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The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

1/
New Line Cinema

The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

While the holidays represent the perfect time to reconnect with family and friends from near and far, even the merriest of families need a break from the hullaballoo of entertaining.  Enter the Christmas movie, aka the perfect seasonal tune-out. Like the holidays themselves, most Christmas movies keep it wholesome, though a few step boldly outside the box (we’re looking at you, Bad Santa). Ultimately, viewers should expect warm-hearted themes of selflessness and family bonding. Yes, even in Bad Santa.

With The Last Jedi clogging theaters everywhere, 2017 kept it fairly light on the Christmas fare. Thankfully, there’s still over a century’s worth of holiday classics to choose from. And while you’re more than welcome to watch all 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS, some may want to mix things up by throwing on another gem or two.

To help get you in the spirit, Stacker has put together a list of the 55 Best Christmas Movies of All Time, built from a proprietary index (the ‘Stacker Score’) incorporating IMDb ratings, Metascores and the Tomatometer. To qualify, the film needed at least 1,000 IMDb votes and scores from at least 2 of the 3 sources. Stacker Scores are on 1-100 scale. So whip up the hot chocolate, pick your personal favorite, and enjoy!

2/
Twentieth Century Fox

#55. Why Him?

Year of Release: 2016

IMDb Rating: 6.2

Metacritic Score: 39

Tomatometer: 51%

Stacker Score: 59

Gross: $60.27M

After taking out scores of people as Walter White in the iconic TV show Breaking Bad, it was time for actor Bryan Cranston to play the victim in 2016’s Why Him? In the movie, Cranston stars as Ned Fleming, a doting father who goes ballistic when he finds out his daughter’s erratic billionaire boyfriend (played by James Franco) wants to tie the knot. It all goes down during the holidays, naturally, lending this somewhat generic comedy a little Christmas flavor. Apparently, there was a lot of improvisation going on when the cameras were rolling. Given the lukewarm reception, maybe they should’ve stuck to the script.

3/
Convex Group

#54. Noel

Year of Release: 2004

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Metacritic Score: 29

Tomatometer: 48%

Stacker Score: 59

Gross: N/A

In the vein of movies like Crash and 200 Cigarettes came 2004’s Noel. Directed by actor Chazz Palminteri and featuring a strong cast that included Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, and Paul Walker, the movie involves the overlapping storylines of five New Yorkers on Christmas Eve, each one searching for a miracle. Perhaps they found that miracle on-screen, but unfortunately not at the box office.

4/
Marlboro Road Gang Productions

#53. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

Year of Release: 2012

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Metacritic Score: 62

Tomatometer: 48%

Stacker Score: 59

Gross: $0.01M

Written and directed by Edward Burns (of The Brothers McMullen fame), 2012’s The Fitzgerald Family Christmas features a group of siblings meeting their estranged father for the first time in 20 years. When does it all go down? On Christmas, of course. The movie deals with themes of forgiveness and family, which is really what the holidays are all about.

5/
Universal Pictures

#52. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Year of Release: 2000

IMDb Rating: 6.1

Metacritic Score: 46

Tomatometer: 55%

Stacker Score: 60

Gross: $260.04M

Jim Carrey as The Grinch was a surefire recipe for success, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas was accordingly a box office smash. For the live-action Dr. Seuss adaptation, Carrey reportedly spent a whopping total of 92 days in make-up. In a show of solidarity, director Ron Howard donned his own Grinch makeup for a full day on the set, though it caused some drama after Carrey confused Howard for an inadequate stunt double. While the movie wasn’t critically heralded, it wasn’t lampooned either. If anything, its greatest crime was paving the way for an atrocious Cat in the Hat remake that soon followed. 

6/
Paramount Pictures

#51. All I Want for Christmas

Year of Release: 1991

IMDb Rating: 6.0

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 59%

Stacker Score: 60

Gross: $14.81M

In 1991’s All I Want for Christmas, all a brother and sister want is for their divorced parents to get back together. In order to make that happen, the siblings hatch a scheme that quickly goes by the wayside, and all sorts of hijinks follow. One might safely assume the movie was trying to capture the same holiday zeitgeist snagged by the previous year’s Home Alone. Ultimately, however, the film ended up making less during its entire run than Home Alone made in its first weekend.

