The best thing about quality Christmas movies is that you never get tired of them! I have compiled a list of my favorite movies for the ‘season of love and understanding’, as the song says. I’m aware that all these movies won’t appeal to everyone, but I hope you’ll at least find some of your favorites included.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
On Christmas Eve, a down-on-his-luck man wishes he had never been born and contemplates suicide. He is rescued by his guardian angel, who shows him how his friends and loved ones would be without him… This classic by Frank Capra (‘Arsenic and Old Lace’) is considered one of the most inspiring films of all time. and has been a traditional Christmas favorite around the world since the 1970s. Interestingly, it was a box office flop at the time of its release! To be honest, I can’t see why: it’s a moving story, a memorable ending, and a masterful James Stewart (‘Rear Window’) in the title role.
Groundhog Day (1993)
The self-centered, cynical TV meteorologist, while covering the story of the weather forecast groundhog, gets stuck in time. He at first takes advantage of the situation, but soon decides to make some changes as he starts to fall for his co-worker… In my opinion, the best romantic comedy for the Christmas holidays! Bill Murray (‘Lost in Translation’), who is nothing short of perfect as him, shares great chemistry with the lovely Andie MacDowell (‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’). Even if you watch this movie lying in bed with a high fever and a cough, like I did last year, you’ll still enjoy it!
A Christmas Carol (1984)
A greedy and surly old man is taught the true meaning of Christmas thanks to the ghosts who visit him on Christmas Eve and show him his own past, present and future. He realizes that he has nothing good to look forward to in the future unless he changes his ways… The television drama is, in my opinion, the best and probably the most faithful adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, which has been adapted many times. Set in Victorian England, this classic tale, starring the late George C. Scott (‘Dr. Strangelove’) as Ebeneezer Scrooge, is sure to put you in the Christmas mood, but the powerful message it conveys can be applied to any season! all the stations!
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Pumpkin King of Halloweentown is bored of doing the same thing every Halloween. One day, while he is walking through a forest, he comes across Christmas Town. Fascinated with the idea of this holiday, he decides to kidnap Santa Claus and make Christmas himself… Tim Burton, who became known for his dark but original fables like ‘Edward Scissorhands’ or ‘Big Fish’ directed this animated musical. fancy. It was a huge box office success and praised by critics for its stunning originality and visual excellence. In 2006, this film took on a new dimension when it was re-released in theaters in Digital 3-D.
Die Hard (1988)
Just before Christmas, the New York City detective arrived in Los Angeles for a vacation with his wife and children. Unfortunately, a group of terrorists have taken over the Nakatomi Corporation building and are holding all the employees hostage, including the detective’s wife… For those who can’t do without action thrillers during the Christmas holidays, this is probably the best option. John McTiernan’s (‘The Hunt for Red October’) classic features thrilling action sequences, memorable one-liners and a breakthrough role for Bruce Willis (‘RED’), propelling this actor to Hollywood stardom.
Bad Santa (2003)
A miserable con man and his dwarf friend plan to rob department stores on Christmas Eve by posing as Santa and his little helper. As they proceed with the plan, ‘Santa’ befriends one of his clients, a lonely and overweight boy… This Santa is really bad! He chases women, drinks a lot and wears clothes every 3 seconds. But we also learn that beneath the surface he hides a heart of gold. It is definitely not a movie suitable for children, but if you are an adult give this peculiar comedy a chance for its different approach and the great performance of Billy Bob Thornton (‘The Astronaut Farmer’).
A Christmas Story (1983)
America in the 1940s. Long before PlayStation and iPad, a 9-year-old yearns for the Red Rider BB pistol. He tries to convince his family and Santa that the gun would make a perfect Christmas present, but they all warn him that it will go off… Based on the semi-autobiographical stories of Jean Shepherd, this family comedy is well worth watching. lots of funny scenes and its reputation as the best American Christmas movie of all time. Peter Billingsley, who played the little boy, is now a successful Hollywood producer, responsible for creating hits like ‘The Break Up’ and ‘Iron Man’.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Four brothers are sent to the farm during World War II. Playing hide-and-seek, the youngest daughter discovers a cupboard that transports her to Narnia, the magical land with eternal winter but no Christmas, ruled by the wicked White Witch… I’ve loved this fable ever since I’ve seen the version of the TV series. 80’s TV during my winter break. The latest adaptation of CS Lewis’s book, it is primarily aimed at a younger audience, but can be enjoyed by anyone with an adventurous spirit within! This movie was followed by the sequel ‘Prince Caspian’ in 2008.
Santa Claus finds a human orphan and is raised by elves at the North Pole. When a naive adult “elf” discovers that he is actually human, he decides to go to his birthplace, New York City, in search of his real father, who is on Santa’s naughty list… The Clash of two cultures – human and elf – brings lots of laughs in this family comedy. Of course, much of the laughing credit goes to the lead actor, famed comedian Will Farrell (‘The Other Guys’) and veteran James Caan (‘The Godfather’), who plays the main lead’s biological father.
A mean-spirited television executive, who will do anything just to boost his network’s ratings, including forcing his office staff to work on Christmas Eve, is visited by three ghosts: the Ghost of Christmas Past, present and future… I couldn’t. Don’t resist putting another modernized and humorous version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ on the list, because that’s what ‘Scrooged’ is all about. Once again, Bill Murray is excellent as him, this time as the media world Scrooge in a special effects-heavy satire directed by Richard Donner (‘Lethal Weapon’).
I’m a big fan of other animated movies, so apart from the titles mentioned, I could also recommend The Polar Express, Toy Story trilogy, Monsters Inc., Ice Age… The list goes on and on. Take your pick, sit back and enjoy it!