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The Best Christmas Movies of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated March 26, 2020 417.9k votes 29.5k voters 198.1k views 109 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite 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!

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1
National Lampoon's Chris... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis

Released: 1989

Directed by: Jeremiah S. Chechik

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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2
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Boris Karloff, June Foray, Hal Smith

Released: 1966

Directed by: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam

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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3
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Re... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Janis Orenstein

Released: 1964

Directed by: Larry Roemer, Kizo Nagashima

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
4
A Charlie Brown Christma... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bill Melendez, Peter Robbins, Geoffrey Ornstein

Released: 1965

Directed by: Bill Melendez

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
5
Elf is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, Peter Dinklage

Released: 2003

Directed by: Jon Favreau filmography

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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6
Home Alone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, John Candy

Released: 1990

Directed by: Chris Columbus

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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7
It's a Wonderful Life is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

Released: 1946

Directed by: Frank Capra

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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8
A Christmas Story is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Zack Ward

Released: 1983

Directed by: Bob Clark

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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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

Released: 1994

Directed by: John Pasquin

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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10
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Released: 1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

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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11
Frosty the Snowman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
June Foray, Paul Frees, Billy De Wolfe

Released: 1969

Directed by: Arthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

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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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

Released: 1947

Directed by: George Seaton

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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13
The Polar Express is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Steven Tyler, Josh Hutchersonm

Released: 2004

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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
14
White Christmas is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney

Released: 1954

Directed by: Michael Curtiz

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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15
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Jim Carrey, Anthony Hopkins, Bryce Dallas Howard

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ron 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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16
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
George C. Scott, Susannah York, David Warner

Released: 1984

Directed by: Clive Donner

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
17
The Muppet Christmas Car... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
carlybobarly added Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Louise Gold

Released: 1992

Directed by: Brian Henson

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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18
The Nightmare Before Chr... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman

Released: 1993

Directed by: Henry Selick

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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19
Scrooged is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Bill Murray, Robert Mitchum, Miles Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Richard Donner

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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20
Santa Claus Is Comin' to... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire, Keenan Wynn

Released: 1970

Directed by: Arthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

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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21
Home Alone 2: Lost in Ne... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Donald Trump, Macaulay Culkin, Tim Curry

Released: 1992

Directed by: Chris Columbus

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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22
The Santa Clause 2 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Elizabeth Mitchell, Aisha Tyler, Tim Allen

Released: 2002

Directed by: Michael Lembeck

The Santa Clause 2 is a 2002 American romantic comedy-holiday film directed by Michael Lembeck. It is the second installment in The Santa Clause trilogy following The Santa Clause. It was filmed ...more
23
Mickey's Christmas Carol... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman, Victor Borge

Released: 1983

Directed by: Burny Mattinson

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
24
Miracle on 34th Street ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Dylan McDermott

Released: 1994

Directed by: Les Mayfield

Miracle on 34th Street is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy film written and produced by John Hughes, and directed by Les Mayfield. It stars Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Elizabeth Perkins, ...more
25
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

Released: 1984

Directed by: Joe Dante

Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more

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