Home Arts & Entertainment 71 Best Christmas Movies of All Time

71 Best Christmas Movies of All Time

by Atlanta Business Journal

In case you haven’t heard, December is here. Yes, we’re in it. Right now. And that means it’s about to get all holly jolly for Christmas, which—according to one of the best Christmas songs ever written—is the best time of the year. Now, I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but I do have an extensive knowledge of festive movies to watch to get you in the celebratory mood. Any of these 71 films should have your heart growing three times as big by December 25. Watch them all, and it may even grow 71-times as big!

The best thing about a Christmas movie is that the threshold to having a wonderful time is very low. Some of the best cookie-cutter Hallmark films are so bad that they turn good, and classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are lovely enough for yearly viewings. To this day, I’m still trying to figure out what was so wrong with that doll that it got sent to the Island of Misfit Toys. In fact, these hilarious Christmas movie memories are what brings families closer together over the holidays. Every year, we’ll still crack up about “The Heat Miser Song” from The Year Without a Santa Claus, or when Jack Black sings “skroodle-oodle-doo” in The Holiday.

So, why don’t you join in the Christmas cheer and frolic through the 71 offerings, full of quirky romantic comedies, animated specials, and five-star films that just so happen to maybe take place during the holiday season. And, if you don’t want coal down your stockings—yes, Die Hard and Gremlins are both here as well. You oughta watch them. The debate is over, and Christmas movie magic prevails. If you don’t like it, take it up with Mr. Claus. Until then, here are the best Christmas movies of all time.

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Falling For Christmas | Lindsay Lohan | Official Trailer | Netflix

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71. Falling for Christmas

Netflix

Lindsay Lohan is back and there couldn’t be a better place to kick her career off once again than Falling for Christmas opposite Glee alum Chord Overstreet. Playing an entitled, hotel mogul’s daughter who gets amnesia due to a skiing accident, Lohan must rediscover that Christmas spirit, find love, and hopefully come one step closer to a Freaky Friday reunion sequel.


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    Santa Claus is Coming to town (1970)

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    70. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

    Amazon

    This stop-motion Christmas film about a mayor too mean to let presents be delivered to his town may not be the best from the production house that was also behind Rudolph and The Year Without a Santa, but it does feature Fred Astaire and a wizard known as the Winter Warlock, so, A+ in my book.


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    Single All The Way | Official Trailer | Netflix

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    69. Single All the Way

    Netflix

    Single All the Way accomplishes a lot by placing two gay men as the romantic leads. The aim of normalizing their Christmas love story with conventional, all-too-familiar storytelling devices works to its advantage, and having the hilarious Jennifer Coolidge along for the ride is money.


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    Klaus | Official Trailer | Netflix

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    68. Klaus

    Netflix

    It’s the best animated Christmas film since The Polar Express. We said it.


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    67. Krampus

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Christmas horror doesn’t come around nearly as often as romantic Christmas entanglements, making Krampus a welcome addition to the holiday movie cannon. Based on the scary German Santa who beats children with sticks, Krampus is a big, scary, monster who punishes those who have lost their Christmas spirit.


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    The Princess Switch | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

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    66. The Princess Switch

    Netflix

    High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens stars in the first film of what ultimately becomes a Netflix Christmas trilogy, as a small town baker who looks exactly like the duchess (also played by Hudgens) of a fictional country called Belgravia. Switching places for a day, the two run into a cheesy Christmas catastrophe.


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    The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again | Official Trailer | Netflix

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    65. The Princess Switch: Switched Again

    Netflix

    Amping the Hudgens mentions on this list up from two to three, the sequel to The Princess Switch introduces a new cousin who also looks exactly like the other two Vanessa Hudgenses but with blonde hair and a sassy, spoiled attitude. Perfect.


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    Christmas in Connecticut (1945) Official Trailer – Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan Movie HD

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    64. Christmas in Connecticut

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    Starring Barbara Stanwyck as a food critic who lies about having a farm in New England, Christmas in Connecticut sees the ’40s star scramble to put together a fake farm and family to protect her reputation.


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    A Christmas Carol – Trailer (HD) (1984)

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    63. A Christmas Carol (1984)

    Amazon AppleTV+

    George C. Scott leads this British made-for-television adaptation of A Christmas Carol, in which he gives his very all to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. (It was also directed by Clive Donner, who was an editor on the original 1951 Scrooge film.)


