We’ve made a list and checked it not once, not thrice, but twice, and now we’re leaving the office in the North Pole to deliver the 50 Best Christmas Movies to all our nice readers around the world!
Christmas has come to represent different things to people over the years, and the movies here reflect that in kind. If you’re traditional and feeling nostalgic, you’ll be pleased to see where It’s A Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn made it. If this time of the year reminds you of sitting around the TV, eagerly awaiting those annual specials, look out for A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There’s horror (Black Christmas), comedies (Trading Places), horror and comedy (Gremlins), and even a superhero covered in tinsel somewhere (Batman Returns). And if Christmas means traveling somewhere you don’t want to be, stuck in a building with people you don’t like, have we got the ultimate movie for you: Die Hard! Ho ho ho, now we have a complete list!
If you were wondering how we put this together, every movie on the list is Fresh, and plays around with the spirit of Christmas and the holidays as a central theme. Then we sorted them all by Adjusted Tomatometer. And now you’re ready to enter a wonderland of cinematic history, with the 50 Best Christmas Movies ever!
Critics Consensus: Frosty the Snowman is a jolly, happy sing-along that will delight children with its crisp animation and affable title character, who makes an indelible impression with his corncob pipe, button nose, and eyes made out of coal.
Synopsis: This special release celebrates the 45th anniversary of an animated Christmas classic, Frosty the Snowman. First airing on CBS, the... [More]
Critics Consensus: Krampus is gory good fun for fans of non-traditional holiday horror with a fondness for Joe Dante's B- movie classics, even if it doesn't have quite the savage bite its concept calls for.
Synopsis: When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does... [More]
Critics Consensus: The Night Before provokes enough belly laughs to qualify as a worthwhile addition to the list of Christmas comedies worth revisiting, even if it isn't quite as consistent as the classics.
Synopsis: Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been friends since childhood, and for a decade, their... [More]
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest version of Charles Dickens' tale to grace the screen, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is funny and heartwarming, and serves as a good introduction to the story for young viewers.
Synopsis: Brian Henson, the son of Muppet founder Jim Henson, took over directing duties after the untimely death of his father... [More]
Critics Consensus: While You Were Sleeping is built wholly from familiar ingredients, but assembled with such skill -- and with such a charming performance from Sandra Bullock -- that it gives formula a good name.
Synopsis: This offbeat romantic comedy has some rather dark underpinnings that add, rather than detract from the fun. It is the... [More]
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: In the second of the blockbuster Batman films, the legendary hero does battle against the mysterious Cat Woman and the... [More]
Critics Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.
Synopsis: For his sophomore stab at directing, actor/writer/director Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made), took on this holiday comedy starring Saturday Night Live-alum... [More]
Critics Consensus: How the Grinch Stole Christmas brings an impressive array of talent to bear on an adaptation that honors a classic holiday story -- and has rightfully become a yuletide tradition of its own.
Synopsis: Chuck Jones' animated version of the classic Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas originally aired on television in... [More]
Critics Consensus: With the combined might of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Irving Berlin working in its favor, Holiday Inn is a seasonal classic -- not least because it introduced "White Christmas" to the world.
Synopsis: Music by Irving Berlin, songs by Bing Crosby and dancing by Fred Astaire all add up to a really delightful... [More]