Is there anything more decadent than lounging in your PJs in front of the TV with a box of Quality Street at 3pm? Probably. But for those days between Christmas and New Year when no one really knows what day it is, it’s totally acceptable to do so.
To save you hours of scrolling the Netflix menu (we’ve all been there), we’ve rounded up all the best bits from Netflix’s festive offering, from Christmas specials to humbug-approved documentaries that have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Put on your festive PJs, grab a blanket and bed in for a Netflix marathon.
New Releases To Catch Up On
Shining a light on the dark world of Bikram yoga, this documentary charts the rise and fall of the world’s most famous hot yoga founder, Bikram Choudhury. So disturbing you’ll have to sit in ‘Child’s Pose’ afterwards.
Meryl Streep is brilliant as ever in this off-beat comedy. She plays a widow who gets swindled out of her husband’s insurance money which leads her to find two cunning and corrupt lawyers in Panama who hide cash for the superrich. Those two lawyers are Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca – remember the Panama Papers? – and are played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas. The two also serve as the film’s narrators and are utterly brilliant together. As you can imagine the film has sent ripples through the media with the real life lawyers even filing deformation action against Netflix. A must-watch that will leave you amused and shocked in equal measure.
We give Scorcese’s Netflix debut 3.5 hours out of 10 – warning: it’s long. But the classic crime film, based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses, is well worth a watch over the Christmas break when you have a little more time on your hands.
Reminisce over some of cinema’s best-loved films, from Home Alone to Die Hard, Ghostbusters to Dirty Dancing. The docu-series interviews some of the actors, directors and industry insiders who were part of their history.
Available from Sunday 1st December
Rosamund Pike stars as an American war journalist in this Oscar-nominated biopic of Marie Colvin. A hard hitting watch for Christmas Day, but one to bookmark for those endless days between Christmas and New Year.
If you’ve a penchant for a coming-of-age, indie flick make time to watch Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s. The film follows the story of a lonely boy who escapes his troubled home life by joining a group of older, skater kids. For those who grew up in the 90s it offers a dose of nostalgia, from the music references to the wardrobe and set design. But it’s lead Stevie, played by Sunny Suljic, and the group of young actors that join him, that bring magic to this film. Funny, evoking and, at times, heartbreaking.
Available from Tuesday 3rd December
Prepare to LOL yourself into 2019 with Tiffany Haddish’s hilarious Netflix comedy special that explores her Jewish roots. Taking place around her 40th birthday, expect dancing, singing and plenty of raunchy jokes.
Available from Thursday 5th DecemberA Christmas Prince: the Royal Baby
If you want a laugh watch this ridiculous Netflix Original that’s clearly been inspired by our own royal family. The so-cringe-worthy-it’s-actually-funny tale sees the ultimate Christmas gift come to the Kingdom of Aldovia – a royal baby. But before that, Queen Amber must save her family and the kingdom by unwrapping a monarchy mystery. The perfect example of when Netflix delivers on quantity, not quality.
Tired of the constant comments on her relationship status, perpetually single Johanne starts a 24-day hunt for a boyfriend to bring home for Christmas. Watch it if you’re after an antidote to all the Bridget-Jones-poor-single-women-at-Christmas films out there.
Zombie and vampire fans will love this post-apocalyptic series that sees a fast-spreading disease turn victims into blood-sucking fiends. Starring Ian Somerhalder of The Vampire Diaries, Lost and Smallville fame.
Available from Friday 6th DecemberMarriage Story
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach directs this compassionate and moving look at marriage coming apart and a family staying together. Warning; tissues are a must. Starring a stellar cast of Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver and Laura Dern.
Available from Thursday 12th December
Posh boy Jack Whitehall invites his notoriously stuff father onstage in London’s West End for a Christmassy comedy extravaganza.
Available from Friday 13th December
Ryan Reynolds stars in Netflix’s biggest budget blockbuster to date. The Michael Bay-directed action-adventure follows six billionaires who form a vigilante group after faking their deaths in a mission to take down a brutal dictator. Expect a lot of gunfire, slow-mo shots and army rolls.
Available from Monday 16th December
Landing 16th December, Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright makes his Hollywood debut in this much-loved graphic novel adaptation. The tale follows Scott Pilgrim, played by the awkward Michael Cera, who falls in love with “Ninja delivery girl” Ramona Flowers. He instantly falls in love with her but when he meets one of her exes at a band competition, he realises that he has to deal with all seven of her exes to woo her.
Available from Tuesday 17th December
One for fans of Netflix’s Comedy Specials, The Daily Show star Ronny Chieng takes centre stage to wax lyrical on modern American life.
Nowhere near as good as the original but one the whole family might like to watch together this December, Jurassic World comes to Netflix. The owners of the famous dinosaur theme park try to attract visitors with a thrilling new exhibit, but you’ve guessed it, the plan doesn’t go as intended. Chris Pratt stars.
Available from Friday 20th DecemberThe Two Popes
Shortly after the cinema release of The Two Popes, the biopic hits Netflix just in time for the holiday break. At a key turning point for the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI forms a surprising friendship with the future Pope Francis. The duo is played by Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce who are both brilliant at humanising these two well-known men that many don’t really know that much about.
Henry Cavill trades in his Superman red pants for Game of Thrones-esque fantasy in this new Netflix series. The story centres around Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, who journeys towards his destiny in a turbulent world where people often turn out to be more wicked than beasts. A real ‘marmite’ series that might spur some family remote control squabbles.
Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Waltz star in this quirky film about a suburban couple who decide to have themselves shrunk to tiny size and relocate to a miniature city where they can live an upscale life of luxury. We promise it’s better than Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
The creepy thriller returns for season two, and while it may not be as wholesome as Love Actually, it’s perfect binge-worthy fodder that will have you clicking ‘next episode’ over and over again.
One for the self-confessed humbugs out there; American comedian and film star Kevin Hart offers a welcomed rest from all the sugar-coated festive programmes. Amid turmoil in his career and marriage he opens up about his personal breakthroughs as he navigates crises and fame.
The singing and dancing will lift your mood, but the ending will leave you blubbering into your box of Celebrations. If you’re yet to see the Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling bittersweet musical, clear a space during the Christmas period as it hits Netflix.