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    I Believe in Santa Claus – The Year Without A Santa Claus 1974

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    62. The Year Without a Santa Claus

    YouTube

    Rankin/Bass Productions, the home of Rudolph, absolutely popped off when they made The Year Without a Santa Claus. Full of songs such as the rockin’ “The Snow Miser” and “The Heat Miser,” as well as “I Believe in Santa Claus,” this stop-motion classic also boasts Shirley Booth in her final acting credit as the narrator.


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    Last Christmas – Official Trailer

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    61. Last Christmas

    Amazon AppleTV+

    We’ve been sitting on Last Christmas since… two Christmases ago. The Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding rom-com from director Paul Feig got some harsh criticism in 2019, but the thing is, the movie has more to offer than critics first assumed. Despite a twist ending that still doesn’t totally sit right, this is a Christmas film based entirely around George Michael songs. Pair that with great chemistry between the leads and a completely irrational Eastern European character played by Emma Thompson? C’mon into the rotation, Last Christmas.


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    Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas | Trailer | Now on Blu-ray,DVD & Digital

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    60. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    In 2000, Jim Carrey put on a big green Grinch suit to bring the famous cartoon to life. And, because it’s Jim Carrey, there’s a lot of improvised humor, including a pretty gross cheese-eating scene that barely passes. Anyway, we love it.


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    The Snowman 1982 with Original Introduction

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    59. The Snowman

    Amazon

    The perfect length for a quick watch after dinner but before tucking in, The Snowman is a gorgeous animated tale of a young boy’s short-lived adventure with his winter creation. Though it’s based on Raymond Briggs’s children’s book of the same name, the film’s themes of impermanence and innocence make it a tear-jerker for any age.


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    Fred Astaire – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

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    58. The Lion in Winter

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Set around the Christmas of 1183, The Lion in Winter tells the story of King Henry II of England (Peter O’Toole), and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn). Presented with a King Lear scenario between his three sons, Henry must decide who will be his successor to the throne one Christmas, even though he isn’t too fond of any of them.


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    The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show (Prime Video Official Trailer)

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    57. The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show

    Amazon

    It takes a moment to settle into The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show. But once it clicks, it’s a delight. Filmed in the mode of a 1970s-era Christmas special, the show follows the singer as she “prepares for the holidays” while a revolving door of incredible “guests” show up and end up setting her back. The whole thing is kitschy and warm, just as the holidays should be.


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    A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

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    56. A Christmas Prince

    Netflix

    A Christmas Prince was one of Netflix’s first forays into the holiday genre, and upon first glance, it’s full-on garbage. But if you let go of the fact that you can call every single twist and turn with absolutely no exceptions, then you come to realize that A Christmas Prince is actually perfect. There’s no plot to follow—don’t tell the screenwriters who certainly attempted one—it’s just full on holiday spirit.


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    Trailer | ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS | Starzplay

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    55. One Magic Christmas

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    Before there were Netflix holiday movies, there was this now-forgotten 1985 Disney release. The iconic Harry Dean Stanton plays an angel who watches over a struggling working-class family whose matriarch, played by Mary Steenburgen, experiences some close calls as she learns the true meaning of Christmas. It has the rare mix of grit and sentimentality, borrows heavily from It’s A Wonderful Life and, call us crazy, contains shades of Groundhog Day, which wouldn’t come out for another eight years.


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    Last Holiday (2006) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    54. Last Holiday

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Queen Latifah kills it (pun intended) as a patient mistakenly diagnosed as terminally ill by a faulty MRI machine. What ensues is a woman who has always played it safe taking her savings and embarking on a European vacation to meet her culinary inspiration. The problem with all of that is, when you don’t have a terminal disease and spend all your money, what comes next? You have to watch.


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    White Reindeer Official Trailer 1 (2013) – Comedy Movie HD

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    53. White Reindeer

    Amazon

    Right before Christmas, Suzanne’s world is turned upside-down when her husband Jeff dies unexpectedly. Things are thrown into even more upheaval when she discovers that he had been having an affair with a stripper—someone who then becomes an unlikely friend. She may be a bad influence, but the film is better for it, turning this indie feature into a sweet, sad, and raunchy sex comedy.


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    Office Christmas Party Trailer (2016) – Paramount Pictures

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    52. Office Christmas Party

    Amazon AppleTV+

    T. J. Miller and Jennifer Aniston play feuding siblings who have different perspectives on how to run the company they co-inherited. Tasked with winning the business of a high-stakes client, Miller’s Clay sets out to throw the office Christmas party to end all office Christmas parties—an event so debauched that it just might end their company, too.


