for the entire town. Directed by Phil Hawkins, you can watch ‘Prancer: A Christmas Tale’ right here.

12. Shazam! (2019)

‘Shazam!’ is a delightful holiday movie that surpasses typical superhero fare. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film centers on Billy Batson, a young boy who magically transforms into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) whenever he says “Shazam.” Set in Philadelphia, the movie’s heartwarming charm emerges as it explores themes of family, friendship, and the power of belief. The endearing cast, including Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer, infuses the story with humor and heart, making it a superb choice for holiday viewing. Feel free to check out the movie here.

11. A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)

In the realm of Christmas comedies, ‘A Christmas Story Christmas’ takes center stage with the talented Clay Kaytis at the helm. This heartwarming tale follows the now-adult Ralphie as he embarks on a mission to recreate the magical Christmases of his childhood, weaving nostalgic enchantment into every detail. Returning to the cherished house on Cleveland Street, Ralphie seeks to bestow upon his children a holiday experience as wondrous as the one he once cherished while also rekindling connections with childhood friends. Amid the festivities, he endeavors to reconcile the memories of his Old Man. The film stars the talented Peter Billingsley and the charismatic Erinn Hayes. You can stream ‘A Christmas Story Christmas’ here.

10. 8-Bit Christmas (2021)

‘8-Bit Christmas,’ directed by Michael Dowse, is a nostalgic journey that effortlessly captures the essence of a memorable Christmas. Set in the ’80s, the film stars Neil Patrick Harris as an adult version of the protagonist, sharing the tale of his quest to obtain the ultimate holiday gift: a Nintendo Entertainment System. This heartwarming and humorous family film takes audiences back to the magic of a simpler time, blending childhood wonder with humor. It’s a delightful holiday movie because it skillfully taps into the universal yearning for cherished childhood memories and the enduring appeal of classic video games, making it a perfect addition to your festive movie lineup. You can stream the movie here.

9. Carol for Another Christmas (1964)

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, ‘Carol for Another Christmas’ is a compelling addition to the holiday film canon. This thought-provoking TV movie features an ensemble cast that includes Sterling Hayden, Ben Gazzara, Eva Marie Saint, and Peter Sellers. It departs from the typical feel-good Christmas movie, delving into themes of social responsibility, global conflict, and the spirit of giving.

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, the story follows the transformation of a wealthy industrialist who, after a haunting encounter with the Ghost of Christmas Future, becomes an advocate for peace and understanding. Its powerful message of compassion and unity in times of turmoil makes it a noteworthy, if unconventional, choice for the holiday season. You may watch ‘Carol for Another Christmas’ here.

8. Holiday Harmony (2022)

In the heartwarming film ‘Holiday Harmony,’ helmed by director Shaun Paul Piccinino, a charming underdog with immense talent faces a temporary detour from her musical aspirations when her van unexpectedly breaks down in a friendly small town right before Christmas. The plot unfolds around the endearing journey of resilience and newfound connections. Starring Annelise Cepero alongside the talented Brooke Shields and Ryder Franco, the movie captures the essence of hope, community, and the magic of the holiday season. You may watch it here.

7. A Hollywood Christmas (2022)

In the festive film ‘A Hollywood Christmas,’ under the direction of Alex Ranarivelo, a stellar cast including Jessika Van, Josh Swickard, and Anissa Borrego takes the spotlight. The plot unfolds when a successful Christmas movie director unexpectedly finds herself living out her very own Christmas tale as a charismatic network executive arrives, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the production of her latest film. This story delves into the charming fusion of reality and the enchantment of the silver screen, offering viewers an endearing and captivating look into the world of holiday filmmaking. You can check out the film here.

