Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Although Christmas movies are most enjoyable during the holiday season, they are also a great choice at any other time of the year. The appeal of these movies is, of course, Christmas spirit that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling often combined with a great story. Also, Christmas movies come in all shapes and sizes, from romantic comedies to action-packed features, so you can always find something from your preferred genre.
In case you want to watch a great Christmas flick, but don’t have an idea which one to turn on, we decided to create an ultimate list of Best Christmas Movies of all time. You’ll find both some old-school classics and modern favorites that will be well worth of your time. So, let’s get started.
50. The Santa Clause (1994)
The story follows Tim Allen, staring as Scott Calvin, as he accidentally causes Santa Clause to fall from his roof. With original Santa being hurt, Scott has to finish his job and embarks on a journey to the North Pole. His hair turns white, his beard cannot be shaved and his belly begins to grow. His son Charlie is proud of his father’s new job, but how will Scott explain to his family and friends that he is now Father Christmas?
49. Better Watch Out (2016)
Ashley gets what seems to be an easy babysitting job in the suburbs on Christmas. Luke is a 12-year old boy in her caring but has a secret crush on Ashley. Things turn for worse when they are terrorized by dangerous intruders. Fighting for their lives, they realize this is not a normal home invasion and there is a deeper plot behind it.
48. Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
A sequel to the first Home Alone movie, it follows same characters in a different environment. Kevin and his family decided to take a trip to Florida, but he accidentally boards a different plane and ends up in New York. Using his wits and father’s credit card, he has to outsmart the same pair of bandits that tried to rob his house in the first movie.
47. The Polar Express (2004)
This animated 3D movie follows a young boy on Christmas Eve as he boards the Polar Express, a train that goes to the North Pole. Filled with seemingly interesting characters and magical events, the boy will learn the true meaning of friendship, bravery and the Christmas spirit.
46. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
This Finnish film follows a group of explorers on top of Korvatunturi mountain. According to Finnish folklore, this is the home of Joulupukki, a figure that helped shape Santa Claus. The mountain hides one of the biggest secrets of Christmas, but it is now time to dig it up.
45. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
Samantha Caine is a typical suburban mom with an 8-year old daughter Caitlin, living in a small town in New England. She lives a regular life, teaching at a nearby school and in spare time making the best Rice Krispy treats. But she has amnesia. After receiving a bump in the head, flashbacks of her previous life as a lethal, top-secret agent begin to emerge. At the same time, her past comes to haunt her.
44. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Sandra Bullock stars as Lucy Eleanor Moderatz, a lonely fare token collector. A handsome man named Peter Callaghan is her secret crush, though the two have never met. On Christmas, Peter was attacked by a group of muggers and pushed onto the tracks, falling into a coma. After rescuing him, Lucy accompanies Peter to the hospital, where a nurse mistook her for his fiancée. Starting to fall in love with his big family, she has to find a way to tell them who she really is.
43. Mrs. Miracle (2009)
Seth Webster is a widower overwhelmed by his two 6-year old twin sons. In desperate need of assistance, he searches for a housekeeper to help him get his house, his life, and his family in order. Doris Roberts soon appear and becomes the irreplaceable nanny, housekeeper, chef and a guiding hand for Seth’s love life. Arriving just in time for Christmas, the kids named her Mrs. Miracle.
42. The Nativity Story (2006)
The Nativity Story is a biblical drama set in year 5 B.C., starring Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary and Oscar Isaac as Joseph. A message foretold in the heavens caused Mary and Joseph to journey to Bethlehem in order to prepare for the birth of Jesus.
41. Elf (2003)
Will Farrell is Buddy, one of Santa’s elves. However, there is a strange thing about him – he is a human. Growing more and more each year, he eventually became too big for the elf community and left the North Pole in order to find his biological father. Suddenly surrounded by a cynical world, he brings the magic of Christmas as he continues the search of his true identity.
