best movie genres The Best Movies Released Christmas Day  

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List Rules Only movies initially released (or wide-released) in theaters in the USA on December 25th.

What are the best movies released on Christmas Day? In recent years, December 25 movie releases have become more and more popular, as millions of movie goers seek peace on Earth in quiet movie theaters, away from the hustle, bustle and crazy relatives. Yes, a Christmas Day movie is becoming a huge tradition for many. Major movies are often released around Christmas, but which ones were actually released on the holiday itself? This list includes some of the biggest films that came out on Christmas, so vote for your favorites and vote down any movies you didn't like.

The tradition of major films being released on or around Christmas day really kicked into high gear in the 1990s. Prior to this, a handful of big films had December 25 release dates, but usually only if that date fell on a Friday. Still, going back a few decades, one can find some incredibly brilliant Christmas day film releases, including To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Sting (1973), and Empire of the Sun (1987).

Just because a film is released on Christmas Day, doesn't mean it has a holiday feel-good theme. In fact, it may be just the opposite. Perhaps distributors realize that some people are totally burned out on the whole holiday warm and fuzzy stuff by Christmas night? Films like Children of MenHoffa, and The Godfather Part III all came out on Christmas Day -- all decidedly non-joyous flicks.

The gifts are opened, the food's been consumed and the football's been watched. What else to do? Sit in a nice, dark theater, sneak in some of the candy Santa brought you, and kick back with a great Christmas Day movie release, of course. Ho ho ho!

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To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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The Sting Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters to con a mob boss. The film was directed by George Roy Hill, who had ...more

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Catch Me If You Can Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by ...more

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Django Unchained Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. With the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to ...more

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Sherlock Holmes Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 British–American action mystery film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by ...more

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Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Tombstone Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Elle Fanning The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by David Fincher. The storyline by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord is loosely based on the 1922 short ...more

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Children of Men Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five ...more

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As Good as It Gets Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Julie Benz As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and produced by Laura Ziskin. It stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic, homophobic, racist, ...more

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The Sword in the Stone Alan Napier, Sebastian Cabot, Norman Alden The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on December 25, 1963 by Buena Vista Distribution. The 18th film in ...more

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The Bucket List Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes The Bucket List is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner, produced by Reiner, Alan Greisman, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, written by Justin Zackham, and starring Jack Nicholson ...more

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Les Misérables Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman Les Misérables is the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still ...more

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Grumpy Old Men Ann-Margret, Daryl Hannah, Jack Lemmon Grumpy Old Men is a 1993 American romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret, with Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Ossie Davis and Buck Henry. ...more

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The Illusionist Tom Urie, Raymond Mearns, Paul Bandey The Illusionist is a 2010 French-Scottish animated comedy-drama film directed by Sylvain Chomet. The film is based on an unproduced script written by French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati ...more

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The Thin Red Line George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic war film written and directed by Terrence Malick. Based on the novel by James Jones, it tells a fictionalized version of the Battle of Mount ...more

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The Talented Mr. Ripley Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella. An adaptation of the 1955 Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name, ...more

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The Aviator Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwen Stefani The Aviator is a 2004 American biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by John Logan and produced by Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King, and Charles Evans, Jr.. It ...more

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Magnolia Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman Magnolia is a 1999 American drama film written, produced, and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Jeremy Blackman, Tom Cruise, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, ...more

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Hoffa Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Tim Burton Hoffa is a 1992 French-American biographical film directed by Danny DeVito and written by David Mamet, based on the life of Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Jack Nicholson plays Hoffa, and ...more

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Frost/Nixon Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen Frost/Nixon is a 2008 British-American historical drama film based on the 2006 play of the same name by Peter Morgan, who also adapted the screenplay. The film tells the story behind the ...more

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Logan2011 added Galaxy Quest Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen Galaxy Quest is a 1999 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon. The film follows the adventures of a troupe of actors ...more

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Rolling Stone Lists added The Wolf of Wall Street Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese. The screenplay by Terence Winter is adapted from the eponymous memoir by Jordan Belfort and ...more

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Marley & Me is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Marley & Me Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Eric Dane Marley & Me is a 2008 American comedy-drama film directed by David Frankel, based on the memoir by John Grogan. Newlyweds John (Owen Wilson) and Jenny Grogan (Jennifer Aniston) learn ...more

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Patch Adams Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Monica Potter Patch Adams is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bob Gunton. Directed by Tom Shadyac, it is based on the life story of ...more

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Empire of the Sun Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age war film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which stars Christian Bale, ...more

