The list of the best holiday movies ever made will inevitably be very personal. This is a category that has less to do with artistic and cinematic merit than your own history and traditions; the movies you grew up watching year after year will probably be your favorites; the beloved classics that, for whatever reason, blew up your home will not have such a prominent position.
Still, we need to make sure that those who do it all the time are well-represented, especially at a time when certain cable networks are releasing dozens of new Christmas movies every year. (If they’re cheering on your Christmas, eh, whatever makes you spend the night. But overall, don’t hesitate to stick with the classics.)
So while you’re looking at the cake and drinking the poached egg bread, throw one of these 10 movies on the TV.
10) A Christmas Story (1983)
I know, I know: there are a lot of ruthless Ralphie who will consider this ranking criminally low. (At least you’re not in the “Elf” camp because, sorry, Buddy won’t be in this ranking.) for greatness; if you watch a movie often enough, you’ll learn to love it, and we’ve certainly seen enough of it. Still, it works for a reason: it’s fun, the performances are great, and director Bob Clark knows how to create a memorable sequence (especially Ralphie’s fantasy flights, which are all brilliant).
9) Black Christmas (1974)
In an act of mass moderation, I only include one horror movie on the list. This is silly, though; the seminal “Black Christmas” is not only presented as a haunting story and biting the nails of collegiate Christmas chaos, but is often cited as the first slasher movie (which influenced the most recognizable “Halloween” four years later). The story of a madman who chases the residents of a sleeping sister’s house during the holiday season is not for the whole family, but it is a good creepy option for a cold winter night after the children are in bed. bed. (Want some wild curiosities? The director of “Black Christmas” is none other than Bob Clark, who made “A Christmas Story” nine years later.)
8) Miracle in the street 34 (1947)
We Millennials have a weakness for remake, with Richard Attenborough and the prodigious Mara Wilson of the 90’s. Leaving aside generational preference, however, the top version of Santa’s story arrives in the city is the original, with its snail-influenced comedy and the great performances of Maureen O’Hara and a young Natalie Wood. Vintage images from the Macy’s fashion show are also a fun insight into the Thanksgiving past.
7) Love Actually (2003)
I may be an idiot most of the season, and let’s be honest, most of the year, but if you want me to melt away, grab a copy of “Love Actually”. While their love stories may be a little more Hollywood than real world, they will warm your heart even in repetitions; when Jamie learns Portuguese and is sent to France to woo his loving Aurélia, I feel foggy every time. (Not to mention the lovelessness that poor Karen suffered.) If you’re not there for love stories, don’t worry; it’s also very, very funny, with hilarious running gags and great performances by Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson and Hugh Grant.
6) The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Charles Dickens’ story of enduring morality is good; it appears every year in a new format or another, and they are usually pretty good. (This won’t even be the latest version of this list.) For my money, though, the best (direct) explanation in the story is the one with the muppets in hand. This has a lot to do with the comedy madness, Gonzo in particular is ready here, but it is mainly due to a perfect performance by Michael Caine. Even with its felt-tipped companions, it is the best cinematic Ebenezer ever recorded.
5) Sun at home (1990)
You know, I said “Black Christmas” was the only horror movie on the list, but I’m pretty sure “Home Alone” is more violent. While we remember better the family megahit for the chaos that Kevin McAllister perpetrates in Wet Bandits, it is the emotional core of the film that resonates; Kevin’s growing bond with his lone neighbor is perfect. (In an episode of “Seinfeld”, Jerry finds George crying at the end of “Home Alone”. “The old man has hooked me,” exclaims George. Relatable. Somewhere in “. my memory “, and you realize that” Home Alone “is as much a feeling as a slap.
4) Scrooged (1988)
The points I made above stand out: Michael Caine is the best Ebenezer Scrooge. But Bill Murray’s journey through three ghosts, like the cynical television executive Frank Cross, is a hilarious and wild reconstruction of the story of “Christmas Carol” through the lens of the characteristic comedy style of the 80’s. It’s not just a classic Christmas movie; belongs to any list of the funniest movies of the neon decade. (Here’s a prey that will infuriate a certain segment: among the 80’s movies with Murray, this is easily more fun than “Caddyshack”). A fantastic supporting cast – Carol Kane, Bobcat Goldthwait, Karen Allen, Robert Mitchum – seals the deal. This can be overlooked, but it is part of your holiday rotation.
3) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Was Indiana, Pennsylvania’s favorite son, always better? Even in a career with a thousand perfect performances, Jimmy Stewart’s desperate and melancholy George Bailey is perhaps the biggest star of Christmas. Most of the movies on this list are about reinvention, and Bailey has a long order: he has to go from hating himself to embracing his life in a matter of hours. It’s funny, poignant, has a dozen indelible moments, and Frank Capra’s clever direction places it among the best films of a golden decade of Hollywood cinema.
2) Die Hard (1988)
It’s “Die Hard.” When you watch “Die Hard”, you’re watching “Die Hard”. Which is “Die Hard.” I really don’t know how to explain it anymore.
1) National Lampoon Christmas Holiday (1989)
One of the oldest and busiest holiday movies is also the most true, acknowledging the fact: your vacation will not go well. There will be disasters, big and small. Catherine will burn the turkey without being recognized; Uncle Louis will burn the tree. If Cousin Eddie takes your delusions a little too literally, several branches of law enforcement may crash out the windows. But somehow, you will still be satisfied at the end of the day. Don’t try to make it perfect; will not be. Just pass it on. You will be fine.