50 Best Christmas Movies

by jasonforno | created - 20 Oct 2012 | updated - 6 months ago | Public
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1. 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: 347,509

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965 TV Short)

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

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

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

Votes: 27,574

3. Little Women (1994)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Family, Romance

87 Metascore

The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America.

Director: Gillian Armstrong | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes

Votes: 42,824 | Gross: $50.08M

4. 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: 399,287 | Gross: $285.76M

5. 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: 36,519 | Gross: $2.65M

6. 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: 705,860 | Gross: $83.01M

7. 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: 121,090 | Gross: $19.29M

8. Holiday Inn (1942)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale

Votes: 11,549

9. 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: 132,259 | Gross: $71.32M

10. Meet John Doe (1941)

Not Rated | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said he'd be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan

Votes: 10,774

11. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Romance

A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.

Director: Peter Godfrey | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 6,795

12. 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: 28,120 | Gross: $30.00M

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

PG | 120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

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: 258,535 | Gross: $173.59M

14. 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: 379,953 | Gross: $59.70M

15. 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: 76,379 | Gross: $60.33M

16. 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, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson

Votes: 42,260 | Gross: $27.28M

17. 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: 126,150 | Gross: $60.06M

18. Cast Away (2000)

PG-13 | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A FedEx executive must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive a crash landing on a deserted island.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez, Lari White

Votes: 462,586 | Gross: $233.63M

19. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen

Votes: 694,153 | Gross: $164.62M

20. 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: 187,735 | Gross: $173.40M

21. 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: 36,427 | Gross: $73.78M

22. Metropolitan (1990)

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

77 Metascore

A group of young upper-class Manhattanites are blithely passing through the gala debutante season, when an unusual outsider joins them and stirs them up.

Director: Whit Stillman | Stars: Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Chris Eigeman, Taylor Nichols

Votes: 8,460 | Gross: $2.94M

23. 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: 173,604 | Gross: $148.17M

24. Lethal Weapon (1987)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

Two newly paired cops who are complete opposites must put aside their differences in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan

Votes: 216,140 | Gross: $65.21M

25. 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: 21,810 | Gross: $11.44M

26. 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: 90,240 | Gross: $137.86M

27. 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: 179,960 | Gross: $260.04M

28. 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: 20,298 | Gross: $35.09M

29. 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: 264,092 | Gross: $75.08M

30. 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: 152,678 | Gross: $183.37M

31. The Nutcracker (1993)

G | 92 min | Family, Fantasy, Music

On Christmas Eve, a little girl named Marie (Cohen) falls asleep after a party at her home and dreams herself (or does she?) into a fantastic world where toys become larger than life. Her ... See full summary »

Director: Emile Ardolino | Stars: Darci Kistler, Damian Woetzel, Kyra Nichols, Wendy Whelan

Votes: 1,569 | Gross: $2.12M

32. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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: 24,016 | Gross: $0.20M

33. You've Got Mail (1998)

PG | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

Director: Nora Ephron | Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey

Votes: 174,385 | Gross: $115.82M

34. 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: 96,034 | Gross: $75.79M

35. 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: 83,859 | Gross: $144.83M

36. 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: 95,375 | Gross: $32.62M

37. 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: 11,407 | Gross: $5.78M

38. The Nativity Story (2006)

PG | 101 min | Drama, Family, History

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: 9,241 | Gross: $37.63M

39. 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: 29,652 | Gross: $34.55M

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: 25,272 | Gross: $1.05M

41. 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: 82,628 | Gross: $60.57M

42. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.

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

Votes: 12,255

43. 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: 36,785 | Gross: $72.01M

44. 3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Western

Three outlaws on the run find a dying woman in the desert who gives birth to a baby. The mother entrusts the care of the child to the three men.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Votes: 7,357

45. 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: 57,513 | Gross: $120.15M

46. Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13 | 91 min | Comedy, Romance

19 Metascore

A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.

Director: Mike Mitchell | Stars: Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate, James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara

Votes: 20,603 | Gross: $11.66M

47. 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: 4,010 | Gross: $18.59M

48. 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: 23,255 | Gross: $32.98M

49. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

5.6