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    THE NIGHT BEFORE – Official Trailer (HD)

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    51. The Night Before

    Amazon AppleTV+

    The Night Before is messy in the way you’d expect any Seth Rogen comedy to be, and it’s absolutely the stoner-Christmas movie that’s worth putting on your list. It’s a perfect story for those guys—you know them, you may even be one of them—who refuse to grow up. What happens next? The inevitable! Time comes and kicks them in the ass to remind them that they’re not kids anymore.


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    50. Jack Frost

    HBO Max

    Sure, Michael Keaton gets a Christmas movie, too. Here, he plays a man literally named Jack Frost, a bitter, aging rocker who meets a tragic end in a car accident on Christmas Day. A year later, his son plays a song on his pop’s old harmonica and brings him back to life—as a snowman. Bad special effects might make this one more of a horror film than a heartwarming Christmas classic, but nonetheless, here it is.


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    49. Four Christmases

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    Let’s give Reese Witherspoon some screen-time this Christmas. In this 2008 movie, she and Vince Vaughn play a couple who have to do a grand tour of all four of their divorced parents’ homes. Have you ever wanted to analyze your childhood so much?


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    Batman Returns (1992) Official Theatrical Trailer HD

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    48. Batman Returns

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    Sure, it’s the kind of action movie that isn’t really about Christmas, despite being set during the holiday season. Tim Burton’s second chance at a Batman film has all of the trimmings of his similarly gothy Christmas tale, The Nightmare Before Christmas, but this one is undeniably more violent, dangerous, and sexy. (We dare you to name a more memorable mistletoe moment on screen.)


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    Just Friends (2005) Official Trailer – Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris Comedy HD

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    47. Just Friends

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart play Jamie and Chris, old high school friends wrapped up in a similar plot: Chris is in love with Jamie, and Jamie just wants to be friends. Ten years later, Chris returns to his hometown at the holidays and tries to win Jamie’s love. It works!


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    Happy Christmas TRAILER 1 (2014) – Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham Movie HD

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    46. Happy Christmas

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Christmas gets the mumblecore treatment in Joe Swanberg’s indie feature, which sees the flighty young Jenny (Anna Kendrick) descending upon her brother and his wife’s idyllic, grown-up life, creating a fissure in their tight-knit domestic bliss.


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    Anna and the Apocalypse (Red Band) – Official UK Trailer – In Cinemas 30th November

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    45. Anna and the Apocalypse

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Far be it our duty to try and police what is and isn’t a Christmas film (scroll on down and see Die Hard exactly where it should be), but Anna and the Apocalypse puts an especially bizarre twist on the genre. Near the holidays, Anna’s neighborhood encounters the worst: a zombie apocalypse. Even worse, she and her friends face it all in a series of musical numbers. It has absolutely no right to work as well as it does, and yet, here we are watching it for the millionth time.


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    The Holiday (2006) Official Trailer 1 – Kate Winslet Movie

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    44. The Holiday

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Nancy Meyers is the Queen of Cozy, and this Christmastime-set romantic comedy might be her most warm and snuggly film ever. Two women—one in London (Kate Winslet), one in Los Angeles (Cameron Diaz)—face simultaneous romantic disappointments, which leads to them swapping homes over the holidays and, in turn, finding new men to swoon over.


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    Love Actually (2003) Official Trailer – Colin Firth, Emma Thompson Movie HD

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    43. Love Actually

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Richard Curtis’s star-studded ensemble romantic comedy is equally beloved as it is reviled. Even if you’re a hater, you can’t deny the multi-narrative film’s influence on holiday-centered comedies over the last decade.


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    Jingle All the Way (1996) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    42. Jingle All the Way

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Arnold Schwartzenegger plays a busy man who has continuously let his young son down. This Christmas, he promises that he will get him the Turbo-Man action figure, the most coveted toy of the holiday season—but he’s not the only dad who’s made such a claim, which leads to a real showdown with another father, played hilariously by Sinbad.


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    Prancer Official Trailer #1 – Sam Elliott Movie (1989) Movie HD

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    41. Prancer

    Jessica Riggs discovers a hurt reindeer in the woods. She soon also discovers that this reindeer might be, indeed, a magical reindeer. Watch it!


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    40. Mixed Nuts

    This Steve Martin movie was woefully under-appreciated at its time of release. Co-written by Nora Ephron just one year after Sleepless in Seattle, it’s got all the best qualities of an Ephron film: smart comedy, quippy lines, well-known leading man. At the time, this movie, about a man who manages a suicide-prevention hotline, might have been a little dark for the Rudolph-sweater-wearing set, but it conjures a lasting mental image.


