What are the all time best Christmas films?
“‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except... the four ******** coming in the rear, in standard two-by-two cover formation.”
For some people what makes a good Christmas movie is the age-old traditions, for others, it’s a feel-good comedy or a tale of holiday romance. But, just like on a good night out, some people need a little action.
Lucky for us all, nobody watches just one Christmas film, do they? With the number of channels to choose from surely there’s something for everyone?
Our movie playlist features our top 5 Christmas movies, aiming to give you a healthy mix of seasonal fun and unapologetic entertainment.
5) Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton excels in the lead role as a drunken Santa ripping off shopping malls at Christmas.
That was enough to sign me up off the bat, but it’s the enigmatic 8-year-old named Thurman Merman who truly steals the show.
Bad Santa is the antidote to Christmas films.
4) The Muppets Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens as you’ve never seen him before (I’m kidding, everyone’s seen it before).
A hard-working entrepreneur named Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Michael Cain, isn’t a big fan of Christmas. Work is driving him crazy, and no matter what he does, he’s constantly surrounded by muppets.
His employees ask him to have Christmas day off and when he kindly agrees to give it to them the ghosts of his dead business partners break into his home and intimidate him for no apparent reason. I may be misremembering some of this.
3) It’s a Wonderful Life
Nominated for five academy awards (that’s at least one more than Bad Santa), here’s a Christmas movie that well and truly transcends the genre.
James Stewart stars in this timeless tale of a benevolent man beaten down by the realities of life. On the eve of ending it all, he is accosted by a guardian angel named Clarence; the two of them head on a journey through time to the very brink of his existence.
It makes me cry. Every. Damn. Time.
2) Home Alone 1 and 2
Almost inseparable we’re counting these classics as one movie. The only reason they’re not sitting in the number one position is because of how unrealistic they are. “More unrealistic than Die Hard?” I hear you scream. Yes. Any kid as annoying as Kevin Mccallister is never going to take a family more than five seconds to realise he’s not in the car, at the airport or on the plane.
There are so many iconic moments in these two movies; it’s too hard to single any out. Although I will say, he put me off trying aftershave until I was about 17.
1) Die Hard
John McClane arrives at Nakatomi Plaza on Christmas Eve to try and patch things up with his estranged wife, Holly. Why he’s picked her work Christmas party to do so seems like he’s just asking for trouble, but who knows, maybe that’s just what he’s like. On arrival, things start off pretty badly for John and Holly, and when a group of terrorists take over the building, it seems like a welcome relief. Cue lots of explosions, snappy one-liners and the late great Alan Rickman delivering the best baddy in any almost Christmas movie ever.
(and yes, it IS a Christmas film).
So there you have it. Other films to add to the list include Die Hard 2 (not as good but feels even more Christmasy), Elf (Will Ferell at his very best), Batman Returns (no, really), Holiday Inn (not just for White Christmas), and Miracle on 34th Street (I prefer the Richard Attenborough one, sorry).
And remember, no matter how much you argue over what’s on next, some things will always remain true: Christmas is a time for family, Rudolph has a red nose and Jingle All the Way is tragically underrated.