Best to worst Christmas movies list

by wesleyjrhodes | created - 25 Dec 2013 | updated - 24 Dec 2015 | Public
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1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
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: 318,126 | Gross: $7.27M

Best of the best! Amazing film with a great story, great characters, and a great Christmas message!

2. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

R | 93 min | Comedy

7.6
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72 Metascore

A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean

Votes: 101,571 | Gross: $49.53M

Technically a Thanksgiving film, but it has a Christmas feel. Humor all through the film with a great story and a moving message of loving everyone not matter if they steal your money and set your car on fire.

3. Elf (2003)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.9
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64 Metascore

After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

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

Votes: 171,422 | Gross: $173.40M

ELF! Probably the funniest Christmas movie ever! Will Ferrell will have you laughing till it hurts as Buddy the elf!

4. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

7.5
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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: 365,545 | Gross: $285.76M

Home Alone is a personal favorite of mine. Home Alone has lots of laughs from many different types of humor. The message of family and love is very heartfelt and sincere.

5. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

5.6
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Ernest helps Santa Claus as he searches for his successor.

Director: John R. Cherry III | Stars: Jim Varney, Douglas Seale, Oliver Clark, Noelle Parker

Votes: 8,778 | Gross: $28.20M

There are two types of people in this world, those who love Ernest and those who despise him. I am one of those people who loves Ernest! This is without a doubt the best of the Ernest series. It has likable characters with many funny moments as Ernest tries his best to save the Christmas that he has screwed up unintentionally.

6. Bad Santa (2003)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.1
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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: 121,422 | Gross: $60.06M

Bad Santa is the most depressing Christmas movie as our anti-hero Willie drags his way through the holidays with alcohol and sex. Along the way he befriends a young boy and begins to find some meaning. Not a Christmas film to watch with your Mother and the family, but an engaging film none the less.

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

PG | 120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

6.6
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One year after Kevin was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself 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: 236,167 | Gross: $173.59M

Kevin McAlister is at it again, this time with more confidence than the last time, but once again he is met by the Wet Bandits who are ready to get their revenge. Fun family film with many of your favorite characters from the first film.

8. Scrooged (1988)

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

7.0
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38 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 71,330 | Gross: $60.33M

A modern telling of the Charles Dickens classic that is funnier and in some ways darker. This film is a sure watch by everyone who enjoys a good telling of the story of Scrooge.

9. A Christmas Carol (1984 TV Movie)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

7.9
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An old bitter miser who rationalizes his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.

Director: Clive Donner | Stars: George C. Scott, Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, Edward Woodward

Votes: 9,812

This cinematic telling of Christmas is the one I always grew up with and the way I always in vision Scrooge, the ghosts, Tiny Tim, and the rest of the characters from the classic story. I enjoy this film and I think it is worth a watch by all

10. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

PG | 99 min | Comedy, Family

5.3
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22 Metascore

With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.

Director: Joe Roth | Stars: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, M. Emmet Walsh

Votes: 33,239 | Gross: $73.78M

Christmas with the Kranks is based off the book by John Grisham "Skipping Christmas". In this film the Kranks decide to skip the holiday season to save money. This idea is met with a lot of resistance by there fellow neighbors and friends and the Kranks struggle to make it through the season. There is some very funny moments in this movie and the surprise at the end of the film sends the Kranks into a very entertaining frenzy.

11. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)

R | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy

6.3
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61 Metascore

Six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure, stoner buds Harold Lee and Kumar Patel cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold's father-in-law's prize Christmas tree.

Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson | Stars: Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, Patton Oswalt

Votes: 59,305 | Gross: $35.03M

Harold, Kumar, and NPH take to the big screen again for the Christmas season. This time Harold and Kumar are no longer roommates and have there own families to please. This story is humorous as these two goofballs with the assistance of NPH try to save there own Christmases.