7/
Scott Free Productions

#50. Get Santa

Year of Release: 2014

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Metacritic Score: 52

Tomatometer: 54%

Stacker Score: 61

Gross: N/A

How’s this for a Santa clause? In 2014’s Get Santa, the beloved Christmas character is on the run from the police. He’s found hiding in the garage by a father and son, who take it upon themselves to save Christmas. The cinematic results were fairly forgettable, and indeed audiences have all but forgotten this under-seasoned holiday flick.

8/
Affirm Films

#49. The Star

Year of Release: 2017

IMDb Rating: 5.7

Metacritic Score: 42

Tomatometer: 74%

Stacker Score: 61

Gross: $32.5M

What, you haven’t heard of The Star, an animated film about a brave donkey and his heroic friends that’s playing in theaters this very minute? Or perhaps you have heard of it, which would explain the $32M it was able to whip up at the box office. If so, can you tell us if it’s any good?

9/
Perfect World Pictures (Beijing)

#48. Almost Christmas

Year of Release: 2016

IMDb Rating: 6.0

Metacritic Score: 55

Tomatometer: 65%

Stacker Score: 61

Gross: $41.72M

The story of a dysfunctional family who gets together for Christmas after their mother’s death might not sound like feel-good holiday fare, but Almost Christmas squeezes in more than a few laughs. Fun fact: this film marks the second time Omar Epps and Gabrielle Union’s’ characters were prom dates (albeit retrospectively this time around).

10/
Cineplex-Odeon Films

#47. Prancer

Year of Release: 1989

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 58%

Stacker Score: 62

Gross: $18.59M

A testament to the power of childhood imagination, 1989’s Prancer sees a young farm girl coming upon a wounded reindeer, whom she’s convinced has come straight out of Santa’s flock. Her effort to nurse the reindeer back to health inspires everyone around her. Everyone, that is, except her father, who sells Prancer to a local shop for display purposes. Call it a hunch, but we’re assuming Daddy eventually comes around. ‘Tis the season, after all.

11/
Calash Corporation

#46. Santa Claus: The Movie

Year of Release: 1985

IMDb Rating: 6.1

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 66%

Stacker Score: 62

Gross: $23.72M

As it turns out, Santa was a peasant woodcutter and toymaker who died and got transported to the North Pole. At least, that’s the story as 1985’s Santa Claus: The Movie tells it. The film then jumps ahead to the 20th century, where an industrious elf named Patch invents a machine that makes a lot of inferior products. There’s also a villain in there somewhere. Seven years in the making, the big-budget movie was ultimately a box office turkey. Meanwhile, we can’t help but imagine what the John Carpenter version would’ve looked like, whereas the horror legend was originally offered directing duties.

12/
Fox 2000 Pictures

#45. The Family Stone

Year of Release: 2005

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Metacritic Score: 56

Tomatometer: 63%

Stacker Score: 63

Gross: $60.06M

Clashing personalities always make for veritable holiday entertainment, and The Family Stone is no exception. In the film, the favorite son of a wacky family brings his uptight girlfriend home for Christmas. Soon enough, the two factions are pitted against each other in a battle of wills. It was a star-studded affair that performed well at the box office, presumably because so many viewers could relate to having a wacky family.

13/
Columbia Pictures Corporation

#44. The Night Before

Year of Release: 2015

IMDb Rating: 6.4

Metacritic Score: 58

Tomatometer: 61%

Stacker Score: 63

Gross: $43M

With Seth Rogen in front of the cameras and writing partner Evan Goldberg helping out with the script, you don’t need to see 2015’s The Night Before to know it goes big on raunchy laughs. However, like so much of Rogen’s output, the film still has a beating heart at its center. That’s all in spite of a relatively shallow premise about three friends in search of the ultimate Christmas party.

14/
Twentieth Century Fox

#43. Miracle on 34th Street

Year of Release: 1994

IMDb Rating: 6.4

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 62%

Stacker Score: 64

Gross: $17.19M

An updated version of the 1947 holiday classic (which pops up way higher on the list), 1994’s Miracle on 34th Street is about a department store Santa convinced he’s the genuine article. To find out if he is indeed Santa Claus, you’ll have to see the film. And if you’re disappointed with the results, you’re not alone. Specifically, during the original theatrical run, 20th Century Fox offered full refunds to any viewers who didn’t enjoy the movie, and were allegedly sent 1500 ticket stubs in return

15/
Birch Grove Films

#42. Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage

Year of Release: 2008

IMDb Rating: 6.5

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 60%

Stacker Score: 64

Gross: N/A

In 1977, Thomas Kinkade was a struggling painter living with his mother. With the mortgage bills stacking up and the threat of foreclosure looming, Kinkade sought the mentorship of a master, and ended up creating the now-famous “Christmas Cottage” painting. The rest, as they say, was history. Never one to waste an inspiring tale, Hollywood released Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage in 2008, coating on more sugar than a stocking full of candy canes.

