Best Christmas Movies

by rossd1909 | created - 16 Sep 2016 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

My list of full on Christmas films which on the main has Christmas as the major focus within the film, with the exception of one or two where it's not quite as strong. Please also see my other list for "Christmas Holiday" films, which contains films we associate with Christmas or where Christmas is part of the film but not the sole focus - Alternative Christmas Movies

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1. Arthur Christmas (2011)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

69 Metascore

Santa's (Jim Broadbent's) clumsy son Arthur (James McAvoy) sets out on a mission with Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than two hours.

Directors: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook | Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie

Votes: 48,268 | Gross: $46.46M

2. The Polar Express (2004)

G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

61 Metascore

On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter, Leslie Zemeckis

Votes: 164,703 | Gross: $183.37M

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

G | 85 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

64 Metascore

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.

Director: Brian Henson | Stars: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, The Great Gonzo, Steve Whitmire

Votes: 45,764 | Gross: $27.28M

4. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Passed | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 378,730

5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy

49 Metascore

The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki

Votes: 146,646 | Gross: $71.32M

6. A Christmas Carol (1999 TV Movie)

PG | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy

An old bitter miser who makes excuses for his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve.

Director: David Hugh Jones | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Joel Grey, Ian McNeice

Votes: 7,928

7. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 442,439 | Gross: $285.76M

8. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

PG | 120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

One year after Kevin McCallister was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself stranded in New York City - and the same criminals are not far behind.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara

Votes: 284,609 | Gross: $173.59M

9. The Snowman (1982 TV Short)

G | 26 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

On Christmas Eve, a young boy builds a snowman that comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet Father Christmas.

Directors: Jimmy T. Murakami, Dianne Jackson | Stars: David Bowie, Raymond Briggs, Mel Smith

Votes: 11,936

10. Father Christmas (1991 TV Short)

G | 25 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Father Christmas on vacation and on the job.

Director: Dave Unwin | Star: Mel Smith

Votes: 1,575

11. One Magic Christmas (1985)

G | 89 min | Family, Fantasy

An angel must show a mother the true meaning of Christmas. It's not just presents and materialistic things, but the people she cares about.

Director: Phillip Borsos | Stars: Mary Steenburgen, Gary Basaraba, Harry Dean Stanton, Arthur Hill

Votes: 2,967 | Gross: $13.68M

12. A Child's Christmases in Wales (2009 TV Movie)

59 min | Comedy

Young Owen recalls how, at Christmas 1983 when he was ten, his obsessively tidy mother and penny-pinching father hosted his two paternal uncles, garrulous carpet king Huw, perpetually ... See full summary »

Director: Christine Gernon | Stars: Ruth Jones, Mark Lewis Jones, Steve Speirs, Paul Kaye

Votes: 99

13. The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

PG | 104 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

60 Metascore

The journey that led to Charles Dickens' creation of "A Christmas Carol," a timeless tale that would redefine Christmas.

Director: Bharat Nalluri | Stars: Dan Stevens, Mark Schrier, Patrick Joseph Byrnes, Miriam Margolyes

Votes: 11,206 | Gross: $5.68M

14. Scrooged (1988)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

38 Metascore

A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover

Votes: 82,170 | Gross: $60.33M

15. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

PG | 107 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

The legend of Santa Claus is put in jeopardy when an unscrupulous toy manufacturer attempts to take over Christmas.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc | Stars: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith

Votes: 11,084 | Gross: $23.72M

16. A Christmas Story (1983)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Family

77 Metascore

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Scott Schwartz

Votes: 126,820 | Gross: $20.61M

17. Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988 TV Movie)

43 min | Comedy, History

After a genial spirit shows the benevolent Ebenezer Blackadder visions of his unscrupulous ancestors, he resolves to mend his generous ways.

Director: Richard Boden | Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry

Votes: 11,576

18. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

TV-PG | 104 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

52 Metascore

The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

Director: Clay Kaytis | Stars: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, Oliver Hudson

Votes: 42,074

19. The Snowman and the Snowdog (2012 TV Short)

G | 24 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

A young boy whose dog has just died moves into the house in whose backyard the snowman was built. Finding a photograph of the snowman the boy rebuilds him and also a snowdog with the surprise that they come alive.

Director: Hilary Audus

Votes: 2,287

20. Get Santa (2014)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Family

52 Metascore

A father and son who team up to save Christmas once they discover Santa Claus sleeping in their garage after crashing his sleigh and finding himself on the run from the police.

Director: Christopher Smith | Stars: Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, Kit Connor, Ewen Bremner

Votes: 3,063

21. Love Actually (2003)

R | 135 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Director: Richard Curtis | Stars: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney

Votes: 409,260 | Gross: $59.70M

22. The Santa Clause (1994)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

57 Metascore

When a man inadvertently makes Santa fall off of his roof on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Director: John Pasquin | Stars: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd

Votes: 90,956 | Gross: $144.83M

23. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

G | 104 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

48 Metascore

Scott Calvin has been a humble Santa Claus for nearly ten years, but it might come to an end if he doesn't find a Mrs. Claus.

