The Greatest Christmas Movies: Our Favourite Festive Films

Plan your holiday movie marathon with this list of classic Christmas movies for you to watch throughout the festive season

The best Christmas movies are all about good-time frolics, holiday spirit and sometimes saving your wife from gun toting terrorists during a party.

As 2016 has been a bit rubbish, it’s time to forget this horror of a year with some top quality Christmas movies.

We’ve got a wide selection of films, from bona fide classics to a couple of unusual selections you may not have considered Christmas films. Regardless, the films on this list are full of holiday cheer guaranteed to make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings.

We’ve made a list and checked it twice. Here are films you need to watch over the Christmas holidays:

  • Die Hard
    Die Hard

    Stars:Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman

    Before you scream in unison that Die Hard isn’t a Christmas film, hear us out.

    John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to LA to patch things up with his estranged wife and meet his kids who live with her. Things, however, get complicated by a group of terrorists storming the Nakatomi Plaza where his wife’s Christmas party is being held.

    Through all the guns, bullets, explosions and high body count, Die Hard has all the ingredients that make a film Christmassy.

    It stresses the importance of family, peace on earth, goodwill to all men and is set on Christmas Eve, making it by essence a Christmas film.

    If you remain a sceptic we urge you to stick Die Hard on at Christmas and you’ll see.

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  • Scrooged

    Stars:Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Robert Mitchum

    This contemporary re-telling of Charles Dickens classic tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ sees Bill Murray star as Frank Cross, a selfish cynical TV executive who’s visited by three spirits who warn him he must change his ways.

    Bill Murray is entertaining as always and is a good film to put on if you find the holiday cheer getting a little too saccherine for you. Scrooged is a Christmas film with a great sardonic edge.

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  • Home Alone
    Home Alone

    Stars:Macauley Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

    A Christmas classic from your childhood that holds up to this day. Home Alone launched the career of child star Macauley Culkin and grossed more than $475 million worldwide, spawning a blockbuster sequel.

    Kevin(Macauley Culkin)is forced to defend his home against a duo of incompetent burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) after being left at home accidentally by his family who are away on holiday in Paris.

    The film’s final act, which sees Kevin exert tremendous pain and humiliation on the burglars through a series of ingenious booby traps, is reminiscent of old cartoons like Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry.

    A Christmas classic for all the family, the sequel also makes for excellent holiday viewing.

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  • Elf

    Stars:Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Edward Asner

    Will Ferrell is funny and charming in this sweet as a candy cane tale of an ungainly, human-sized elf who leaves his community in search of his identity.

    Elf has become a staple of Christmas viewing and was adapted into a Broadway musical. It might be corny and sentimental but that’s part of its undeniable appeal.

    Hilarious, uplifting and full of Christmas cheer.

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  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Nightmare Before Christmas

    Stars:Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Reuben

    A film that’s ideal viewing for both Christmas and Halloween. Although Tim Burton only has a producer credit for The Nightmare Before Christmas, this is undeniably his film.

    The Nightmare Before Christmas follows the attempts of Jack Skellington to bring the Christmas holidays to ‘Halloween Town’. He does so by kidnapping Santa Claus and replacing him, only for it to go badly wrong.

    The dark, gothic visuals mask the film’s light side, full of songs, laughs and a little romance. Beautifully made and entertaining.

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  • It's a Wonderful Life
    It's a Wonderful Life

    Stars:James Stewart, Donna Reed

    You knew this It’s a Wonderful Life had to make an appearance at some point. It’s strange to think that upon it’s release in 1946, it performed poorly at the Box Office and was regarded as a flop for RKO Studios.

    James Stewart plays a businessman contemplating suicide, only to be stopped by an angel who shows him what life would be like if he never existed.

    Optimistic, life-affirming and timeless. It’s not officially Christmas till you’ve seen It’s a Wonderful Life.

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  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
    The Muppet Christmas Carol

    Stars:Michael Caine

    The second film on this list that’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.

    Narrated by hilarious duo Gonzo and Rizzo, Michael Caine is brilliant as the miserly Scrooge, with Kermit the Frog playing his put-upon assistant Bob Cratchit.

    Along with the fantastic soundtrack, The Muppet Christmas is sharp, funny and can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

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  • Bad Santa
    Bad Santa

    Stars:Billy Bob Thornton, Lauren Graham, Tony Cox, Bernie Mac

    You’d think a film starring Billy Bob Thornton as an alcoholic, miserable wretch of a human being playing Santa wouldn’t be the most appropriate film to stick on at Christmas.

    Thornton’s character is a con-artist working as a mall Santa who plans to rob it on Christmas Eve with his dwarf partner-in-crime.

    Funny, outrageous and brilliant. Bad Santa is a surprising yet welcome addition to the pantheon of great Christmas films.

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  • Miracle on 34th Street
    Miracle on 34th Street

    Stars:Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn

    When a nice old man who claims to be St Nick himself is institutionalised as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

    A compelling, charming and funny story. It’ll warm the cockles of your heart and make the hardest of cynics believe in Santa Claus again.

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  • Batman Returns
    Batman Returns

    Stars:Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito, Christopher Walken

    Although the film was marketed and released as a summer blockbuster, Batman Returns is set during Christmas, which sort of makes it a Christmas film.

    Forget Santa, in Batman Returns there’s another man in a suit who know’s if you’ve been good or bad.

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