movies

A definitive list of the 10 best Christmas movies of all time.

It’s nearly Christmas, which means it’s time to stop searching for something new on Netflix and watch a classic Christmas movie instead.

The 10 best of all time? Glad you asked. The Mamamia office has, once again, come up with a definitive list.

Things mums never say at Christmas. Ever. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone has everything: that Christmassy setting, Macaulay Culkin’s adorable shocked face, lots of satisfying cartoon-ish violence, and, at the end, true Christmas spirit. The storyline is wish-fulfilment for every kid ever, as Kevin, played by Culkin, gets left at home alone when his family go to Paris and is forced to outwit two very dumb burglars. Too good.

Best Christmas films
Image: 20th Century Fox.

The Holiday (2006)

This is just a perfect rom-com set at Christmastime. Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz star as Iris and Amanda, two heartbroken women, one in the UK and one in the US, who swap homes over Christmas and meet attractive men. Slightly predictable? Maybe. But as Iris says, “I’m looking for corny in my life.”

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Best Christmas films
Image: Sony Pictures.

Love Actually (2003)

Looking back on it 16 years later, some of the scenes are more than a little problematic (what’s with all the fat jokes?). But Love Actually does actually have the best cast (Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Rowan Atkinson) and the greatest soundtrack – and at Christmas, we just want to believe that love is all around. “To me, you are perfect.” Right?

Image via Universal Pictures.
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The Santa Clause (1994)

For kids – and a lot of parents – Christmas is all about Santa, so this modern take on the big guy is one the whole family can get into. Tim Allen plays Scott, a single dad who accidentally injures Santa and, due to a legal technicality, ends up turning into Santa and taking over his job. Heart-warming proof that Santa is real.

Best Christmas films
Image: Buena Vista Pictures.

Elf (2003)

Elf has something that a lot of Christmas movies lack: a plot good enough for any time of year. Will Ferrell is at his funniest as Buddy, a human who grows up at the North Pole thinking he’s an elf. He’s tasked with going to New York, finding his dad Walter (James Caan), and changing him from naughty to nice. If you don’t love it, you’re clearly a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

Best Christmas films
Image: New Line Cinema.
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How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

It took a lot to turn the classic Dr Seuss book into a classic Christmas movie: a dark backstory, Jim Carrey underneath truckloads of makeup, and a pre-Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who. But it worked. A movie that grinches everywhere should be forced to watch.

Best Christmas films
Image: Universal Pictures.

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. It’s a goddamn Bruce Willis movie!” That’s what Bruce Willis says. But that’s just his opinion. Die Hard takes place during a Christmas party, with Willis as John McClane, singlehandedly dealing with a hostage situation, violently. Plus, McClane’s wife’s name is Holly. So it’s a Christmas movie – and one of the greatest action movies of all time.

Best Christmas films
Image: 20th Century Fox.
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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Isn’t there a little bit of Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) in all of us? Haven’t we all risked giving our family members frostbite to find the perfect tree? Haven’t we all covered our house in 25,000 Christmas lights, causing a major blackout? Well, maybe not quite, but we get him.

Best Christmas films
Image: Warner Bros.

Jingle All The Way (1996)

Just putting “Arnold Schwarzenegger” and “Christmas movie” in the same sentence is a guaranteed comedy hit. Schwarzenegger plays a dad who wants to redeem himself at Christmas by getting his son a Turbo Man toy, even though it’s sold out. Will he punch a reindeer? Only if the reindeer started it.

Best Christmas films
Image: 20th Century Fox.
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It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

This movie has made it onto virtually every list of best Christmas movies. James Stewart plays George Bailey, a man who’s about to commit suicide, when an angel appears to make him change his mind, by showing him all the good he’s done in his life. It’s a classic, but its message is maybe more relevant than ever.

Best Christmas films
Image: Liberty Films.

Feature image: Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures.

What's your favourite Christmas film? Tell us in a comment below.

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