We're changing things up a bit this week and have included a major rundown of holiday titles available right now On Demand or streaming. There are some classics, as well as a few that you might not think would get you into the season of giving but, we assure you, they will. If you're wondering what's airing when on network television, NextMovie has a guide to holiday movies on TV.
We also have a slew of great new releases including Anna Kendrick getting her sing on in "Pitch Perfect" and new chapters in the "Resident Evil" and "Ice Age" franchises.
Another staple of holiday viewing. Jimmy Stewart's portrayal of lowly small town businessman George Bailey grows more significant with every passing year. Frank Capra’s ability to show a slice of 1940s Americana has never been equaled.
Why Watch It: If you’re still not sold, you may need a visit from Clarence.
We know it runs for 24 hours on Christmas, but some of you holiday lovers just can’t wait until then. Here you can dive into the bunny suite, leg lamp and BB gun madness early.
Why Watch It: Because, like going out for Chinese for Christmas dinner, some traditions never die.
Will Ferrell's tale as the achingly pleasant Buddy the Elf in search of his father in New York City has become the go-to holiday movie for a younger generation. With its great inclusion of Christmas staples and the insanity of Ferrell, the film has become an instant classic.
Why Watch It: Along with it being very funny, we challenge you not to feel warm and giving by the end.
As a Chicago family heads to France for the holidays, they realize they forgot one thing: their youngest son (Macaulay Culkin). This leads to a hilarious coming of age for the boy who soon realizes a pair of burglars (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) want to break into his house.
Why Watch It: The zippy one liners, the aftershave scene, the pizza delivery bit — it’s a film that never gets old.
No one is better at being, just, bad than Billy Bob Thornton. And in Terry Zwigoff’s version of holiday bliss, Thornton plays a drunk and horny safe cracker who works as a mall Santa as a cover. He softens just a tad when he befriends the boy of the house he’s broken into and living in.
Why Watch It: We promise you will not see a more hilariously vile and disgusting movie this holiday season.
Arguably the best Vacation movie of the bunch. Chevy Chase is in rare form as Clark Griswold, whose hopes for a big family Christmas at his house go up in hilarious flames.
Why Watch It: The classic scenes are many and each is better than the next, which shouldn't be a surprise since John Hughes wrote the screenplay).
The title is taken from Adam Sandler’s popular "The Chanukah Song" and here he stars in this animated adult comedy as a slacker who is on community service and shadowed by an elderly chaperon (also voiced by Sandler) as he does wild antics over the eight nights of the Festival of Lights.
Why Watch It: At the height of this stardom, this was Sandler’s riskiest project, which mostly pays off.
Wheeling and dealing investment banker Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) is thrown for a loop when, over the holidays, a spirit (Don Cheadle) offers him a chance to look at his life if a few things were changed. Now he’s stuck in suburban hell but softens when the love of his life (Téa Leoni) is his wife.
Why Watch It: Known mostly for his action-packed comedies, director Brett Ratner does an impressive job with this drama.
Rob Reiner’s classic (penned by Nora Ephron) follows two friends (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) as they tell each other their deepest neuroses until they finally fall in love. However, when Harry gets cold feet, it’s his race to kiss Sally on New Year’s Eve that locks their love for movie eternity.
Why Watch It: Has all the components to make for a great movie night this time of year.
Available On: iTunes, Amazon Instant
In an update on Dickens’ classic, "A Christmas Carol," who better to play Ebenezer Scrooge than Bill Murray? In this incarnation, the Scrooge character is named Frank Cross, a despicable TV exec who realizes the wrong he’s done when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.
Why Watch It: Who are we kidding? Murray is what makes this work.
When St. Nick’s evil brother Damian (Andy Dick) takes over Christmas and vows to destroy Hanukkah, there’s only one man who can save it: an orthodox Jew known as The Hebrew Hammer (Adam Goldberg). In this holiday/Blaxploitation comedy, we follow the Hammer as he tries to defeat Damian.
Why Watch It: Entertaining and Goldberg is the perfect choice to play the Hammer.
"SNL" gods Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy team with John Landis for this reversal of fortune a la The Prince and the Pauper set during a winter in Philadelphia. At his lowest moment, Winthorpe (Aykroyd) dresses as a dirty Santa and sneaks into a holiday party, stuffing a full cut of salmon into his beard.
