I love almost everything about the holidays, especially holiday movies! I enjoy them so much that I’ve been known to start watching them before Halloween. So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 Christmas movies:
1. It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic Christmas movie that tells the story of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), an ordinary man who wishes he could be like his friend and guardian angel Clarence, an angel who tries to help George see that life on Earth is worth living.
Zuzu’s petals are the most memorable part of this film. When Zuzu’s teacher asks her class what they want in their Christmas stockings, she writes: “An orange and a pink one.” But when she opens her stocking later that night, it contains only one orange petal instead of two. Her father explains that he had given away all his money to Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) so that he could keep his building from being foreclosed upon – but now there won’t be enough left over for gifts for Christmas morning! After learning about this sacrifice, Clarence returns to earth as a mortal man named George Bailey so he can earn some money and make up for what was lost to save him from depression about his financial situation.
When Mr. Potter discovers what has happened on his own property without knowing how or why it happened (and without any proof), he decides to take advantage of this knowledge by blackmailing people into paying him rent while also continuing his evil ways against others across town including trying to stop Mary Hatch from marrying young Sam Wainwright because they both have different backgrounds despite loving each other dearly–a common theme throughout many movies made during World War II where “love conquers all” prevailed among Americans throughout those dark times facing global conflict abroad while faced with domestic challenges at home such as racism towards African-Americans since slavery ended over 100 years ago; gender inequality between men & women due partly due racial stereotypes perpetuated through pop culture media outlets like radio shows hosted by men like Paul Whiteman whose popular show featured young actresses who wore revealing outfits meant specifically designed so viewers would enjoy watching them perform
2. The Santa Clause
The Santa Clause is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by John Pasquin. The film stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an ordinary man who accidentally causes Santa Claus (played by Dudley Moore) to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. When he and his wife find that no one will believe that Santa is real, they set out on a journey across the United States to New York City to find and bring him back home.
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Like the rest of the films on this list, The Nightmare Before Christmas was released in 1993 and has since become a classic. The film is an animated musical drama directed by Henry Selick and executive produced by Tim Burton. It stars the voices of Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, and William Hickey.
The movie tells the story of Jack Skellington (Elfman), the Pumpkin King in Halloween Town, who becomes obsessed with Christmas after being told about it by Santa Claus (Hickey). He then decides to take over Christmas so that he can give it his spin while searching for something new to do with his life after getting bored of all things scary all year long.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
It’s a Christmas movie! It’s a comedy! It’s got Chevy Chase, who was in all the other National Lampoon movies! And it has Randy Quaid, who is just great.
It’s about this family that lives in a suburban neighborhood where everything is perfect. Everyone looks like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone 2: Lost In New York except for one old man living across the street and his cat named “Mr. Jingles.” The old man doesn’t have any friends because he likes to live by himself so much, but then he meets this crazy neighbor lady who wants to throw him out of his house so she can renovate it and sell it for more money or something like that.
Anyway, back to the family on vacation…
5. Elf (2003)
Starring Will Ferrell as Buddy, this comedy is based on the book “Elf on the Shelf” by Christopher Bell and illustrated by Chad Henry. It tells the story of an adult human raised by elves and returns to New York City to find his birth father. The movie was released in 2003 and has become a Christmas classic because it’s hilarious and heartwarming at the same time.
6. Home Alone
You’re missing out on a Christmas classic if you’ve never seen Home Alone. Starring Macaulay Culkin, this movie is about an 8-year-old who accidentally gets left behind when his family goes on vacation. While he’s all alone for the holidays, he has to figure out how to take care of himself until his parents come home—including dealing with two burglars trying to break into his house.
This movie was released in 1990 and directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed The Goonies and Adventures in Babysitting (both mentioned below). It’s rated PG and grossed over $285 million worldwide! It won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The American Film Institute named it Number One on its list of the funniest movies ever made; it also ranked fifth on its list of best family films ever made.
7. Love Actually
Love Actually is a 2003 romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The film is set on Christmas Eve in London and stars Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, and Rowan Atkinson. It has an ensemble cast of many famous actors who play multiple roles, including Emma Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay) as an older sister to her younger sibling Juliette Binoche’s character Maya.
The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay; Best Supporting Actress for Keira Knightley’s role as Natalie; Best Original Song for the song “I’m Not Gonna Cry” by Gary Barlow & Eliot Kennedy; and Best Adapted Screenplay. It won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music or Score (Hans Zimmer).
8. The Polar Express
The Polar Express is a 2004 American computer-animated fantasy film written, produced, and directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film is based on the 1985 children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. Themes include faith and love as well as belief in Santa Claus.
The film has been distributed to many international markets under the names: Real or fake? (Spain), Het IJsreizigerstochtje (Belgium), Le Pélerinage de Noël (France), Christmas Couplets & Carols / Die Weihnachtsgeschichten und -lieder (Germany), El Expreso de Navidad/El Expreso de Navidad (Spain).
9. The Grinch (2018)
The Grinch, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is a holiday movie that will make your Christmas season merry and bright. The animated film follows the story of an evil grump who wants to steal Christmas from all of Whoville.
The film was directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney and based on the children’s book by Dr. Seuss. It was released on November 9th, 2018, and rated PG for some mild action and rude humor. This movie has a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes with a budget of $55 million.
10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Jim Carrey is the voice of the Grinch. The movie was based on a book by Dr. Seuss and released in 2000. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award but did not win. It did win a Golden Globe award, however!
The movie is rated PG because it has scary parts and inappropriate language that children may not understand yet (such as “stupid”), but otherwise, this is a good family film!
So there you have it! The 10 Best Christmas Movies of All Time. Of course, as with any list like this, many great movies are left out—we know that many people will be disappointed not to see The Muppet Christmas Carol or Home Alone 2 on the list, and we understand why. We feel these movies represent the best holiday cheer of all time and can appeal to everyone in the family. Now you know what movies to catch up on this holiday season—or maybe even rewatch them for another year if they’re already your favorite!