Christmas Movies: The 40 Most Beautiful Films for Christmas

As it gradually gets colder and colder outside, we enjoy the cozy, bright spot that annually awaits us at the end of the year tunnel: The Christmas season. What better way to ring in the most wonderful time of the year than with a hot cup of mulled wine, a delicious piece of gingerbread, and a coherent Christmas movie that stirs up the anticipation of the feast of love? Our best list tells you which 50 films will best put your heart in the Christmas spirit. As always, we hope you enjoy our selection!

1st place: Christmas Vacation (1989)

Christmas is not only the festival of love but also the time of year when we meet our relatives and celebrate the holidays with our loved ones. Due to their chaotic nature, the festivities in the Griswold family’s home are likely to be very different from the family gatherings we know from our private lives. “Schöne Bescherung” from 1989 offers Christmas comedy in pure culture.

Peppered with the most diverse characters, we witness in the course of the story what bizarre facets the Christmas days can take on. No matter whether it is the imposing, 25. For example, the Griswold family’s head Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), has a string of Christmas lights that eats up the entire town’s electricity, or Aunt Bethany’s (Mae Questel) accidentally grilled cat: There’s always something going on with the Griswolds!

Although the humorous character of the Christmas classic occasionally drifts into genuine slapstick, the production of the strip never seems unpleasantly overdone. Instead, “Beautiful Christmas” also reserves spaces for heartwarming moments that skillfully enhance our home TV evening.

2nd place: Home Alone (1990)

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) has his work cut out. In the course of the hectic travel preparations of its relatives, the Knirps in the parental house is forgotten and must, from now on, along with the enormous mansion, make do. After some initial nervousness, the three-headed boy’s childhood dream comes true: he can eat as much ice cream and watch as many movies as he wants.

Things get dicey, however, when the McCallisters’ imposing pad comes to the attention of burglar duo Harry, played by the legendary Joe Pesci and Marv (Daniel Stern). Now it’s up to Kevin to put a stop to the criminals with his creative, homemade traps.

“Kevin – Alone at Home” lives from its incomparable charm and is rightly considered an absolute film classic, which you should not miss during Advent!

3rd place: Bad Santa (2003)

For many people, Advent is the time of year when they forget about their own egoistic demands and focus instead on loving their neighbors. However, not all characters on our globe possess such a laudable character. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and his pint-sized sidekick Marcus (Tony Cox) use the run-up to Christmas every year to rob all the department stores in the area dressed up as Santa Claus and an elf. When the two crooks meet a little boy who shows the scoundrels the true meaning of Christmas, the shady crook duo starts to question their own values.

“Bad Santa” offers its viewers crude holiday fun that is absolutely fun to watch.

Rank 4: Scrooged (1988)

We probably have heard of the world-famous book “A Christmas Story” by Charles Dickens from 1843. The story of the bitter moneylender Ebenezer Scrooge, to whom three spirits appear on the eve of Christmas to soften the hard heart of the miser, is one that many of you can retell in your sleep. Over the years, the material has been brought to the screen countless times.

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The Ghosts I Called…” also draws its roots from the world-famous tale of the English writer but shifts the plot to modern times. At the center of the story is the cold-hearted television producer Frank Cross (Bill Murray), to whom values such as compassion and charity are completely alien – until three alien beings appear to the career-addicted protagonist, who show the unsympathetic title character the true character of Christmas and humanity before eyes.

The filmmakers managed to break new ground within their production without losing respect for the heritage of the renowned original.

5th place: Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

There comes a time in every child’s life when a small world is shattered. The little ones are confronted with the bitter truth that Santa Claus is not a real person but only a fantasy figure. The great actors of “The Miracle of Manhattan” is also aware of this. Nonetheless, department store Santa Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborough) rock-solidly claims to be Santa Claus incarnate. While the children unreservedly believe the stories of the bearded old man, the adults think Kriss is an irredeemable madman who belongs in a psychiatric ward as soon as possible.

“The Miracle of Manhattan” tells an affectionate story, which can score especially with its good-hearted character.

6th place: Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Dark, bizarre, fascinating – the attributes attributed to the film from the pen of Tim Burton are almost inexhaustible. In its staging, “Nightmare Before Christmas” is unlike any comparable Christmas movie. Instead of actors, we get to see magnificently designed puppets that have been given life as part of the stop-motion process. At the center of the film is Jack Skellington, a rattle-thin skeleton who is a bona fide superstar in his hometown of Halloweentown.

Jack prepares for the annual scary festival of Halloween in the company of numerous monsters. One day, however, the protagonist gets caught up in the Christmas town, which, with its fairy lights and peaceful character, seems so different from the spindly protagonist’s sinister home world.

Despite its eerie staging, “Nightmare Before Christmas” knows how to convince with its comedic charm. The effects from the 90s have stood the test of time with flying colors, and we are still absolutely thrilled today.

7th place: Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Kurt Russell plays a rock-n-roll Santa Claus who tries to save Christmas with a few unruly children in tow. Netflix’s first foray into Christmas is worth watching for the Elvis-inspired musical number alone.

