Christmas 2018 Watchlist

by Dimmie | created - 05 Oct 2014 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

Christmas-themed movies and TV specials. Live-action and animated. Modern and classics ones. For kids, the whole family and for the more mature viewers in the form of some Christmas-themed horror titles.

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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: 361,889

2. 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: 134,865 | Gross: $71.32M

3. 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: 43,040 | Gross: $27.28M

4. 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: 77,919 | Gross: $60.33M

5. 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: 12,638

6. 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: 192,900 | Gross: $173.40M

7. A Christmas Carol (1951)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Fantasy

An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve...

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

Votes: 18,176

8. 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: 410,452 | Gross: $285.76M

9. 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: 6,954

10. 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: 727,548 | Gross: $83.01M

11. Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980 TV Short)

Not Rated | 26 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.

Director: Kieth Merrill | Stars: James Stewart, Beverly Rowland, Kamee Aliessa, Tamara Fowler

Votes: 763

12. 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: 37,083 | Gross: $2.65M

13. 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: 45,717 | Gross: $46.46M

14. It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

Approved | 116 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Charles Ruggles, Victor Moore

Votes: 2,911

15. The Snowman (1982 TV Short)

G | 26 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

On Christmas Eve, a young boy builds a snowman that comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet Father Christmas.

Directors: Dianne Jackson, Jimmy T. Murakami | Stars: David Bowie, Raymond Briggs, Mel Smith

Votes: 11,284

16. Father Christmas (1991 TV Short)

25 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Father Christmas on vacation and on the job.

Director: Dave Unwin | Star: Mel Smith

Votes: 1,383

17. The Snowman and the Snowdog (2012 TV Short)

G | 24 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

A young boy whose dog has just died moves into the house in whose backyard the snowman was built. Finding a photograph of the snowman the boy rebuilds him, fashioning a snowdog out of the ... See full summary »

Director: Hilary Audus

Votes: 2,062

18. 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: 127,659 | Gross: $60.06M

19. The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)

Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Music

A New York City swindler has until Christmas to come up with the $10,000 he owes a gangster, prompting him to go into scamming overdrive.

Directors: Sidney Lanfield, Frank Tashlin | Stars: Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Darwell

Votes: 1,519

20. 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: 28,322

21. 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: 85,902 | Gross: $144.83M

22. The Frank Sinatra Show (1957–1960)
Episode: Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank (1957)

Drama, Music

A special Christmas-themed musical-variety episode guest starring Bing Crosby.

Director: Frank Sinatra | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, The Ralph Brewster Singers, Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra

Votes: 84

23. A Christmas Carol (1984 TV Movie)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

An old bitter miser who rationalizes his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.

Director: Clive Donner | Stars: George C. Scott, Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, Edward Woodward

Votes: 10,978

24. 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: 24,706 | Gross: $0.20M

25. A Muppet Family Christmas (1987 TV Movie)

47 min | Comedy, Family, Musical

Kermit and his friends spend Christmas staging a surprise visit to Fozzie Bear's mother's farm.

Directors: Peter Harris, Eric Till | Stars: Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, Kathryn Mullen

Votes: 3,147

26. 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: 179,763 | Gross: $148.17M

27. The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

G | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

When acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Monty Woolley, Richard Travis

Votes: 6,118

28. 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: 8,392

29. 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: 122,384 | Gross: $20.61M

30. Remember the Night (1940)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A shoplifter and her prosecutor fall in love, creating tensions for his career and family.

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson

Votes: 4,004 | Gross: $0.17M

31. The Christmas Tree (1996 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama, Family

A story about a forming friendship between an elderly nun, Sister Anthony, and New York's Rockefeller Center's head gardener Richard Reilly, who wants to fell a tree she's been growing for ... See full summary »

Director: Sally Field | Stars: Julie Harris, Trini Alvarado, Andrew McCarthy, Suzi Hofrichter

Votes: 329

32. The Story Lady (1991 TV Movie)

G | 94 min | Drama, Family

When Grace comes to live with her daughter and son-in-law, she is eager to find a way to be useful in the community. She loves to read stories to children, and decides to read one on public... See full summary »

Director: Larry Elikann | Stars: Jessica Tandy, Stephanie Zimbalist, Lisa Jakub, Chris Gartin

Votes: 368

33. Get Santa (2014)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Family

52 Metascore

A father and son who team up to save Christmas once they discover Santa Claus sleeping in their garage after crashing his sleigh and finding himself on the run from the police.

Director: Christopher Smith | Stars: Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, Kit Connor, Ewen Bremner

Votes: 2,608

34. 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: 8,270

35. 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: 20,650 | Gross: $35.09M

36. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 TV Short)

Not Rated | 26 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

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: 41,191

37. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2008 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Corporate analyst and single mom, Jen, tackles Christmas with a business-like approach until her uncle arrives with a handsome stranger in tow.

Director: Michael Scott | Stars: Brooke Burns, Henry Winkler, Warren Christie, Connor Christopher Levins

Votes: 2,771

38. 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: 11,823 | Gross: $8.18M

39. Lost Christmas (2011)

PG | 89 min | Drama

Orphaned the previous Christmas young Goose looks after his demented grandma, selling stolen goods to soft-hearted fence Frank on his Manchester estate. One Christmas Eve Goose meets ... See full summary »

Director: John Hay | Stars: Eddie Izzard, Larry Mills, Jason Flemyng, Geoffrey Palmer

Votes: 1,116

40. Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988 TV Movie)

43 min | Comedy, History

After a genial spirit shows the benevolent Ebenezer Blackadder visions of his unscrupulous ancestors, he resolves to mend his generous ways.

Director: Richard Boden | Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry

Votes: 11,113

41. Silent Night (2002 TV Movie)

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

Fact-based World War II story set on Christmas Eve, 1944, finds a German Mother and her son seeking refuge in a cabin on the war front. When she is invaded by three American soldiers and ... See full summary »

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

Votes: 1,309

42. One Special Night (1999 TV Movie)

PG | 92 min | Drama, Romance

Robert, a general contractor, is visiting his ailing wife in a nursing home. When it's time for him to leave, he has problems getting a taxi home, because of an intense snow storm. ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Young | Stars: James Garner, Julie Andrews, Patricia Charbonneau, Stacy Grant

Votes: 883

43. Dinosaurs (1991–1994)
Episode: Refrigerator Day (1991)

TV-PG | 24 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Refrigerator Day is a day to celebrate dinosaurs' crowning achievement: the fridge. However, Earl's plans to give great presents does not sit well with the fact that he's not getting a ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Bilson | Stars: Mak Wilson, Tom Fisher, Stuart Pankin, Tony Sabin Prince

Votes: 76

44. The Christmas Star (1986)

TV-G | 94 min | Drama, Family