We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 Christmas movies of all time. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. A Christmas Story (1983) 88% at Rotten Tomatoes
The 1940s were a simpler time where all Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model B.B. gun. Everyone tells him no because he’ll shoot his eye out, and his actual haul is disappointing…except his old man actually pulled through.
Director: Bob Clark
Starring: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin
9. Elf (2003) 84% at Rotten Tomatoes
Buddy is a human who stowed away in Santa’s sack as a baby and was raised as an Elf. As an adult, Santa sends him to NYC to find his biological father, and the journey puts him in a fish-out-of-water Christmas story for the ages.
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart
8. Scrooged (1988) 68% at Rotten Tomatoes
Frank Cross is a selfish T.V. executive planning a live adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He then becomes the Scrooge of the story when he’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. It’s an update of the classic that in itself has become a decades old classic.
Director: Richard Donner
Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe
7. Die Hard (1988) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
John McClane is an off-duty NYPD officer who’s visiting his wife Holly in L.A. While at an office Christmas party, German terrorists led by Hans Gruber take everyone hostage, but McClane works with the first-responding officer to take them down from the inside.
Director: John McTiernan
Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
6. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) 53% at Rotten Tomatoes
The magical town of Whoville inside a snowflake loves Christmas…everyone except the Grinch, who’s bitter and plans to steal it away. Cindy Lou Who decides to befriend the Grinch and save Christmas for Whoville.
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor
5. A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2011) 68% at Rotten Tomatoes
Harold Lee and Kumar Patel are finally grown up and apart six years after being held in Gauntanemo Bay together. Kumar shows up to Harold’s Christmas celebration and accidentally burns down the tree. Now they’re together again working to replace it before Maria’s dad (an intimidating Danny Trejo) finds out.
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Starring: Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris
4. Trading Places (1983) 86% at Rotten Tomatoes
Randolph and Mortimer Duke make a bet over what will happen when they make their privileged employee Louis Winthorpe switch places with street con man Bill Ray Valentine. When Winthorpe and Valentine find out, they hatch a plan to get rich while screwing the Dukes on frozen concentrated orange juice.
Director: John Landis
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis
3. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) 38% at Rotten Tomatoes
Cab driver Ernest P. Worrell isn’t exactly the brightest bulb, but he’s now on a mission to help Santa Claus hand the mantle over to Joe Carruthers, a local children’s show host. With the help of a magical toy sack and the Christmas spirit, he has a limited time to save the holiday.
Director: John R. Cherry III
Starring: Jim Varney, Douglas Seale, Oliver Clark
2. Bad Santa (2003) 78% at Rotten Tomatoes
Con men Willie and Marcus have a great thing going – they get jobs as a mall Santa and elf, then rob the place blind on Christmas Eve. The corrupt security guard at the Phoenix, AZ mall they chose this year has different ideas. A weird kid, alcoholism, and love get in the way too.
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Lauren Graham, Tony Cox
1. Jingle All the Way (1996) 17% at Rotten Tomatoes
All Howard wants to do is get his son the Turbo Man doll he wants. Unfortunately it’s sold out, and rival dad Myron will do anything to get one for his son too. It’s the best representation of the consumerism that is modern Christmas ever made.
Director: Brian Levant
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman