Every year there are many TV channels that try to bring you 25 days of Christmas movies. Many of them are repeated and get really old. I’ve made a list of 25 movies that can be watched in order to create the best Christmas ever. This way you won’t have to watch that certain “classic” a hundred times, and are able to enjoy it. Here we go!
1. “Edward Scissorhands” – The film that started Johnny Depp’s long and impressive career with Tim Burton also happens to be a new dark Christmas tradition. While the Christmas scenes are closer towards the end of the film, they are the most memorable and the most important. Alan Arkin is always my favorite part of this movie, he plays the perfect suburban dad.
2. “Die Hard” – Another film that isn’t necessarily always considered a Christmas movie, but always seems to be an Xmas tradition. The DVD for John McClane’s new adventure is out now, so you can watch this new classic and then catch up (don’t worry about the other two movies, they really don’t count). Also, Hans Gruber is one of the best villains ever.
3. “The Great Escape” – This is a personal pick for me, I love watching this movie every Christmas. There is one scene in which the boys sing The 12 Days of Christmas but that’s about it. I believe this is an Xmas classic for a lot of people so I shouldn’t feel so alone in this.
4. “Ren & Stimpy: Have Yourself a Stinky Little Christmas” – I watched this the other night and was surprised at how funny and heartwarming it is. The story is simple: Stimpy loses his fart and is depressed for years until Ren finally finds the little green cloud who got away, just in time for Christmas. Completely ridiculous, but really funny.
5. “Simpsons Roasting on a Open Fire” – This is the first Simpsons’ Christmas special, in which Santa’s Little Helper joins the family after Homer screws everything up. It’s an early Simpsons episode so it’s not funny, but it is still a great Christmas special.
6. “Miracle on 34th Street” – I’m talking about the original one here, not the remake with the guy who owns Jurassic Park (Richard Attenborough). This film ages very well, and Edmund Gwenn plays the best Santa Claus.
7. “Bad Santa” – Probably one of the funniest Christmas movies in recent years. Billy Bob Thornton plays the drunk Santa perfectly, and the line between acting and reality is very hard to comprehend. “Bad Santa” also features the last role for the late John Ritter as the squeamish department store manager. Unfortunately, Thornton has been playing this role in several movies since but this movie was the original and is just really funny. Also, this was Terry Zwigoff’s first film since his masterpiece “Ghost World.” It was miles away from being as good as that film, but it still was a terrific Christmas comedy.
8. “About a Boy” – Christmas plays a huge role for single guy Will in this 2003 film. Hugh Grant plays Will (his best performance ever), a man who is unemployed but lives off the royalties of a Christmas song his dad wrote in the ’60s. Most of the movie doesn’t take place during Christmas but the scenes that do are so funny and memorable that they put this film on this list.
9. “Home Alone” – Back when Macaulay Culkin owned the universe, he made this great Christmas family film. The movie lacks a little in laughs now that I’m older, but it is still very enjoyable and fun. I personally like the sequel better but the original shouldn’t be forgotten.
10. “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” – This one is just a lot funnier than its predecessor, and all of that blame goes toward Tim Curry. He is absolutely hilarious as the scheming hotel manager. Other than that the movie follows the same formula as the first, this time in New York City.
11. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” – Tim Burton’s second film on the list recently spent about a month in the theater playing in 3D. Nevertheless, I definitely recommend watching it (it’s hard to get on DVD, but will probably be playing somewhere on TV) sometime during December. Tim Burton’s imagination was in full bloom back in 1992 when he made this gem and I don’t think we’ve seen anything as original from him since (except for my fave Burton film: “Ed Wood”).
12. “White Christmas” – There’s always a place in everyone’s heart for this film just from it’s titular song. Everyone loves a white Christmas, no matter how young or old you are. This is the one where Bing Crosby tap dances with Danny Fucking Kaye, and shouldn’t be missed.
14. “Scrooged” – My favorite Christmas Carol film. There are few better actors than Bill Murray out there and he absolutely hilarious in this. Even when he’s a friendly Scrooge at the end, he still finds a way to be incredibly funny.
