25 best Christmas movies of all time

RottenTomatoes has made a list and checked it more than twice, now they’re delivering the Best Christmas Movies.


WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)
77%

#25

Adjusted Score: 81.436%
Critics Consensus: It may be too sweet for some, but this unabashedly sentimental holiday favorite is too cheerful to resist.
Synopsis: This Christmas classic starring Bing Crosby is a romantic tale that takes place in a Vermont lodge- where it is… [More]
Starring: Bing CrosbyDanny KayeVera-EllenRosemary Clooney

Directed By: Michael Curtiz

BAD SANTA (2003)
78%

#24

Adjusted Score: 83.817%
Critics Consensus: A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn’t for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.
Synopsis: The Christmas season just got a lot less joyous in this very dark comedy. Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton)… [More]
Starring: Billy Bob ThorntonBernie MacTony CoxBrett Kelly

Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1948)
82%

#23

Adjusted Score: 84.858%

Critics Consensus: The Bishop’s Wife succeeds thanks to the strength of winning performances from a stellar cast, which includes Cary Grant and Loretta Young.

Synopsis: Cary Grant is at his cutest as a guardian angel, sent to smooth the path for beleaguered Episcopalian bishop David… [More]

Starring: Cary GrantDavid NivenLoretta YoungMonty Woolley

Directed By: Henry Koster

BATMAN RETURNS (1992)
81%

#22

Adjusted Score: 85.728%

Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton’s dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton’s work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.

Synopsis: Batman returns, this time protecting Gotham City from the Penguin who is running for mayor and Catwoman who is just… [More]

Starring: Michael KeatonDanny DeVitoMichelle PfeifferChristopher Walken

Directed By: Tim Burton

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)
84%

#21

Adjusted Score: 88.617%

Critics Consensus: The 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic is perhaps the most faithful film version — and Alastair Sim’s performance as Scrooge is not to be missed.

Synopsis: Widely considered to be the definitive of the many film versions of Charles Dickens’ classic novel is this 1951 British… [More]

Starring: Alastair SimKathleen HarrisonMervyn JohnsHermione Baddeley

Directed By: Brian Desmond Hurst

GREMLINS (1984)
84%

#20

Adjusted Score: 89.073%

Critics Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.

Synopsis: “Don’t expose him to bright light. Don’t ever get him wet. And don’t ever, ever feed him after midnight.” This… [More]

Starring: Zach GalliganHoyt AxtonFrances Lee McCainPhoebe Cates

Directed By: Joe Dante

ELF (2003)
84%

#19

Adjusted Score: 88.992%

Critics Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell’s funny and charming performance as one of Santa’s biggest helpers.

Synopsis: For his sophomore stab at directing, actor/writer/director Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made), took on this holiday comedy starring Saturday Night Live-alum… [More]

Starring: Will FerrellJames CaanBob NewhartEdward Asner

Directed By: Jon Favreau

TRADING PLACES (1983)
86%

#18

Adjusted Score: 89.58%

Critics Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.

Synopsis: The “nature-nurture” theory that motivated so many Three Stooges comedies is the basis of John Landis’s hit comedy. The fabulously… [More]

Starring: Dan AykroydEddie MurphyRalph BellamyDon Ameche

Directed By: John Landis

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945)
88%

#17

Adjusted Score: 89.925%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: War hero Dennis Morgan becomes the object of a publicity stunt staged by magazine publisher Sidney Greenstreet. The corpulent print… [More]

Starring: Barbara StanwyckDennis MorganSydney GreenstreetReginald Gardiner

Directed By: Peter Godfrey

TOKYO GODFATHERS (2003)
90%

#16

Adjusted Score: 91.124%

Critics Consensus: Beautiful and substantive, Tokyo Godfathers adds a moving — and somewhat unconventional — entry to the animated Christmas canon.

Synopsis: Japanese filmmaker Satoshi Kon directs his third anime feature with the holiday film Tokyo Godfathers. The story takes place in… [More]

Starring: Toru EmoriAya OkamotoYoshiaki UmegakiShôzô Îzuka

Directed By: Satoshi KonShôgo Furuya

BETTER WATCH OUT (2017)
88%

#15

Adjusted Score: 89.318%

Critics Consensus: Carried by its charismatic young cast, Better Watch Out is an adorably sinister holiday horror film.

Synopsis: This holiday season, you may be home, but you’re not alone… In this fresh and gleefully twisted spin on home-invasion… [More]

Starring: Levi MillerOlivia DeJongeEd OxenbouldDacre Montgomery

Directed By: Chris Peckover

RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE (2010)
89%

#14

Adjusted Score: 91.191%

Critics Consensus: Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror.

Synopsis: It’s the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an ‘archeological’ dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But… [More]

Starring: Onni TommilaJorma TommilaIlmari JärvenpääPeeter Jakobi

Directed By: Jalmari Helander

UN CONTE DE NOËL (A CHRISTMAS TALE) (2008)
86%

#13

Adjusted Score: 90.289%

Critics Consensus: A sharp black comedy about a chaotic family holiday gathering, A Christmas Tale is always involving, thanks to an impressive ensemble cast.