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    Happiest Season – Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

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    39. Happiest Season

    Hulu

    Clea DuVall’s Happiest Season is a new type of Christmas film that merges the complex world of coming out with the complex world of… you know, just hanging in there when you go to visit your family for the holidays. Starring Kristen Stewart, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, and more, the film is like a love letter to queer people depicting, a world that feels deeply familiar and aspirational at the same time.


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    A Very Murray Christmas | Teaser [HD] | Netflix

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    38. A Very Murray Christmas

    Netflix

    You have Rashida Jones, Miley Cyrus, and George Clooney all in one place. And that’s not even mentioning that they’ve all come together to celebrate with the titular Bill Murray. The Christmas special is a reminder that the best of variety shows can be watched year after year and never lose that special charm.


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    Deck the Halls (2006) Official Trailer #1 – Danny DeVito Movie HD

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    37. Deck the Halls

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Matthew Broderick plays a dad whose overly ordered world turns into disarray with the arrival of his kooky neighbor, Danny DeVito. There’s then a contest of who can have more elaborate Christmas decorations and things turn predictably out of hand.


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    36. The Family Stone

    Amazon AppleTV+

    It’s an all-star cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson, and Diane Keaton. (And that list is leaving some reasonable star power out.) If you’ve ever been a part of a family, or even known one, who was hostile to outsiders, you’ll understand where the Stone family is coming from. But what starts as a tense family comedy about kicking Sarah Jessica Parker out of the group takes a heartfelt twist by the end.


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    Metropolitan | Trailer | New Release

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    35. Metropolitan

    HBO Max

    Whit Stillman’s debut feature follows a tony crowd of Upper East Siders (infiltrated by a young man from the opposite side of the park) as they banter and schmooze over the holiday debutante season in late-’80s Manhattan.


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    Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) – Official Trailer

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    34. Silent Night, Deadly Night

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Doing its best to sully everything good about Christmas, this notorious slasher film—which, due to its subject matter, was pulled from American theaters—concerns a psycho who goes on a murder spree while wearing a Santa suit.


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    It Happened On The Fifth Avenue – Trailer

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    33. It Happened on Fifth Avenue

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    This post-World War II movie is about veterans who need shelter and find it in a beautiful Manhattan home — while its owner is wintering in the South. The film actually touches on some very real themes of homelessness in the veteran population and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story.


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    Edward Scissorhands (1990) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    32. Edward Scissorhands

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    Johnny Depp’s pale, leather-suited, scissor-handed Edward stands out amidst the colorful suburban Christmastime landscape of Tim Burton’s 1990 fantasy, although his story is one that ultimately proves perfectly in tune with the season’s spirit of open-hearted inclusiveness.


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    The Santa Clause 1994 Original Trailer

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    31. The Santa Clause

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    In 1994 a very specific Christmas fear formed for some children: that Santa would fall off their roof and to his death. Way to make a lovely holiday into a complete nightmare, mid-1990s filmmakers. When Tim Allen inadvertently causes Santa to die on his property, he has to assume the role of the next Santa Claus. There’s a lot of body-shaming stuff here that likely doesn’t fly as well in 2019, but this movie is featured in enough Christmas movie marathons that it belongs on the list.


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    Carol Official US Trailer #1 (2015) – Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett Romance Movie HD

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    30. Carol

    Amazon AppleTV+

    No, Carol was never intended to be a Christmas movie. But neither was Love, Actually. And still, watching Rooney Mara as a retail worker in a Santa hat fall for a mink-wearing Cate Blanchette can bring as much warm jitters as watching Keira Knightley open her door to the, “Say it’s carol singers,” sign.


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    The Polar Express (2004) Official Trailer – Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis Movie HD

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    29. The Polar Express

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    For those who saw the behind the scenes process of this motion-captured animated hit, you might wish you could unsee the image of Tom Hanks in a bodysuit with hundreds of little dots all over him. For those who haven’t, don’t ruin the magic for yourself. This classic tale of a Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole is told in such hyper-realistic animation that you might just start to feel like you’re on the locomotive yourself.


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    How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Clip

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    28. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

    Amazon

    I don’t think I could find a better song in the entire history of Christmas cinema than “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Voiced by Frankenstein’s Boris Karloff and animated by Looney Tunes’s Chuck Joss, the Grinch’s antics in Whoville became an instant holiday classic.


