Holidays

The Best Christmas Movies of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
417.7k votes 29.5k voters 197.8k views 109 items

List Rules Films about or set during Christmas time

One of the most telling signs that the holiday season is upon us is when classic Christmas movies begin to flood our TV screens and newer ones hit the big screen. Many of the best Christmas movies feature heartwarming tales that families can watch together. And even the weirdest Christmas movies have some redeeming features.

A lot of these movies are dramas or romantic comedies, and feature some of the best known stories in cinematic history. Who can forget James Stewart's portrayal of George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life? The movie may not have done so well at the box office, but its themes of caring, thoughtfulness, and sacrifice, along with the presence of George's guardian angel, has resonated with many, and it's long been considered the best Christmas movie of all time. This doesn't mean there's not a fair share of funny Christmas movies as well. Home Alone, The Santa Clause, and Elf are three examples of hilarious Christmas movies that people have grown to love over the years. They are also great Christmas movies for kids too – like the Rankin/Bass classics or the animated masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas. In between laughs, the constant within all of these top movies is family, which is what attracts people to these holiday comedies. You will also find some of these films on this list of the best Christmas dinner scenes.

Vote here on this Ultimate List for what you think is the best Christmas movie of all time. There are some great movies to choose from so vote for the movies you think are the greatest Christmas movie ever!

list ordered by
1
Home Alone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, John Candy
Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a boy who is ...more

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#15 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Story Behind ‘Angels With Filthy Souls,’ The Fake Black-And-White Movie Inside ‘Home Alone’listed on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

2
National Lampoon's Chris... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 Christmas comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. It is the third installment in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, and was written by ...more

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#14 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #20 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing The Funniest Lines From 'Christmas Vacation'

3
A Christmas Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Zack Ward
A Christmas Story is a 1983 American Christmas comedy film based on the short stories and semi-fictional anecdotes of author and raconteur Jean Shepherd, based on his book In God We Trust: All ...more

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#38 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #54 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

4
Elf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, Peter Dinklage
Elf is a 2003 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau and written by David Berenbaum. It stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, and Zooey Deschanel. It was ...more

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#88 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #41 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

5
It's a Wonderful Life is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story "The Greatest Gift", which Philip Van Doren ...more

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#91 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #236 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suckfeaturing It's A Wonderful Life Is Not The Heartwarming Movie You Remember

6
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Boris Karloff, June Foray, Hal Smith
This special is a 1966 American animated television special directed by Chuck Jones. It is based on the eponymous children's book by Dr. Seuss, the story of The Grinch trying to take away ...more

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#48 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #157 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books

7
A Charlie Brown Christma... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bill Melendez, Peter Robbins, Geoffrey Ornstein
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a musical animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the program ...more
8
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Re... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Janis Orenstein
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a Christmas television special produced in stop motion animation by Rankin/Bass Productions and currently distributed by DreamWorks Classics. It first aired ...more
9
The Santa Clause is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Tim Allen, Frank Welker, Peter Boyle
The Santa Clause is a 1994 American fantasy family comedy film directed by John Pasquin. It is the first installment in The Santa Clause trilogy and it stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an ...more

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#13 of 140 The Best Disney Live-Action Movieslisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

10
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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#25 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books #42 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madefeaturing Behind The Scenes Of Alan Rickman's Defining Role: Hans Gruber

11
Scrooged is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bill Murray, Robert Mitchum, Miles Davis
Scrooged is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film, a modernization of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The film was produced and directed by Richard Donner, and the cinematography was by ...more

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#144 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #118 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

12
Miracle on 34th Street ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara, Thelma Ritter
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 Christmas film written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund ...more

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#88 of 125 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #176 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Everlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Frosty the Snowman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
June Foray, Paul Frees, Billy De Wolfe
Frosty the Snowman is an American animated Christmas family television special based on the song "Frosty the Snowman". The program, which first aired on December 7, 1969 on CBS, was ...more

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#109 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #144 of 484 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

14
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Jim Carrey, Anthony Hopkins, Bryce Dallas Howard
This film is a 2000 American musical fantasy comedy Christmas film from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, based on the 1957 story of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It was the first Dr. ...more

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#131 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #129 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
The Polar Express is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Steven Tyler, Josh Hutchersonm
The Polar Express is a 2004 American motion capture computer-animated musical Christmas fantasy film based on the children's book of the same title by Chris Van Allsburg. Written, produced, and ...more
16
The Nightmare Before Chr... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D is a 2006 3D version of the 1993 film of the same title directed by Henry Selick and written by Caroline Thompson.

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#22 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #32 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing Every Song in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ranked by Singability

17
White Christmas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney
White Christmas is a 1954 American musical romantic comedy film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, loosely based on the 1942 film ...more

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#23 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #1,000 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

18
The Muppet Christmas Car... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
carlybobarly added
Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Louise Gold
The Muppet Christmas Carol is a 1992 American musical fantasy-comedy film and an adaptation of Charles Dickens's 1843 novel A Christmas Carol. It is the fourth in a series of live-action musical ...more

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#128 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #416 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

19
Home Alone 2: Lost in Ne... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Donald Trump, Macaulay Culkin, Tim Curry
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a 1992 American Christmas family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. It is the second film in the Home Alone series ...more

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#145 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #175 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

20
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
George C. Scott, Susannah York, David Warner
A Christmas Carol is a 1984 television film adaptation of Charles Dickens' famous 1843 holiday novella of the same name. The film is directed by Clive Donner who had been an editor of the 1951 ...more
21
Santa Claus Is Comin' to... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire, Keenan Wynn
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is a 1970 stop motion television special, made by Rankin-Bass. The film stars actor Fred Astaire as the narrator S.D. Kluger, Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa ...more

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#134 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #154 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever

22
Jingle All the Way is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Big Show, Phil Hartman
Jingle All the Way is a 1996 American Christmas family comedy film directed by Brian Levant and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad, with Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, James ...more
23
Love Actually is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
carlybobarly added
Keira Knightley, Elisha Cuthbert, Liam Neeson
Love Actually is a 2003 British Christmas-themed romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through ten separate ...more

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#221 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #20 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #669 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

24
Mickey's Christmas Carol... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman, Victor Borge
Mickey's Christmas Carol is a 1983 American animated fantasy short film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and released by Buena Vista Distribution. It was directed and produced by Burny ...more
25
Bad Santa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Lauren Graham, Billy Bob Thornton, Cloris Leachman
Bad Santa is a 2003 American Christmas black comedy film directed by Terry Zwigoff, and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, and Lauren Graham, with Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, and ...more

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#125 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #123 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time