25 Best Christmas Movies

December 1, 2009

It’s December! Which means Christmas is right around the corner. So in the midst of being forced put up too many Christmas decorations in the blistering cold, and brave huge crowds and lines to shop for people you really don’t care that much for and  you’ll need some motivation to actually want to get into the Christmas spirit. This is what movies are far. I’ve complied a list of 25 Christmas movies worth watching. I tried to leave sequels and various remakes off the list as much as possible. Basically because I didn’t want a list of 25 versions of Christmas Carol and Miracle of 34th St. There is also one specific Christmas movie I left off this list because it’s annoying and over rated.

25. Rent: You’re probably already thinking what the hell is wrong with this list when you see Rent as the first movie to pop up. But here’s my thinking: First off it’s a great musical losely based on Lenocavallo’s La bohème, set in New York’s easy village.  A majority of the production takes place right around Christmas time. In fact if you give any Rent fan the words “December 24th, 9pm, eastern standard time, from here on in I shoot without a script.” They’ll give you the next 15 minutes of music.

24. Die Hard: It may not be a traditional christmas movie but the whole thing takes place on Christmas Eve when terrorists take an office building in LA. Bruce Willis goes one man badass on them and setting up his career and a movie franchise. Oh and it also has Carl Winslow and Snape so it’s a pretty cool movie overall

23. Trading Place: Yeah you’re starting to think that moves on this list just occur around Christmas time. I think this movie is pretty funny when it’s put in the context of other movies by the lead actors. Someone will have to point out if Dan Aykroyd or Eddie Murphy have had any other successful movies since.

22. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe: Another one of those “not technically” Christmas movies. But Santa is in it. The White Witch has caused a permanent winter over Narnia but it never becomes Christmas. A lot of Christian themes in this one.

21. Bad Santa: This movie is only ranked at 23 because I don’t find it that funny. I think the fat kid just annoys me. Billy Bob Thorton does alright in the crude funny sort of way but John Ritter’s awkward humor puts this move on the list.

20. Just Friends: I think Ryan Reynolds is funny and Anna Ferris is kinda hot. You get to watch this movie every once in a while on Comedy Central. Everyone kind of wants to be Reynolds in this move. The fat dorky kid that moved to LA and became rich and famous and brought a hot ‘musician’ home for the holidays. Yeah you want to rub that in the faces of all the kids that were douches to you in high school, don’t you?

19. Elf – See now we’re getting into real Christmas movies. This movie exemplifies the all ages comedy that Christmas can bring. There is really something for everyone in this movie. It’s one of Will Ferrell’s more memorable roles. James Caan is great too.

18. The Santa Clause – No kid wants their dad to kill Santa. But every kid wishes their dad could be Santa. It’s the trade off you have to make. Tim Allen kills Santa, begrudgingly takes his job and then learns to love it.

17. Nightmare Before Christmas: If Tim Burton does it, it must be odd. This is a stop motion animation musical with a Halloween/Christmas themed mash up.

16. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: I really didn’t want to put any squeals on this list but Lost in New York has such a great message about Christmas no matter what kind of background you come from. It’s really amazing.

15. Holiday Inn: Plot? Who Cares. Its another holiday movie with Fred Astair and Bing Crosby. It’s a musical and it’s a lot like White Christmas

14. Christmas in Connecticut: AHHNold directed a version of this movie in 1992. Ignore it. Go for the 1945 classic about a young food writer who gets herself into trouble when her lies become too big to handle.

13. Polar Express: Another great Christmas book adapted successfully into a movie about believing in Christmas. Even if every character looks like Tom Hanks.

12. Miracle on 34th Street: The Santa hired by Macy’s after their Thanksgiving parade is suspected to be the real thing. The story revolves around a little girl’s disillusionment with Santa but after meeting the department store Santa, she learns to believe. In this case you could probably go for either the classic version or the 1994 remake.

11. Meet Me in St. Louis: A love story with Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” What else do you neeD?

10. How The Grinch Stole Christmas: With Respect to the Jim Carey Version, the older animated version is a Holiday Classic. Although not technically a movie, it’s still a great holiday classic. Everyone has read the book and knows the story.

9. Scrooged: This is a comedic version loosely based on Dickens book about a TV exec with many of the same personality traits as Scrooge and is played by Bill Murray when he was really funny.

8. Scrooge (1951): This adaptation of the Dickens classic is regarded at the best. Like I said I could add 25 different versions but this one is over all the best. Go Old School and watch this one in black and white.

7. Love Actually: I actually really like this movie. 8 Romantic Comedies in one. Hugh Grant is his awkward charming self, Liam Neeson has a great role in the movie and music is funny.

6. It’s a Wonderful Life: A timeless Christmas classic teaching people everywhere not to kill themselves during the holidays.

5. Charlie Brown Christmas: The Linus monologue pretty much sums up why this is a holiday tradition:

4. Home Alone: As a kid this may have been one of my favorite Christmas movie. It’s still quotable today. “Buzz Your Girlfriend… WOOF!” The slap stick comedy was made more hilarious when I got older and got to see Joe Peshi in Goodfellas and Casino.

3. Muppet Christmas Carol: My personal favorite take on the Charles Dickens classic and it’s even a musical. Michael Cane as Scrooge and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchet just adds a new level of splendor to Christmas.

2. White Christmas: This is the Christmas where Bing Crosby dances with Danny Kaye (see below). Another Christmas classic that not only influenced Christmas movies but Christmas music as well.

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: This rant sums up Christmas for anyone who has to put up with too many in-laws and family members at Christmas time. This movie is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. This movie helps me have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas.

As  a bonus to the Christmas season I’ll give you a scene from a movie that, while not related to Christmas has a very eye catching musical Scene:



  1. Hey Bartender – I think even the ladies won’t mind if you cry during It’s A Wonderful Life (although sometimes I cry watching Chevy Chase’s turkey deflate). I wrote a song called George Bailey, would love for you to take a listen via my website below or watch the youtube video. I’m a sucker for that Capra film… thanks and happy holidays!

    Carolyn Sills

  2. Really? You think “A Christmas Story” is annoying, but “Love Actually” deserves any merit…grow a pair…seriously.

  3. Keira Knightley, Elisha Cuthbert from Wisconsin, Snape and a bunch of other British Actors (it’s their accents, it makes things bloody funnier you wanker)… yeah I’d say its better than “A Christmas Story” which is Over-quoted and over shown during the Holidays. The only redeeming Scene in that movie is where Ralphie beats up the bully.

  4. […] More: For a more traditional Christmas movie have a look at these: The Mug Rack Movie Mos Christmas Favourites Dirty Harry’s Place The Culture Beat Kulturblog […]

  5. Great list. National Lampoon’s Xmas Vacation has always been a favorite of mine, but Scrooged tops my best-of list! Well done on picking some lesser known stuff btw.

  6. National Lampoon’s Vacation – great choice for number one, it is one of my favourites. I love Scrooged too. I’m surprised Bad Santa ended up quite low on the list but good choice anyway – it is one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen.

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