(Photo by New Line, Warner Bros., Miramax, RKO, 20th Century Fox/ courtesy Everett Collection)

The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

From Home Alone and Elf to classics like Miracle on 34th Street, we’ve made our list of great holiday films and checked it at least twice. Now, to all you nice boys and girls out there, we present the Best Christmas Movies ever!

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 on our list of top holiday films. 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), comedy (Trading Places), horror and comedy (Gremlins), and even a superhero covered in tinsel somewhere (Batman Returns). For those with an independent streak to celebrate, check out Tangerine and Carol. Meanwhile, Netflix has made great strides in the Kris Kringle quadrant with The Christmas Chronicles and Klaus. 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 of great Christmas movies.

Wondering how we put this Christmas movie list 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 our ranked formula, which factors in the movie’s release year its number of reviews, to make the ultimate list of holiday films that melted even the most cynical critics’ hearts.

One movie you won’t see on this list: the Rotten-rated Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. On our podcast, we discuss whether ‘Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong’ about this sequel.

And now you’re ready to enter a wonderland of cinematic history, with the Best Christmas Movies ever!

Best Christmas Movies | Worst Christmas Movies
Best and Worst Christmas Horror | Best Foreign Christmas Movies
Rotten Christmas Movies We Love | Modern Christmas Classics

#63
#63
Adjusted Score: 61772%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Six-year-old Susan Walker (Mara Wilson) is skeptical of the Christmas myth surrounding Santa Claus, a trait she perhaps learned from... [More]
Directed By: Les Mayfield

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 62572%
Critics Consensus: Solid performances and a steady directorial hand help The Preacher's Wife offer some reliably heartwarming - albeit fairly predictable - holiday cheer.
Synopsis: A cleric begins to doubt himself and is visited by an angel. The heavenly emissary is supposed to help the... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 70261%
Critics Consensus: The Grinch gives the classic Seuss source material a brightly animated update that's solidly suitable for younger viewers without adding substantially to the story's legacy.
Synopsis: The Grinch and his loyal dog, Max, live a solitary existence inside a cave on Mount Crumpet. His main source... [More]

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 69738%
Critics Consensus: Viewers seeking a fresh holiday viewing option -- or those simply in the mood for Santa Kurt Russell -- should find The Christmas Chronicles well worth a yuletide stream.
Synopsis: Siblings Kate and Teddy Pierce hatch a scheme to capture Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. When the plan goes awry,... [More]
Directed By: Clay Kaytis

#59
Adjusted Score: 69315%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Teenager Kate Pierce is reunited with Santa Claus when a troublemaker threatens to cancel Christmas -- forever.... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#58

Love Actually (2003)
64%

#58
Adjusted Score: 70771%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis

#57

Krampus (2015)
67%

#57
Adjusted Score: 70794%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

#56
Adjusted Score: 70397%
Critics Consensus: While Christmas Vacation may not be the most disciplined comedy, it's got enough laughs and good cheer to make for a solid seasonal treat.
Synopsis: As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife,... [More]
Directed By: Jeremiah S. Chechik

#55
Adjusted Score: 71592%
Critics Consensus: Still raunchy, still irreverent, and still hit-and-miss, this Harold & Kumar outing also has a Christmas miracle: The audience gets to see the sweeter side of the duo.
Synopsis: Six years after their last adventure, stoner pals Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have grown apart and found... [More]
Directed By: Todd Strauss-Schulson

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 73365%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A retelling of the classic Dickens tale with Disney's classic characters.... [More]
Directed By: Burny Mattinson

#53

The Night Before (2015)
69%

#53
Adjusted Score: 74149%
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: For the last 10 years, lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have gathered on... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#52

Home Alone (1990)
66%

#52
Adjusted Score: 68957%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 74178%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A discarded magic top hat brings to life the snowman that a group of children made, until a magician, professor... [More]