Why Watch It: A classic in comedy moviemaking.
When the kids are all tucked in and you’ve had enough Christmas music, dive into the film that made Bruce Willis a superstar. Our introduction to NYDP detective John McClane is at a Christmas party at his wife’s company in L.A. When hostages take over the party, the barefooted McClane is the guest’s only hope.
Why Watch It: Seeing Willis shoot up the bad guys amidst holiday decorations will get you in the holiday mood.
Anna Kendrick is trying to adjust to her first year in college when she’s thrust into the school’s all-girl singing group. Not known for their originality (or singing any current songs), the new crop of girls try to bring some life into the group.
Why Watch It: Part "Glee," part "Bring It On" with Rebel Wilson just killing it.
In this latest chapter of the "Resident Evil" franchise, Alice (Milla Jovovich) once more fights for humanity against flesh-eating mutants trying to take over the world.
Why Watch It: Jovovich's bad-ass moves and skin-tight outfits never get old.
Available On: iTunes, Amazon Instant (On Demand: 12/21)
Speaking of franchises, in the latest adventure for Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo), their iceberg as set adrift and they use it as a ship to find a new place to live. But they'll have to encounter sea creatures and pirates to get there.
Why Watch It: Once you dive in, you can’t get enough of these furry thriller seekers.
Before hitting theaters next month, see On Demand this high school dramedy written by and starring "Glee"’s Chris Colfer. As overachiever Carson, he realizes the only way to attain his literary aspirations is to blackmail his classmates.
Why Watch It: Fun twist on the high school movie and another Rebel Wilson sighting.
Available On: Cable On Demand (In Theaters: 1/11/13)
Aspiring writer Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) gets an old briefcase as a honeymoon present from his wife (Zoe Saldana). He’s flattered until he looks inside and finds a manuscript. After typing it out on his laptop, his star climbs but the guilt behind it begins to eat him away.
Why Watch It: Strong cast that also includes Dennis Quaid and Jeremy Irons.
Orlando Bloom plays down his star aura to portray mild-mannered Dr. Martin Blake who falls head-over-heels for one of his patients to the point that he intentionally makes it tougher for her to get better so he can see her more. When an orderly (Michael Peña) begins to get an idea of what’s going on, Martin has to take some drastic steps to steer clear of trouble.
Why Watch It: Quite an eye-opening performance by Bloom.
In a year filled with Channing Tatum-starers landing at number one at the box office ("The Vow," "21 Jump Street," "Magic Mike"), this likable little indie about a group of friends who reconnect before their 10 year reunion fell under the radar.
Why Watch It: We know it may be difficult to watch Tatum with clothes on after "Magic Mike," but he’s in a good ensemble along with his wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Justin Long, Chris Pratt, Rosario Dawson, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie and others.
Diving into the trippy world of David Cronenberg, Robert Pattinson plays a wunderkind billionaire who finds himself in a journey to save his fortune and himself on the way for a haircut in his pimped-out stretched limo.
Why Watch It: Proves Pattinson has a future post-"Twilight."
Available On: iTunes, Cable On Demand, VUDU
On vacation with his family, Wall Street trader Will (Henry Cavill) finds himself deep in something when his family is kidnapped and the CIA (including his dad played by Bruce Willis) are in search of a briefcase.
Why Watch It: If you're in the mood for a butt-kicking thriller, check this out.
Available On: Cable On Demand, VUDU
Gaining a lot of attention at this year’s Sundance Film Fest, Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures) and Christopher Abbott (Girls) play two people trying to find themselves: one a recent divorcee (Lynskey), the other trying to figure out his future (Abbott). Needless to say, they wind up romantically involved.
Why Watch It: Lynskey shines in a much-deserved starring vehicle.
Available On: iTunes, Cable On Demand, VUDU
Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother") follows up his 2010 Sundance Audience Award winning directing effort, "Happythankyoumoreplease," with this love story about a thirtysomething (Radnor) who returns to his college for an old professor’s retirement party and falls for a student (Elizabeth Olsen) he meets.
Why Watch It: Radnor and Olsen have great chemistry and a strong supporting cast including Allison Janney and Richard Jenkins.
Available On: iTunes, Amazon Instant