10 great films to watch on Prime Video / Disney+ over the Christmas break

A few films for anyone looking for something new to watch over the rest of the Christmas break...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.33 29 Dec 2021

Share this article

10 great films to watch on Pri...

10 great films to watch on Prime Video / Disney+ over the Christmas break

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.33 29 Dec 2021

Share this article

The Christmas dinner leftovers are running out, the chocolate tins are emptying, but thankfully there are still a few more days yet to enjoy New Year's and one last long weekend before normality resumes.

On Christmas Day we offered some recommendations for the best films to watch on Netflix over the Christmas break.

Today, we have a few more recommendations for the rest of the holiday - this time for anyone with Amazon Prime Video or Disney+.


Prime Video

Ad Astra

Somewhat overlooked on release, this Brad Pitt starring drama is a serious-minded bit of science fiction with some beautiful imagery and imaginative set pieces. It's perhaps slower and more sombre than your typical sci-fi tale, but it's still a compelling, old-fashioned adventure with a strong emotional centre. And it all looks truly wonderful.

Palm Springs

Comparisons to Groundhog Day are inevitable, but this time loop rom-com has its own distinct sense of humour that absolutely sets it apart too. Following a man and a woman stuck in an endlessly repeating day while attending a wedding at a desert resort, it's a charmer of a comedy and has lots of fun with the premise (as well as the whole underlying existential terror of the situation). It's held together by two great central performances by Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti - the film wouldn't work nearly as well without them.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

No better time than Christmas to revisit this 2005 black comedy, which was the triumphant return of 80s star screenwriter Shane Black. Robert Downey Jr has suggested it might be the best film he's ever made - it's hard to argue with him.

The Green Knight

One of this year's critical darlings, The Green Knight also doubles as an unlikely Christmas movie - the holiday looms large over the events of this medieval legend, mesmerisingly brought to life by director David Lowery. Be warned: this is a slower, stranger film than your typical historical epic. Tune into its unique wavelength, though, and there are plenty of rewards to be found. This was largely filmed in Ireland as well - the Irish landscapes have rarely looked so eerily beautiful.

West Side Story

With Steven Spielberg's excellent new version of the classic musical now in cinemas, the 1961 original has helpfully popped up on Prime recently. It's well worth a revisit (or indeed a first watch): it still stands out as one of the great Hollywood musicals, and a fitting celebration of the lyrical prowess of the recently departed musical theatre icon Stephen Sondheim.

Disney +

The Last Duel

Ridley Scott's film made a lot of headlines a month or two ago when it kind of appeared and disappeared in cinemas - with Scott himself voicing his frustration and anger over the situation. Thankfully, it has quickly popped up on Disney+ - and it turns out it's a smart historical drama that cleverly uses multiple perspectives (ala Japanese classic Rashomon) to show the same story from three different characters' viewpoints. While it features strong performances from Matt Damon and Adam Driver, it's Killing Eve star Jodie Comer who proves the real star of the show. It's also the second film on this list largely filmed here in Ireland.


Disney's latest family animation also didn't make too much of a splash in cinemas (well, by traditional / non-pandemic standards anyway). But like The Last Duel it has quickly made its appearance on Disney+. Unlike that film, this one is absolutely ideal for a family movie night.

Free Solo

A documentary here to mix things up. This hit 2018 docu follows rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to complete the first 'free solo' (i.e. unaided, with no ropes / harnesses) climb of famed California rockface El Capitan. The film's a testament to the feats Alex has achieved, but also a fascinating look at the person behind what many would consider stupidly dangerous climbs.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Another classic here - one of the benefits of streaming services is that they can make this kind of film more widely accessible to a younger audience. Paul Newman. Robert Redford. An iconic Burt Bacharach score. What more do you need on a quiet New Year's afternoon?

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Elizabeth Olsen is best known now for her work as Wanda in the Marvel films / TV shows, but it was this fantastic, chilling indie about a woman's life after fleeing a cult that initially propelled her to critical attention. It also proved a calling card for director Sean Durkin, whose long-awaited follow-up film The Nest was finally released in Ireland earlier this year (also very much worth your time).

Main image: Alex Honnold making the first free solo ascent of El Capitan's Freerider in Yosemite National Park, CA. (National Geographic/Jimmy Chin)

Share this article

Read more about

Ad Astra Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid Disney Encanto Free Solo Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Martha Marcy May Marlene Palm Springs Prime Video The Green Knight The Last Duel West Side Story

Most Popular