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The Best Holiday Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Holiday movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Holiday movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

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1. Fanny and Alexander

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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85/100
Released: 1982Rated: R
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: As children in the loving Ekdahl family, Fanny and Alexander enjoy a happy life with their parents, who run a theater company. After their father dies unexpectedly, however, the siblings end up in a joyless home when their mother, Emilie, marries a stern bishop. The bleak situation gradually grows worse as the bishop becomes more controlling, but dedicated relatives make a valiant attempt to aid Emilie, Fanny and Alexander.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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2. The Battle of Algiers

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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84/100
Released: 1966
Drama, History

What it's about: Tracing the struggle of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale to gain freedom from French colonial rule as seen through the eyes of Ali from his start as a petty thief to his rise to prominence in the organisation and capture by the French in 1957. The film traces the rebels' struggle and the increasingly extreme measures taken by the French government to quell the revolt.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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3. Holiday

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
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80/100
Released: 1938
Comedy, Romance

What it's about: Johnny Case, a freethinking financier, has finally found the girl of his dreams — Julia Seton, the spoiled daughter of a socially prominent millionaire — and she's agreed to marry him. But when Johnny plans a holiday for the two to enjoy life while they are still young, his fiancée has other plans & that is for Johnny to work in her father's bank!

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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4. Funny Games

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7.6/10
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79/100
Released: 1998Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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5. Picnic at Hanging Rock

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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79/100
Released: 1975Rated: PG
Drama, Cult

What it's about: In the early 1900s, Miranda attends a girls boarding school in Australia. One Valentine's Day, the school's typically strict headmistress treats the girls to a picnic field trip to an unusual but scenic volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. Despite rules against it, Miranda and several other girls venture off. It's not until the end of the day that the faculty realizes the girls and one of the teachers have disappeared mysteriously.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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6. Black Christmas

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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77/100
Released: 1974Rated: R
Horror, Mystery

What it's about: A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi, PlutoTV, Peacock & 2 others), stream on a subscription service (Shudder, The Criterion Channel, Kanopy & 1 other) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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7. A Night to Remember

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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77/100
Released: 1958
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: The sinking of the Titanic is presented in a highly realistic fashion in this tense British drama. The disaster is portrayed largely from the perspective of the ocean liner's second officer, Charles Lightoller. Despite numerous warnings about ice, the ship sails on, with Capt. Edward John Smith keeping it going at a steady clip. When the doomed vessel finally hits an iceberg, the crew and passengers discover that they lack enough lifeboats, and tragedy follows.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Hoopla) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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8. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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76/100
Released: 1953
Comedy

What it's about: Monsieur Hulot, Jacques Tati’s endearing clown, takes a holiday at a seaside resort, where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another. Tati’s masterpiece of gentle slapstick is a series of effortlessly well-choreographed sight gags involving dogs, boats, and firecrackers; it was the first entry in the Hulot series and the film that launched its maker to international stardom.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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9. Metropolitan

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
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76/100
Released: 1990Rated: PG-13
Comedy, Independent

What it's about: A radical student is adopted by a group of young New Yorkers, serves as a catalyst to alter his and their lives. Gathering in a Manhattan apartment, the group of friends meet to discuss social mobility, Fourier's socialism and play bridge in their cocoon of upper-class society - until they are joined by a man with a critical view of their way of life.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, fuboTV, Showtime & 1 other) & stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Showtime).

