Christmas Movie Rankings

by ctwill02-352-732724 | created - 03 Dec 2012 | updated - 19 Dec 2015 | Public
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1. 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: 406,604 | Gross: $285.76M

The best Christmas movie ever made is one of those films where there isn't a single wasted moment. Every scene in the movie has some emotion to it, and most of it is downright hilarious. Even the small details like the dialogue often overlooked is fantastic. It also gets you into the Christmas spirit by playing all the classic holiday songs and keeping the yuletide in every frame.

2. 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: 358,462

This is such a touching and authentic movie all the way through, but, when Christmas arrives, it really escalates to a new level. Jimmy Stewart makes you root so hard for him throughout the movie to the point where you want to give up too as things keep going badly for him. It's a great message and should be an annual Christmas tradition in any household.

3. 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: 134,091 | Gross: $71.32M

4. 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: 268,648 | Gross: $75.08M

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

PG | 114 min | Family, Fantasy

A lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

Director: Les Mayfield | Stars: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, J.T. Walsh

Votes: 28,496 | Gross: $17.19M

You better believe this is a touching movie. This is probably my favorite portrayal of Santa Claus of all time. And the good lawyer is just cool as a cucumber.

6. 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: 85,339 | Gross: $144.83M

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

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

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

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

Votes: 23,032

It's easily the most popular stop-motion Christmas classic ever made.

8. The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1985 TV Movie)

G | 50 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

At a council convened by The Great Ak, the forest being tells the story of Santa Claus to explain why he deserves to be made immortal.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Earl Hammond, Earle Hyman, Larry Kenney, Lynne Lipton

Votes: 884

What a fantastic interpretation of Santa's origin!

9. 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: 36,910 | Gross: $2.65M

The modern version is just a tad better than the original, and it might even just boil down to two or three scenes.

10. 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: 127,302 | Gross: $60.06M

11. 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: 22,024 | Gross: $11.44M

This is probably the most bizarre Christmas movie there is, but it definitely falls under this heading. It's a comedy almost entirely, though there are some very dramatic moments involved. Dennis Leary really lets loose and steals the show as a thief who messed up and is desperate for a way out.

12. 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: 386,389 | Gross: $59.70M

This is the one to blame for all the horrible connected romantic comedies that come out now. But the first was superior to all of them and actually made you happy watching it as opposed to annoyed.

13. 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: 6,909

The plot to this one is pretty bizarre, even for a kids movie; however, the musical numbers hold up well, and Snow Meiser and Heat Meiser are two of the more interesting stop-motion characters ever thought up. It's just a shame they didn't get more screen time.

14. 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: 77,481 | Gross: $60.33M

15. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer

Votes: 18,279 | Gross: $7.57M

I was surprised how many comedic elements in the writers slipped into this one, especially regarding the youngest girl's obsession with death. The songs are pretty solid compared as well, but the look of the film itself is the best part. It's grand without ever throwing it in your face.

16. 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: 122,047 | Gross: $20.61M

Why this movie is considered such a classic I cannot understand. The only reason I could see anyone loving this movie is those that grew up in this era and can relate to it. But that doesn't explain why so many people under 30 seem to love it.

17. 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: 83,840 | Gross: $60.57M

I love Arnold and I love superheroes, but the combining of the two for the finale was about the only part I really enjoyed in this movie. The rest just came off as awkward.

18. The Little Drummer Boy (1968 TV Special)

Not Rated | 25 min | Animation, Drama, Family

An orphan drummer boy who hated humanity finds his life changed forever when he meets three wise men on route to Bethlehem.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr., Takeya Nakamura | Stars: José Ferrer, Paul Frees, June Foray, Ted Eccles

Votes: 3,906

Very short but very sweet.

19. 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: 10,521

Wedged between classics Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without A Santa Claus, this one just doesn't meet the standards that we've come to expect from Rankin-Bass, in terms of both characters and songs.

20. 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 (Jim Carrey), who plans on ruining Christmas for all of the citizens of the town.

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

Votes: 183,658 | Gross: $260.04M

I believe it was this movie that marked the turning point to where I hated about 90% of the films Hollywood produced. This one includes pretty much everything that is wrong with movies today: smart-alleck comments used in place of real comedy, ugly people meant to be portrayed as attractive, people who can't sing attempting to sing, and, last but not least, completely butchering something many people once found nostalgic. None of it is Jim Carrey's fault as he played the role he was asked.

21. 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: 191,353 | Gross: $173.40M

I'll never understand why people think this movie is so funny. It's flat out lame. I'm a fan of Will Ferrell's latest work, but this is more akin to the things he did on Saturday Night Live as the goofy cheerleader.

22. 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: 155,750 | Gross: $183.37M

I guess when you try to turn a 30-page kids book into a feature film, you have to add in a lot of garbage.



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