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 73327%
Critics Consensus: The Best Man Holiday manages honest laughs out of broad humor, and affects convincing drama from a deeply conventional plot.
Synopsis: Nearly 15 years after they were last together as a group, college friends Lance (Morris Chestnut), Harper (Taye Diggs), Candace... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#49

Scrooged (1988)
69%

#49
Adjusted Score: 72389%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this modern take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#48

The Santa Clause (1994)
72%

#48
Adjusted Score: 75598%
Critics Consensus: The Santa Clause is utterly undemanding, but it's firmly rooted in the sort of good old-fashioned holiday spirit missing from too many modern yuletide films.
Synopsis: Divorced dad Scott (Tim Allen) has custody of his son (Eric Lloyd) on Christmas Eve. After he accidentally kills a... [More]
Directed By: John Pasquin

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 72952%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder),... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#46

The Ref (1994)
72%

#46
Adjusted Score: 75310%
Critics Consensus: Undeniably uneven and too dark for some, The Ref nonetheless boasts strong turns from Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey, as well as a sharply funny script.
Synopsis: Bickering spouses (Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey) annoy the cat burglar (Denis Leary) who takes them hostage in their Connecticut home.... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#45

Merry Christmas (2005)
74%

#45
Adjusted Score: 78287%
Critics Consensus: The poignant humanity on display in Joyeux Noel makes its sentimentality forgivable.
Synopsis: With the advent of World War I, Europe is thrown into a brutal and vicious chaos as men are forced... [More]
Directed By: Christian Carion

#44

Happy Christmas (2014)
76%

#44
Adjusted Score: 77687%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent, well-acted, and satisfyingly low-key, Happy Christmas marks another step in prolific filmmaker Joe Swanberg's creative evolution.
Synopsis: An immature party girl (Anna Kendrick) moves in with her brother's family to get over a breakup and throws their... [More]
Directed By: Joe Swanberg

#43
Adjusted Score: 79906%
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: The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy... [More]
Directed By: Brian Henson

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 82021%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Not even Santa Claus is safe from the evil that descends on Bailey Downs, a small town that is suddenly... [More]

#41

Let It Snow (2019)
81%

#41
Adjusted Score: 81746%
Critics Consensus: Comfortably cliché, Let It Snow wears its influences on its sleeve, but works anyway thanks an excellent ensemble and just the right amount of holiday cheer.
Synopsis: A snowstorm brings a group of young people together.... [More]
Directed By: Luke Snellin

#40

White Christmas (1954)
77%

#40
Adjusted Score: 80039%
Critics Consensus: It may be too sweet for some, but this unabashedly sentimental holiday favorite is too cheerful to resist.
Synopsis: Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen)... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 83805%
Critics Consensus: Anna and the Apocalypse finds fresh brains and a lot of heart in the crowded zombie genre - not to mention a fun genre mashup populated by rootable characters.
Synopsis: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to... [More]
Directed By: John McPhail

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 83700%
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: Lonely transit worker Lucy Eleanor Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) pulls her longtime crush, Peter (Peter Gallagher), from the path of an... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#37

Bad Santa (2003)
78%

#37
Adjusted Score: 85658%
Critics Consensus: A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn't for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.
Synopsis: In this dark comedy, the crotchety Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner (Tony Cox) reunite once a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

#36
Adjusted Score: 90476%
Critics Consensus: The Man Who Invented Christmas adds holiday magic to the writing of A Christmas Carol, putting a sweetly revisionist spin on the story behind a classic yuletide tale.
Synopsis: In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate... [More]
Directed By: Bharat Nalluri

#35

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#35
Adjusted Score: 86081%
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: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 87281%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dejected by his efforts to raise money to build a cathedral, Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) beseeches heaven for guidance,... [More]
Directed By: Henry Koster

#33

Happiest Season (2020)
82%

#33
Adjusted Score: 95086%
Critics Consensus: A jolly good time with heartfelt performances and more than enough holiday cheer, all you'll want for Christmas is Happiest Season.
Synopsis: This romantic comedy is about longtime lesbian couple Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), who made plans to go... [More]
Directed By: Clea DuVall

