Christmas Movies Advent Calendar 2023
Welcome to our Christmas Movies Advent Calendar, where each day in December brings a new holiday film recommendation to brighten your festive season. As we count down to Christmas, join us for a daily dose of cheer with a variety of beloved classics and fresh favourites, each unveiled to add to your holiday viewing tradition. Our Advent Calendar is designed to complement the festive spirit, offering you a merry mix of films that capture the essence of Christmas, leading up to the grand day. Get ready for tales of family, joy, love, and the occasional dash of Christmas mischief, as we pave the way to your perfect holiday experience, one day and one movie at a time.
Christmas Movies To Watch
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is a cracking Christmas classic that’s been lighting up the holiday season since 1989. It’s the festive disasterpiece that has us all cringing and chuckling at the Griswold family’s yuletide misadventures. Chevy Chase, as the ever-hopeful Clark Griswold, is the kingpin of comedy here, with slapstick mishaps and a knack for catastrophe that turns every Christmas tradition on its head.
Clark wants to host the perfect family Christmas, but his plans unravel faster than a cheap string of lights. From a tree that’s too big for the living room to a turkey drier than the Sahara, it’s a parade of festive fiascos. Beverly D’Angelo shines as the ever-patient wife Ellen, while Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie drops in to serve a generous helping of chaos and hilarity.
Critics and audiences are full of praise for this one; it scores a solid 7.6 on IMDb and a merry 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Griswolds may not have the picture-perfect holiday, but they deliver a sleigh-load of laughs and remind us that in the end, family and a good dose of humour are what Christmas is all about.
Where to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Available to stream on Binge.
Daddy’s Home 2
The flick wraps up the complexities of a modern blended family in a big Christmas bow, adding the granddads (Mel Gibson and John Lithgow) to the holiday equation. The result? A recipe for disaster with a side of laugh-out-loud antics and heartfelt moments. The film whisks us through a series of comedic escapades, from a disastrous tree-shopping expedition to a Christmas lights mishap and a hilariously unfortunate nativity scene.
With a sprinkle of sentimentality and a dash of dad jokes, “Daddy’s Home 2” scores a decent 6.0 on IMDb and a 51% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While the critics might have been a bit Scrooge-like, it’s a holiday laugh-fest that’s all about family — the one you’re born into and the one you make along the way.
Where to watch Daddy’s Home 2
Available to stream on Apple TV+.
“Four Christmases” (2008) is a holiday comedy that takes audiences on a merry, if not slightly tumultuous, sleigh ride through family dynamics during the festive season. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon star as Brad and Kate, a couple who usually avoid family holiday gatherings, instead favouring exotic vacations. But when their flight is cancelled and they are caught out by a news crew reporting from the airport, they’re hilariously obligated to attend four separate family Christmases in one day.
Each Christmas reveals more layers of Brad and Kate’s personalities and their relationship as they confront their pasts, their families’ quirks, and their fears about marriage and commitment. The film showcases a series of comedic scenarios – from the wrestling match with Brad’s UFC-aspiring brothers to an awkward nativity play at Kate’s mother’s church.
Critically, it didn’t top the Christmas lists, as reflected in its moderate 5.7 score on IMDb and 47% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, for those seeking a light-hearted, festive movie that doesn’t shy away from the messiness of family life during the holidays, “Four Christmases” packs in enough laughter and relatable moments to make it a worthy addition to the season’s viewings.
Where to watch Four Christmases
Available to stream on Netflix.
Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” is a Christmas classic dating back to 1964. The stop-motion animated television special has been lighting up the holiday season for generations and tells the tale of Rudolph, a young reindeer who, after being ostracised for his glowing red nose, embarks on an adventure that would lead him to become Santa’s famous sleigh leader.
Narrated by Burl Ives, who also voices Sam the Snowman, the special is filled with memorable songs and characters, including the Abominable Snow Monster and the island of misfit toys. Rudolph’s journey is one of self-acceptance and bravery, resonating with anyone who’s ever felt out of place. His eventual heroism in guiding Santa’s sleigh through a foggy Christmas Eve is a heartwarming climax that seals his place in Christmas lore.
While “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” might not boast the sophisticated animation of modern productions, its charm is undeniable. It captures the imagination with its simple yet effective storytelling, charming songs, and a message of inclusion and determination.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has not only become a staple of Christmas viewing but also a piece of holiday heritage. It’s IMDb rating of 8.1 and Rotten Tomatoes score of 95% reflect its beloved status, with this family-friendly movie continuing to shine brightly in the hearts of viewers.