16/
Walt Disney Pictures

#41. The Santa Clause

Year of Release: 1994

IMDb Rating: 6.4

Metacritic Score: 57

Tomatometer: 65%

Stacker Score: 64

Gross: $144.83M

In 1994’s The Santa Clause, a businessman (played by Tim Allen) transforms into jolly old St. Nick after the original Santa dies in an accident. When casting the movie, Disney broke with its policy of refusing to hire ex-convicts, whereas Allen had been busted for dealing drugs in 1978. It was a wise move on Disney’s part, since the movie was a fairly huge hit for its time that has even yielded some sequels. 

17/
Pinewood Studios

#40. The Christmas Candle

Year of Release: 2013

IMDb Rating: 6.1

Metacritic Score: 33

Tomatometer: 75%

Stacker Score: 65

Gross: $2.21M

Based on a novel by Christian author Max Lucado, The Christmas Candle is about a preacher who moves to a small English town and tries to abolish their belief in a magic candle. Suffice to say, the movie delivers plenty of heartfelt drama and holiday theme. It also marks the big-screen debut of Britain’s Got Talent winner Susan Boyle.

18/
RKO Radio Pictures

#39. Susan Slept Here

Year of Release: 1954

IMDb Rating: 6.5

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 63%

Stacker Score: 65

Gross: N/A

Susan Slept Here is a 1954 film about a struggling screenwriter who takes in a 17-year old delinquent during the holidays and gets inspired as a result. Debbie Reynolds plays the delinquent, and she later admitted to having a crush on older co-star Dick Powell. In spite of some presumably heartwarming themes, the movie was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, who mostly took issue with the suggestive title.

19/
Twentieth Century Fox

#38. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Year of Release: 1992

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 61%

Stacker Score: 65

Gross: $173.59M

1990’s Home Alone--about a boy who battles thieves after being stranded at home during Christmas--was an indisputable box office smash. It was therefore only natural that Hollywood released Home Alone 2: Lost in New York during the holiday season two years later. The movie is more or less a carbon copy of its predecessor, with the action going down in the Big Apple this time around. While the vibe is relatively formulaic, the results are still entertaining. In other words, there’s no shame in screening a Home Alone double-header this Christmas.

20/
Castle Rock Entertainment

#37. The Polar Express

Year of Release: 2004

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Metacritic Score: 61

Tomatometer: 63%

Stacker Score: 65

Gross: $183.37M

Artist and author Chris Van Allsburg’s award-winning children’s book burst onto the big screen in 2004 with The Polar Express. Helmed by Robert Zemeckis, the movie is a CGI spectacle, and the “first all-digital capture” film, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Plus, the movie features Tom Hanks, and nobody argues with Tom Hanks, especially during the holidays.

21/
Walt Disney Pictures

#36. A Christmas Carol

Year of Release: 2009

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Metacritic Score: 55

Tomatometer: 58%

Stacker Score: 66

Gross: $137.86M

Jim Carrey is back! So is Robert Zemeckis. The two talents joined forces for 2009’s A Christmas Carol, the first Disney movie to be released in IMAX 3D. The movie rolled out with a big budget and big expectations, thereby under-performing at the box office. Nevertheless, it still makes for a quality adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous tale about a disgruntled old man visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.

22/
Facilitator Films

#35. This Christmas

Year of Release: 2007

IMDb Rating: 6.2

Metacritic Score: 55

Tomatometer: 81%

Stacker Score: 67

Gross: $49.12M

In 2007’s This Christmas, the Whitfield family gets together for the first time in four years, and the outcome is as funny as it is heartfelt. The movie is written and directed by Preston A. Whitmore II, who we’re going to assume brought some personal experiences to the table (given the similarities between his last name and the family’s). Originally, the film prints were sent to theaters under the fake name of Another Gathering.

23/
Walt Disney Pictures

#34. One Magic Christmas

Year of Release: 1985

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 70%

Stacker Score: 67

Gross: $13.68M

Every so often, a movie comes along to remind us that Christmas is about more than just presents. Okay, so basically every holiday movie reminds us that Christmas is about more than just presents. However, 1985’s One Magic Christmas took that theme to heart, literally being about an angel tasked with convincing a materialistic mother that Christmas is about more than just presents.

24/
Universal Pictures

#33. The Family Man

Year of Release: 2000

IMDb Rating: 6.7

Metacritic Score: 42

Tomatometer: 67%

Stacker Score: 67

Gross: $75.79M

In the 2000 film The Family Man, Nicolas Cage plays a smooth talking, perennially single businessman who wakes up one day in an alternate universe where he married his old girlfriend and raised a family. After the shock wears off (and the diapers are changed), Cage’s character learns the value of hard-earned love and loyalty. Going heavy on the saccharine, the film is almost impossible to resist.

25/
TriStar Pictures

#32. Sleepless in Seattle

Year of Release: 1993

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Metacritic Score: 72

Tomatometer: 75%

Stacker Score: 70

Gross: $125.53M

Only the second film directed by Nora Ephron (who wrote When Harry Met Sally), Sleepless in Seattle is a holiday charmer that will make your eyes tear up regardless of whether or not you enjoy it. The story deals with a widowed father (played by Tom Hanks) whose son calls a radio station in search of a new mom. Listening in is Annie Reed, who gets so swept away that she almost forgets she’s engaged. What follows is a heart-wrenching--and frequently hilarious--play on the concept of soulmates in the modern world. Watch it during the holidays, and keep a box of tissues by your side just to be safe.

26/
Touchstone Pictures

#31. The Ref

Year of Release: 1994

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 73%

Stacker Score: 70

Gross: $11.44M

Some movies toy delicately with your emotions, while others simply refuse to pull any punches. Falling squarely into the latter camp is 1994’s The Ref, which stars Denis Leary as a cat burglar who gets stuck with a bunch of spoiled, cloying hostages on Christmas. To this day, the engaging comedy flies under the radar, hence its inclusion on Entertainment Weekly’s list of The 50 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen in one of their 2012 issues. 

27/
Paramount Pictures

#30. Scrooged

Year of Release: 1988

IMDb Rating: 7

Metacritic Score: 38

Tomatometer: 70%

Stacker Score: 70

Gross: $60.33M

Offering a rather dark take on A Christmas Carol is 1988’s Scrooged, in which Bill Murray plays a heartless TV executive who must be taught the meaning of Christmas. The film remains somewhat refreshing in its delivery to this day, though according to Murray, director Richard Donner botched a great script. In fact, the script was so good it brought Murray out of near retirement, being the first movie he made after 1984’s Ghostbusters. See if you can spot the Miles Davis cameo.

28/
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#29. Love Finds Andy Hardy

Year of Release: 1938

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 74%

Stacker Score: 70

Gross: N/A

Dig deep into the archives and you might come across 1938’s Love Finds Andy Hardy. The film is the fourth in a series of sixteen movies centered around Judge Hardy and his family. In this installment, Andy Hardy gets into all sorts of romantic shenanigans during the holidays. The cast was a veritable who’s who of Old Hollywood, including Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, and Lana Turner.

29/
Universal Pictures

#28. The Best Man Holiday

Year of Release: 2013

IMDb Rating: 6.7

Metacritic Score: 59

Tomatometer: 83%

Stacker Score: 71

Gross: $70.53M=

The stars of 1999’s The Best Man returned for 2013’s The Best Man Holiday without missing a beat. Fifteen years have passed between them, but that doesn’t stop old rivalries and romances from rekindling post haste. The film was a big hit with audiences, earning double its production budget in its first week of release.

30/
Hollywood Pictures

#27. Simon Birch

Year of Release: 1998

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Metacritic Score: 39

Tomatometer: 77%

Stacker Score: 71

Gross: $18.25M

Film star Jim Carrey makes yet one more appearance on the list of best Christmas movies, albeit this time in a very brief supporting role. Indeed, the true star of Simon Birch is Ian Michael Smith--he plays a young boy with stunted growth who feels destined for greatness. It was Smith’s only film role, though he eventually went on to attend MIT. Meanwhile, the movie itself--which is based on the book A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving--remains a slightly unconventional coming of age tale that straddles the line between earnest and sappy.

