70 Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Did your favorite Christmas movies make our list of the all-time best?
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The best Christmas movies to add to your must-watch list
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas movie watching! Good thing there’s a holiday movie for everyone! Whether you’re a fan of classic Christmas movies, Hallmark Christmas movies, romantic Christmas flicks, or the best Christmas movies for kids, there’s something on our list for everyone! Time to lounge on the couch in an ugly Christmas sweater with your loved ones snuggled under a blanket, with hot cocoa steaming in your favorite mug—all while one of the best Christmas movies plays on your television. This could possibly be one of the coziest feelings in the world. Our list narrows it down to the best of the best, from classic cartoons all the way to the best Netflix originals that debuted in recent years. Make it a festive family movie festival with the best Christmas movies on Hulu, Lifetime, and Amazon Prime to keep it easy and streamable. Have yourself a movie little Christmas!
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The Polar Express
This whimsical, dreamy animated tale follows a group of pajama-clad kids, roused from slumber, and pulled aboard a train bound for the North Pole. It’s based on the 1986 Caldecott winning book of the same name, one of the best Christmas books for kids.
This star-studded rom-com features the ol’ switch houses over the Christmas holidays plotline. Kate Winslet stars as the owner of an English cottage who trades it with Hollywood mogul, Cameron Diaz, for a stay in her mansion in this romantic Christmas movie.
Christmas in Connecticut
Return to classic Hollywood in this fun rom-com from 1945 starring screen legend Barbara Stanwyck as a woman who pens the popular “Diary of a Housewife” column. When her publisher insists she host a Christmas dinner on the farm for a vet returning home from the war, she may just fall in love with him. Here are the best funny Christmas movies if you like your holiday dramas merry and light.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Steve Martin and John Candy play stranded businessmen who end up on a disaster-filled trek to finally get home for Thanksgiving. Get ready for laughs galore and just enough holiday sentiment to make your eyes tear up. This ranks as one of our favorite Thanksgiving movies, too.
The Shop Around the Corner
One of the best Christmas movies is this classic love story from 1940 that inspired multiple mistaken identity rom-coms, including You’ve Got Mail. Christmas Eve revelations finally bring love to light. See how many of these Christmas movie trivia questions you can answer correctly.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
This Christmas classic premiered in 1964 and everyone has been watching it ever since. Based on the song of the same name, this stop-motion animated television special captures audiences with its sweet story about accepting differences. These are the best kids’ Christmas movies to watch on Netflix right now.
Babes in Toyland
This 1934 classic still lulls with nostalgic merriness and impressive visuals. You’ll also see magical set pieces and lots of toy soldiers. If you’re still thinking about what you get your sis for the holidays, get some inspiration with these perfect gifts for sisters.
Reese Witherspoon shines as the star of this comedy about heading home for Christmas—to four different homes, that is. Vince Vaughn plays her longtime boyfriend.
The Merry Gentleman
Michael Keaton directed this art-house drama that features gorgeous visuals that capture the stark isolation for those who are alone at Christmas. Check out these Christmas movie locations that actually exist in real life.
Things come to a head during Christmas when Edward, who has scissors for hands, carves sculptures and shaves ice into Christmas snowfall for the girl he loves. After the best Christmas movies, check out the best Christmas town in every state.
Elf sits in the top ten list on many best Christmas movie lists because it offers the kind of feel-good hilarity the whole family can enjoy. Prepare for tender moments that depict loneliness and the need to fit in interspersed with Will Ferrell’s brand of madcap comedy.
It’s one of the most spectacular classic Christmas movies, so feast your eyes on dazzling, over-the-top numbers bursting with the holiday aesthetic as stranded performers put on a show. There are also a few engagements, so if holiday romance is your thing, here’s our list of the most romantic movies ever.
Danny Glover stars as a recent widower who invites his grown kids home for Christmas. It’s a family melodrama that offers platters of romance and comedy alongside moments that will move you.