40. Serendipity (2001)
Jonathan and Sara are two New Yorkers who meet in a shop after both reaching the last pair of cashmere gloves. It was love at first sight. But there is a problem – both are already in relationships. After grabbing a cup of coffee, Jonathan proposes they should meet again, but Sara insists on having fate decide if they are meant for each other. Several years after, they live at two opposite ends of the country and both are engaged. However, they both enlist their best friend to find their true love, seeing how neither could shake off that encounter a few years back.
39. The Holiday (2006)
Amanda and Iris, played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet respectively, are two ordinary girls who are having trouble finding the right man. In order to take a break from everything, or to turn their luck around, they decide to swap their homes as part of their holidays, only to fall in love with the local guy they meet there.
38. The Ref (1994)
Denis Leary stars as Gus, a burglar who happens to rob the wrong house on Christmas. After taking the residents as a hostage, he is forced to listen to the bickering of Caroline and Lloyd, a dysfunctional family with problems beyond Gus’ imagination. Soon, the captor becomes the hostage.
37. The Night They Saved Christmas (1984)
The story is set in the Arctic, where an oil company is exploring two sites for oil. The thick layer of ice requires blasting in order to inspect the site. After the first blast, Santa’s village in the North Pole was slightly damaged, but he soon realizes that the next blast will probably destroy it completely. Santa proceeds to enlist a woman and her children, who happen to be related to one of the workers, in order to get them to stop and save Christmas from destruction.
36. Batman Returns (1992)
When a corrupt businessman named Max Shreck teams up with the Penguin in order to destroy and enslave Gotham, Batman must return to his hometown to save it. He teams up with Catwoman, who appears to have plans of her own and by looks of it, is not to be trusted.
35. Scrooged (1988)
Bill Murray stars as Frank Cross, a cynical and selfish television executive. He believes in nothing but the power of money. Christmas for him is just another money scam. This is all about to change as he is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, trying to fill his heart with love and help him regain the Christmas spirit.
34. A Christmas Tale (2008)
Junon is the iron-willed matriarch who managed to drove apart her children with strictness. The troubled Vuillard family is kept together only by unconditional love, tolerance, and acceptance of aging Abel, Junon’s husband. When the family is gathered at their house for Christmas, they learn that Junon has leukemia and is in need of bone marrow transplant. The news will unravel all the magic of Christmas.
33. Arthur Christmas (2011)
Santa runs an ultra-high-tech operation at the North Pole in order to deliver all presents on time. But even under those conditions, mistakes can be made. This story follows an unlikely hero, Arthur, with a mission to give out a misplaced present to a young girl in less than 2 hours.
32. Bad Santa (2003)
Billy Bob Thornton stars as a convicted con man who has a drinking problem, easily embarrass himself in public and generally leads a miserable life. His only job is dressing as Santa once a year alongside his helper elf named Marcus. Even then, they do not bring joy to people, but rather rob department stores. Their relationship and lives further complicate when they befriend a troubled kid who thinks they are the real deal.
31. The Christmas Card (2006)
US Army Sergeant Cody Cullen returns home after his fellow soldier dies in Afghanistan. He is on a mission to return Jonesy’s private possession to his widow wife. On his way, he passes the small city from where Christmas cards, written and designed by Faith Spelman, are sent to lonely soldiers serving United States Army. He is invited to Christmas dinner and a romance between Faith and Cody develops. Things get complicated as seemingly charmed Faith is engaged to Paul, a wine broker.
30. Black Christmas (1974)
Group of sorority girls gets ready for the Christmas holidays, the happiest time of the year. However, they receive phone calls that put them on edge, with police uninterested in helping, deeming it to be a prank. The danger becomes real when police find a 13-year old girl dead in the park. But will they be in time to help the sorority girls?
29. Carol (2015)
The story follows two women; a young aspiring photographer Therese Belivet and Carol, a handsome lady trapped in a loveless marriage. Carol is left alone at Christmas and when the two women meet, there is an immediate connection and spark between them. The conventional norms of 1950s New York challenge their relationship, with Carol’s husband questioning her competence as a mother when he finds out about their unusual affair.
