Classic Movies The Best Movies Released Christmas Day  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
3.5k votes 394 voters 67.7k views 80 items

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!

1
154 46
Ranker Video
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

2
158 53
Ranker Video
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

3
138 42
Ranker Video
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

4
164 64
Ranker Video
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

5
126 49
Ranker Video
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. In the film, ...more

6
136 40
Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
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

7
86 56
Ranker Video
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

8
78 29
Ranker Video
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

9
88 48
Ranker Video
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

10
90 56
Ranker Video
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

11
62 41
Ranker Video
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

12
83 46
Ranker Video
Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman Les Misérables is a 2012 musical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 1862 French novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, which also inspired a 1980 concept album and 1985 ...more

13
72 40
Ranker Video
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

14
60 53
Ranker Video
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

15
63 48
Ranker Video
George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic 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

16
53 54
Ranker Video
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

17
61 38
Ranker Video
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

18
61 50
Ranker Video
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

19
37 55
Ranker Video
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

20
43 55
Ranker Video
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

21
37 18
Ranker Video
Rolling Stone Lists added 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

22
38 19
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added 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

23
19 14
Marley & Me is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
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

24
39 67
Ranker Video
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

25
24 26
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino Jackie Brown is a 1997 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 Pam ...more

26
39 45
Ranker Video
Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which stars Christian Bale, ...more

27
31 36
Ranker Video
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

28
36 49
Ranker Video
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 magazine ...more

29
19 15
Ranker Video
ejlinehan added 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

30
35 49
Ranker Video
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

31
23 55
Ranker Video
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

32
28 40
Ranker Video
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

33
27 45
Ranker Video
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

34
20 20
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added 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

35
15 34
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added 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

36
35 60
Ranker Video
Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Bridget Fonda The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who tries to ...more

37
26 44
Ranker Video
Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson This film is a 2011 American 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 the ...more

38
23 39
Ranker Video
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

39
20 46
Ranker Video
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

40
25 44
Ranker Video
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

41
8 11
An American Werewolf in Paris is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Logan2011 added 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

42
0 0
Vice is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell Vice is a 2018 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay. The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), the most powerful Vice President in history, and how his policies changed the ...more

43
0 0
Holmes and Watson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Lauren Lapkus Holmes and Watson is a 2018 American action-mystery comedy film directed by Etan Cohen. A humorous take on Arthur Conan Doyle's classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes (Will Ferrell) and ...more

44
0 0
Daddy's Home is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini Daddy's Home is a 2015 American comedy film directed by Sean Anders and written by Brian Burns, Anders and John Morris. The film is about a mild-mannered executive named Brad (Will Ferrell) who ...more

45
0 0
On the Basis of Sex is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux On the Basis of Sex is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Mimi Leder. Young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) teams with her husband Marty (Armie Hammer) to bring a ...more

46
0 0
The Hateful Eight is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh The Hateful Eight is a 2015 American Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. In a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) find shelter in a ...more

47
0 0
Joy is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper Joy is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. A divorced mother (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes the founder and matriarch of a powerful family business

48
0 0
The Revenant is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson The Revenant is a 2015 American semi-biographical epic western film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. A frontiersman (Leonardo DiCaprio) on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s ...more

49
0 0
Selma is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr. Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and ...more

50
0 0
Point Break is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies Released Christmas Day
Teresa Palmer, Ray Winstone, Édgar Ramírez Point Break is a 2015 action film directed by Ericson Core.