After a break-up, a woman played by Anna Kendrick moves in with her brother, his wife, and their two-year-old child, and tries to put her life back together during the Christmas season.
Amp up the Scrooge vibes in this crass take on the Christmas spirit. Billy Bob Thornton stars as a real-life Grinch—he poses as a mall Santa, so he can rob stores.
Return to the heyday of 1980s comedy in this retelling of the classic A Christmas Carol story starring Bill Murray.
A Bad Moms Christmas
Watch with a spiked eggnog in your hand, sit back, and wait for the laughs in one of the best Christmas movies to watch with your girlfriends. Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, and Kristen Bell return as seasoned moms forced to put on the perfect Christmas for their families and generally failing at it.
Jingle All the Way
One of the best Christmas movies, the plot is based on the Christmas toy frenzies inspired by parents who did anything for Cabbage Patch Dolls, Tickle Me Elmos, and other must-have seasonal toys. In this case, two rival Dads vie for the rare, but intensely desired Turbo-Man action figure.
A Christmas Prince
This popular Christmas movie romance offers fluff, flounce, and a sugar-coated love story set during the holidays as an intrepid reporter finds herself falling for the heir to the Aldovian throne. Make sure to check out these gifts for your wife that she’ll absolutely adore/
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Out of all the remakes and adaptations of A Christmas Carol, the muppets version rises to the top as it manages to be both witty and heartwarming in a way that both kids and adults enjoy together.
The Preacher’s Wife
This updated remake of The Bishop’s Wife stars Denzel Washington as a super handsome angel who comes along to help out Whitney Houston with some family problems right around Christmas.
Arthur Christmas is an unexpected delight with a heartwarming story that captures audience members of every age. The story follows Santa’s son Arthur on his quest to deliver a lost toy before the deadline is up!
Nothing Like the Holidays
During the holiday season, nothing hits the spot like a great family Christmas movie set around the dinner table. This drama depicts strong bonds and the love that ties us together in relatable and heartfelt scenes by great performers.
Love Actually feels like a ridiculous and romantic trifle! And it is. Giving into its implausible plots and nutty scenarios is part of the ever-watchable charm that makes it one of the best Christmas movies.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Christmas lights will never be the same after you see the Griswold display. Chevy Chase plays the dad who tries to do what’s right for his family amid nonstop epic and hilarious fails.
Don’t miss Mary J. Blige as the Christmas angel in this musical drama based on Langston Hughes’ famous play. The movie comes alive during the musical numbers which are both lyrical and sometimes ultra-realistic.
The Family Stone
Get ready for slapstick comedy mixed with tragic heartbreak. The Family Stone is the kind of Christmas movie you can rely on for laughs, tears, and watching again and again each Christmas.
Macaulay Culkin’s charm steals the show as the kid left alone who fights off bungling burglars while Mom and Dad (Catherine O’Hara and John Heard) freak out from afar.
This rom-com explores wanting to be accepted by those you love most, being true to your own identity, and coming out to your conservative parents at Christmas. Check out the best Christmas songs.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The stop-motion animation looks charming and eccentric while the songs make you tap your foot and sing along in this story about a Pumpkin King who wants to take over Christmas. Don’t worry—Santa ends up safe and sound!
Miracle on 34th Street
The young Natalie Wood stole everyone’s heart in this drama about the power of belief. The 1994 remake is also winning, but for legit Christmas movie magic, check out the first film—it’s the real thing! Don’t miss these gifts for mom: the woman who needs nothing, but deserves everything.
A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story is where most of us learn to never touch our tongue to a frozen flagpole. It’s always playing round the clock on TV right around Christmas because you can catch any scene and still enjoy.
The Christmas Chronicles
Kurt Russell gives an inspired performance as a rock n’ Roll Santa in this popular hit. Goldie Hawn, his real-life longtime partner, plays Mrs. Claus. The kids love this one!