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    A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas – Trailer

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    27. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    John Cho and Kal Penn’s stoner buddies find themselves at odds after the latter destroys their Christmas tree, leading to an all-night adventure of holiday madness in the best of the duo’s big-screen outings.


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    Die Hard (1988) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    26. Die Hard

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Ho-ho-ho, he’s got a machine gun—Bruce Willis’s John McClane, that is, while battling terrorists in John McTiernan’s peerless one-against-many action classic.


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    While You Were Sleeping (1995) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    25. While You Were Sleeping

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    If Die Hard gets to be a Christmas movie, so does While You Were Sleeping. After Sandra Bullock saves a man pushed in front of an L train on Christmas Day, she finds herself in quite a predicament. After admiring the man from afar from some time, she mutters, “I was going to marry him,” which a nurse mistakes as meaning that she’s his fiancee. Soon after she befriends his family who welcomes her with open arms. The only problem is, she ends up falling for the man’s brother.


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    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) Official Trailer – Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer Movie HD

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    24. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Writer-director Shane Black sets virtually all of his films around Christmas (see also: Lethal Weapon and Iron Man 3), although none embrace the season quite as heartily as the filmmaker’s 2005 neo-noir comedy starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer as a thief-turned-actor and a private eye, respectively, who wind up partnering on a case.


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    Gremlins (1984) Official Trailer #1 – Horror Comedy

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    23. Gremlins

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    There’s far more naughtiness than niceness on display in Joe Dante’s terrific 1984 horror comedy in which a cute, mystical Chinese creature known as a “mogwai” named Gizmo—when fed after midnight, or touched by water—gives bubbling birth to mischievous monsters.


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    The Shop Around the Corner Official Trailer #1 – James Stewart Movie (1940) HD

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    22. The Shop Around the Corner

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan are employees at a Budapest leathergoods shop who can’t stand each other—even as they’re falling in love as anonymous pen pals—in this memorable romantic comedy set during the holidays.


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    A CHRISTMAS TALE Official Trailer

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    21. A Christmas Tale

    Amazon AppleTV+

    French auteur Arnaud Desplechin crafts a sprawling, spellbinding portrait of familial dysfunction—and, ultimately, reconciliation and togetherness—with this 2008 drama about a clan reuniting, uneasily, at Christmas–only to learn that their matriarch (Catherine Deneuve) is dying of leukemia.


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    Black Christmas (1974) – Official Trailer (HD)

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    20. Black Christmas

    Bob Clark’s 1974 gem (starring Olivia Hussey, John Saxon, Margot Kidder, and Keir Dullea) is the granddaddy of modern slasher movies, recounting the gruesome tale of a group of sorority girls who are preyed upon by a mysterious, psychotic killer.


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    Eyes Wide Shut: 20th Anniversary – Official Trailer

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    19. Eyes Wide Shut

    Amazon AppleTV+ Netflix

    It may be better known for its other elements–like, say, that unforgettable masked-participant orgy–but Stanley Kubrick’s final feature is, at heart, a study of individual desires and marital tensions encased in a velvety Christmastime atmosphere.


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    LITTLE WOMEN – Official Trailer (HD)

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    18. Little Women

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Just like sisters, the 1994 and 2019 adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s novel were conceived from the same source and have transformed into their own unique interpretations. And, just like the March sisters, every Little Women fan usually has already picked their favorite interpretation. Still, these two films both feature star-studded casts with a heart-warming tale of sisterhood at its core. And, as far as Christmas movies go, they both feature picturesque vignettes of white Christmases in New England filled with feasts, fires, frolicking, and family.


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    The Best Man Holiday Official Trailer #1 (2013) – Taye Diggs Movie HD

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    17. The Best Man Holiday

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Director Malcolm D. Lee reassembles the cast from his 1999 feature, with his group of old friends reuniting for the first time after 15 years for Christmas, which serves as a backdrop for various interpersonal issues.


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    Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Official Trailer – Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien Movie HD

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    16. Meet Me in St. Louis

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Vincente Minnelli’s 1944 musical is comprised of vignettes set during a variety of seasons, but none are as famous as the one featuring star (and Minnelli’s future wife) Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”


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    15. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Rudolph is a legend, and as an adult in these trying times, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer feels a bit like the underdog story we need. There’s clearly some social justice themes going on, but at the core of this story of Rudolph and his dental-savvy friends is a time-tested tale that proves that being different isn’t something to be ashamed of—it’s something to embrace.