28. Gremlins (1984)
Billy gets a strange Christmas present from his father, a mogwai. It is a small, furry creature which translates to “monster” in Chinese. However, there are three important rules to follow with this pet: never expose him to sunlight, never let it get wet and never feed it after midnight. When Billy breaks these rules, he unleashed a horde of little, mischievous devils known as gremlins onto his town.
27. Christmas In Connecticut (1945)
Elizabeth Lane is a famous food writer who pretends to be a perfect housewife, taking care of her children and being an excellent cook. When the owner of the magazine decides to have a Christmas at her place, she has to cover her deception or she will lose her job and all of her credibility.
26. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Tom Cruise is Dr. William Harford. One night, his wife Alice tells him she contemplated about cheating him, telling him all of her wildest sexual fantasies. This sets Harold for a night of sexual adventure of his own. After an old friend of his tells him about an orgy party where everyone dresses in costumes and have masks, William decides to pay it a visit. Once there, he realizes that he is in great danger.
25. Frosty The Snowman (1969)
This animated movie is a true Christmas flick. Frosty is a living snowman, coming to life with help of a magic hat. He meets a little girl who helps him move to a colder climate, seeing how he will melt in spring. A greedy magician is following them, trying to obtain the magic hat for himself in order to revive his career.
24. Home Alone (1990)
Kevin is an 8-year old boy who is accidentally left at home alone during Christmas. His home becomes an impregnable fortress when two burglars try to rob it. Kevin uses everything at his disposal in order to make burglars’ lives even more miserable.
23. Trading Places (1983)
Louis Winthorpe is a snobbish investor who works for a commodity broker firm owned by two billionaire brothers. One day, Winthorpe runs into Billy Ray Valentine, a street con, and has him arrested under the accusation of trying to mug him. As part of an elaborate bet, two brothers have them trade places and lives. Now Winthorpe overnight becomes homeless and has to explain his position to friends and family.
22. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Harry Lockhart is a petty thief who accidentally runs into audition trying to evade the police. Being mistaken for an actor, Harry is sent to LA and introduced to a private detective that is supposed to teach him about the role. Along the way, he meets his high school dream girl, Harmony Lane, and the three get enrolled in a murder mystery, bringing them closer together.
21. Lethal Weapon (1987)
The movie follows a pair of mismatched LAPD detectives who have one thing in common – they hate working in pairs. Martin Riggs, a former Green Beret with suicidal intents and a veteran 50-year old cop, Roger Murtaugh, now have to put their differences aside in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.
20. Love Actually (2003)
The movie follows several different people that seemingly have no connection to each other, although by the end connections become clear and their love tales interrelate on a frantic month before Christmas in England’s capital, London.
19. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
The Griswolds are preparing a Christmas celebration for their family. However, Clark and his family seem to be always out of luck and the dinner quickly turns into a disaster. The only thing that keeps them going is Clark’s Christmas bonus from work.
18. The Bishop’s Wife (1948)
Henry Brougham is an Episcopal Bishop with plans of building a grand cathedral, paid by a wealthy but stubborn widow. This consumed his life and he lost sight of his family. At the same time, an angel named Dudley is sent to help him out. Dudley is helpful and friendly to everyone, but Henry dislikes him thinking he is there to replace him in both church and family life.
17. White Christmas (1954)
Bob Wallace and Phil Davis are two WWII veterans. Having left the army, they team up to become top song and dance act. They meet two sisters who also have their song and dance act, but have to leave to Vermont to perform a Christmas show. Bob and Phil follow them, only to find that the Vermont Inn is run by their commander, General Waverly. The boys will do everything they can to save Waverly’s failing Inn.
16. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
This is a Muppet version of the old classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. He is an old and bitter man, visited by Christmas spirits in order to seek redemption for his mischievous deeds.
15. Joyeux Noël (2005)
An unofficial truce taking place on Christmas ensues between warring sides of World War I. Soldiers on Western Front from all nationalities and sides meet each other on neutral territory and gain insight into each other’s way of life. Soon they realize how pointless the war is and how similar they all are.
14. Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus (1991)
This movie is a timeless classic based on true events. A newspaper writer named Church struggles with the death of his wife. His life has no meaning and is filled with pure misery. However, when he receives a special assignment of answering a little girl’s Christmas question, his life gets a new meaning. Does Santa Claus really exist?
13. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward is the biggest creation of an inventor that lives in a castle on top of the hill. Before he could finish Edward, the inventor died and left him with a pair of scissors for his hands. A lady living nearby welcomes Edward to their family and introduce him to normal life in suburbs.
12. Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
One of the classic masterpieces, the movie follows an old man who is institutionalized for claiming he is Santa Claus. No one really paid any attention to him, except a young lawyer who is now on a mission to prove he’s actually the real deal.
11. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
This animated Christmas tale follows three unusual characters in streets of Tokyo. A middle-aged bum, a transvestite, and a young girl find a newborn baby, abandoned near trash in an alley. They set out on a mission to find her parents, encountering numerous adventures along the way.
10. The Year Without A Santa Claus (1974)
Santa Claus woke up one morning with a serious cold and decided to skip Christmas this year. His wife and two elves set to prove him that there are people who still care about Christmas spirit in hopes to change his mind.
9. A Christmas Story (1983)
With Christmas approaching, 9-year old Ralphie only wants one thing: A Red Ryder BB gun. He imagines what would it be like to catch bad guys with it, however, everyone around him is against it as it is too dangerous. He is now on a mission to prove his mother, teacher, and Santa that this gun really is a perfect Christmas gift for him.
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington is the king of Halloweentown. Getting tired and bored of always spooking people, he wonders one night and discovers Christmas town and all of its splendor. Liking what he sees, he decides to bring Christmas to his town, causing massive confusion among all characters in this great animated movie.
7. A Christmas Carol (1951)
Based on A Christmas Carol, a classic novel by Charles Dickens, this movie follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a lonely, miserly and selfish old man. On the night of Christmas Eve, he is visited by three spirits who try to fill his heart with joy and love and convince him in the magic of Christmas.
6. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Disney’s well-known animated characters recreate the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a classic masterpiece by Charles Dickens.
5. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
One night at Christmas town, a new reindeer was born with an unusual feature – a bright glowing red nose. Being constantly bullied by others in town, and Santa not including him in reindeer sleigh team, Rudolph finds his place on an island of Misfit Toys. Vowing to get them back into Christmas town, Rudolph goes on a mission to prove his worth and to save all the toys on the island.
4. The Snowman (1982)
A wonderful Christmas tale of a young English boy who built a snowman that came to life that same night. After the initial shock, the two became friends and Snowman took the boy to an adventure to the North Pole in order to meet Santa Claus.
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Charlie Brown is a young boy appalled by the materialism and commercialization of Christmas. His frustration is that no one seems to know what Christmas is really about. He sets out on a mission to find and show others the true meaning of this magical holiday.
2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1967)
This is probably one of the most renowned stories from Dr. Seuss’ collection portrayed in numerous movies over the time. The story follows revenge-seeking Grinch on the outskirts of Whoville, whose only purpose is to ruin Christmas holiday for everyone.
1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
It’s a Wonderful Life is a traditional Christmas movie and a timeless masterpiece. It follows the story of George Bailey, a deeply frustrated and desperate businessman. One night, an Angel sent from Heaven came to show him what life would have been for the world and those around him if he had never existed.
We hope that you enjoyed in our list of Best Christmas Movies of all time and that you picked the one that will remind you what Christmas is all about. Or you can just watch all of them, and save yourself the trouble of having to pick just one. Please tell us your thoughts about the list in the comment section below. Also, if you think there is a movie that deserves to be there, let us know as well.
- Best War Movies of All Time
- Best Christmas Movies of All Time
- Best Halloween Movies of All Time
- Best Horror Movies of All Time
- Best Comedy Movies of All Time
- Best Animated Movies Of All Time
- Best Romantic Movies of All Time
- Best Action Movies of All Time
- Best Thriller Movies of All Time
- Best TV Shows of All Time
- Best Movies of 2017