31/
New Line Cinema

#26. Elf

Year of Release: 2003

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Metacritic Score: 64

Tomatometer: 78%

Stacker Score: 71

Gross: $220.4M=

Perhaps the most ubiquitous holiday movie this side of A Christmas Story, 2003’s Elf is the quintessence of a modern-day seasonal classic. Directed by Jon Favreau, the movie stars Will Ferrell as an oversized elf who mistakenly ends up in Santa’s workshop and then leaves for New York in search of his real father. There’s no shortage of memorable bits, including the snowball fight to end all snowball fights, and a showdown with a famous author who happens to resemble an elf. Of course, you already knew that because you’ve seen this film a hundred times.

32/
RKO Radio Pictures

#25. Holiday Affair

Year of Release: 1949

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 70%

Stacker Score: 72

Gross: N/A

Starring screen legends Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh, 1949’s A Holiday Affair is about the romance between a young widow and the shop clerk who she accidentally gets fired. The film was a financial disappointment for RKO Studios at the time of its release, but it’s been given a second life on TCM, which airs it during the holidays. 

33/
Columbia Pictures Corporation

#24. The Holiday

Year of Release: 2006

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Metacritic Score: 52

Tomatometer: 80%

Stacker Score: 72

Gross: $63.22M

Even though every Nancy Meyers film makes for terrific viewing at family get-togethers, The Holiday resonates with extra special seasonal charm. That’s in no small part thanks to its premise, where two women swap homes during Christmas and find romance as a result. Look for an (allegedly) unscripted cameo from Dustin Hoffman, who ended up in the movie after popping in randomly during the shoot.

34/
Columbia Pictures Corporation

#23. Bad Santa

Year of Release: 2003

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Metacritic Score: 70

Tomatometer: 75%

Stacker Score: 72

Gross: $60.06M

Movies like Scrooged and The Ref might playfully break from the norm, but Bad Santa downright decimates any semblance of holiday movie tradition. The film--about an alcoholic con man who poses as Santa Claus before ripping off malls--is a non-stop barrage of foul language and explicit content. But we’ll be darned if it isn’t one of the greatest comedies of all time. Watch it this Christmas, but make sure grandma and grandpa are out of earshot.

35/
Aardman Animations

#22. Arthur Christmas

Year of Release: 2011

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Metacritic Score: 69

Tomatometer: 76%

Stacker Score: 72

Gross: $46.46M

Have you ever wondered how Santa is able to deliver all those presents on Christmas Eve? To find out, watch the 2011 animated flick Arthur Christmas, which takes viewers behind the scenes of Santa’s operation. The movie also deals with Santa’s goofy son, Arthur, who makes it his mission to get a misplaced gift back to where it belongs.

36/
Hope Enterprises

#21. The Lemon Drop Kid

Year of Release: 1951

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 73%

Stacker Score: 72

Gross: N/A

Bob Hope plays the title character in 1951’s The Lemon Drop Kid. In the movie, the Lemon Drop Kid owes the mob a great deal of money, and resorts to all kinds of Christmas trickery in order to come up with the cash. Among the film’s claims to fame was that it introduced the song “Silver Bells” to a wide audience. Hope would routinely feature the same song on his subsequent TV Christmas Specials.

37/
Dore Schary Productions

#20. I'll Be Seeing You

Year of Release: 1944

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 75%

Stacker Score: 74

Gross: N/A

A soldier suffering from PTSD strikes up a romance with a young woman on Christmas in 1944’s I’ll Be Seeing You. Nearly a full year after the film’s release, lead actor Joseph Cotton reprised the role for a radio adaptation.

38/
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#19. A Christmas Carol

Year of Release: 1938

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 73%

Stacker Score: 75

Gross: N/A

No list of top Christmas movies is complete without at least three variations on A Christmas Carol. This one came in 1938 along with the tagline “Greater than David Copperfield” (which we imagine was high praise at the time). To share the film with as many people as possible, MGM released a record-breaking 375 prints during the holidays.

39/
Warner Bros.

#18. Christmas in Connecticut

Year of Release: 1945

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 75%

Stacker Score: 75

Gross: N/A

1945’s Christmas in Connecticut sees film star Barbara Stanwyck playing a food writer who doesn’t actually know how to cook. Things are going smoothly for the writer until her boss and a war hero invite themselves over for Christmas dinner. The premise might seem like something out of a modern-day sitcom, but the movie makes it work, hence the high ratings and enduring reputation.