#32

Elf (2003)
85%

#32
Adjusted Score: 90476%
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: Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 89214%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While recovering in a hospital, war hero Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) grows familiar with the "Diary of a Housewife" column... [More]
Directed By: Peter Godfrey

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 89455%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Crotchety Victorian businessman Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) has no use for festivity, even at Christmas. After resentfully allowing timid clerk... [More]
Directed By: Brian Desmond Hurst

#29

White Reindeer (2013)
90%

#29
Adjusted Score: 91403%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Suzanne struggles to put her life back together after a tragedy at Christmas time.... [More]
Directed By: Zach Clark

#28

A Christmas Tale (2008)
86%

#28
Adjusted Score: 90300%
Critics Consensus: A sharp black comedy about a chaotic family holiday gathering, A Christmas Tale is always involving, thanks to an impressive ensemble cast.
Synopsis: When steely French matriarch Junon (Catherine Deneuve) learns she has leukemia, she asks her children and grandchildren at the family... [More]
Directed By: Arnaud Desplechin

#27

Gremlins (1984)
85%

#27
Adjusted Score: 89862%
Critics Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.
Synopsis: A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#26

Trading Places (1983)
88%

#26
Adjusted Score: 87860%
Critics Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.
Synopsis: Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#25

Better Watch Out (2016)
89%

#25
Adjusted Score: 93034%
Critics Consensus: Carried by its charismatic young cast, Better Watch Out is an adorably sinister holiday horror film.
Synopsis: Ashley travels to the suburban home of the Lerners to baby-sit their 12-year-old son Luke at Christmastime. She must soon... [More]
Directed By: Chris Peckover

#24

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
91%

#24
Adjusted Score: 91901%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful and substantive, Tokyo Godfathers adds a moving -- and somewhat unconventional -- entry to the animated Christmas canon.
Synopsis: Middle-aged alcoholic Gin (Toru Emori), teenage runaway Miyuki (Aya Okamoto) and former drag queen Hana (Yoshiaki Umegaki) are a trio... [More]
Directed By: Satoshi Kon

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 92105%
Critics Consensus: Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and spot-on performances in this dark, eclectic neo-noir homage.
Synopsis: Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#22
Adjusted Score: 92525%
Critics Consensus: Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror.
Synopsis: A young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommila) and his friend Juuso (Ilmari Järvenpää) think a secret mountain drilling project near... [More]
Directed By: Jalmari Helander

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 93956%
Critics Consensus: Both warmly nostalgic and darkly humorous, A Christmas Story deserves its status as a holiday perennial.
Synopsis: Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#20

Little Women (1994)
92%

#20
Adjusted Score: 94093%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic, the March sisters confront growing pains, financial shortages, family tragedies and... [More]
Directed By: Gillian Armstrong

#19
Adjusted Score: 102706%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Stannie Dum (Stan Laurel) and Ollie Dee (Oliver Hardy) rent rooms in Mother Peep's shoe in Toyland. When Mother Peep... [More]
Directed By: Gus Meins, Charley Rogers

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 94136%
Critics Consensus: The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center.
Synopsis: A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#17

Klaus (2019)
94%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97540%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful hand-drawn animation and a humorous, heartwarming narrative make Klaus an instant candidate for holiday classic status.
Synopsis: A desperate postman accidentally brings about the genesis of Santa Claus.... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Pablos

#16
Adjusted Score: 93564%
Critics Consensus: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey celebrates the yuletide season with a holiday adventure whose exuberant spirit is matched by its uplifting message.
Synopsis: Decades after his apprentice betrays him, a once joyful toymaker finds new hope when his bright young granddaughter appears on... [More]
Directed By: David E. Talbert

#15

Remember the Night (1940)
100%

#15
Adjusted Score: 44604%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Moved to pity by the Christmas season, New York District Attorney John Sargent (Fred MacMurray) lets pretty shoplifter Lee Leander... [More]
Directed By: Mitchell Leisen

#14
Adjusted Score: 96105%
Critics Consensus: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a yule-tide gem that bursts with eye-popping iconography, a spirited soundtrack, and a heart-warming celebration of difference.
Synopsis: This stop-motion animagic version of the classic Christmas tale adds a bit of a twist when Rudolph encounters an abominable... [More]
Directed By: Maury Laws, Larry Roemer

#13

Arthur Christmas (2011)
92%

#13
Adjusted Score: 98176%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: Everyone knows that, each Christmas, Santa Claus delivers presents to every last child on Earth. What everyone doesn't know is... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith

#12

Die Hard (1988)
94%

#12
Adjusted Score: 100303%
Critics Consensus: Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.
Synopsis: New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 84820%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer. And for Peanuts fans everywhere, it just wouldn't be Christmas without this classic holiday... [More]
Directed By: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman

#10

Tangerine (2015)
96%

#10
Adjusted Score: 102105%
Critics Consensus: Tangerine shatters casting conventions and its filmmaking techniques are up-to-the-minute, but it's an old-fashioned comedy at heart -- and a pretty wonderful one at that.
Synopsis: After hearing that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail, a hooker and her best friend set... [More]
Directed By: Sean Baker

#9

Carol (2015)
94%

#9
Adjusted Score: 105961%
Critics Consensus: Shaped by Todd Haynes' deft direction and powered by a strong cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Carol lives up to its groundbreaking source material.
Synopsis: Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department... [More]
Directed By: Todd Haynes

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 104084%
Critics Consensus: A disarmingly sweet musical led by outstanding performances from Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien, Meet Me in St. Louis offers a holiday treat for all ages.
Synopsis: "Meet Me in St. Louis" is a classic MGM romantic musical comedy that focuses on four sisters (one of whom... [More]
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli

#7

Little Women (2019)
95%

#7
Adjusted Score: 120535%
Critics Consensus: With a stellar cast and a smart, sensitive retelling of its classic source material, Greta Gerwig's Little Women proves some stories truly are timeless.
Synopsis: In the years after the Civil War, Jo March lives in New York and makes her living as a writer,... [More]
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

#6
Adjusted Score: 103605%
Critics Consensus: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation.
Synopsis: The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick

#5
Adjusted Score: 100586%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This made-for-TV Christmas special is a classic. Based on a Dr. Seuss book, it is about a Christmas-hating Grinch who... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Jones

#4
Adjusted Score: 103730%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) are employees at Matuschek and Company, a general store in Budapest.... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#3

Holiday Inn (1942)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 100113%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this Irving Berlin musical, Jim (Bing Crosby) and Lila are members of a performing trio who plan to quit... [More]
Directed By: Mark Sandrich

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 102247%
Critics Consensus: Irrefutable proof that gentle sentimentalism can be the chief ingredient in a wonderful film, Miracle on 34th Street delivers a warm holiday message without resorting to treacle.
Synopsis: In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) fills in for an... [More]
Directed By: George Seaton

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 106180%
Critics Consensus: The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It's a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.
Synopsis: After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra


  • Heather Anders

    I was hoping for a more kid-oriented list (as isn’t that what xmas is about?) so I know what to watch with my kids – but clearly not the right sort of list – otherwise things like Polar Express, Scrooged, Grinch etc. would be on it…. But that aside – A Christmas List that has In Bruges and NOT Home Alone?!?! …. Madness.* Not a very good christmas list for anyone I think.

    *In Bruges a great film.. but a ‘Christmas film’?!? Hmmm.

  • Reece Markowsky

    i had to look twice, but can’t believe Scrooged (1988) wasn’t on the list.

    • SAJKinBigD

      Agreed! This is my favorite Christmas movie, hands-down!

  • Markdpez

    Christmas Vacation

  • The Family Stone and White Christmas! ♥

  • Jose Velasquez

    Home Alone? The Grinch? Jingle All the Way? Just to name a few…

  • Jesse Bernal

    Just terrible I tell ya.

  • wickedscholar

    Are you on crack? No Christmas Vacation – are you kidding me? I think I’ve lost all confidence in Rotten Tomatoes. I’ll never trust one of your rankings again.

    • advantasux

      personally, I look at these lists just for my own amusement anymore. I’ve come to believe that folks that publish lists like these make choices they think make them look intelligent and above the “nonsense” that turns on dopes like the rest of us. This list is as good an example of that as any I’ve seen. No “Home Alone”? No “Christmas Vacation”? What a joke!

  • David Cohen

    This list is invalid for three reasons:

    1) “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween movie, NOT a Christmas movie. Source: Tim Burton.

    2) You neglected to include the animated version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

    3) You put “A Christmas Story” at number 11 and that over-rated slop fest “Its a Wonderful Life” at number one.

    • American Kestral

      “Over-rated slop fest”? You’re entitled to your opinion, a lot of people think Frank Capra’s movies are cheesy. I think Christmas is the perfect venue for his brand of corn. To me, trashing “It’s a Wonderful Life” is like kicking a puppy.

      • David Cohen

        I admire your ability to resist nausea

        • Guest54321

          I admire your ability to think you are so above it all. Kudos, tough guy.

    • ks

      “A Christmas Story” Sucked with a capital “S”. The whole story revolves
      around this dumb, nerdy kid who should have been beaten up on
      a regular basis. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is great because it shows the resilience
      of the Human Spirit. Down and and being kicked and he gets up off the mat and
      fights back when he knows that being rich doesn’t mean having a lot of money.
      “Christmas Vacation”, “White Christmas” and “Home Alone 2” need
      to be in the the top 10, NOT “Home Alone”.

      • David Cohen

        “Its a Wonderful Life” flopped in its initial release. It didn’t become a so-called classic until it was handed over to television and re-run ad nauseum year after year. Its like a commercial: endless repeats makes one inured to how cloying and sickly sweet it is and fools people into think it might actually be good.

        Well, some people at least.

        • ks

          The reason it is shown year after year is that it gets ratings. It
          is like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” people want to see it. Of
          course you seem to like movies about neurotic, wimpy kids
          like the dork in “Christmas Story”.

          • David Cohen

            The A Team got ratings too, a fact which did not keep it from, being garbage. Of course, you seem to prefer ridiculous wish-fulfillment fantasies over realistic stories about real people whom you write off as dumb, nerdy, dorks and lament they they are not beaten up more.

        • Guest54321

          Geez, you still busy bashing It’s a Wonderful Life? What a bizarre thing to need to do. Patrol a movie forum to make sure you get your licks in.

          • David Cohen

            Whereas stalking people who patrol a movie forum seems to strike you as perfectly reasonable.

          • Guest54321

            Well, less unreasonable, certainly, than going around repeating some jejeune “it’s so played out” trope about the most beloved Christmas movie of all time.

          • David Cohen

            Brilliant use of the “I know you are but what am I” retort. 1st graders everywhere must live in fear of your ready wit.

            Your comebacks are as trite and uninspired as the movie you are defending.

          • Guest54321

            Oooooh, double dis!! Strong work, soldier!

          • fozzie bear

            Stalking requires more than one reply.

      • LINUXGUY

        Agree 100%. Christmas Story sucks. Big time.

      • tanksl

        Gets up off the mat? He tried to kill himself 15 minutes in. Fortunately, an angel intervened, and he didn’t end up abandoning his family before Christmas like the spineless piece of human garbage he is.

    • MovieBuff

      “A Christmas Story” is an overrated slop fest

      • David Cohen

        A Christmas Story wasn’t about sentiment. Its a Wonderful Life was about nothing but sentiment; sloppy, cloying, manufactured sentiment.