Where to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
While Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn’t available to stream on any platforms you can find it on YouTube.
Adding a sprinkle of modern whimsy to the classic Santa Claus tale is the Disney+ original movie “Noelle” (2019). Anna Kendrick brings her signature blend of charm and vivacity to the role of Noelle Kringle, the ever-cheerful daughter of Santa, who finds herself on a mission to save Christmas when her brother, the heir to the red suite, goes AWOL.
Set against the backdrop of the North Pole, with all its candy-cane-striped aesthetics and snow, the film introduces us to a world where Noelle’s brother, Nick, is buckling under the pressure of his impending Santa duties. Billy Eichner portrays the tech-savvy cousin Gabriel, who’s ready to give the North Pole an Elon Musk makeover, while Noelle is determined to maintain the holiday’s traditional charm.
“Noelle” doesn’t shy away from being lighthearted and sweet, which is its gift and, to some critics, its Achilles’ heel, leading to mixed reviews — with a decent 6.3 rating on IMDb but a 53% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
For those seeking a holiday movie with a dash of girl power, “Noelle” presents itself as a merry and bright option.
Where to watch Noelle
Available to stream on Disney+.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Despite his initial distaste for Christmas, The Grinch (2000) from ‘Ron Howard’ isn’t just a holiday staple because of its iconic Dr. Seuss roots; it’s a jolly jaunt into the heart of Whoville, where Christmas isn’t just a holiday — it’s a way of life.
Jim Carrey embodies the grumpy, Christmas-loathing Grinch with the elasticity that only he can provide — making it seem as if he was born to wear the fuzzy green suit. With a heart ‘two sizes too small,’ his journey from festive foe to holiday hero is as heartwarming as it is hilarious as the Grinch’s schemes to ruin Christmas for the cheery Whos, only to find his own icy heart melting. Taylor Momsen, as the adorable Cindy Lou Who, is a standout, bringing a touch of innocence and kindness that’s potent enough to make any heart grow.
While ‘The Grinch’ stands as a Christmas staple, the critics might have a case of the Grinches with a modest 6.2 on IMDb and with a 57% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. But when did we ever listen to critics?
Where to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas
A Mom for Christmas
“A Mom for Christmas” (1990) gently pulls at the heartstrings and takes its place among cherished holiday classics. This made-for-TV movie, starring Olivia Newton-John as a mannequin brought to life, captures the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a young girl who wishes for a mother during the holidays.
The story unfolds like a page from a storybook, where young Jessica, played by Juliet Sorci, finds her Christmas wish granted in the most unexpected way. Newton-John’s character, Amy, becomes a temporary mother to Jessica, and as they navigate their new relationship, the film weaves a tapestry of tender moments and gentle lessons on family and love.
It may not boast blockbuster production values, but “A Mom for Christmas” charms with its simplicity and the nostalgic glow of holiday movies from an era less cynical. The film achieves a 6.5 IMDb rating and has a positive 75% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, showing that it remains a beloved holiday feature for those who grew up with it.
With a narrative that embraces the enchantment of the holiday spirit, “A Mom for Christmas” is like a warm hug on a cold winter’s night, reminding us of the time when we believed anything was possible — especially at Christmas.
Where to watch A Mom for Christmas
Unfortunately ‘A Mom for Christmas’ isn’t available on any major streaming platforms, however, a search on YouTube will serve you well.
The 12 Dates of Christmas
“The 12 Dates of Christmas” (2011) is a festive romantic comedy that plays with the time-loop trope to deliver a heartwarming holiday story. The made-for-TV film stars Amy Smart as Kate, a woman who relives Christmas Eve repeatedly, reminiscent of “Groundhog Day,” but with a yuletide twist.
Kate is initially portrayed as somewhat self-absorbed and disconnected from the holiday spirit. However, as she repeats the same day, she begins to understand the impact of her actions on others and the opportunities she has to affect change and spread kindness in her world.
The narrative takes Kate through various iterations of her blind date with Miles (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), each loop offering lessons in love, forgiveness, and the spirit of Christmas. With its holiday-themed message about the importance of second chances, Kate must reflect on her relationships and how she can embrace the season’s true spirit.
While “The 12 Dates of Christmas” doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of Christmas movies or time-loop narratives, it provides a cosy, feel-good experience with enough holiday cheer and romance to satisfy fans of the genre. It has a 6.3 rating on IMBd and a modest 51% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, but it holds a place as an enjoyable, lighthearted film perfect for a casual holiday movie night.
Where to watch 12 Dates of Christmas
Available to stream on Disney+.
The Polar Express
“The Polar Express” (2004) is a magical holiday adventure brought to life by director Robert Zemeckis and based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. The film is notable for its pioneering use of live-action performance capture technology, which allows Tom Hanks to play multiple roles, including the boy protagonist, the conductor, and Santa Claus himself.
The story follows a young boy who, on the brink of losing his belief in Santa, finds himself on a mysterious train headed for the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Along the journey, he faces a series of challenges that aim to restore his fading Christmas spirit.
Visually, “The Polar Express” is a spectacle, with its unusual animation providing a dreamlike quality that captures the essence of a child’s wonderment towards Christmas. With a solid 6.6 rating on IMDb and a 64% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Polar Express has a growing status as a modern Christmas classic. It’s a cinematic sleigh ride that invites viewers to hear the sweet ringing of the Christmas bell and, most importantly, to believe in the spirit of the holidays.
Where to watch The Polar Express
Available to stream on Binge.
“Die Hard” (1988) might not be the first film that comes to mind when you think of Christmas movies, but it embodies the spirit of the season in its own unique way. Directed by John McTiernan, it features Bruce Willis in his star-making turn as John McClane, an NYPD officer who’s just trying to reconcile with his estranged wife at her company’s Christmas party when terrorists, led by the suave Hans Gruber, take everyone hostage. It’s Christmas Eve, and McClane’s gift to his wife—and indeed, every partygoer—is to single-handedly take down the bad guys!
The film revolutionised the action genre with its combination of a relatable protagonist, tightly choreographed action sequences, and a charismatic villain played by Alan Rickman. “Die Hard” delivers an explosive mix of thrills and a wry sense of humour, all wrapped up in a Christmas setting, from the “Ho-Ho-Ho” scrawled onto a dead terrorist’s sweatshirt to the closing notes of “Let It Snow”, the film provides a perfect blend of action and holiday references.
If you like your Christmas with a dose of high-stakes adrenaline this should be a definite on your festive season watch list. With an 8.2 rating on IMDb and 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes it’s hard to deny the film’s enduring appeal. And despite the explosions and gunfights, at its heart, “Die Hard” is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds to be with family on Christmas—a theme as traditional as it gets.
Where to watch Die Hard
Available to stream on Disney+.
The Spirit of Christmas
“The Spirit of Christmas” (2015), also known as “Hollygrove,” is a holiday romance with a supernatural twist. This made-for-TV movie takes a different route on the well-trodden path of Christmas films, blending festive cheer with ghostly mystery.
The film centres on Kate, a hardworking lawyer played by Jen Lilley, who is tasked with selling an old inn that just happens to be haunted by a handsome spirit, Daniel, portrayed by Thomas Beaudoin. Daniel’s curse is to return to the mortal world each December in the 12 days leading up to Christmas, making for a unique and seasonal haunting. As Kate investigates the mystery behind Daniel’s curse, romantic sparks fly in a manner that’s as unconventional as it is festive.
While “The Spirit of Christmas” might not have the clout of blockbuster Christmas movies, and critics could pass it off as another holiday romance, it finds its charm in the chemistry between the leads and the enchanting premise. The film offers cosy holiday scenery, a touch of intrigue, and a love story that transcends time and even mortality. With a solid 6.6 rating on IMDb and a 63% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes this one is worth a watch.
Audiences looking for a Christmas movie that offers romance with a twist of the supernatural might find “The Spirit of Christmas” to be a delightful addition to their holiday watchlist. It’s a film that entertains the idea that the magic of Christmas can bring not just joy to the world, but also second chances at love and redemption.
Where to watch The Spirit of Christmas
While ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ is unavailable to stream – we will update as soon as the movie becomes available again.
“Serendipity” (2001) is a whimsical romantic comedy that captures the enchanting possibility of fate amidst the serendipitous backdrop of New York City during the Christmas season. Starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale as star-crossed lovers Jonathan and Sara, the film is a delightful chase after destiny, sprinkled with the fairy dust of holiday magic.
After a chance encounter over a pair of gloves at Bloomingdale’s, Jonathan and Sara test destiny by parting ways, leaving their future to the hands of fate. The narrative charmingly follows their separate lives while they both harbour the memory of that one perfect night. Years later, with each engaged to others, the allure of what might have been propels them on a quintessential rom-com quest to find one another once more.
Director Peter Chelsom weaves the bustling holiday energy of NYC with the intimate dance of chance encounters, creating a heart-fluttering tale that has audiences rooting for love’s triumph. With a 6.9 rating on IMDb and a 79% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, “Serendipity” may not have critics universally swooning, but it’s a crowd-pleaser that has found its place as a feel-good holiday romance.