40/
Universal Pictures

#17. Love Actually

Year of Release: 2003

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Metacritic Score: 55

Tomatometer: 72%

Stacker Score: 76

Gross: $59.7M

Parallel holiday stories combine to hilarious effect in 2003’s Love Actually. The Christmas classic is a treasure trove of unforgettable moments, lines and characters. Apparently, things were just as fun behind the scenes. For instance, Hugh Grant had himself a merry old time exploiting Billy Bob Thornton’s bizarre fear of antique furniture, by flashing some right before the cameras rolled.

41/
Hughes Entertainment

#16. Home Alone

Year of Release: 1990

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Metacritic Score: 63

Tomatometer: 79%

Stacker Score: 76

Gross: $476M

Nowadays, Home Alone’s wild success seems practically self-explanatory, but most of the people behind the film were not expecting it to be such a huge hit. It was to their surprise that the movie ended up earning the “Highest Box-Office Gross” for a comedy for its time. Needless to say, the antics of a young boy named Kevin McAllister--who gets abandoned by his family during Christmas and squares off against burglars--remains the holiday gift that keeps on giving.

42/
Paramount Pictures

#15. We're No Angels

Year of Release: 1955

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 82%

Stacker Score: 77

Gross: N/A

Not to be confused with the 1989 remake starring Robert De Niro and Sean Penn, 1955’s We’re No Angels is a holiday gem about three convicts who spend Christmas with a well-intentioned family. Among the film’s notable stars is Humphrey Bogart, and a snake named Adolphe.

43/
Warner Bros.

#14. The Man Who Came to Dinner

Year of Release: 1942

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 81%

Stacker Score: 77

Gross: N/A

For an injection of supreme holiday cheer, look no further than 1942’s The Man Who Came To Dinner. It tells the story of a man who hurts himself on someone else’s property, and then slowly begins taking over that person’s house. Based on a hit Broadway play, the movie stars Bette Davis, who later claimed she wished John Barrymore had been cast in lieu of co-star Monty Woolley.

44/
Westerly Films

#13. Metropolitan

Year of Release: 1990

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Metacritic Score: 77

Tomatometer: 85%

Stacker Score: 78

Gross: $2.94M

A sly study on Manhattan’s young upper crust, 1990’s Metropolitan mostly features a bunch of trust fund babies talking about things they don’t understand while falling in love with one another. Suffice to say, itdoesn’t exactly make for quality family viewing during the holidays. However, if you enjoy terrific dialogue, sharp acting, and dry satire, the film serves up a classic slice of independent cinema in its own right. Maybe check this one out after the in-laws leave.

45/
Samuel Goldwyn Company

#12. The Bishop's Wife

Year of Release: 1947

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 82%

Stacker Score: 78

Gross: N/A

Based on a 1928 book of the same name, The Bishop’s Wife is about an angel taking human form to help a bishop build a cathedral and save his marriage. Originally, star Cary Grant wanted to play the bishop, but he was convinced to take on the role of the angel instead. It ended up being one of his most noteworthy performances.

46/
Warner Bros.

#11. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Year of Release: 1989

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Metacritic Score: 49

Tomatometer: 86%

Stacker Score: 79

Gross: $71.32M

Written by John Hughes and starring Chevy Chase, 1989’s National Lampoon’s A Christmas Vacation continues the story of the crazy Griswold family, who celebrate the holidays by turning every possible scenario into a full-blown disaster. The movie is actually based on a short story called “Christmas ‘59”, which John Hughes wrote while working for National Lampoon Magazine.

47/
Paramount Pictures

#10. Remember the Night

Year of Release: 1940

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 83%

Stacker Score: 79

Gross: N/A

In 1940’s Remember the Night, Barbara Stanwyck plays a shoplifter who falls in love with the man prosecuting her. Such a premise might sound tawdry at first, but sprinkle on a little Hollywood fairy dust and you end up with a bona fide Christmas classic, not to mention a film that’s duly stood the test of time.