15. “The U.K. Office Christmas Special” – The American iteration of Ricky Gervais’ brilliant show has fully bloomed into it’s own masterpiece but the original has the better Christmas Special. Not only does it wrap things up for Tim and Dawn, it features Gervais’ best performance through the whole series.
16. “It’s a Wonderful Life” – This really isn’t my favorite Christmas tradition (the first hour and a half drag painfully), but a lot of people like it and it is iconic with Christmas so it must be on here. Jimmy Stewart is terrific in the role he was born to play.
17. “The Year Without A Santa Claus” – Always the weirdest Christmas special. The Heat Miser and the Snow Miser are two of America’s favorite holiday characters each with their own theme songs and miniature singers. I wish I had that. This special also feature one of the cutest things in the history of cute things: Vixen the Reindeer with the socks on her ears.
18. “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” – One of the many stories of how Santa Claus came to be is told in this classic. This is how I learned about many of the different aspects of Christmas. It also has a lot of great tunes. Mickey Rooney was about 100 years old when he played Santa in this, further proving that Mickey Rooney really is Santa Claus.
19. “Elf” – The new family Christmas classic cannot be beaten. Will Ferrell gives what could possibly be his best comedic performance as Buddy the Elf, a human raised by elves who must face the real world. The movie is filled with some of the funniest Xmas scenes in recent film history and features the beautiful and talented Zooey Deschanel.
20. “Love Actually” – This came out the same week as “Elf”, but really hasn’t seen the kind of love that it deserves (pun not intended). With an unbelievable cast and a sharp script, this movie is impossible to not fall in love with. Bill Nighy is the standout performer and is what people remember most about this movie. Emma Thompson wowed me with her performance in this movie. She portrayed real pain, and the scene when she finds out the necklace isn’t for her is heartbreaking.
21. “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas” – I’m sorry Jim Carrey, I’m talking about the original animated classic and not your awkwardly creepy Ron Howard remake. While this special doesn’t exactly age well, it’s still a great time to watch every year. Try not to sing along with the theme, I dare you.
22. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – My earliest childhood memories are of watching this holiday classic. One of the warmest and coziest holiday specials ever made, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is Christmas itself in every form. If you don’t like this movie, you may be a Communist.
23. “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” – “Rudolph” has kind of become a cult favorite over the years, but when you watch it, it feels like you’re watching it for the first time all over again. Every song is Christmas perfection, every character is as cute and cuddly as they’ve ever been all these years. I remember watching this over and over throughout my childhood Christmas’s, a tradition that’s lasted for years and will last until the day I die.
24. “A Christmas Story” – Even though this movie takes place in the 1950s, it stirs up the best Christmas feeling in all of us. Little Ralphie wants his Red Ryder BB gun, and we all pull for him every year. This’ll be a hard movie to avoid till the 24th, since it’s on probably every channel 24 hours a day. Nevertheless, it is still a classic and is exceptionally hilarious. There are so many iconic scenes throughout “A Christmas Story” from the bunny suit, to the Chinese turkey, to visiting Santa, to Ovaltine, to “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie”… the list goes on! No matter how much it gets played, we’ll keep watching year after year.
25. “Christmas Vacation” – My favorite Christmas movie, right after “A Christmas Story.” Chevy Chase reaches the pinnacle of his hilarity. This is definitely the best “Vacation” movie, and the only one that actually takes place at the Griswold home. The whole movie is hilarious from beginning to end and is the perfect end to ones’ Christmas season. A lot of these other films seem a little tedious to watch every year, but this one never gets old. There’s always something new to see each time you watch it. Plus it features one of the best lines in a movie ever (see #12)..
AVOID THESE MOVIES:
1. One Magic Christmas
2. The Polar Express
3. Frosty the Snowman
4. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
5. The Year Without a Santa Claus (Live-action)
Well there you have it. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. I’ll be around posting new reviews and such so you should all stick around. Oscar season is upon us and I’ve begun trying to catch many of the different bait that Hollywood likes to throw at us. Happy movie watching and an early Merry Christmas!