8th place: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

10-year-old Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) lives in abject poverty with his family. The little bundle of joy has always adored the famous chocolate producer Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp). When the protagonist finally gets hold of a coveted golden ticket that gives him access to the hallowed halls of the candy factory, a long-cherished dream comes true for the childlike title character. However, the mysterious events during Charlie’s visit to the chocolate factory rock the boy’s world.

This 2005 production has an imaginative, fairy-tale soul that captivates young and old alike.

9th place: Last Christmas (2019)

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding make an incredibly charming couple in this Christmas romance. Kate (Clarke) works as an elf in a year-round Christmas store, where she meets the charming Tom (Golding). And though they don’t get along at first, chance encounters keep bringing them together, and Kate’s life seems to take a turn for the better.

The performances and well-deserved character development make Last Christmas a satisfying Christmas movie to give your heart to.

10th place: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

For the residents of Whoville, there is nothing better than the annual celebration of love. Off the merry festivities again dwells the Grinch (Jim Carrey), a green creature who abhorred Christmas abysmally. Ostracized by the rest of the townspeople, only little Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen) realizes that a compassionate heart might be hiding behind the Grinch’s hairy face.

The cinematic adaptation of the world-famous novel from 1957 pleases because of its lovingly designed sets. In the leading role of the green Christmas hater, Jim Carrey knows how to show off big, and the superstar peppers the character of the monster with some very personal facets.

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11th place: Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

We don’t need to tell you much more about the plot of the already-mentioned story by Charles Dickens. While “The Spirits I Called…” adapts the original’s material to a modern scenario, the 2009 Disney animated version faithfully sticks to the roots of the world-famous book.

The animated version of Ebenezer Scrooge was inspired by Jim Carrey, who also lent his voice to the miserly crumpet in the original version. The story surrounding the three spirits who teach the cold-hearted title character humility has been impressively handled visually. In addition to the look of the film, the timeless story with its countless life lessons is also appealing.

Rank 12: The Snow Queen (2013)

Although the animated film “The Ice Kings” does not set its plot in a Christmas setting, the beautifully designed, frosty backdrops still awaken holiday feelings in us. The story focuses on Elsa, the ruler of the kingdom of Arendelle. What neither the subjects nor the protagonist’s sister knows: Elsa has been blessed with a rare magical gift, though the titular heroine is ashamed of it, as her powers almost led to a major disaster in the past. When Elsa goes into lonely exile, her sister Anna sets out with Kristoff and the snowman Olaf to find the queen.

“The Ice Queen” offers thrilling moments, a large portion of heart, as well as a successful, earworm-worthy soundtrack.

13th place: Love Actually (2003)

“Love Actually…” tells us a total of ten different stories, which portray romantic interpersonal relationships in the most diverse ways and means. As different as the individual fates are told, their productions and their believable acting performances are equally heartrending.

The romantic comedy from 2003 takes us on an emotional, sensitively narrated roller coaster ride of emotions that leaves no dry eye in the house.

Rank 14: Klaus (2019)

Just in time for the pre-Christmas season, the in-house production “Klaus” appeared on Netflix in 2019. We accompany the well-off Jasper, who is doing more bad than good at his home letter carrier academy. After the spoiled title character has gambled away his last credit with his parents, he is shipped off by his elders to a desolate island near the North Pole.

Here, Jasper pursues the task of building a functioning post office out of the ground. However, the devious inhabitants, who have always been at loggerheads with each other, put a spanner in the works of the story. When Jasper comes across an old loner who spends his time exclusively carving wooden toys, the protagonist comes up with a unique idea.

“Klaus,” tells us the specially devised background story of the Santa Claus myth. In addition, the visually well-designed film knows how to please with an unexpected depth, which does not cover the well-placed punchlines of the strip by exuberant melancholy.

15th place: Arthur Weihnachtsmann (2011)

This film reveals the incredible, never-before-seen answer to every child’s question: “Then how does Santa Claus bring all those presents in one night?” The answer: Santa’s (Jim Broadbent) thrilling, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of this film is a story about a funny family and an unlikely hero, Arthur (James McAvoy), with an urgent mission that must be completed before dawn on Christmas morning.

With great action, lush imagery, and a British sense of humor, Arthur Christmas is a modern gem that ranks among the best Christmas movies of all time.

Rank 16: The Polar Express (2004)

Not all children believe in Santa Claus. This also applies to the little boy from the animated film “The Polar Express,” which opened in theatres in 2004. While the young hero is lying grouchily in his bed, Santa Claus himself does not appear, but a breathtaking locomotive, the legendary Polar Express, does. Aboard the train, numerous adventures await the nameless protagonist, with many breathtaking wonders in store.

The film, which draws its roots from a well-known children’s novel, scores points for its successful visual treatment. The imaginatively crafted story does its part to make the 96-odd minutes of the film an enjoyable time.

