Sponsored
426 voters

The Best Movies Released Christmas Day

Updated December 14, 2020 4.4k votes 426 voters 70.0k views82 items

List RulesOnly 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!

...more
  • Children of Men1
    185
    64

    Children of Men

    Julianne Moore, Clive Owen

    Released2006

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

    More Children of Men 

    #18 of 105 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks#31 of 178 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

  • The Aviator2
    131
    50

    The Aviator

    Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2004

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    More The Aviator 

    #286 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time#13 of 37 The Best Martin Scorsese Movies

  • Tombstone3
    165
    53

    Tombstone

    Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell

    Released1993

    Directed byKevin Jarre, George P. Cosmatos

    More Tombstone 

    #3 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#83 of 372 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • Sherlock Holmes4
    144
    66

    Sherlock Holmes

    Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

    Released2009

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    More Sherlock Holmes 

    #22 of 101 The Best Bromance Movies#1 of 20 Robert Downey Jr. Roles (Besides Iron Man) That Prove He's A Great Actor

  • War Horse5
    55
    63

    War Horse

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston

    Released2011

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

  • To Kill a Mockingbird6
    174
    51

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    More To Kill a Mockingbird 

    'To Kill a Mockingbird' Quotes That'll Change How You Think#56 of 84 Great Movies That Take Place in Autumn

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button7
    102
    67

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett

    Released2008

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    More The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 

    #45 of 53 The Saddest Romance Movies That Will Make You Cry#89 of 164 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley8
    116
    61

    The Talented Mr. Ripley

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett

    Released1999

    Directed byAnthony Minghella

    More The Talented Mr. Ripley 

    #65 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#95 of 100 List of Movies Like Inception

  • The Thin Red Line9
    131
    62

    The Thin Red Line

    George Clooney, John Travolta

    Released1998

    Directed byTerrence Malick

    More The Thin Red Line 

    #354 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#56 of 221 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

  • The Sword in the Stone10
    169
    42

    The Sword in the Stone

    Alan Napier, Sebastian Cabot

    Released1963

    Directed byWolfgang Reitherman

    More The Sword in the Stone 

    #38 of 575 The Best Animated Films Ever#163 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close11
    42
    61

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks

    Released2011

    Directed byStephen Daldry

    More Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 

    #6 of 26 The Best Movies About 9/11#17 of 70 The Most Pretentious Movies Ever Made

  • The Sting12
    157
    49

    The Sting

    Paul Newman, Robert Redford

    Released1973

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    More The Sting 

    #16 of 92 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture#56 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • Catch Me If You Can13
    174
    111

    Catch Me If You Can

    Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    More Catch Me If You Can 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Catch Me If You Can'#18 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • As Good as It Gets14
    106
    57

    As Good as It Gets

    Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt

    Released1997

    Directed byJames L. Brooks

    More As Good as It Gets 

    #251 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#83 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • The Illusionist15
    66
    61

    The Illusionist

    Tom Urie, Raymond Mearns

    Released2010

    Directed bySylvain Chomet

  • It's Complicated16
    43
    55

    It's Complicated

    Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey

    Released2009

    Directed byNancy Meyers

    More It's Complicated 

    #113 of 151 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies#2 of 53 The Best Movies About Older People Falling in Love, Ranked

  • Django Unchained17
    185
    134

    Django Unchained

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

    Released2012

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    More Django Unchained 

    #15 of 91 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories#8 of 16 The Funniest Death Scenes In Movie History

  • Gulliver's Travels18
    27
    57

    Gulliver's Travels

    Emily Blunt, Jack Black

    Released2010

    Directed byRob Letterman

  • Empire of the Sun19
    80
    52

    Empire of the Sun

    Christian Bale, Ben Stiller

    Released1987

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    More Empire of the Sun 

    The Best Empire of the Sun Albums, Ranked#69 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • Marley & Me20
    28
    25

    Marley & Me

    Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston

    Released2008

    Directed byDavid Frankel

    More Marley & Me 

    #17 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books#218 of 244 The Best Movies For Kids

  • Jackie Brown21
    58
    55

    Jackie Brown

    Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1997

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    More Jackie Brown 

    #185 of 661 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#36 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time

  • Galaxy Quest22
    90
    42

    Galaxy Quest

    Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

    Released1999

    Directed byDean Parisot

    More Galaxy Quest 

    Why 'Galaxy Quest' Is Pretty Much The Best 'Star Trek' Movie Ever Made#63 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • The Jungle Book23
    64
    82

    The Jungle Book

    Lena Headey, John Cleese

    Released1994

    Directed byStephen Sommers

  • Magnolia24
    87
    60

    Magnolia

    Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore

    Released1999

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

    More Magnolia 

    #817 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies#270 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • The Bucket List25
    67
    89

    The Bucket List

    Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman

    Released2007

    Directed byRob Reiner

    More The Bucket List 

    #317 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys#62 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry