The holiday film is one of the few genres of cinema that evaluates films based on their ability to make your heart swell three sizes rather than their prestige.
There are so many must-watch holiday films to choose from on our list, including Christmas movies for kids, so-bad-they’re-good holiday rom-com, funny Christmas comedies, and even Christmas horror movies, whether you’re in the mood for a tried-and-true family holiday classic or a romantic Hallmark Christmas movie that’s as saccharine as a plate of freshly baked sugar cookies.
Our definitive list of the best Christmas movies of all time includes classic and contemporary films, ensuring that there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. So, whip up your Christmas cocktails to start your exciting holiday movie marathon with these best Christmas movies of all time.
1. A Christmas Story(1982)
With this renowned nostalgia-soaked narrative of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who wants nothing more for Christmas than an air rifle, director Bob Clark crafted another holiday classic—albeit of a very different sort—nine years after Black Christmas.
If you have cable, it will almost certainly be broadcast on a 24-hour loop on some Turner network on December 25.
2. A Castle For Christmas (2021)
Brooke Shields plays an author who travels to Scotland to acquire a castle, only to discover that the curmudgeonly owner, played by Cary Elwes, is adamant about not selling to an American.
A well-known romance novelist travels to Scotland to escape the negative attention her book has received and to reconnect with her ancestors.
3. Home Alone(1990)
In this classic children’s adventure from director Chris Columbus and writer John Hughes, Macaulay Culkin is abandoned by his family and forced to face a couple of dimwit criminals (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) at Christmas.
Kevin, who is eight years old, is unintentionally left behind when his family travels to France. He is pleased to be in control at first, but when robbers attempt to steal into his home, he fights back.
4. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
A toymaker and his granddaughter bring a wonderful world to life with a rare creation in this new musical starring Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, and Phylicia Rashad.
Jeronicus, a toymaker, has his world turned upside down when his employee steals his book of ideas and a one-of-a-kind matador doll. He loses interest in making new toys until his granddaughter pays him a visit years later.
5. A White Christmas ( 1954)
Ralphie, a 9-year-old boy, just wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB rifle. His mother’s first reaction when he mentions it at the dinner table is that he’ll shoot his eye out. He then chooses a beautiful theme for his teacher, but she has the same reaction as he does. He fantasizes about being Red Ryder and catching the evil people.
When the big day approaches, he finds a plethora of gifts beneath the tree, including a nice present from his aunt, which his mother adores. What about the BB gun, though?—
6. The Santa Clause 2 ( 2002)
Scott Calvin has been Santa Claus for eight years, and his devoted elves think he’s the best Santa ever. But he’s got issues, such as an unexplained weight loss, and then he finds out that his kid Charlie is on the “bad” list this year. Scott returns home, desperate to save his kid, and places a stand-in Clause in command of the North Pole.
When the substitute enforces an odd redefinition of naughty and nice that jeopardizes Christmas, Scott must return with a new bag of magic to preserve the holiday. If you enjoyed the first Santa Clause film, you’ll want to see this touching sequel about Santa’s hunt for the perfect Mrs. Claus.
7. Scrooged (1988)
On Christmas Eve, three spirits deliver lessons to a cynically selfish TV executive. He realizes that he must mend himself with the help of the spirits of the past, present, and future.
In Richard Donner’s humorous remake, Bill Murray plays an arrogant and careless TV producer who, while intending to create a live presentation of A Christmas Carol, ends up living out a mad variation of that story.
8. A Christmas Movie (1988)
In order to rescue his father and restore hope to his village, a young boy sets off to visit a mysterious hamlet inhabited by elves.
Nikolas, an ordinary little boy, embarks on an expedition into the frigid north in search of his father, who is on a quest to find the famous elven village of Elfhelm. Nikolas arrives at his destination, accompanied by a tenacious reindeer named Blitzen and a devoted pet mouse.
9. Bad Santa (2003)
Bad Santa is a black comedy film directed by Terry Zwigoff and written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa that was released in 2003. Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, John Ritter, and Bernie Mac feature alongside Billy Bob Thornton in the film.
On Christmas Eve, a sad conman and his companion dress up as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores. However, when the conman meets a disturbed child, they run into issues.
10. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Scrooge, an old miser who despises Christmas, is visited by spirits that predict his future and reveal truths from his past and present, changing his perspective on life.
Ebenezer Scrooge, miser extraordinaire, is retold in this adaptation of the classic Dickens story. During nighttime visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, he is held accountable for his nefarious deeds.
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