The 2010s were a phenomenal decade for movies. From the conclusion of the Harry Potter franchise and the revival of the Star Wars franchise to a push for inclusivity with films like Love, Simon, and Crazy Rich Asians. The 2010s really were a “golden age” for movies. In addition to several box office hits and Academy Award-winning films, the 2010s also revitalized the Christmas movie genre creating instant Christmas movie classics.
While there is certainly no shortage of Christmas movies out there, the 2010s managed to reinvent the genre by borrowing from other genres. Sure, there are the traditional family-friendly Christmas movies and comedy Christmas movies, but the 2010s also ventured into horror Christmas movies and even created some R-rated Christmas movies that are definitely meant for adults.
10 Daddy’s Home 2 (2017) – 6.0
Will Ferrell is no stranger to the Christmas movie genre but in 2017 he teamed up with Mark Wahlberg to bring Daddy’s Home 2 which served as a holiday sequel to the film Daddy’s Home.
This time Ferrell and Wahlberg team up to celebrate the holidays so that their blended family doesn’t have to be shuttled back and forth between each parent’s house. Like many of Ferrell’s movies, Daddy’s Home 2 is full of physical comedy and emphasizes the importance of family especially during the holidays.
9 Krampus (2015) – 6.2
Horror movies typically opt to release around Halloween but that didn’t stop these filmmakers from creating a horror story centered around Christmastime. Krampus follows Max, a young boy who’s lack of Christmas cheer awakens Krampus, a horned beast who is the complete opposite of Santa.
Designed to punish naughty kids, Krampus wreaks havoc on Max and the rest of his family who must put aside their differences and work together to defeat the evil monster. While there are a lot of scary elements in Krampus, the film also has comedic moments throughout.
8 Noelle (2019) – 6.3
The Walt Disney Studios is no stranger to Christmas movies having released several Christmas classics over the years. However, in 2019, Disney released its first-ever Christmas movie available exclusively on Disney+.
Noelle stars Anna Kendrick who just so happens to be Santa’s Christmas loving daughter. Despite wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps, Noelle is pushed to the side because her brother is the rightful heir to Santa’s sleigh. However, when her brother cracks under pressure it’s up to Noelle to save the day.
7 The Night Before (2015) – 6.4
While there aren’t too many R-rated Christmas movies out there, there are a few. One of those R-rated films is none other than the Seth Rogen led The Night Before.
The Night Before follows 3 best friends (Rogan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie) who have spent the last ten years celebrating Christmas together instead of spending the holiday with family or alone. However, their tradition is being threatened now that one of them is about to become a father. Fearing this will be their last Christmas Eve together, the best friends set out to have the best Christmas Eve ever.
6 Better Watch Out (2016) – 6.5
The 2010s certainly had a thing for Christmas horror movies releasing not only Krampus but also the 2016 psychological horror film Better Watch Out.
Better Watch Out centers on Ashley, a young woman who is tasked with babysitting Luke, a 12-year-old who just so happens to have a crush on Ashley. The evening quickly takes a turn when strange things start occurring, leaving Ashley and Luke no choice but to defend themselves and Luke’s house together.
5 Last Christmas (2019) – 6.5
It can never truly feel like Christmastime without watching at least one cheesy Christmas romantic movie. Thankfully, Last Christmas checks all the boxes.
Inspired by the popular Christmas song of the same name, Last Christmas stars Emilia Clarke as Kate, a frustrated young woman whose life has taken a turn for the worse. However, Kate’s life begins to change for the better when she meets Tom (Henry Golding) who helps her find happiness again. While it may seem like a cliche story Last Christmas also has an amazing twist to it.
4 The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) – 7.0
Based not only on a book but also real-life, The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the story of Charles Dickens as he begins to write the Christmas classic “A Christmas Carol.”
Set in London in 1843, Dan Stevens plays a struggling Charles Dickens who is in a writing rut after releasing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Determined to find success, Dickens begins to pen “A Christmas Carol” drawing from those around him for inspiration for the novel.
3 Arthur Christmas (2011) – 7.1
Santa Claus’s family seemed to be a huge source of inspiration for Christmas movies in the 2010s. Released in 2011, Arthur Christmas centered on Santa’s youngest son Arthur who just so happens to be the “black sheep” of the family. When Arthur’s older brother’s high tech delivery system threatens to leave one present undelivered, Arthur decides it’s up to him to save the day.
Arthur’s journey is a crazy one that becomes even more complicated thanks to his grandfather, a former Santa, who joins him on the trip. As well, an eager elf and eight reindeer who haven’t completed their reindeer training yet.
2 The Christmas Chronicles (2018) – 7.1
While Netflix Christmas films tend to lean more towards the romantic comedy genre, they changed their tune in 2018 releasing The Christmas Chronicles follows two siblings who take Santa’s sleigh out for a joyride while he’s putting presents under their Christmas tree. Things take a turn when the sleigh crashes and all the Christmas presents are lost. With no other choice, the siblings must team up with Santa, played by Kurt Russell, to save Christmas before it’s too late.
The Christmas Chronicles was extremely popular and earned a sequel which was released on Netflix in 2020.
1 Klaus (2019) – 8.2
Not only is Klaus the highest-rated Christmas movie released in the 2010s but it’s also a severely underrated Christmas movie. Klaus centers its story on Jesper, a spoiled young man whose father happens to be a Royal Postmaster General. Sick of Jesper’s slacking, his father sends him to the town of Smeerensburg where he needs to set up a post office.
The only problem is Smeerensburg is run by two rival families who hate each other. With a little help from Smeerensburg recluse Klaus, Jesper is able to get kids to write letters and in turn, they will receive handmade toys from Klaus. The film serves as an origin story to the legend of Santa Claus.
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