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    A Charlie Brown Christmas Trailer

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    14. A Charlie Brown Christmas

    AppleTV+

    Listen. Charlie Brown is an institution, and can you really say it’s the holiday season if the Peanuts theme hasn’t played in a Starbucks near you? After finding himself in a bout of seasonal depression (relatable), Charlie Brown tries to put together a Christmas play before Linus reminds him what the true meaning of Christmas is.


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    13. Elf

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    Will Ferrell is a clownish orphan raised by Santa and his elves in the North Pole who journeys to New York City to locate his biological father–a cynical book publisher played by James Caan–in this absurd (and surprisingly sweet) fish-out-of-water fantasy.


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    THE APARTMENT (1960) – Official Movie Trailer

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    12. The Apartment

    Amazon AppleTV+

    A single man (Jack Lemmon) lets his co-workers use his residence for their affairs—but then falls in love with his boss’s mistress (Shirley MacClaine). Billy Wilder’s 1960 comedy won the Academy Award for Best Picture, with good reason: It’s one of American cinema’s all-time greats. And that, in turn, makes it one of the all-time great Christmas movies as well, given that its tale of loneliness and love takes place on and around December 25.


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    The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Official Trailer #1 – Animated Movie

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    11. The Nightmare Before Christmas

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    It’s a debate for the ages: is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? For the sake of this conversation, we’re going with Christmas. The Tim Burton specialty is a masterful work of visual tricks and treats, in a creepy way that only he can accomplish. As long as he’s as charming at Nightmare is, we’re okay with a skeleton Santa showing up on Christmas.


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    A Christmas Carol 1951 Trailer 1 (1080p)

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    10. A Christmas Carol (1951)

    Amazon

    Still the finest adaptation of Charles Dickens’ legendary tale, this superb 1951 feature charts the familiar Christmas Eve ordeal of nasty miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim), who’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.


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    The Muppet Christmas Carol trailer

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    9. The Muppet Christmas Carol

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    Jim Henson died during pre-production of this 1992 film, but his spirit lives on in its seamless blend of zaniness and heart–both of which help make this musical Dickens adaptation an underrated triumph.


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    Bad Santa | Official Trailer (HD) – Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham | MIRAMAX

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    8. Bad Santa

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Billy Bob Thornton’s thieving department store Santa injects some nasty deviancy into the Yuletide season in this uproarious black comedy from director Terry Zwigoff.


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    Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    7. Miracle on 34th St.

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    You can’t go wrong with this perennial Christmas staple about the trial of a man claiming to be Santa Claus (the original is great, but the 1994 remake starring Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson is pretty good, too).


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    Scrooged (1988) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    6. Scrooged

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Riffing on Dickens, Bill Murray is an arrogant and thoughtless TV executive who, while planning to stage a live production of A Christmas Carol, winds up living out a crazed variation of that very story in Richard Donner’s amusing update.


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    Home Alone (1990) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    5. Home Alone

    Amazon AppleTV+ Disney+

    Macaulay Culkin is forgotten by his family and forced to battle a couple of dimwit thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) around Christmas in this enduring children’s adventure from director Chris Columbus and writer John Hughes.


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    White Christmas (1954) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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    4. White Christmas

    Amazon AppleTV+ Netflix

    Featuring a new version of the song from which the film gets its title (and which was originally sung by star Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn), this 1954 musical features Crosby and Danny Kaye as music-act partners who team up with two sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to help their former military commander save his Vermont lodge.


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    A Christmas Story (1983) Official Trailer #1 – Family Comedy

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    3. A Christmas Story

    Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

    Nine years after Black Christmas, director Bob Clark made another holiday classic—albeit of a very different sort—with this beloved nostalgia-soaked saga of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who wants nothing more for Christmas than an air rifle. If you have cable, it’ll no doubt be playing on a 24-hour loop on some Turner network this December 25.


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    Christmas Vacation Official Trailer #1 – (1989) HD

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    2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Rarely has a series’ third installment been the equal of its two predecessors, but such is the case with this threequel involving Clark (Chevy Chase), Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), Audrey (Juliette Lewis), and Rusty Griswold’s (Johnny Galecki) mishap-besieged family get-together.


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    IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies

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    1. It’s a Wonderful Life

    Amazon AppleTV+

    Few films define Christmas like Frank Capra’s 1946 fantasy starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, who, on the verge of committing suicide, is visited by an angel who shows him the true importance of his life.

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