It’s a movie that invites viewers to ask “What if?” and leaves them believing in the magic of moments and the power of a chance meeting under the mistletoe. “Serendipity” is not just a film, but an ode to the little twists of fate that lead us to where we’re meant to be, especially during the most wonderful time of the year.
Where to watch Serendipity
Available to stream on Stan.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) is a stop-motion marvel that weaves the ghoulish with the merry in a tapestry of holiday genius only Tim Burton could envision. This cult classic, directed by Henry Selick, is a hauntingly beautiful tale that has etched itself into the hearts of both Halloween enthusiasts and Christmas lovers alike.
The film invites us into the imaginative world of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of HalloweenTown, who stumbles through a portal to Christmas Town. Voiced by Chris Sarandon with singing by Danny Elfman, Jack is mesmerised by the joy and bright colours of Christmas, leading him to take over the holiday in a way only Halloween Town can—with a dash of fright and a lot of heartfelt confusion.
The animation is a groundbreaking visual delight, and Elfman’s score is as unforgettable as the story itself, with songs that have become anthems of the season. With a 7.9 on IMDb and an impressive 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” stands tall as a masterpiece of animation and storytelling, a film that redefines what holiday movies can be. It’s a reminder that the spirit of Christmas can be found in the most unexpected places, even in the shadows of Halloween Town.
Where to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas
Available to stream on Disney+.
“Home Alone” (1990) is an iconic Christmas comedy that has cemented itself as a staple of the holiday season. Directed by Chris Columbus and written by John Hughes, the film follows the misadventures of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, who is accidentally left behind when his family flies to Paris for the holidays. As Kevin revels in his newfound freedom, he must also defend his home against a pair of bumbling burglars, the Wet Bandits, hilariously portrayed by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.
The film brilliantly captures the childhood fantasy of having the house to oneself, coupled with the universal fear of being left alone. Culkin’s charming performance, filled with mischief and ingenuity, turns what could have been a frightening scenario into a holiday escapade filled with slapstick humour and heartwarming moments.
“Home Alone” is not just about the pranks and pratfalls; it’s also a story of growth and family bonds. The film explores themes of self-reliance, the importance of family during the holidays, and the spirit of forgiveness. The touching subplot involving Kevin’s neighbour, Old Man Marley, adds depth and a touch of tenderness to the otherwise raucous comedy.
“Home Alone” has earned its place as a Christmas classic- boasting a solid 7.7 rating on IMDb and an impressive 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It continues to be a festive favourite, reminding us of the joys (and chaos) that come with the season and the simple truth that no matter how much we dream of independence, the holidays are best spent surrounded by loved ones.
Where to watch Home Alone
Available to stream on Disney+.
The Christmas Chronicles
“The Christmas Chronicles” (2018) is a Netflix original, with a jolly mix of humour and heart. Starring Kurt Russell as a charismatic and modern take on Santa Claus, this family-friendly adventure injects a new sense of cool into the classic Christmas tale.
The story kicks off on Christmas Eve when siblings Kate and Teddy Pierce, played by Darby Camp and Judah Lewis, hatch a plan to catch Santa on camera. Instead, they catch a wild ride on his sleigh, leading to a crash that jeopardises Christmas for children everywhere. What ensues is a race against time to save the holiday, filled with enough laughs, mishaps, and holiday cheer to stuff a stocking.
Russell’s portrayal of Saint Nick is refreshingly edgy, and his rock-and-roll rendition of “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” is a particular highlight. The blend of traditional Christmas elements with modern special effects and storytelling makes “The Christmas Chronicles” an entertaining watch for the whole family.
While the film may not have reinvented the holiday genre, it scores a solid 7.1 on IMDb and 75% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, showing it resonates with audiences looking for a hearty dose of seasonal spirit. Its success lies in its ability to balance festive fun with a touch of sentimentality, reminding viewers of the importance of family and the magic of believing.
Where to watch The Christmas Chronicles
Available to stream on Netflix.
A Bad Mom’s Christmas
“A Bad Moms Christmas” (2017) dives into the holiday season with a comedic splash, offering up a cheeky sequel to the hit “Bad Moms.” This festive foray follows our trio of underappreciated and overburdened mothers as they attempt to conquer the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn return as the rebellious mothers, each grappling with the expectations placed on them to prepare and manage all aspects of the holiday season. This is compounded by visits from their own mothers, adding further pressures to an already busy time.