Synopsis: The devastating reverberations of a profound tragedy echo through generations of a long-suffering French family in this emotional family drama…[More]

Starring: Catherine DeneuveMathieu AmalricJean-Paul RoussillonAnne Consigny

Directed By: Arnaud Desplechin

THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK (1944)
88%

#12

Adjusted Score: 91.256%

Critics Consensus: The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek finds director Preston Sturges at his most zanily subversive — not to mention hilarious.

Synopsis: This wild, once-controversial comedy stars Betty Hutton as Trudy Kockenlocker, a man-crazy single girl whose favorite pastime involves entertaining every… [More]

Starring: Eddie BrackenBetty HuttonWilliam DemarestDiana Lynn

Directed By: Preston Sturges

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (1964)
92%

#11

Adjusted Score: 92.438% Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: This stop-motion animagic version of the classic Christmas tale adds a bit of a twist when Rudolph encounters an abominable… [More]

Starring: Burl IvesLarry D. MannBilly RichardsPaul Soles

Directed By: Maury LawsLarry Roemer

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (1965)
92%

#10

Adjusted Score: 92.982%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer. And for Peanuts fans everywhere, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without this classic holiday… [More]

Starring: Peter RobbinsTracy StratfordChristopher SheaSally Dryer

Directed By: Bill MelendezPhil Roman

A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
89%

#9

Adjusted Score: 93.998%

Critics Consensus: Both warmly nostalgic and darkly humorous, A Christmas Story deserves its status as a holiday perennial.

Synopsis: In the 1940’s, in the town of Hammond, 9-year-old Ralphie wants one thing for Christmas — an official Red Ryder… [More]

Starring: Peter BillingsleyDarren McGavinMelinda DillonIan Petrella

Directed By: Bob Clark

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011)
92%

#8

Adjusted Score: 96.315%

Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.

Synopsis: The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before… [More]

Starring: James McAvoyHugh LaurieBill NighyJim Broadbent

Directed By: Sarah SmithBarry Cook

DIE HARD (1988)
92%

#7

Adjusted Score: 97.119%

Critics Consensus: Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.

Synopsis: It’s Christmas time in L.A., and there’s an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation… [More]

Starring: Bruce WillisAlan RickmanReginald VelJohnsonBonnie Bedelia

Directed By: John McTiernan

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
95%

#6

Adjusted Score: 101.443%

Critics Consensus: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation.

Synopsis: Despite having recently presided over a very successful Halloween, Jack Skellington, aka the Pumpkin King, is bored with his job… [More]

Starring: Chris SarandonCatherine O’HaraGlenn ShadixDanny Elfman

Directed By: Henry SelickTim Burton

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (1967)
100%

#5

Adjusted Score: 101.766%

Critics Consensus: How the Grinch Stole Christmas brings an impressive array of talent to bear on an adaptation that honors a classic holiday story — and has rightfully become a yuletide tradition of its own.

Synopsis: Chuck Jones’ animated version of the classic Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas originally aired on television in… [More]

Starring: Boris KarloffJune ForayThurl RavenscroftEugene Poddany

Directed By: Chuck JonesBen Washam

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)
100%

#4

Adjusted Score: 103.148%

Critics Consensus: Deftly directed by Ernst Lubitsch from a smart, funny script by Samson Raphaelson, The Shop Around the Corner is a romantic comedy in the finest sense of the term.

Synopsis: The Shop Around the Corner is adapted from the Hungarian play by Nikolaus (Miklos) Laszlo. Budapest gift-shop clerk Alfred Kralik… [More]

Starring: Margaret SullavanJames StewartFrank MorganJoseph Schildkraut

Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

HOLIDAY INN (1942)
100%

#3

Adjusted Score: 103.235%

Critics Consensus: With the combined might of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Irving Berlin working in its favor, Holiday Inn is a seasonal classic — not least because it introduced “White Christmas” to the world.

Synopsis: Music by Irving Berlin, songs by Bing Crosby and dancing by Fred Astaire all add up to a really delightful… [More]

Starring: Bing CrosbyFred AstaireMarjorie ReynoldsVirginia Dale

Directed By: Mark Sandrich

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947)
96%

#2

Adjusted Score: 103.618%

Critics Consensus: Irrefutable proof that gentle sentimentalism can be the chief ingredient in a wonderful film, Miracle on 34th Street delivers a warm holiday message without resorting to treacle.

Synopsis: Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, a bearded old gent who is the living image of Santa Claus. Serving as a… [More]

Starring: Edmund GwennJohn PayneMaureen O’HaraNatalie Wood

Directed By: George Seaton

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
94%

#1

Adjusted Score: 104.723%

Critics Consensus: The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.

Synopsis: This is director Frank Capra’s classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank… [More]

Starring:James StewartDonna ReedLionel BarrymoreThomas Mitchell

Directed By:Frank Capra

[Via: rottentomatoes.com]

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