        Dang, did you put ANY thought into that response?

  • The Ref? Love Actually? Christmas Vacation?

  • MatticusFinch182

    This list some is some bullshit.

  • Mark

    The Ice Harvest. Mob/comedy. I laugh everytime Billy Bob Thorton and John Cusack debate the spaciousness of Mercedes trunks.

  • On my film blog I’ve produced my own list of the 101 Christmas Movies You Must See Before You Die, shares some films from this list but has many more interesting and lesser known titles that I recommend if you’re looking for something different to watch this year – http://cuemarks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/101-christmas-movies-you-must-see.html

  • Mark

    Most of these are not xmas movies. Films like the lemondrop Kid and Christmas In Connecticut should be in and things like Die Hard, Stalag 17 really dont belong in this list

    • Dharmesh

      Clearly you have not seen Die Hard to know that it is in fact a Christmas Movie, In fact, probably the best action Christmas movie out there. But the list doesn’t have Home Alone 2, so it is garbage

  • Dharmesh

    How the heck could Home Alone 2 not be on this list.

  • Allison Knowles

    The Ref should have been #1 on this list. Guess you never heard of it. Your loss.

    • SAJKinBigD

      Great one! Absolutely love it!

  • Sam

    Christmas Vacation is a classic and full of funny one liners and scenes

  • Sam

    And Home Alone is awesome

  • Sam

    Jim Carrey’s Grinch and Christmas Story….. the old ,Santa Claus – The Movie was good , with Dudley Moore , and The Santa Clause-

  • Kieran Blubaugh

    How are half these considered Christmas movies, Die Hard is fine, but In Bruges? Really?

    • Caleb Nathaniel Gumblegore

      I was baffled by that one as well. Not entirely familiar with the climate in Bruges, but I’m not sure that movie even took place in winter let alone Christmas.

      • Kukalaka

        Forget In Bruges — Stalag 17?! Seriously?

    • Guest54321

      The list is pretty absurd overall. Half the movies are nothing like Christmas movies. Just because it is December in a movie does not make it a Christmas movie.

  • Jim222001

    Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are rated way lower than they should be. Yet Home Alone 3 is the only one Ebert liked ?
    Also the Santa Clause and Muppet Christmas Carol. Scrooged is another classic critics hated.

  • Joe Bartbart

    The Thin Man should be on this list if Die Hard is.

  • Harry Pujols

    Love Actually?

  • notsofastnow

    Very loose definition of Christmas movie here. Scrooge with Alastair Sim should be high on the list. And where’s White Christmas? I love the Apartment and Stalag 17, but they’re not Christmas movies by any stretch of the imagination. Snow does not a holiday movie make. Is Christmas central to the theme of the movie? That’s what should define the genre. I’d add Charlie Brown Christmas to this list, but not Die Hard, c’mon. How about some standards?

    • Ed Gruberman

      Now I have a machine gun Ho-Ho-Ho?

  • So they didn’t include some movies that had part of a Christmas plot line but they did include Batman?

  • Justin Miner

    Love Love LOVE Miracle on 34th Street. Such an amazing movie.

  • Really?

    Releasing a movie in December doesn’t make it a ‘Christmas movie’. At least eight of these movies have nothing to do with Christmas. That’s the problem with the internet – no quality control

  • MICHAEL M

    Some of these are not even Christmas movies! If a movie has one Christmas scene or just mentions Christmas but it doesn’t center around Christmas then it is NOT a Christmas movie! In Bruges? Really? It’s one of my favorites BUT it is not a Christmas movie.

  • Barry Hussain

    Ths list sucks. Batman??? Nightmare Before Christmas, Gremlins = Weird! To name a few missing Polar Express, Home Alone, Family Vacation, White Christmas, Scrooged.

  • porkchopexpress

    XMAS VACATION, HANDS DOWN THE BEST XMAS MOVIE EVER FOLLOWED BY SCROOGED THEN GREMLINS..