Director: Michael Lembeck | Stars: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd

Votes: 47,717 | Gross: $139.24M

24. Fred Claus (2007)

PG | 116 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

42 Metascore

Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole to help Santa and the elves prepare for Christmas in exchange for cash.

Director: David Dobkin | Stars: Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins

Votes: 38,566 | Gross: $72.01M

25. Bad Santa (2003)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid.

Director: Terry Zwigoff | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, John Ritter

Votes: 130,656 | Gross: $60.06M

26. White Christmas (1954)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen

Votes: 30,951 | Gross: $30.00M

27. Last Christmas (2019)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

50 Metascore

Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Working as an elf in a year round Christmas store is not good for the wannabe singer. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.

Director: Paul Feig | Stars: Madison Ingoldsby, Emma Thompson, Boris Isakovic, Lucy Miller

Votes: 31,258

28. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

88 Metascore

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 38,591 | Gross: $2.65M

29. Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980 TV Short)

Not Rated | 26 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.

Director: Kieth Merrill | Stars: James Stewart, Beverly Rowland, Kamee Aliessa, Tamara Fowler

Votes: 807

30. A Very Murray Christmas (2015 TV Special)

TV-MA | 56 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

Bill Murray worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snowstorm in New York City.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Bill Murray, Paul Shaffer, Michael Cera, George Clooney

Votes: 13,402

31. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

PG | 114 min | Family, Fantasy

A lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

Director: Les Mayfield | Stars: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, J.T. Walsh

Votes: 30,223 | Gross: $17.19M

32. The Family Man (2000)

PG-13 | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

42 Metascore

A fast-lane investment broker, offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven

Votes: 99,892 | Gross: $75.79M

33. The Holiday (2006)

PG-13 | 136 min | Comedy, Romance

52 Metascore

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Director: Nancy Meyers | Stars: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black

Votes: 231,733 | Gross: $63.22M

34. Trapped in Paradise (1994)

PG-13 | 111 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

Residents of a friendly Pennsylvania town foil three brothers' plan to rob a bank on Christmas Eve.

Director: George Gallo | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, Richard B. Shull

Votes: 11,876 | Gross: $5.78M

35. A Christmas Carol (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Drama, Family

55 Metascore

An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Steve Valentine

Votes: 96,776 | Gross: $137.86M

36. Elf (2003)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

64 Metascore

After discovering he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel

Votes: 208,037 | Gross: $173.40M

37. A Christmas Tale (2008)

Not Rated | 150 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

The troubled Vuillard family is no stranger to illness, grief, and banishment, but when their matriarch requires a bone-marrow transplant, the estranged clan reunites just in time for Christmas.

Director: Arnaud Desplechin | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny

Votes: 6,419 | Gross: $1.06M

38. Christmas Story (2007)

PG | 83 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

The touching story of how Santa Claus came to be Santa.

Director: Juha Wuolijoki | Stars: Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Otto Gustavsson, Jonas Rinne, Kari Väänänen

Votes: 3,409

39. The Night Before (II) (2015)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy

58 Metascore

On Christmas Eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

Director: Jonathan Levine | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Jillian Bell, Lizzy Caplan

Votes: 62,141 | Gross: $43.04M

40. Joyeux Noel (2005)

PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, History, Music

70 Metascore

In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.

Director: Christian Carion | Stars: Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Natalie Dessay

Votes: 26,700 | Gross: $1.05M

41. Love the Coopers (2015)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

31 Metascore

The intertwined stories of four generations of Coopers unfold right before the annual family reunion on Christmas Eve. Can they survive the most beautiful time of the year?

Director: Jessie Nelson | Stars: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms

Votes: 19,223 | Gross: $26.28M

42. A Child's Christmas in Wales (1987 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 55 min | Family, Drama

Young Thomas is disappointed because it?s raining on Christmas Eve. But his spirits are soon lifted by his grandfather, who gives him a snow globe and recounts his own childhood Christmas memories.

Director: Don McBrearty | Stars: Denholm Elliott, Mathonwy Reeves, Glynis Davies, Michael Fawkes

Votes: 467

43. The Family Stone (2005)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.

Director: Thomas Bezucha | Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton

Votes: 58,487 | Gross: $60.06M

44. A Merry Friggin' Christmas (2014)

PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Drama

28 Metascore

Boyd Mitchler and his family must spend Christmas with his estranged family of misfits. Upon realizing that he left all his son's gifts at home, he hits the road with his dad in an attempt to make the 8-hour round trip before sunrise.

Director: Tristram Shapeero | Stars: Joel McHale, Lauren Graham, Clark Duke, Oliver Platt

Votes: 5,681

45. Bad Santa 2 (2016)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

38 Metascore

Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve.

Director: Mark Waters | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks

Votes: 21,696 | Gross: $17.78M

46. Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family