The Top 100 Christmas movies of all-time

by Eric-Scissorhands | created - 12 Mar 2011 | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

Every Year around the holidays, i dust off my VHS Tapes & DVDs and watch some of these flicks to help get into the "Spirit of the Holiday Season."

I'm gonna go through a whole lot of crappy made for tv xmas flicks as well to bring you the ones actually worth watching. :D

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1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

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: 438,112

2. 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: 846,054 | Gross: $83.01M

3. A Christmas Carol (1951)

TV-PG | 86 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

Ebenezer Scrooge, a curmudgeonly, miserly businessman, has no time for sentimentality and largely views Christmas as a waste of time. However, this Christmas Eve he will be visited by three spirits who will show him the errors of his ways.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst | Stars: Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns

Votes: 22,537

+ A Muppet Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol (2009), A Christmas Carol (1999) (TV Movie)

4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964 TV Movie)

TV-G | 47 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Young reindeer Rudolph lives at the North Pole. His father is one of Santa's reindeer and it is expected that Rudolph will eventually be one too. However, he has a feature which is a setback and causes him to be ostracized: his red nose.

Director: Larry Roemer | Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann, Paul Soles

Votes: 30,527

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: 183,605 | Gross: $71.32M

6. 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: 545,881 | Gross: $285.76M

+ Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

in my family we rewatch 1 & 2 evrery other year, last year was HA1, this year HA2, next year back to HA1. They've become staples for the holiday season.

7. A Christmas Story (1983)

PG | 93 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: 145,415 | Gross: $20.61M

8. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

88 Metascore

After a divorced New York mother hires a nice old man to play Santa Claus at Macy's, she is startled by his claim to be the genuine article. When his sanity is questioned, a lawyer defends him in court by arguing that he's not mistaken.

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

Votes: 46,980 | Gross: $2.65M

+ Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

9. Elf (2003)

PG | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

64 Metascore

Raised as an over-sized elf, a human travels from the North Pole to NYC to meet his biological father who doesn't know he exists and is in desperate need of some Christmas spirit.

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

Votes: 258,549 | Gross: $173.40M

10. Gremlins (1984)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

70 Metascore

A young man 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: 215,611 | Gross: $148.17M

11. 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: 142,094 | Gross: $60.06M

+Bad Santa 2

12. 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: 97,893 | Gross: $60.33M

13. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

74 Metascore

An artificial man, who was incompletely constructed and has scissors for hands, leads a solitary life. Then one day, a suburban lady meets him and introduces him to her world.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Votes: 470,930 | Gross: $56.36M

14. Trading Places (1983)

R | 116 min | Comedy

69 Metascore

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche

Votes: 147,494 | Gross: $90.40M

15. 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: 112,739 | Gross: $144.83M

+ The Santa Clause 2

16. 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: 29,410 | Gross: $1.05M

17. 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: 323,099 | Gross: $75.08M

18. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

96 Metascore

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut

Votes: 31,888 | Gross: $0.20M

19. Happiest Season (2020)

PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

69 Metascore

A holiday romantic comedy that captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family's acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.

Director: Clea DuVall | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber

Votes: 36,026

20. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965 TV Movie)

TV-G | 25 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

Depressed at the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find a deeper meaning to Christmas.

Director: Bill Melendez | Stars: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer, Bill Melendez

Votes: 36,406

21. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

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: 70,737

+ The Christmas Chronicles 2

22. 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: 470,528 | Gross: $59.70M

23. 8-Bit Christmas (2021)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Family

66 Metascore

In 1980s Chicago, a 10-year-old sets out on a quest to get the Christmas gift of his generation: the latest and greatest video-game system.

Director: Michael Dowse | Stars: Winslow Fegley, Neil Patrick Harris, Steve Zahn, June Diane Raphael

Votes: 14,609

24. Silent Night (2002 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 100 min | Biography, Drama, War

In a cabin in a WWII front, a German mom with a son mediates a truce between 3 German and 3 American soldiers so they can all celebrate Christmas Eve 1944 together.

Director: Rodney Gibbons | Stars: Linda Hamilton, Matthew Harbour, Romano Orzari, Alain Goulem

Votes: 1,626

25. 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: 73,112 | Gross: $43.04M

26. Batman Returns (1992)

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

68 Metascore

While Batman deals with a deformed man calling himself the Penguin wreaking havoc across Gotham with the help of a cruel businessman, a female employee of the latter becomes the Catwoman with her own vendetta.

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

Votes: 290,676 | Gross: $162.83M

27. Black Christmas (1974)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

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: 39,201 | Gross: $4.05M

28. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 26 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam | Stars: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray, Dal McKennon

Votes: 49,683

+ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

29. Last Christmas (2019)

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

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: 74,104

30. The Ref (1994)

R | 97 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: 24,614 | Gross: $11.44M

31. 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: 108,735 | Gross: $75.79M

32. A Boy Called Christmas (2021)

PG | 106 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

61 Metascore

In this origin story of Father Christmas, an ordinary boy (with a loyal pet mouse and a reindeer at his side) sets out on an extraordinary adventure to find his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of Elfhelm.

Director: Gil Kenan | Stars: Maggie Smith, Isabella O'Sullivan, Joel Fry, Eden Lawrence

Votes: 19,907

33. Krampus (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

49 Metascore

A boy who has a bad Christmas accidentally summons a festive demon to his family home.

Director: Michael Dougherty | Stars: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman

Votes: 71,332 | Gross: $42.59M

34. 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: 198,923 | Gross: $183.37M

35. Better Watch Out (II) (2016)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

67 Metascore

On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it's far from a normal home invasion.

Director: Chris Peckover | Stars: Olivia DeJonge, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Aleks Mikic

Votes: 36,812 | Gross: $0.02M

36. Prancer (1989)

G | 103 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa's, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.

Director: John D. Hancock | Stars: Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman, Rutanya Alda, Abe Vigoda

Votes: 5,322 | Gross: $18.59M

37. White Christmas (1954)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

56 Metascore

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: 42,112 | Gross: $30.00M

38. Shazam! (2019)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

71 Metascore

A newly fostered young boy in search of his mother instead finds unexpected super powers and soon gains a powerful enemy.

Director: David F. Sandberg | Stars: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer

Votes: 306,811 | Gross: $140.37M

39. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974 TV Movie)

TV-G | 51 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

When a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, Mrs. Claus and his elves set out to change his mind.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving

Votes: 9,635

40. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010)

Not Rated | 162 min | Animation, Drama, Family

On Dec.16, 5 friends in SOS Brigade (high school club) plan an Xmas party. On Dec.18, Haruhi +1 are missing and Kyon's 2 other friends don't know about the club.

Directors: Tatsuya Ishihara, Yasuhiro Takemoto | Stars: Aya Hirano, Tomokazu Sugita, Minori Chihara, Yûko Gotô

Votes: 6,979

41. Lovely, Still (2008)

PG | 92 min | Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

A holiday fable that tells the story of an elderly man discovering love for the first time.

Director: Nicholas Fackler | Stars: Martin Landau, Ellen Burstyn, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott

Votes: 2,242 | Gross: $0.12M

42. Jingle All the Way (1996)

PG | 89 min | Adventure, 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: 102,337 | Gross: $60.57M

43. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970 TV Movie)

TV-G | 48 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, Paul Frees

Votes: 14,505

44. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

72 Metascore

A debonair angel comes to Earth to help an Episcopalian bishop and his wife in their quest to raise money for the new church.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley

Votes: 17,460

45. Just Friends (I) (2005)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Romance

47 Metascore

While visiting his hometown during Christmas, a man comes face-to-face with his old high school crush whom he was best friends with -- a woman whose rejection of him turned him into a ferocious womanizer.

Director: Roger Kumble | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein

Votes: 115,124 | Gross: $32.62M

46. The Snowman (1982 TV Short)

G | 26 min | Animation, Short, Family

8.2