  • jerryr5

    To me, it’s 1970’s “Scrooge”, the Leslie Bricusse musical with Albert Finney. I just love it, and don’t see how you missed it. And I usually don’t like musicals. “Scrooge” is free on Youtube. See it.

  • jegerbomb

    Wtf half of these movies are not even Christmas movies they just take place in the winter

  • Bobb Smith

    The Great Rupert, also called A Christmas Wish. This is right there with Miracle on 34th Street.

  • Dave

    No Love Actually?

    • John

      Love that movie!

  • John

    Wow this list left off some goodies that are much more of Christmas Classics than some listed. White Christmas, Home Alone, and even The Grinch. I hate critics, so out of touch with the actual audience.

  • Michael Gorth

    a Christmas story #1

  • Farty Fartsalot

    The Ref?

  • Matthew Parker

    A reboot of the original script but done very badly.
    1/ Storm troopers land like WWII D day troops and run into opposition. I think with the technology they have that was a little outdated.
    2/ Finn and Poe crash land. Finn walks 50 miles and the First Order haven’t reacted yet.
    3/ Ray spent all her life as a suppressed scavenger stuck on a desert planet but is inexplicably a space ace pilot.
    4/ And the insults to the first original classic just keep on coming and coming, not to mention the opportunity for the Jewish director to virtually create the First Order as the Third Reich to continually remind us how all those Jewish billionaire bankers who own Hollywood how oppressed they are.

    • Reid Ralston

      1/ You’re wrong.
      2/ I think you’re on the wrong discussion.

      • Matthew Parker

        1/ I’m not wrong, The Force Awakens is as stated.
        2/ I’m on the wrong discussion. Don’t know how that happened, I started in “The Force Awakens” but it got posted here. WTF? Blame the nerds who set up this site.
        3/ Best Christmas movie ever is “Die Hard”.

  • MovieBuff

    Not one of my favorite Christmas films are here 🙁

  • MovieBuff

    Love Actually, White Christmas, Joyeux Noel, The Preacher’s Wife, Jack Frost….

  • VanillaMillz

    The Family Man.. I watch it every year.

  • Flavius Căpățînă

    Love Actually?

  • Real Vegas

    You missed “To live and die in L.A.”

  • Brian

    NL Christmas Vacation??? Not in top 10??? How can A Christmas Story not be in the top 10???

  • Andre Troesch

    I’d have Mixed Nuts instead of In Bruges and I’d include Merry Christmas (1984) on the list somewhere

  • Craig Moreland

    Isn’t Christmas Suppose to Be About JESUS?

  • Tim Sawyer

    Rotten Tomatoes just lost ALL credibility from its editors. What drunken, delusional moron tossed together this stinking heap of garbage they call a list? Lots of these aren’t even Christmas movies! They’re just movies that happen to be set around the holidays! Hell, that makes JURASSIC WORLD a damn Christmas movie!

    They leave off CHRISTMAS VACATION??? Home alone 1 & 2? The Grinch? Jingle All the Way? Four Christmases? THE SANTA CLAUS?? …THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL?!?!?!

    I feel bad for the friends and family of whatever tasteless, cheerless Scrooge made this sad excuse of a list. They need to go watch some actual Christmas classics.

  • 450lb

    Oh please…this list is crap. Home Alone and Christmas Vacation are two of the BEST Christmas movies of all time and nowhere on the list. Really? I’m done.

  • 450lb

    I would also add Fred Clause….I always liked that movie too.

  • fozzie bear

    Well Mr Joseph12034″I know hot put silly control characters in my internet name”

    has got some real issues hasnt he? Worried about the F bomb in a movie but quite happy to insult everyboy here with some choice language, then accuse people of being “scum”, “crap”,”crappy” “crap” again and then “crap” again,thn £crappy” again.

    Happy Xmas Joseph.

  • fozzie bear
  • fozzie bear

    Jamie Lee Curtis looking “FINE!!”

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