The Best Christmas Movies of All Time You Need to Watch
From Home Alone and Elf to Love Actually and The Holiday, we've pulled together a festive edit of the best Christmas movies of all time and where you can watch them.
Nothing gets you in the festive mood like a good old Christmas flick. From cult classics to cute romantic comedies laced with holiday cheer; these are the movies to binge on over the festive season. And we’ve even thrown in where you can watch your favourite films online – if Kevin McAllister and Buddy the Elf can’t get you in the Yuletide spirit, quite frankly, we don’t know what will.
The Family Stone
This dramedy deals with surviving your crazy family during the holidays in a thoughtful and humourous way. When all the grown-up kids come home for the holidays and are all forced to co-exist under the same roof, the spotlight turns to the eldest son and his very uptight girlfriend. Add in partners, over-sharing, exes, family secrets and sibling rivalry and you get a complex and lovable commentary on real life.
An action-packed Christmas caper, Bruce Willis' Die Hard is a film that has stood the test of time. Looking to reconnect with his estranged wife, police detective John McClane gets trapped in an office tower on Christmas Eve while it is being taken over by terrorists. Expect high-octane action, thrilling suspense, and a little romance for good measure.
For a light-hearted Christmas rom-com, Just Friends is just the ticket. Starring Ryan Reynolds as the high school loser who made it big time, when comes back to his home town for Christmas he does his best to impress the girl that got away. Unfortunately, he has to work over the holidays. And boy, she is hard work.
Hating London and her job as an elf in a Christmas shop, Kate (Emilia Clarke) feels like she is stuck in a rut. Her frustration wanes as she meets a handsome young man (Henry Golding) and by Christmas she begins to fall in love with her new beau and the holidays.
Christmas with the Kranks
Ever wanted to skip Christmas? With no trips to the grocery store, no presents to buy and no need to make awkward small talk with your second cousin, it sounds quite idyllic right? Well before you go ahead and cancel Christmas all-together, be sure to watch Christmas with the Kranks. A hilarious and eye-opening film on the reality of skipping Christmas, it may make you think twice before doing so.
One of the best Christmas movies – if not the best – ever made, It’s a Wonderful Life tells the tale of George Bailey — a man struggling to balance failing finances with an unhappy home life. After travelling to a bridge with the intention of ending his own life, he encounters Clarence, his guardian angel who reminds George of all the joy, love and happiness in his life. Wonderfully uplifting and full of seasonal cheer, this 1946 classic is an enduring favourite that will fill you with festive warmth.
Every ‘90s child’s favourite Christmas film. Who could forget the infamous McCallister family heading off on their Christmas travels without their eight-year-old son? As Kevin McCallister discovers how to fend for himself, he comes face-to-face with two bonehead burglars who attempt to rob his family home, but little do they know that this small boy is a force to be reckoned with.
Arguably the most heartwarming Christmas rom-com of all time, this comical Brit flick is guaranteed to get you feeling warm and fuzzy this festive season. But among the comical quips – Hugh Grant and Bill Nighy’s hilarious cameos are well worth a watch – there’s also a touch of melancholy that’s sure to pull on the heartstrings. We deny anyone unable to shed a tear as Emma Thomspson unwittingly tears open that present. We’re welling up at just the thought of it.
Brought to you by the king of comedy – Will Ferrell frolicking around, dressed up as a giant elf in the middle of New York makes this one of the most feel-good flicks of all time, let alone Christmas. Adoringly sweet and riotously funny, Buddy the Elf is bound to rouse a few laughs this Christmas.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Witty, warm-hearted and full of festive cheer, Jim Henson’s loveable take on Dickens’ age-old classic is a must over the Christmas holidays. Michael Caine as Scrooge is reason to watch alone, but pair that with Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Gonzo as the legendary Charles Dickens, and you’re onto a festive winner.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Chevy Chase at his finest, this madcap Christmas movie may well trump them all. In a crazed quest to pull off the perfect Christmas (and to outdo his neighbours in the annual Christmas light-display), Clark Griswold goes to great lengths to make sure this year’s family Christmas is a memorable one. But after Clarke and his family suffer a series of unfortunate – and downright ridiculous – setbacks, it’s not quite the Christmas he was hoping for.
When Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz swap LA and London homes in a bid to escape the clutches of their disastrous exes, they both find love in the most unexpected places. Saccharinely sweet, yet gloriously uplifting, this is one Christmas flick every girl should get on board with. If not to swoon unashamedly at the gorgeous Jude Law, then to chuckle at Jack Black at his most delightfully goofy.
Miracle On 34th Street
A woman who raises her six-year-old daughter to believe that Santa Claus does not exist, has a change of heart when they meet a department store Father Christmas who claims to be the man himself. Remake of the 1947 family drama, with Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Mara Wilson and Dylan McDermott.
A comical, modern twist on Charles Dickens’ classic, Bill Murray is his usual brilliant self in this hysterical '80s remake. Playing a miserly TV producer who hates Christmas, Frank Cross will stop at nothing to boost TV ratings over the festive season – including firing his colleagues and forcing them to work on Christmas Day. With visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, he soon learns the error of his ways.
Four performers arrive at Columbia Inn during the Christmas season, but without any snow, they are short of guests in the hotel. In an attempt to entice guests to the rural Vermont town, they stage a musical to get people into the festive spirit. Bing Crosby, Danny Kane, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen star in this classic holiday musical, which features music by the legendary Irving Berlin.
You’ve Got Mail
The makings of a great Christmas rom-com: when two business rivals, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) who despise each other in real life meet in an anonymous chat room, they fall desperately in love with each other. But will their feelings subside when they realise their true identities?
The Santa Clause
This all-American festive favourite stars Tim Allen as a divorced dad, who is forced to step into Santa’s shoes after he accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit (who turns out to be the actual Santa) on Christmas Eve. Following a magical trip to the North Pole, Scott, who slowly starts to morph into the big man himself – think white beard and wobbly round belly – and his son are given the important task of delivering all the presents on Christmas Eve.
The Nightmare Before ChristmasDark and twisted to its core, Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s gloriously macabre Halloween-Christmas mash-up follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington – Halloween Town’s notorious Pumpkin King – as he accidentally discovers Christmas Town in all its brightly coloured and warm-spirited glory. Bored of his harrowing Halloween routine, he plots to take control over Christmas, but despite meticulous prepping, his plans start to go seriously awry.
A Very Murray Christmas
When Bill Murray is forced to present his live holiday special without the help of special guests – they’ve all been snowed in – the producers are worried it will be a complete disaster. But with the help of a few last-minute drop-ins from the likes of George Clooney, Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus and The Muppets, plus a few festive sing songs, the show is a huge success. Bill Murray serenading Miley Cyrus is slightly surreal but hilarious nevertheless. You can stream this one on Netflix, too. Winning.
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