If you are like me , you become a little exhausted by the endless intake of holiday movies which ironically lack any sort of heart, and fail to grasp the Christmas spirit. It saddens me that Christmas movies usually tend to be little more than gimmicks made to take advantage of consumers who year after year desperately spend away their money in pursuit of a long lost feeling from their childhood. That being said, some of these gimmicks are actually really good movies. So without further ado, here are my top 10 Christmas movies.
FYI- I have chosen and ranked these movies based on my own personally feelings of nostalgia, and on their ability to capture the Christmas spirit.
10. The Santa Clause (1994)
The first of Tim Allen’s Christmas trilogy is a classic. Capturing the wit and charm of our leading man, while also adressing some frequently asked questions regarding the existence of Santa Claus by doubting children, this film is a must see. Magical, funny and heartfelt, it is without a doubt one of the best Christmas movies of all time. While some of its jokes may be a little dated, it is still an entertaining film which I believe, as a whole, still holds up. Can we all take a second to acknowledge the fact that David Krumholtz has not aged in the last 21 years? I think he might be a real elf.
9. Gremlins (1984)
While everyone else was praising A Nightmare Before Christmas for its ability to blend genres, I was busy watching Gremlins. More than any other Holiday movie, Gremlins succeeds in bridging the gap between campy horror and Christmas magic. This unique creature feature is a tale of romance, intrigue and humor. It is able to be ridiculous and over the top with its action and horror, while remaining rooted in its Christmas backdrop. Let’s be honest… Furbies totally copied Gremlins, right?
8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
I don’t believe there is a soul on this Earth who has never seen Charlie Brown’s Christmas special. It is a fun and witty story about Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas. It is a great commentary on the consumer culture of Christmas. This film is a great Holiday movie for the whole family and conveys a very significant message. So for those of you who loved this year’s Peanuts Movie, take your kids on a walk down memory lane to experience one of Charlie Brown’s most memorable tales.
7. A Christmas Story (1983)
Now, I am sure I will receive a lot of backlash for placing this film so low on the list. Honestly I’m just not as big of a fan of this movie as most people. However, there is no denying that it is one of the funniest Christmas movies ever made. Without giving in to the temptation to indulge in the inevitable cheese that accompanies most holiday movies, A Christmas Story manages to reel audiences in with its relatable and witty gags which have remained hilarious even after all these years. Is it weird that the dad was basically feeling up a lamp?
6. Die Hard (1988)
Yes, Die Hard IS a Christmas movie! Don’t even try to argue with me. Die Hard is one of the greatest action movies of all time and it introduced us to one of the greatest action heroes of all time who would eventually become a joke as the franchise took an unfortunate turn for the worse by filmmakers who wiped their own asses with the source material… Anyway, Die Hard rocks. John McClane is a badass. Hans Gruber is a tremendous and memorable villain. It is a tale of redemption and reconciliation. F*** you, it is a Christmas movie.
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
It’s campy, it’s over-the-top, it’s heartfelt and it’s Jim Carrey dressed as a green wookie. The Grinch makes this list because of its sheer irreverence. It is a hilarious and meaningful tale of love and forgiveness. Jim Carrey overacts the hell out of his character and we love every minute of it. The film also features delightful performances from actors like Jeffrey Tambor and Molly Shannon. Let’s not forget Anthony Hopkins’ narration which gives Morgan Freeman a run for his money. This is a wonderful film and I protest all of the negative reviews it received from critics.
4. Home Alone (1990)
Before John Hughes and John Candy kicked the bucket, before Joe Pesci cussed his way to an Oscar with Goodfellas, before Chris Columbus gave us the god-awful Pixels, and before Macaulay Culkin became a freaky weirdo, audiences were blessed with the whimsical tale of two convicts trying to kill(?) an 8-year-old MacGyver who was left at home by his sh*tty neglective parents which captured the true meaning of Christmas in the 1990 classic, Home Alone. (Was that a run-on sentence? I don’t care.) This is a marvelous movie with an excellent cast which brings out the Christmas spirit in me every time I watch it.
3. Elf (2003)
Perhaps the most quotable Christmas movie ever made, Elf pioneered the man-child Will Ferrell character we have come to know and love. Yes, before telling San Diego to “stay classy,” before sprinting around a NASCAR racetrack in his undies, and even before engaging in a petty feud with his step-brother, Will Ferrell- a human boy raised by elves at the North Pole must strap on his yellow tights and green elf suit to engage in an epic quest to find his estranged father in the heart of New York City. This movie is spectacular. It is funny, romantic and heartfelt. Plus, it contains one of the greatest movie duets between Ferrell and the lovely Zooey Deschanel. Let me clarify; it is not my favorite movie duet JUST because she is naked. That is just a happy coincidence.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Let’s get serious for a minute. This movie is not only one of my favorite Christmas movies, but it is also just one of the greatest movies ever made. In one of James Stewart’s most memorable performances, we meet George Bailey: A businessman whose heart has become filled with despair who, with the assistance of an angel, is shown what life would be like if he never existed. This is a great story of love and selflessness and it gives me the feels every time I watch it. Please, please, please! If you have never seen this movie, rent it or buy it. It’s a wonderful film. (no pun intended… Just kidding, it was intended.)
1. Christmas Vacation (1989)
The third and best installment of the Vacation franchise proves be the exception of two common claims: 1. Comedy Sequels always suck and 2. Christmas spinoffs never work. Chevy Chase gives one of his most hilarious performances as Clark Griswold alongside Beverly D’Angelo as his wife, Ellen. When I turn this movie on I literally giggle throughout its entire 97 minute runtime. It is a hilarious commentary on family life and the madness which accompanies having your relatives over for the Holidays. With some of the most memorable gags and a charming, albeit cheesey conclusion, Christmas Vacation is my all time favorite Christmas movie.
Don’t agree with my list? Did I leave out anything you think should have been included? Let me know what you think in the comments section below! Don’t forget to hit that “Like” button!