We’re winding down the year with the top five Christmas movies (in no particular order) from the past that has endoured the test of time. Here is a must-watch list of films that take place on Christmas or have the holiday as a direct theme. The majority films on this list should look familiar. In any case, don’t forget to check these off before the end of the year.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
The oldest on the list is also the highest rated Christmas movie of all-time. It might not have gathered a cult following or is as popular as the other films on this list, the James Stewart starrer is considered a classic in the history of the film industry. This is a bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey, who faces financial failure and arrest, contemplating suicide.
Die Hard (1988)
This film has, well, nothing to do with the holiday itself. It’s just an action-packed film that revolves around an icon character by the name of John McClane who takes on a menacing terrorist group led by Hans Gruber (played by the late Alan Rickman). And when does this all happen? On Christmas, of course. It’s one of Bruce Willis’ best films in his action-led career. Hans Gruber has also gone down as one of the best villains to be portrayed on film.
A Christmas Story (1983)
Here’s a very light-hearted, comedy film about a 9-year-old boy named Ralphie in the 1940s. One of the most charming films to date, Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder BB rifle. In his driven ambition to acquire the gun, he goes through some wonderfully executed, comical scenes that will surely have you smile, giggle and laugh throughout.
Both well received by critics and average moviegoers, Will Ferrell (as Buddy), puts on one of his best comedic performances. Directed by Jon Favreau, the holiday comedy shows a funny transition of Buddy, who finds out he’s not a real elf, and goes searching for his biological family. Feeling like a total alien, his misadventures in New York City provides for countless memorable moments.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Another very highly rated film around the holidays, this animated film was one of a kind at its release. It wasn’t just the stylistic Tim Burton flavour, it was the story itself. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, finds himself absolutely bored with his job after another successful Halloween. He feels his life in Halloweenland lacks any real meaning. Soon after, he stumbles upon, you guessed it, Christmastown and immediately decides to make this new discovery his own.
There are many more Christmas related or themed movies that are worth watching, but this list captures a wider audience. In other words, there is something for everyone. Other popular Christmas movies are: Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, Miracle on 34th Street, Love Actually, Bad Santa, The Santa Clause, The Holiday, A Christmas Carol and The Holiday.