12. The Nativity Story (2006)

PG | 101 min | Drama, Family, History

6.8
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52 Metascore

A drama that focuses on the period in Mary and Joseph's life where they journeyed to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Oscar Isaac, Hiam Abbass

Votes: 8,884 | Gross: $37.63M

The telling of the story of Jesus's birth that tells it in an informative and intresting way. Nothing too special about this, but a good movie too see if you want to understand why the holiday of Christmas exists and is significant to people all around the world.

13. The Ref (1994)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

6.9
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A cat burglar is forced to take a bickering, dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve.

Director: Ted Demme | Stars: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.

Votes: 21,047 | Gross: $11.44M

14. A Christmas Story (1983)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Family

8.0
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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: 115,284 | Gross: $19.29M

This film is considered a classic, but personally I was not a huge fan of the movie. There are some funny moments, but as a whole not a great story.

15. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy

7.6
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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: 122,140 | Gross: $71.32M

Another Christmas classic that I do not see the merit in. There are funny moments, but this movie is just really stupid at times. Weak story with unlikable characters. Only reason to watch this movie is too get the cultural significance of it.

16. A Christmas Carol (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Drama, Family

6.8
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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: 84,196 | Gross: $137.86M

The cartoon telling of the classic story of Scrooge and his life changing Christmas Eve night. Not a huge fan of this telling, but it was very cool to see in theaters with the cool 3D effects of the movie.

17. All I Want for Christmas (1991)

G | 92 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

6.0
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A brother and sister attempt to bring their divorced parents back together for Christmas.

Director: Robert Lieberman | Stars: Harley Jane Kozak, Jamey Sheridan, Ethan Embry, Kevin Nealon

Votes: 3,686 | Gross: $14.81M

One of the movies that I saw every year because my parents loved it, but personally I thought the movie was quite a drag. The two kids in this movie are funny and innovative, but the story is not all that great. Still a good film to watch if you want to please the whole family because of its heartwarming content.

18. The Family Man (2000)

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

6.7
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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: 92,228 | Gross: $75.79M

Yuck! This Nicholas Cage movie that is a telling of a rich man seeing what he missed out on by the work of an angel of some sort. A terrible movie with a weak plot that is not worth watching at all.

19. The Santa Clause (1994)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

6.4
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57 Metascore

When a man inadvertantly kills Santa 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: 76,606 | Gross: $144.83M

The Santa Clause is one of those films that you think is good a child, but as you get older you begin to realize that it is in fact not all that great of movie and is honestly pretty terrible. Tim Allen drags through this movie as he is forced to be Santa Claus because he killed the old Santa Claus.

20. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.1
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46 Metascore

On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelley, Jeffrey Tambor

Votes: 163,740 | Gross: $260.04M

Jim Carrey is the only redeeming quality of this terribly written film that is weird and strange. Jim Carrey gives the Grinch some life, but he can not completely overcome the poor writing of this script.

21. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

G | 104 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

5.6
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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: 40,578 | Gross: $139.24M

Tim Allen returned to the big screen as a Santa Claus who needs to find a wife. This movie is terrible and boring. DO NOT WATCH!

22. I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

PG | 86 min | Comedy, Family

5.4
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A college student faces an impossible journey when he is left stranded in the desert, thousands of miles from home, with no money and only a few days left until Christmas.

Director: Arlene Sanford | Stars: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel, Adam LaVorgna, Gary Cole

Votes: 7,605 | Gross: $12.21M

23. Scrooge (1970)

G | 113 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

7.5
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A musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, Edith Evans, Kenneth More

Votes: 7,552

Many peoples favorite telling of the Christmas Carol is the one I despise the most. This musical strays very far from the original material and is very long and boring.

24. The Polar Express (2004)

G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

6.6
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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: 140,851 | Gross: $183.37M

The Polar Express is one of these films that is well known and famous, but I think it is the worst Christmas film that I have seen. I do not understand what people draw from it. This movie is a nuisance to the Christmas season.