The Christmas Chronicles 2
Yep! There’s a popular sequel, too! Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn reprise their roles and Mr. and Mrs. Santa in an adventure involving the evil elf, Belsnickel. This one features live action mixed with spirited CGI. If you love animation, here are the best Christmas cartoons to enjoy.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
One of the best Christmas movies recently released is this spectacular Netflix musical, Jingle Jangle. A brilliant toymaker’s apprentice tries to steal his idea in this movie filled with exuberant art design, gorgeous costumes, and rip-roaring dance numbers.
Let It Snow
In this sweet rom-com, a famous pop star gets stranded by snow in a small town on Christmas Eve. He spends time with one of the local teens there who is not impressed with his fame. Check out the best Christmas movies on Disney+ if you’re looking for more teen dream rom-coms.
A single Dad loses his lucrative radio show job right before Christmas. His kids, used to affluence, are in for some lessons when they all downsize in this heartwarming comedy. Here are the best funny Christmas movies if you like your holiday dramas merry and light.
Dashing in December
If you’re looking for a beautiful Christmas romance, go for Dashing in December. Andie MacDowell plays a mom whose grown son returns home to her ranch for Christmas only to find himself falling for her totally dashing ranch hand. Here are more great LGBTQ movies to indulge in.
Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader play Santa’s adult children who have to take over duties after their father’s passing—but neither is really up to the job in this delightful comedy you can find on Disney+.
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
Dolly Parton provides all the songs in this Emmy-winning musical about an executive (Christine Baranski) who’s selling all the land in her hometown right before Christmas. Create the best holiday ambiance in your home with these easy DIY Christmas decorations anyone can make.
Christmas with the Kranks
A couple (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) decides to skip Christmas since their grown daughter is away, but then she announces she is coming home after all, with her new fiance in tow. Her parents try to throw together the perfect last-minute celebration with hilarious results.
Queen Latifah gives a moving performance in this rom-com about a woman who decides to live life to the fullest when she’s diagnosed with a terminal illness right before Christmas. LL Cool J plays the coworker who follows her across the globe (in the snow!) to let her know he’s in love with her before it’s too late.
Anna and the Apocalypse
If all you want for Christmas is a zombie movie—that’s also a musical that takes place during the holidays—then Anna and the Apocalypse was made just for you. Christmas season is also the season of the undead with singing, fighting teens to boot.
Holidate is the ideal romance for anyone who loves, loves, loves holidays. You’ll find every seasonal celebration in this one, including Christmas, as a couple is thrown together during every festivity.
The Bishop’s Wife
Cary Grant stars as a dashing angel who descends to earth to answer a bishop’s prayer. Soon, the angel finds himself falling for the bishop’s wife in one of the most beloved classic Christmas movies.
There are subsequent remakes, but the 1974 horror classic Christmas movie still packs a chilling punch as sorority sisters battle a killer over Christmas break.
Office Christmas Party
If you’re in the mood for raucous comedy, this anthem to wild Christmas parties stars Jason Bateman, Jennifer Anniston, Kate McKinnon, and Olivia Munn.
Better Watch Out
Horror fans will love this dark take on Home Alone themes as a babysitter and her young charge battle home invaders during Christmas, but nothing is as it seems. Heed the title!
The Night Before
If you’re looking to sit back with some silly, R-rated comedy try this romp about three friends (Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who are determined to tie one on before Christmas.
The Christmas Doctor
Hallmark Christmas movie fans love this romance about a doctor doing a temp gig in a small town over the holidays. She doesn’t like to be tied down, but her handsome landlord makes that impossible!
Coal in your stocking is a piece of cake compared to a visit from this horned monster who comes for naughty kids. This horror comedy is not for the little ones in your family!
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens in this delightful biopic about the author who penned one of the most famous Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol, back in 1843.
When Harry Met Sally
This classic rom-com climaxes during the holiday season when the two besties finally figure out they don’t want to spend another holiday without each other.