32. Edward Scissorhands
Johnny Depp's pale, leather-suited, scissor-handed Edward stands out amidst the colorful suburban Christmastime landscape of Tim Burton's 1990 fantasy, although his story is one that ultimately proves perfectly in tune with the season's spirit of open-hearted inclusiveness.
31. The Santa Clause
In 1994 a very specific Christmas fear formed for some children: that Santa would fall off their roof and to his death. Way to make a lovely holiday into a complete nightmare, mid-1990s filmmakers. When Tim Allen inadvertently causes Santa to die on his property, he has to assume the role of the next Santa Claus. There’s a lot of body-shaming stuff here that likely doesn’t fly as well in 2019, but this movie is featured in enough Christmas movie marathons that it belongs on the list.
No, Carol was never intended to be a Christmas movie. But neither was Love, Actually. And still, watching Rooney Mara as a retail worker in a Santa hat fall for a mink-wearing Cate Blanchette can bring as much warm jitters as watching Keira Knightley open her door to the, “Say it’s carol singers,” sign.
29. The Polar Express
For those who saw the behind the scenes process of this motion-captured animated hit, you might wish you could unsee the image of Tom Hanks in a bodysuit with hundreds of little dots all over him. For those who haven’t, don’t ruin the magic for yourself. This classic tale of a Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole is told in such hyper-realistic animation that you might just start to feel like you’re on the locomotive yourself.
28. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
In 2000, Jim Carrey put on a big green Grinch suit to bring the famous cartoon to life. Because it’s Jim Carrey, there’s a lot of improvised humor. There’s also a pretty gross cheese-eating scene that only passes because Jim Carrey can pull it off.
27. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
John Cho and Kal Penn's stoner buddies find themselves at odds after the latter destroys their Christmas tree, leading to an all-night adventure of holiday madness in the best of the duo's big-screen outings.
26. Die Hard
Ho-ho-ho, he's got a machine gun—Bruce Willis's John McClane, that is, while battling terrorists in John McTiernan's peerless one-against-many action classic.
25. While You Were Sleeping
If Die Hard gets to be a Christmas movie, so does While You Were Sleeping. After Sandra Bullock saves a man pushed in front of an L train on Christmas Day, she finds herself in quite a predicament. After admiring the man from afar from some time, she mutters, “I was going to marry him,” which a nurse mistakes as meaning that she’s his fiancee. Soon after she befriends his family who welcomes her with open arms. The only problem is, she ends up falling for the man’s brother.
24. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Writer-director Shane Black sets virtually all of his films around Christmas (see also: Lethal Weapon and Iron Man 3), although none embrace the season quite as heartily as the filmmaker's 2005 neo-noir comedy starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer as a thief-turned-actor and a private eye, respectively, who wind up partnering on a case.
There's far more naughtiness than niceness on display in Joe Dante's terrific 1984 horror comedy in which a cute, mystical Chinese creature known as a "mogwai" named Gizmo—when fed after midnight, or touched by water—gives bubbling birth to mischievous monsters.
22. The Shop Around the Corner
Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan are employees at a Budapest leathergoods shop who can't stand each other—even as they're falling in love as anonymous pen pals—in this memorable romantic comedy set during the holidays.
21. A Christmas Tale
French auteur Arnaud Desplechin crafts a sprawling, spellbinding portrait of familial dysfunction—and, ultimately, reconciliation and togetherness—with this 2008 drama about a clan reuniting, uneasily, at Christmas–only to learn that their matriarch (Catherine Deneuve) is dying of leukemia.
20. Black Christmas
Bob Clark's 1974 gem (starring Olivia Hussey, John Saxon, Margot Kidder, and Keir Dullea) is the granddaddy of modern slasher movies, recounting the gruesome tale of a group of sorority girls who are preyed upon by a mysterious, psychotic killer.
19. Eyes Wide Shut
It may be better known for its other elements–like, say, that unforgettable masked-participant orgy–but Stanley Kubrick's final feature is, at heart, a study of individual desires and marital tensions encased in a velvety Christmastime atmosphere.
18. Little Women
Just like sisters, the 1994 and 2019 adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s novel were conceived from the same source and have transformed into their own unique interpretations. And, just like the March sisters, every Little Women fan usually has already picked their favorite interpretation. Still, these two films both feature star-studded casts with a heart-warming tale of sisterhood at its core. And, as far as Christmas movies go, they both feature picturesque vignettes of white Christmases in New England filled with feasts, fires, frolicking, and family.
17. The Best Man Holiday
Director Malcolm D. Lee reassembles the cast from his 1999 feature, with his group of old friends reuniting for the first time after 15 years for Christmas, which serves as a backdrop for various interpersonal issues.
16. Meet Me in St. Louis
Vincente Minnelli's 1944 musical is comprised of vignettes set during a variety of seasons, but none are as famous as the one featuring star (and Minnelli's future wife) Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
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