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10. Babes in Toyland

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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74/100
Released: 1934
Comedy, Family

What it's about: Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage on Mother Peep's shoe and keep it and Little Bo Peep from the clutches of the evil Barnaby. When that fails, they trick Barnaby into marrying Stanley Dum instead of Bo Peep. Enraged, Barnaby unleashes the bogeymen from their caverns to destroy Toyland.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, The Criterion Channel & TVision) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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11. Placido

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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73/100
Released: 1961
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: In a small Spanish town, during the Christmas holidays, a group of rich old ladies organize a peculiar event that consists of inviting a homeless person to sit down to dinner at their wealthy table. Plácido, a humble worker, is hired by the organizers to participate in a parade with his three-wheeled vehicle, a seemingly simple mission that will not be easy for him to accomplish.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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12. Princess Cyd

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6.6/10
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72/100
Released: 2017
Drama, LGBTQ

What it's about: High school athlete Cyd Loughlin lives alone with her depressive father in South Carolina, perpetually longing to get away from it all. When her aunt, famous novelist Miranda Ruth, agrees to host her for a few weeks during the summer, Cyd jumps at the opportunity. While there, she falls for a girl in the neighborhood, even as she and her aunt gently challenge each other in the realms of sex and spirit.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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13. The Silent Partner

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
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71/100
Released: 1978Rated: R
Drama, Crime

What it's about: Toronto, Canada. A few days before Christmas, Miles Cullen, a bored teller working at a bank branch located in a shopping mall, accidentally learns that the place is about to be robbed when he finds a disconcerting note on one of the counters…

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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14. A Christmas Tale

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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70/100
Released: 2008
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: When their regal matriarch falls ill, the troubled Vuillard family come together for a hesitant Christmastime reunion. Among them is rebellious ne'er-do-well Henri and the uptight Elizabeth. Together under the same roof for the first time in many years, their intricate, long denied resentments and yearnings emerge again.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Microsoft).

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15. Mon oncle Antoine

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7.5/10
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69/100
Released: 1971
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: Set in cold rural Quebec at Christmas time, we follow the coming of age of a young boy and the life of his family which owns the town's general store and undertaking business. Mon Oncle Antoine is Director Claude Jutra's masterpiece: A poignant, starkly honest, but humane film, shot through with authenticity from beginning to end. Realized with an unflagging artistic vision, Mon Oncle Antoine poetically portrays a young boy's coming of age, vividly capturing the Quebec mining town in which he lives.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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16. The White Balloon

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7.7/10
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69/100
Released: 1995
Family, Drama

What it's about: Several people try to take advantage of a little girl's innocence to hustle money her mom gave to her to buy a goldfish with.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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17. Les Cousins

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7.3/10
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69/100
Released: 1959
Drama

What it's about: Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with other idles, while Charles is a plodding, naive and honest man. He fell in love with Florence, one of Paul's acquaintances. But how will Paul react to that attempt to build a real love relationship ? One of the major New Wave films.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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18. Long Weekend

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6.6/10
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68/100
Released: 1979Rated: PG-13
Horror, Cult

What it's about: When a suburban couple go camping for the weekend at a remote beach, they discover that nature isn't in an accommodating mood.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Prime Video).

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19. Fat Girl

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6.5/10
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67/100
Released: 2001
Drama

What it's about: Anaïs is twelve and bears the weight of the world on her shoulders. She watches her older sister, Elena, whom she both loves and hates. Elena is fifteen and devilishly beautiful. Neither more futile, nor more stupid than her younger sister, she cannot understand that she is merely an object of desire. And, as such, she can only be taken. Or had. Indeed, this is the subject: a girl's loss of virginity. And, that summer, it opens a door to tragedy.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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20. Last Holiday

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7.4/10
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67/100
Released: 1950
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: George Bird is a salesman of agricultural machinery who finds out that he hasn't long to live. On his doctor's advice, he goes to an exclusive seaside resort to spend his savings on one last holiday.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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21. The Phantom Carriage

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8.1/10
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66/100
Released: 1921Rated: PG
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: It's New Year's Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom Chariot, that picks up the souls of the dead.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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22. Crazed Fruit

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7.3/10
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65/100
Released: 1956
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Two brothers compete for the amorous favors of a young woman during a seaside summer of gambling, boating, and drinking, in this seminal Sun Tribe film from director Kô Nakahira. Adapted from the controversial novel by Shintarô Ishihara, and critically savaged for its lurid portrayal of the postwar sexual revolution among Japan’s young and privileged, Crazed Fruit is an anarchic outcry against tradition and the older generation.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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