6. A Christmas Mystery (2022)

In the heart of Pleasant Bay, Oregon, a tight-knit community cherishes Santa’s jingle bells as a unique holiday tradition. However, the joyous atmosphere takes an unexpected turn when the beloved bells vanish, leading to false accusations against an unsuspecting father. Driven by unwavering faith in their dad’s innocence, his children embark on a mission to uncover the truth behind the disappearance. Directed by the talented Alex Ranarivelo and featuring the youthful talents of Violet McGraw and Santino Barnard, ‘A Christmas Mystery’ weaves a captivating tale of family bonds and holiday intrigue, making it a must-watch for the festive season. Feel free to check out the movie here.

5. A Christmas Dream (1946)

‘A Christmas Dream’ (Czech: Vánoční sen) is a charming Czechoslovakian short film co-directed by Karel Zeman and Bořivoj Zeman. The story unfolds with a young girl’s joyous discovery of an array of new dolls under the Christmas tree, a source of pure delight, save for one that she carelessly sets aside. As night falls, a sense of enchantment takes over, blurring the lines between dream and reality as the very doll she dismissed comes to life, moving and behaving as if it possesses a life of its own. The film weaves a magical narrative that beckons viewers into a world where the extraordinary meets the ordinary, making it an enchanting addition to any holiday watchlist. You may watch the film here.

4. Angels Sing (2013)

‘Angels Sing,’ directed by Tim McCanlies, is a charming holiday film that enchants audiences with its rich blend of joy and reflection. Starring the charismatic Harry Connick Jr. alongside a stellar cast including Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, and Willie Nelson, the plot follows Michael, a man who has a deep aversion to Christmas due to a traumatic childhood incident.

However, an unexpected turn of events and a chance meeting with a mysterious stranger propels him into a journey of self-discovery and rekindling the holiday spirit. Fueled by beautiful music and genuine performances, ‘Angels Sing’ reminds us of the transformative power of love, community, and the magic of the holiday season, making it a heartwarming choice for festive viewing. You can watch the movie here.

3. Wonka (2023)

Based on Roald Dahl’s immortal character from his 1964 children’s novel ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ ‘Wonka’ is the origin story of Willy Wonka and shows how the aspiring chocolatier gives shape to his dream of owning a chocolate store and, subsequently, a chocolate factory. However, materializing his dream doesn’t come easy as he faces opposition and odds from the rival chocolatiers and the Chocolate Cartel. Heartwarming, magical, and, of course, sweet, ‘Wonka’ is directed by Paul King and stars Timothée Chalamet as Wonka. His co-stars include Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, and Rowan Atkinson. You can watch the comedy musical here.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

A worldwide phenomenon that up the ante of magic in movies, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ is the first film in the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise. Based on the 1997 novel ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J. K. Rowling, the first in her Harry Potter series, the film serves as our introduction to wizard prodigy Harry Potter, who is accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As surprised as he is, he soon learns the horrific truth that his late parents were killed by a dark wizard named Voldemort. When trouble ensues, he finds love and support in the form of his new friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, groundskeeper Rubeus Hagrid, and headmaster Albus Dumbledore. How Harry keeps the stone from falling into the wrong hands is what we find out in this drama. It stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, and Alan Rickman. A must-watch Holiday/Christmas movie that addresses the magical nature of home and family, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ can be streamed here.

1. Superman (1978)

A must-have on any Christmas movie list, ‘Superman’ is directed by Richard Donner. The film shows the origin story of DC superhero Superman/Kal-El, who is adopted as a baby by a couple on Earth after his ship (arriving from his home planet of Krypton) crash lands near their home in Smallville, Kansas. He is given the name Clark and gets his parents’ surname Kent. Kal-El’s journey of becoming Superman, his subsequent conflict with the baddie Lex Luthor, and his (Clark Kent’s) romance with his co-worker Lois Lane are what we see in this timeless classic.

Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of the titular character immortalized him and the character on screen. The cast includes Margot Kidder as Lois Lane and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. We also have Marlon Brando and Susannah York as Kal-El’s biological/Kryptonian parents, Jor-El and Lara, respectively. Glenn Ford and Phyllis Thaxter play Clark’s parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. You can watch ‘Superman’ here.

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