#17: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

We all love the Muppets, and we all love Christmas. That’s why we also like “The Muppets Christmas Story” very much! Once again, the film retells Charles Dickens’ famous Christmas tale, but this time the leading roles are played by the beloved puppets from the Muppets universe – with a few exceptions. The greatest of these is the casting of the title role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Michael Cane knows how to play alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and co. Fully convincing and portrays the old familiar character in an authentic way. As is typical for Muppets films, the fun factor is not neglected at any point in this successful Christmas version.

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18th place: The Holiday (2006)

Nancy Meyers is the queen of coziness, and this romantic comedy may be her warmest and coziest film yet. Two women – one in London (Kate Winslet) and one in Los Angeles (Cameron Diaz) – experience simultaneous romantic disappointments, leading them to swap homes over the holidays and find new men to swoon over.

This movie is a true love story. Love Needs No Holidays speaks to the audience and touches you on many emotional levels that most films can’t reach.

19th place: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

Although it’s not exactly a heartwarming story, this dark comedy begins with Robert Downey Jr. robbing a store to get the toy his child wants most for Christmas.

Ranked #20: Santa Clause (1994)

Even Santa Claus is not invulnerable. In the context of “Santa Clause -A Nice Christmas,” Scott (Tim Allen) and his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) witness Santa Claus fall from the roof of their house and subsequently disappear without a trace. All that remains of the bearded man are his clothes and a note stating that whoever puts on the coat of the late Santa Claus automatically becomes the new Santa Claus. The father-son team then sets off for the North Pole on Santa’s reindeer sleigh.

“Santa Clause” knows how to please with its successful comedic content that works great for young and adult audiences alike.

Rank 21: Three Wishes for Cinderella (1973)

For several decades, “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella” has been one of those films that you should definitely not miss in the run-up to Christmas. Thereby the Fairy tale movie is essentially the world-famous Brothers Grimm tale “Cinderella” after.

According to this, we accompany an unfortunate main character who suffers heavily under the thumb of her evil stepmother. When the protagonist receives three enchanted hazelnuts one day, she gains entry to a pompous ball night, where she wins the heart of a wealthy prince.

This joint production from Czechoslovakia and the GDR was released in 1973 and is still regularly broadcast by numerous TV stations in the run-up to Christmas.

22nd place: Die Hard (1988)

In the ranks of the best Christmas movies of all time, “Die Hard” undoubtedly has a very special place. The film, in which we get to see Bruce Willis in the lead role of police officer John McClane, brings you hard-hitting action instead of merry fairy lights and idyllic Christmas trees.

When the cult film’s titular hero travels to his family’s home on Christmas Eve to spend some reflective time with his loved ones, the get-together is abruptly disrupted by an attack from a terrorist group. John McClane is the only one who manages to escape from the bloodthirsty chaos. From now on, the cop has to face a fight to the death.

“Die Hard” excels with its cutting suspense, which does not lose any of its gripping dramaturgy due to the coherently placed humor interludes.

23rd place: Jingle All the Way (1996)

For us adults, Christmas is, first and foremost, a reflective time during which we enjoy the company of relatives we see far too infrequently during the rest of the year. For the youngest among us, however, the feast of love holds a completely different appeal: Gifts! Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wants to surprise his son with the toy that his son wants most, the Turboman action figure. The search for the plastic man is much more difficult than expected. The object of desire seems to be sold out in all city markets.

“Promised is promised” is not free of weaknesses, but it offers a successful, entertaining alternative in the fun field of Christmas comedies.

Rank 24: Elf (2003)

This entertaining comedy tells the story of the titular elf, which is very different from the rest of his species. For this reason, the character, played by Will Ferrell, leaves his home at the North Pole and plunges into a thrilling adventure in the urban jungle of New York. “Buddy – The Christmas Elf” offers shallow, feel-good TV entertainment.

Rank 25: The Night Before (2015)

The Seth Rogen formula has been simplified, so you probably know what to expect from a Seth Rogen movie: Jokes about smoking weed, a broad buddy comedy, and characters struggling to adjust to the challenges of adulthood. It works on the whole.

The impressive thing about The Magi, which also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie as Rogen’s childhood friends who gather each year for a wild, drug-fueled celebration, is that the four manage to inject just enough melancholy into the gag-heavy material to make your eyes water. It’s a stoner comedy with a schmaltzy, sentimental heart.

Rank 26: Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)

Scottish director John McPhail delivers a Christmas movie, a high school musical, and a zombie apocalypse story all in one. It’s delightfully eerie and surprisingly gentle, with murderous sounds.,

27th place: Four Christmases (2008)

It’s another slapstick-heavy story in which Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon portray a couple struggling to visit all four of their divorced parents in order to make the entire family happy.

28th place: A Very Harold and Kumar (2011)

Rank 29: Serendipity (2001)

30th place: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

31st place: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

32nd place: Wild X-Mas (2005)

33rd place: Happy Christmas (2014)

Rank 34: The Stone Family (2005)

35th place: Office Christmas Party (2016)

Rank 36: Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Rank 37: Holiday in the Wild (2019)

38th place: Santa Clause 2 – An even better present (2002)

39th place: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Rank 40: Gremlins (1984)

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