Top 20 Christmas Movies
This is my top 20 favourite Christmas movies, made specially for the festive season!
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|johnnytangster's Rating||My Rating|
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 1989, PG-13)
Frequently cited as the best of the Vacation series and one of the greatest Christmas films ever made, nothing can derail National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Every scene will become eternally embedded in your memory, yet you'll want to watch it again even before the credits begin to roll. With enough sight gags to please slapstick fans and enough good-natured Christmas cheer to qualify as a good holiday film. With enough sight gags to please slapstick fans and enough good-natured Christmas cheer to qualify as a good holiday film, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation should keep most viewers occupied and pleased. This is my favourite christmas movie and it is the best "Vacation" movies of the series!
The Polar Express 2004, G)
A story that soars with breakneck pace but slows in all the tender moments. Visually, this train ride is both majestic and edge-of-your-seat. A movie for more than one season; it will become a perennial, shared by the generations. It has a haunting, magical quality because it has imagined its world freshly and played true to it. Every detail of the beloved children's classic is meticulously reconstructed in the film, with visuals that can only be described as wondrous. It's a sensation - both a milestone in computer-animation and a likely Christmas classic. An enchanting, beautiful and brilliantly imagined film. This movie, which aspires to be a Christmas movie classic on the "It's a Wonderful Life" level, is overwhelming, enjoyable and impressive, without being really entrancing.
Bad Santa 2003, R)
A gross but absolutely hilarious film. This movie will make you feel uncomfortable and squirm but still delievers the good entertainment. But Bad Santa does feature one last turn from the late John Ritter as a twittery department-store manager (his name, Mr. Chipeska, is a stroke of brilliance that I still can't quite put my finger on). Won't appeal to everyone, of course, particularly those who blush easily. And parents who take children to see it deserve to have their heads examined. But for those who don't mind a little bile in their eggnog, it's the perfect antidote to all that prefab Christmas cheer. A demented, twisted, unreasonably funny work of comic kamikaze style, starring Billy Bob Thornton as Santa in a performance that's defiantly uncouth. The foulest holiday movie I've ever seen -- and the funniest.
A Christmas Story 1983, PG)
If you're a fan of Christmas movies or films that use nostalgia as a driver, A Christmas Story cannot be missed. Then again, if you're in either category, you have probably already seen it. The movie's high point comes at Christmastime, when Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) goes to visit Santa Claus. Visits to Santa Claus are more or less standard in works of this genre, but this movie has the best visit to Santa I've ever seen. Santa is a workaholic, processing kids relentlessly. He has one helper to spin the kid and deposit him on Santa's lap, and another one to grab the kid when the visit is over, and hurl him down a chute to his parents below. If the kid doesn't want to go, he gets Santa's boot in his face. Of course. Delightfully entertaining, with a wryly amusing narration to keep the adults in the audience smirking.
Scrooged 1988, PG-13)
A meaningful Christmas Carol this is not, but a perfectly entertaining yuletide comedy this certainly is. Scrooged is one of those rare movies that a lot of people like even though it was lambasted upon its initial release. It may not be as uplifting as the original A Christmas Carol, but it is funnier. Up until the very end, Scrooged can be mean-spirited, cynical, and harsh. While the conclusion tries to be upbeat and fuzzy, it's a bit of a stretch. By the time it draws to a close, the movie and Cross demonstrate their faith and belief in goodness -- and do it hilariously and affectingly. However, that's small potatoes compared to how much I laughed during this movie.
Home Alone 1990, PG)
'Home Alone' is one of the best and enjoyable Christmas movie to rise out of the film industry in the last twenty years. It seamlessly blends humor, pain, emotion, human instinct and some great booby-traps all into one little bundle. It's the perfect family holiday film. The movie has a big payoff; it's the setup that's the drag. But Kevin's antics will touch the budding subversive in every kid. My advice? Hide the car keys. Kevin has the potential to be the mawkish child or the obnoxious little adult so common on screen, but he is neither. Played with great glee by Macaulay Culkin, he is a totally endearing, up-to-the-minute little boy.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York 1992, PG)
The movie is subtly touching and massively funny which beats and surpasses the orginal. Culkin's arsenal of grievous booby traps, which cause Stern to get his backside stapled and his head smashed by flying bricks, and Pesci to receive a nonelective scalping. Does it really matter that Home Alone 2: Lost In New York is, in essence, the same movie as its megasmash predecessor? A product of the John Hughes youth-comedy factory, Home Alone had a plot so basic it was almost primal: Kid gets left behind by family in womblike suburban fortress; fortress is besieged by cartoon meanies; kid defeats meanies with a series of tricks so violent, painful, and all-around dastardly that they're...great fun. Now that's family entertainment! .
Christmas with the Kranks 2004, PG)
It is a perfectly fine, inoffensive family comedy. A more sweet than sour satire that sets its sight on nasty but lavishly honey coated underpinnings of the holiday season. Christmas with the Kranks finds a comfortable balance between hilarious and heartwarming. It's the best of both worlds and a pleasant surprise to find under the cineplex tree. An agreeable, if snowflake-thin stocking stuffer faithfully adapted from John Grisham's 2001 bestseller Skipping Christmas. You'd have to be a Scrooge not to crack a smile during this feature. Ultimately something of a softball satire, its climactic evocation of the "true meaning" of the holidays is surprisingly touching.
The Santa Clause 1994, PG)
This is a hip, likable spin on the seasonal icon told with a deft mixture of comedy and sentimentality. All of the film's technical and creative contributions are top-notch, but as it should be, it's the people who win us over. Aimed at kids, but written with parents in mind, The Santa Clause balances the sugar with the spice, which Allen sprinkles on just right. The personable star of the TV series "Home Improvement" turns this Walt Disney film around. He may not be as effervescent as, say, Robin Williams, but he's full of understated, ticklish charm. Nevertheless, The Santa Clause is a charming, if mild, fantasy, distinguished by a gentle directorial touch that strikes a deft balance between dramatic and fantastic elements.
Elf 2003, PG)
It has all the charm of the typical Christmas movie, mixed with all the laughs of the usual Will Ferrell comedy. Ferrell is a hoot. So is much of this witty holiday family entertainment, which, up until the end, when the "true spirit of Christmas" must be reaffirmed, happily favors slapstick over treacle. Funny and intelligently made, a film for kids and adults that's both sweet and sardonic. The disarming comedic tone -- silly and novel in its lack of cynicism -- is driven by the fearless, cheerful unself-consciousness of Will Ferrell. It's a terrific movie, smart and funny enough to hold up at any time of year. Ferrell's stone-stupid sincerity keeps the action moving and irresistible, despite its familiarity.
Mixed Nuts 1994, PG-13)
The story is rich with characters and interwoven subplots that seem to collide and build on one another, making for rich and often hilarious scenes. Normally, I use the term "guilty pleasure" as an excuse for enjoying a movie that received mixed reviews, or is panned by critics and movie fans alike. But with Mixed Nuts, I honestly have no clue why this film dropped below everyone's radar. I've found that the harshest critiques pan the film as yet another bastardized Hollywood reinvention of an exceptional foreign film. Mixed Nuts is remake of very popular French comedy, Le Père Noël est une ordure (1982). I had no idea that Mixed Nuts was a remake nor have I seen the original French film, so I suppose I don't know what I'm missing. But seeing how Mixed Nuts stands on its own merit and is one of my favorite holiday films, I think I can live with missing-out on the first film.