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Logan2011 added Jackie Brown Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino Jackie Brown is a 1997 crime drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1992 novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation from Tarantino, and stars ...more

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The People vs. Larry Flynt Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 American biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman and starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton. It chronicles the rise of ...more

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Chaplin Robert Downey Jr., Milla Jovovich, Diane Lane Chaplin is a 1992 British-American biographical comedy-drama film about the life of British comedian Charlie Chaplin. It was produced and directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Robert ...more

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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. The film follows a travelling theatre troupe whose leader, having ...more

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Ali Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith Ali is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of the boxer Muhammad Ali, played by Will Smith, from 1964-74 featuring his capture of the heavyweight ...more

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Logan2011 added Stepmom Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris Stepmom is a 1998 comedy-drama directed by Chris Columbus and starring Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and Ed Harris. Sarandon won the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress and ...more

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Four Rooms Madonna, Salma Hayek, Bruce Willis Four Rooms is a 1995 anthology comedy film directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, each directing one segment of the film that in its entirety is ...more

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ejlinehan added The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 romantic adventure comedy-drama cult film directed by, produced by, and starring Ben Stiller. Gore Verbinski served as executive producer. This is the ...more

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The Godfather Part III Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Bridget Fonda The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American crime film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who ...more

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Logan2011 added Michael John Travolta, Carla Gugino, Andie MacDowell Michael is a 1996 American fantasy film directed by Nora Ephron. The film stars John Travolta as the Archangel Michael, who is sent to Earth to do various tasks, including mending some wounded ...more

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War Horse Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson War Horse is a 2011 American war drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is an adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel of the same name set before and during ...more

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Match Point Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer Match Point is a 2005 drama film written and directed by Woody Allen which stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, and Penelope Wilton. Rhys ...more

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Altered States Drew Barrymore, William Hurt, Bob Balaban Altered States is a 1980 American science fiction-horror film adaptation of a novel by the same name by playwright and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky in his only novel he ever wrote and his final ...more

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, John Goodman Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a 2011 American drama film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Eric Roth. It stars ...more

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The Jungle Book Lena Headey, John Cleese, Sam Neill Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is a 1994 American adventure film co-written and directed by Stephen Sommers, based on the Mowgli stories in The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book by ...more

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Meet the Fockers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
trevorboller added Meet the Fockers Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman Meet the Fockers is a 2004 American comedy film directed by Jay Roach and the sequel to Meet the Parents. The film stars Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe ...more

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It's Complicated Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Alec Baldwin It's Complicated is a 2009 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Nancy Meyers. It stars Meryl Streep as a successful bakery owner and single mother of three who starts a secret ...more

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Rolling Stone Lists added 47 Ronin Keanu Reeves, Rinko Kikuchi, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa 47 Ronin is a 2013 American fantasy action film depicting a fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life group of masterless samurai in 18th-century Japan who avenged the death of ...more

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Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
MCLfakes added Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Mark Hamill, Dana Delany, Marilu Henner Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is a 1993 American animated superhero mystery film featuring the DC Comics character Batman, and is based on the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series. Produced by ...more

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Mighty Joe Young is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Logan2011 added Mighty Joe Young Charlize Theron, Bill Paxton, Regina King Mighty Joe Young is a 1998 Disney family film starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron and directed by Ron Underwood. It is based on the 1949 film of the same name. In this version, the ape is ...more

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An American Werewolf in Paris is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Logan2011 added An American Werewolf in Paris Julie Bowen, Julie Delpy, Tom Everett Scott An American Werewolf in Paris is a 1997 comedy-horror film directed by Anthony Waller and starring Tom Everett Scott and Julie Delpy. The film was in development for 6 years and follows the ...more

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Logan2011 added The Faculty Salma Hayek, Usher, Famke Janssen The Faculty is a 1998 science fiction horror film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The film stars Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Shawn Hatosy, Jordana Brewster, Clea ...more

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Kate & Leopold Hugh Jackman, Meg Ryan, Liev Schreiber Kate & Leopold is a 2001 romantic-comedy fantasy that tells a story of a duke who travels through time from New York in 1876 to the present and falls in love with a woman in modern New York. ...more

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Evita Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Billie Piper Evita is a 1996 American musical drama film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name about Eva Perón. Directed by Alan Parker and written by Parker and Oliver ...more

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The Postman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Logan2011 added The Postman Kevin Costner, Tom Petty, Mary Stuart Masterson The Postman is a 1997 American epic post-apocalyptic adventure film. It is directed by, produced by, and stars Kevin Costner, with the screenplay written by Eric Roth and Brian Helgeland, based ...more