The Ultimate Christmas Film List
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The Ultimate Christmas Film List

Festive film time with family” – try to say that five times quickly…Difficult right? Well – here’s something that’s simpler; kick back with a drink, your best cozy outfit and a Christmas time movie to warm your spirits. 

This year, spend less time wondering (get it?) and more time watching with our ultimate Christmas movie list:

Home Alone

What better way to kick this list off than with the legendary tale of eight year old Kevin Mccallister who gets his wish of sending his stressful family away during the holidays. Left behind when his parents, cousins, aunts and uncles rush to grab a plane for Christmas vacation, Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin of course) squares off against two determined burglars in a violent battle of wits and pranks. 

This was a surprise box-office smash hit (premiering 20 years ago!!) and continues to be a firm favourite, partly because of how adorable Kevin is and partly because of his cunning MacGyver like genius with his inventive traps against the burglars. Christmas magic all around. 

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime, Disney+


Miracle on 34th Street

A classic 1994 remake of a classic, Miracle on 34th Street is a much a part of Christmas lore as the Coca-Cola Santa Claus. It ranks among those films that have become part of the overall tradition of Christmas itself and it’s not hard to see why, with its heartwarming story, snowy romantic scenes of New York City and perfect performances. 

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime


Die Hard

If you didn’t have enough points to argue over with your family throughout Christmas, here’s another: Is Die Hard a Christmas film? Well, we think so, and believe you should too. Here’s why: it takes places during Christmas when badass detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) arrives in LA to see his estranged wife only to find that she has become a hostage at her office Christmas party (image that nightmare), and – spoiler alert – McClane jumps to the rescue and saves the day ending in a happy holiday for all (well, not the German bad guys obviously). The film has everything – action, adventure, reconnecting with family, Christmas magic … and Nakatomi Plaza; what else could you want?! 

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime, iTunes


The Holiday

RomComs and Christmas movies make a perfect heartwarming combo, and no one can pull those heart strings better than bombshell Cameron Diaz and heartthrob Jude Law. Set between LA and England, a Hollywood trailer editor (Diaz) does a house exchange with wedding columnist Iris (Kate Winslet) as both women seek to escape their guy troubles. Diaz meets Kate’s brother Jude and all plans to stay single go out the window. Romance, love and a snowy English village cottage during Christmas time. Another slam dunk from writer/director Nancy Myers. 

Stream on: Netflix, Google Play, Amazon Prime


Fat Man

We have to admit, this is not a great film and we were sceptical to include it amongst the list of otherwise absolute cinematic masterpieces, but hey – it’s Christmas. The premise at least is compelling; Mel Gibson stars as a dow-and-out Santa Claus that has a ‘hit’ put on his head by a wealthy and conniving 12 year old seeking revenge for receiving coal over Christmas. Walton Goggins plays the assassin who is only too happy to take out the Fat Man after holding a similar grudge for decades. Overall, the film (released this year) is flat, tedious and has a terrible script full of holes but who could resist at least seeing Mel Gibson as a pissed off Santa?

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime


Elf

Amazingly, this was Will Ferrell’s first role as a lead in a major film (he crushes it) and also director Jon Favreau’s first time in the directors chair (he has since done a few small time flicks like Ironman 1 & 2, The Lion King, The Jungle Book, etc). The film follows a hilarious and equally charming story of a human boy (Ferrell) who is raised by elves on the North Pole and goes back to New York to find his real father (James Caan of The Godfather fame). Ferrell’s childlike innocence and upbeat attitude as he learns about the human world and finds love (with Zooey Deschanel) is beautiful and always a happy watch. 

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime


Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton as a drunk Santa costume wearing thief. Ok, we know we have your attention. Willie (Billy Bob) eschews the usual Christmas cheer in favour of robbing the local shopping mall alongside his partner-in-crime Marcus but his evil scheme falls apart when an 8 year-old boy warms his heart and he re-learns the magic of Christmas. Gritty and funny this is a nice mix between the usually glossy holiday film and a dark comedy of sorts.

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime


The Grinch

Pharrell Williams narrates the tale of Dr. Seuss’ Grinch (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) as he fights to stop the infuriating growth of Christmas cheer in the village of Whoville. Accompanied by his cheerful little dog the Grinch eventually succumbs to the glow of Christmas and melts his stony heart to embrace it.

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime


Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

A sequel that’s better than the first? It was once thought impossible – until this Christmas classic hit the theatres. Kevin Mccallister accidentally boards a flight to New York City and gets separated from his family who are on their way to Miami (this feels very timely in 2020). Shortly after arriving in the Big Apple he bumps into his two previous burglar nemeses and randomly, future US President Donald Trump. If you haven’t seen this film, you haven’t lived. 

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime, Disney+


A Christmas Carol

The Charles Dickens classic is adapted in this 1999 film starting Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge and Richard E. Grant as Bob Cratchit. Set in Christmas Eve 1850, a depressed and grumpy Scrooge finds himself confronted with the ghost of his long-time friend and business partner who warns him that if he keeps to his evil ways of screwing people over (maybe that’s why he’s called Scrooge?!) he will regret it. A wonderful tale of not being a prick to your employees and people in your life, A Christmas Carol warms the heart and offers a hint of a brighter future. 

Stream on Google Play, Amazon Prime


Love Actually

Director Richard Curtis brings us some quintessentially British humour as we follow eight London couples trying to deal with their complicated relationships and falling in and out of love during Christmas time. Surprisingly cheerful and uplifting this is a holiday classic on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime


The Muppet Christmas Carol

This Muppets take on Dickens’s Christmas Carol is funny, witty and lovingly ridiculous in equal measure. The films centres on Scrooge and his miserly ways that are reformed after the classic tale’s ghost of Christmas Past appears. It is directed by Muppet creator Jim Henson’s son, Brian, and serves as a love letter to the holiday and his father in one fell swoop. 

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime, Disney+


The Santa Clause

There was a time in the mid ’90’s when Tim Allen seemed to be everywhere you looked with is brand of everyman meets goofball comedy, and this was one of those ubiquitous films. In The Santa Clause Scott Calvin (played by Allen) accidentally knocks the real Santa Claus off of his roof, causing him and his son to have to fulfil the deliveries for him (this probably inspired Amazon Prime Delivery). A long journey to and from the North Pole ensues and Calvin unknowingly becomes the next full-time Santa. Fun for the whole Bezos family :-).

Stream on: Google Play, Amazon Prime, Disney+


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