Best Holiday Movies of All Times (as well as some rare finds)

by egarbi | created - 28 Jun 2013 | updated - 21 Nov 2016 | Public

These are the best, but the list includes some weird finds that are worth listing although may not be worth watching -- I'll note those cases.

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1. The Night Before (II) (2015)

R | 101 min | Adventure, 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: 59,139 | Gross: $43.04M

2. Arthur Christmas (2011)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

69 Metascore

Santa's clumsy son Arthur sets out on a mission with St. Nick's father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours.

Directors: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook | Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie

Votes: 45,712 | Gross: $46.46M

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

R | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy

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: 62,499 | Gross: $35.03M

4. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

R | 84 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Horror

71 Metascore

In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 meters deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up. This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.

Director: Jalmari Helander | Stars: Jorma Tommila, Onni Tommila, Peeter Jakobi, Tommi Korpela

Votes: 24,040 | Gross: $0.26M

What a weird movie this is! I do not recommend it, especially not for children. The whole thing gave me nightmares... Gotta list it, though, because it is really a "rare" find.

5. 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: 92,559 | Gross: $137.86M

6. 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: 58,558 | Gross: $120.15M

It gets better with time, I think. Found it funnier last Christmas...

7. 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: 37,324 | Gross: $72.01M

This is a really funny movie. I'll give it a B+, why not.

8. Christmas Story (2007)

PG | 83 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

The touching story of how Santa Claus came to be Santa.

Director: Juha Wuolijoki | Stars: Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Otto Gustavsson, Jonas Rinne, Kari Väänänen

Votes: 3,105

9. Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

39 Metascore

Three musical chipmunks are discovered by an aspiring songwriter and wants to become famous by using their amazing singing abilities.

Director: Tim Hill | Stars: Jason Lee, Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman, David Cross

Votes: 70,234 | Gross: $217.33M

10. The Holiday (2006)

PG-13 | 138 min | Comedy, Romance

52 Metascore

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Director: Nancy Meyers | Stars: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black

Votes: 222,204 | Gross: $63.22M

11. 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: 20,648 | Gross: $35.09M

Hmmm... Not my favorite.

12. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

32 Metascore

Santa, aka Scott Calvin, is faced with double-duty: how to keep his new family happy, and how to stop Jack Frost from taking over Christmas.

Director: Michael Lembeck | Stars: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd

Votes: 29,611 | Gross: $84.50M

13. Stalking Santa (2006)

PG | 82 min | Comedy

Millions of people believe in him. Thousands claim to have seen him. But only one man is foolish enough to try to prove his existence. Self-proclaimed "Santologist" Dr. Lloyd Darrow will ... See full summary »

Director: Greg Kiefer | Stars: Chris Clark, Daryn Tufts, Lisa Clark, William Shatner

Votes: 174

Okay, love the narrator (who doesn't) but the movie's not that good. Worth listing it, though, as it is a rare find.

14. The Family Stone (2005)

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

56 Metascore

An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.

Director: Thomas Bezucha | Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton

Votes: 56,863 | Gross: $60.06M

15. 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: 37,180 | Gross: $73.78M

Pretty good!

16. 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: 156,845 | Gross: $183.37M

17. 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: 20,870 | Gross: $11.66M

Oh, Ben. Who would've thought.

18. 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: 192,883 | Gross: $173.40M

An A in its category. Maybe an A- to be fair. The third act deflates a bit too much for my taste...

19. 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: 388,573 | Gross: $59.70M

A+ and I don't care what critics say!

20. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

G | 104 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

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: 45,383 | Gross: $139.24M

21. Serendipity (2001)

PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Romance

52 Metascore

A couple search for each other years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they'd end up together.

Director: Peter Chelsom | Stars: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Bridget Moynahan

Votes: 98,556 | Gross: $50.29M

Oh, well, I dig it. Love this movie still...

22. Call Me Claus (2001 TV Movie)

90 min | Comedy, Family

Lucy's a producer on a home shopping channel. She hires the real Santa as Santa. He has to find his replacement as the real Santa in 4 weeks. Lucy is unknowingly the only candidate left.

Director: Peter Werner | Stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Nigel Hawthorne, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Victor Garber

Votes: 2,134

23. 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: 184,853 | Gross: $260.04M

24. 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: 97,570 | Gross: $75.79M

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: 8,232 | 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: 30,293 | Gross: $34.55M

27. 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: 84,287 | Gross: $60.57M

28. 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: 10,835 | Gross: $17.52M

29. 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: 85,894 | Gross: $144.83M

30. Mixed Nuts (1994)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

14 Metascore

The events focus around a crisis hotline business on one crazy night during the Christmas holidays.

Director: Nora Ephron | Stars: Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, Robert Klein, Anthony LaPaglia

Votes: 9,436 | Gross: $6.80M

It's nuts. But not funny enough...

31. 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: 270,424 | Gross: $75.08M

32. Look Who's Talking Now (1993)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

The dogs talk at a family of 4, where mom loses her job the same day dad gets a job as pilot for a cute, single boss.

Director: Tom Ropelewski | Stars: John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, David Gallagher, Tabitha Lupien

Votes: 26,019 | Gross: $10.34M

33. 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: 43,035 | Gross: $27.28M

34. All I Want for Christmas (1991)

G | 92 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

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: 4,032 | Gross: $14.81M

35. 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: 410,391 | Gross: $285.76M

36. 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: 134,840 | Gross: $71.32M

This one gets an A+ from me!

37. 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: 77,915 | Gross: $60.33M

38. 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: 727,447 | Gross: $83.01M

39. 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: 111,207 | Gross: $49.53M

40. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

PG | 107 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

The legend of Santa Claus is put in jeopardy when an unscrupulous toy manufacturer attempts to take over Christmas.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc | Stars: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith

Votes: 10,582 | Gross: $23.72M

41. 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: 179,737 | Gross: $148.17M

42. 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: 122,375 | Gross: $20.61M

As a classic it gets an A, and has a lot of funny moments but the whole BB gun thing always freaks me out.

43. Scrooge (1970)

G | 113 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

58 Metascore

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: 8,269

44. 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: 28,320

45. 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: 23,189

46. 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: 28,548 | Gross: $30.00M

47. 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: 37,081 | Gross: $2.65M

A+

48. 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: 12,636

49. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy