Did you know that 2019 brought us nearly 100 new holiday movies? Almost 100. I’m saying 95. NINETY-FIVE NEW HOLIDAY MOVIES. In one year! In one SEASON!
What on earth.
It’s outrageous and seems unbelievable, but it is true. When you add the new romantic or inspirational holiday movies from UPtv, OWN, ION, ABC, Freeform, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, TV One, and the theater to everything from Hallmark and Lifetime, you get a list of 95 movies.
If you’re anything like me, you probably both a) were completely unable to watch all of those movies because who has the time and b) would like to catch up on the ones you missed between now and the 2020 holiday season (when, who knows, we may get 200 new movies).
That’s why I’m here to tell you the best new holiday movies from last year! Although, I have to confess: Narrowing things down and ranking them is NOT my spiritual gift. So, while I started this post thinking I’d give you the top 10 movies, I ended up listing the top 10 movies from three categories.
This should keep you busy and entertained well into 2020! You’re welcome.
Here are the top 10 movies from Hallmark (including the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel), Lifetime, and “other” (which is UPtv, ION TV, OWN, Netflix, Freeform, ABC, Redbox, Amazon Prime, and the theater). Enjoy!
Top 10 Hallmark Holiday Movies from 2019
- Two Turtle Doves (starring Nikki DeLoach and Michael Rady) – Two sad people connect at the holidays. Grown-ups acting like grown-ups. Very moving and lovely.
- Holiday for Heroes (starring Melissa Claire Egan and Marc Blucas) – Woman meets her soldier pen pal and they fall in love. Again, grown-ups acting like grown-ups.
- A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love (starring Cindy Busby and Benjamin Hollingsworth) – This surprised me! I expected cheese and schmaltz, and I got a serious, moving story instead. Granted, you have to ignore the questionable theology and Kathie Lee, but I say it’s worth it.
- Write Before Christmas (starring Torrey DeVitto and Chad Michael Murray) – If Love Actually and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before had a Hallmark baby, this would be it.
- A Christmas Duet (starring Chaley Rose and Rome Flynn) – Former musical partners are reunited and sparks fly. Points to Hallmark for a movie starring two people as color in the lead roles. Bonus points for original music that was pretty good.
- The Christmas Club (starring Elizabeth Mitchell and Cameron Mathison) – This was so sweet. Also? More grown-ups acting like grown-ups! (Are you seeing a pattern here?)
- Check Inn to Christmas (starring Rachel Boston and Wes Brown) – The kids of feuding families work together and fall in love. Classic Hallmark holiday movie in all the tropes and all the ways, and I loved it.
- Double Holiday (starring Carly Pope and Kristoffer Polaha) – A man learns about Hanukkah with his Jewish colleague while they plan the office holiday party. Cute. Funny. A smidge diverse with the two holidays. Loved it!
- Christmas on My Mind (starring Ashley Greene and Andrew Walker) – Woman hits her head and forgets the last two years, including breaking up with one fiance and getting engaged to another. Another classic Hallmark movie and I liked it a lot!
- A Family Christmas Gift (starring Holly Robinson Peete and Dion Johnstone) – Woman returns home to help plan a fundraiser. Also, Patti Labelle sings O Holy Night. Sweet story about (you guessed it) grown-ups and, again, points for diversity!
Top 10 Lifetime Holiday Movies of 2019
- Christmas Reservations (starring Melissa Joan Hart and Ricardo Chavira) – Lots of interconnected stories, quite a bit of diversity, and Melissa Joan Hart and Michael Gross for the nostalgia win!
- Radio Christmas (starring Keshia Knight Pulliam and Michael Xavier) – Big city gal goes to small town. Single dad with precocious daughter. Secret Santa mystery and, yes, the meaning of Christmas. All the tropes but in a sweet way.
- Christmas a la Mode (starring Katie Laclerc and Ryan Cooper) – Young woman tries to save her family farm from financial ruin and big bad corporation. The usual story but in somewhat a different setting and just very cute!
- Twinkle All the Way (starring Sarah Drew and Ryan McPartlin) – Not my number one favorite, but in hindsight, a sweet, solid movie about two single parents working together on a school play. Lots of bonus points for serious diversity in this one.
- A Christmas Wish (starring Hilarie Burton and Tyler Hilton) – Woman wishes for true love but finds it was there all along. Friends to more than friends trope has been done, but I love it every time. Plus Hilarie Burton is my very favorite, so this was a slam dunk for me.
- A Storybook Christmas (starring Ali Liebert and Jake Epstein) – Very cute story about a woman who hires a male nanny to care for her niece. Sweet and solid holiday movie.
- Mistletoe & Menorahs (starring Kelley Jakle and Jake Epstein) – Man and woman agree to teach each other about Christmas and Hanukkah. Yes, another Hanukkah movie. Yes, another movie starring Jake Epstein. A pleasantly surprising favorite.
- Grounded for Christmas (starring Julianna Guill and Corey Sevier) – Two pilots are stranded in a storm and forced to pretend to be in a relationship. So many holiday movie cliches and I definitely didn’t expect to like this. But I did! So much!
- Christmas Stars (starring Erica Durance and J.T. Hodges) – Oh my gosh, one of my favorites of the whole year! Original music that was fantastic plus a cute story. I loved this one!
- Christmas Love Letter (starring Ashley Newbrough and Tilky Jones) – Woman receives anonymous love letter and returns home to figure out who sent it. Some of the characters in this were total cartoon characters, but the main ones were delightful.
The Top 10 Holiday Movies of 2019 (not from Hallmark or Lifetime)
- A Christmas Movie Christmas (UPtv, starring Lana McKissack and Brant Daugherty) – A woman wakes up inside a holiday movie. A silly spoof on this genre that lands more than it doesn’t.
- Last Christmas (theater release, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding) – A hot mess of a young woman meets a mysterious guy. I don’t want to tell you more, but this was fantastic. Sweet, funny, moving, surprising.
- Noelle (Disney+, starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader) – Santa dies and his son doesn’t want to take over the family business, so he runs away. Noelle, Santa’s daughter, goes to find him. In Phoenix. Cute family movie.
- The Knight Before Christmas (Netflix, starring Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse) – Time travelling knight and sweet science teacher connect in a completely unbelievable way. And yet, I watched every minute, so here we are.
- Carole’s Christmas (OWN, starring Kimberly Elise and Jackee Harry) – Woman wishes she’d made different life choices and gets the chance to see how that would have affected her life and her family. Same old story told in a sweet, cute, fresh way.
- Turkey Drop (Freeform, starring Olivia Holt and Ben Levin) – College freshman goes home and tries to avoid being dumped by her boyfriend as well as falling for her brother’s friend. If you like YA, you’ll like this (like I did!).
- Holiday Rush (Netflix, starring Romany Malco and Sonequa Martin-Green) – Widowed DJ loses his job and his spoiled kids lose their minds. Sweet family movie with a bit of romance, too.
- Christmas Chalet (UPtv, starring Erica Durance and Robin Dunne) – Divorced mom of teen daughter and grumpy author book the same chalet for the holidays. Every character was realistic and I loved this one SO much.
- Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas (Freeform, starring Aisha Dee and Kendrick Sampson) – Young woman goes on a wonderful date then dies in car accident. Then comes back as a ghost. Actually more about friendship than romance in a lovely way.
- Same Time, Next Christmas (ABC, starring Lea Michele and Charles Michael Davis) – Childhood family friends keep missing a connection as adults. Until they don’t. Cute and funny and diverse.