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The Best Movies Released Christmas Day

Updated June 14, 2019 4.3k votes 423 voters 69.8k views66 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!

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  • 1
    Children of Men
    184
    65

    Children of Men

    Julianne Moore, Clive Owen

    Released2006

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

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  • 2
    The Aviator
    129
    51

    The Aviator

    Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2004

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • 3
    Tombstone
    163
    53

    Tombstone

    Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell

    Released1993

    Directed byKevin Jarre, George P. Cosmatos

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  • 4
    Sherlock Holmes
    144
    66

    Sherlock Holmes

    Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

    Released2009

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

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  • 5
    War Horse
    55
    62

    War Horse

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston

    Released2011

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 6
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    173
    51

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

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  • 7
    The Talented Mr. Ripley
    115
    61

    The Talented Mr. Ripley

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett

    Released1999

    Directed byAnthony Minghella

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  • 8
    The Thin Red Line
    129
    62

    The Thin Red Line

    George Clooney, John Travolta

    Released1998

    Directed byTerrence Malick

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  • 9
    The Sword in the Stone
    170
    40

    The Sword in the Stone

    Alan Napier, Sebastian Cabot

    Released1963

    Directed byWolfgang Reitherman

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  • 10
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    99
    68

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett

    Released2008

    Directed byDavid Fincher

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  • 11
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    41
    62

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks

    Released2011

    Directed byStephen Daldry

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  • 12
    The Sting
    156
    49

    The Sting

    Paul Newman, Robert Redford

    Released1973

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

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  • 13
    Catch Me If You Can
    172
    111

    Catch Me If You Can

    Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 14
    The Illusionist
    64
    61

    The Illusionist

    Tom Urie, Raymond Mearns

    Released2010

    Directed bySylvain Chomet

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  • 15
    As Good as It Gets
    104
    57

    As Good as It Gets

    Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt

    Released1997

    Directed byJames L. Brooks

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  • 16
    It's Complicated
    40
    56

    It's Complicated

    Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey

    Released2009

    Directed byNancy Meyers

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  • 17
    Django Unchained
    183
    135

    Django Unchained

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

    Released2012

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • 18
    Gulliver's Travels
    26
    57

    Gulliver's Travels

    Emily Blunt, Jack Black

    Released2010

    Directed byRob Letterman

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  • 19
    Galaxy Quest
    90
    40

    Galaxy Quest

    Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

    Released1999

    Directed byDean Parisot

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  • 20
    Empire of the Sun
    78
    52

    Empire of the Sun

    Christian Bale, Ben Stiller

    Released1987

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 21
    Marley & Me
    28
    26

    Marley & Me

    Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston

    Released2008

    Directed byDavid Frankel

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  • 22
    Michael
    48
    16

    Michael

    John Travolta, Carla Gugino

    Released1996

    Directed byNora Ephron

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  • 23
    Jackie Brown
    55
    55

    Jackie Brown

    Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1997

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • 24
    The Jungle Book
    63
    82

    The Jungle Book

    Lena Headey, John Cleese

    Released1994

    Directed byStephen Sommers

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  • 25
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    34
    15

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2013

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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