48/
Paramount Pictures

#9. Holiday Inn

Year of Release: 1942

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 87%

Stacker Score: 79

Gross: N/A

With Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sharing screen time, you already know you’re looking at vintage movie gold. That gold is called Holiday Inn and it was released in 1942. True to its name, the movie centers around an exclusive inn only open on the holidays, where Crosby and Astaire go head to head over a young woman’s affection. One of the songs written for the film was “White Christmas”, which won an Oscar and remains a favorite jingle to this day.

49/
Paramount Pictures

#8. White Christmas

Year of Release: 1954

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 88%

Stacker Score: 79

Gross: N/A

Speaking of White Christmas, check out the 1954 classic by that very name. Starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, the movie hits many of the same pitch-perfect notes as Holiday Inn. This time around, a duo of male entertainers team up with their female counterparts to save a failing inn. To call the film a song and dance filled extravaganza would be practically redundant. 

50/
Walt Disney Pictures

#7. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Year of Release: 1992

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 85%

Stacker Score: 79

Gross: N/A

1,2,3, 4 Christmas Carol adaptations on the list? The Dickens estate must get some serious royalties! In this version, the Muppets tackle the timeless tale. While Jim Henson’s presence looms large, this was actually the first Muppets movie made after his death.

51/
Nord-Ouest Productions

#6. Joyeux Noel

Year of Release: 2005

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Metacritic Score: 70

Tomatometer: 89%

Stacker Score: 81

Gross: $1.05M

Most Christmas movies keep it light in spirit, but Joyeux Noel goes straight for the jugular. Based on a true story, the acclaimed French film is about a temporary Christmas truce between enemy soldiers during World War 1. The movie was initially supposed to be rated “R”, but that was bumped down to “PG-13” after Roger Ebert openly critiqued the MPAA’s original rating

52/
Twentieth Century Fox

#5. Miracle on 34th Street

Year of Release: 1947

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 87%

Stacker Score: 81

Gross: $2.65M

Proving the original version is usually the best version is 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street, about a man who claims he’s the real Santa Claus and must convince others of the same thing. Not just one of the best Christmas movies you can find, it’s also #9 on AFI’s list of the 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.

53/
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#4. A Christmas Story

Year of Release: 1983

IMDb Rating: 8

Metacritic Score: 77

Tomatometer: 88%

Stacker Score: 82

Gross: $19.29M

The one, the only: A Christmas Story. If you haven’t already seen it, turn on the TV on Christmas day and you soon will. Directed by Bob Clark and based on the stories of Jean Shepherd, the movie details the exploits of young Ralphie Parker and his perpetual quest for a Red Ryder BB Gun. The film is an all-you-eat buffet of iconic scene after iconic scene, which helps explain its repeat "watchability." “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”

54/
Touchstone Pictures

#3. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Year of Release: 1993

IMDb Rating: 8

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 91%

Stacker Score: 83

Gross: $75.08M

Stop-motion animation may very well have peaked in 1993 with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Put simply, the film is a visual masterpiece. Straight from Tim Burton’s head comes the story of Jack Skellington, a hero in Halloween Town whose life gets turned upside down after visiting Christmas Town. Disney wanted to make a sequel using CGI and Burton refused, preserving the movie’s integrity forever. 

55/
Rankin/Bass Productions

#2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Year of Release: 1964

IMDb Rating: 8.1

Metacritic Score: N/A

Tomatometer: 92%

Stacker Score: 84

Gross: N/A

A classic holiday yarn, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tells the story of an ugly duckling--er, red-nosed reindeer that is--who ends up saving Christmas by using his glowing honker as a navigation beacon. In 1964, NBC released a masterfully executed stop-motion animation version of the famous tale, which has become a seasonal mainstay ever since. In the original airing, Rudolph visited an Island of Misfit Toys, promising to help the abandoned toys but never returning. After viewers complained, a sequence was added to later airings where Rudolph leads Santa back to the island to help find the misfit toys a proper home.

56/
Liberty Films

#1. It's a Wonderful Life

Year of Release: 1946

IMDb Rating: 8.6

Metacritic Score: 89

Tomatometer: 95%

Stacker Score: 88

Gross: $7.27M

As if sent by an angel, It’s a Wonderful Life is pure holiday perfection. Accordingly, the story of a man who discovers what his life would have been like had he never existed still strikes a nerve over seven decades later. Directed by Frank Capra--a master of emotional cinema if there ever was one--the movie actually tanked upon its theatrical debut. Time, however, has certainly healed that wound. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life with the whole family and bask in its warm glow. 

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