The 30 Best Christmas Movies & 2 Thanksgiving Flicks

by LoebFanHUSH05 | created - 26 Nov 2010 | updated - 27 Nov 2010 | Public
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1. 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: 121,127 | Gross: $19.29M

2. 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: 399,464 | Gross: $285.76M

3. 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: 132,313 | Gross: $71.32M

4. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 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: 347,668

5. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

72 Metascore

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 706,085 | Gross: $83.01M

6. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

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: 36,534 | Gross: $2.65M

7. 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: 83,905 | Gross: $144.83M

8. Go (1999)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime

72 Metascore

Go! tells the story of the events after a drug deal, told from three different points of view.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Sarah Polley, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf, Taye Diggs

Votes: 63,424 | Gross: $16.84M

9. 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: 76,403 | Gross: $60.33M

10. Gremlins (1984)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

70 Metascore

A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, John Louie

Votes: 173,689 | Gross: $148.17M

11. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

82 Metascore

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Director: Henry Selick | Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Votes: 264,151 | Gross: $75.08M

12. Bad Santa (2003)

R | 91 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: 126,178 | Gross: $60.06M

13. Jingle All the Way (1996)

PG | 89 min | Comedy, Family

34 Metascore

A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. However, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.

Director: Brian Levant | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson

Votes: 82,658 | Gross: $60.57M

14. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

44 Metascore

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: 9,187 | Gross: $28.20M

15. 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: 187,853 | Gross: $173.40M

16. Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

PG-13 | 76 min | Animation, Comedy, Musical

23 Metascore

Davey Stone, an alcoholic with a criminal record, is sentenced to community service under the supervision of an elderly referee. Davey is then faced with trying to reform and abandon his bad habits.

Director: Seth Kearsley | Stars: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Jackie Sandler, Austin Stout

Votes: 20,116 | Gross: $23.44M

17. Friday After Next (2002)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

35 Metascore

Craig and Day Day have finally moved out of their parents houses and into their own crib. The cousins work nights at a local mall as security guards. When their house is robbed on Christmas... See full summary »

Director: Marcus Raboy | Stars: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Don 'D.C.' Curry

Votes: 23,268 | Gross: $32.98M

18. Batman Returns (1992)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

68 Metascore

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Votes: 247,883 | Gross: $162.83M

19. Black Christmas (1974)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon

Votes: 26,972 | Gross: $4.05M

20. The Ref (1994)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

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: 21,814 | Gross: $11.44M

21. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

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: 180,067 | Gross: $260.04M

22. Noel (2004)

PG | 96 min | Drama

29 Metascore

Five New Yorkers come together on Christmas Eve, seeking a miracle.

Director: Chazz Palminteri | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Penélope Cruz, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin

Votes: 8,260

23. Deck the Halls (2006)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Family

28 Metascore

Two neighbors have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.

Director: John Whitesell | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito, Kristin Chenoweth, Kristin Davis

Votes: 20,302 | Gross: $35.09M

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: 36,790 | Gross: $72.01M

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

PG | 86 min | Comedy, Family

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: 8,075 | Gross: $12.21M

26. Jack Frost (1998)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A father who can't keep his promises, dies in a car accident. One year later, he returns as a snowman, who has the final chance to put things right with his son, before he is gone forever.

Director: Troy Miller | Stars: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston, Joseph Cross, Mark Addy

Votes: 29,663 | Gross: $34.55M

27. The Ice Harvest (2005)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

A shady lawyer attempts a Christmas Eve crime, hoping to swindle the local mob out of some money. But his partner, a strip club owner, might have different plans for the cash.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen, Lara Phillips

Votes: 22,168 | Gross: $8.82M

28. Four Christmases (2008)

PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

41 Metascore

A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas.

Director: Seth Gordon | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Mary Steenburgen, Robert Duvall

Votes: 57,534 | Gross: $120.15M

29. Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

43 Metascore

A group of unaccompanied minors bond while snowed in at the midwestern Hoover International Airport during the holiday season and ultimately create a makeshift holiday themselves.

Director: Paul Feig | Stars: Dyllan Christopher, Tyler James Williams, Gia Mantegna, Quinn Shephard

Votes: 9,554 | Gross: $16.65M

30. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

PG | 99 min | Comedy, Family

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: 36,436 | Gross: $73.78M

31. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

R | 93 min | Comedy

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: 107,909 | Gross: $49.53M

Thanksgiving Classic

32. Home for the Holidays (1995)

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

56 Metascore

After losing her job, making out with her soon-to-be former boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson faces spending the holiday with her family.

Director: Jodie Foster | Stars: Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Robert Downey Jr., Charles Durning

Votes: 10,625 | Gross: $17.52M

Thanksgiving Classic



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