The film serves a cocktail of crude humour and genuine sentiment, as it explores the pressures of creating the perfect holiday amidst the whirlwind of parenting and familial expectations. With a star-studded cast that includes Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, and Cheryl Hines as the matriarchal additions, the movie doubles down on the laughter and the messy reality of mother-daughter relationships.
With an IMDb rating of 5.6 and a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 43%, “A Bad Moms Christmas” may not have been a critical darling, but it resonates with audiences looking for a relatable, raucous take on the holiday hustle. It’s a film that wraps up the message that sometimes, the best Christmas doesn’t need to be perfect, just perfectly enjoyed.
Where to watch Bad Mom’s Christmas
The Santa Clause
“The Santa Clause” (1994) is a heartwarming holiday staple. Tim Allen shines as Scott Calvin, an everyday guy who inadvertently becomes Santa through a curious twist of fate and a hidden clause in a written contract. This enchanting tale is all about the magic that unfolds when he dons the iconic red suit and learns to embrace the spirit of Christmas.
This festive journey is brimming with humour and the growing pains of becoming Santa, from reindeer on the roof to an ever-expanding waistline. It’s a sleigh ride through the trials of delivering gifts, managing elves, balancing his home life and new role as the man in red and the universal struggle of keeping the Christmas spirit alive in the face of modern scepticism.
With a supporting cast that adds to the merry mayhem, including Judge Reinhold and Wendy Crewson, “The Santa Clause” wraps up the spirit of Christmas in a family-friendly package. It scores a warm reception with a 6.5 on IMDb and a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. This film isn’t just holiday viewing; it’s a Christmas tradition, capturing the magical transformation that the season brings.
Where to watch The Santa Clause
Available to stream on Disney+.
Office Christmas Party
“Office Christmas Party” (2016) is not your standard Christmas flick, instead it’s a wild, no-holds-barred celebration of festive debauchery. Starring an ensemble cast that includes Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, and Jennifer Aniston, the movie delivers exactly what its title promises—a chaotic and over-the-top holiday bash that aims to save a struggling branch of a tech company from being shut down.
Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the narrative kicks off when Clay Vanstone (Miller), the well-meaning but immature branch manager, decides to throw the ultimate office Christmas party to impress a potential client and stave off the cuts threatened by his sister, the company CEO (Aniston). What starts as a last-ditch effort to close a deal and save jobs quickly escalates into an uncontrollable night of madness that includes everything from reindeer drinking from toilets to eggnog luge.
While the film doesn’t shy away from crude humour and outlandish scenarios, it’s the cast’s comedic timing and dynamic that give life to this holiday romp. “Office Christmas Party” received mixed reviews, with a modest 5.9 rating on IMDb and only 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s undeniably packed with laughs. For viewers in search of a Christmas movie that leans more toward adult humour and less toward family-friendly fare, “Office Christmas Party” serves up a festive feast of comedy, chaos, and the occasional moment of unexpected heart.
Where to watch Office Christmas Party
Available to stream on ABC.
Directed by Sean Anders, “Spirited” is a lively, musical spin on Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”. This Apple TV film features Will Ferrell as the Ghost of Christmas Present and Ryan Reynolds as Clint Briggs, a media-savvy cynic with a lack of faith in others. Together, they embark on a journey of festive redemption, blending the classic tale with a modern twist and infectious energy.
The film’s high energy is reminiscent of a Broadway show, with elaborate musical numbers and theatrical set designs. Reynolds and Ferrell bring their signature charm and humour, complemented by Octavia Spencer’s heartwarming presence as Clint’s assistant.
“Spirited” stands out due to the original songs and strong chemistry between its leads. With an IMDb rating of 6.6/10 and an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, it strikes a chord with audiences seeking a light-hearted, contemporary take on a Christmas classic.
The film excels in combining holiday spirit with lively entertainment, making it a cheerful choice for those desiring a festive movie that blends timeless Christmas with modern flair and humour. “Spirited” is a merry, musical journey, ideal for a cosy holiday watch.
Where to watch Spirited
Available to stream on Apple TV.
Jingle All The Way
“Jingle All the Way” (1996), directed by Brian Levant, is a festive family comedy that delves into the frenzied world of holiday shopping. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Howard Langston, a workaholic father who embarks on a last-minute quest to secure the season’s hottest toy, Turbo-Man, for his son. The movie playfully satirises the commercialisation of Christmas and the extreme lengths parents will go to fulfil their children’s holiday wishes.
Sinbad joins the fray as Myron, a postal worker and desperate father also in pursuit of the elusive toy, leading to a series of slapstick misadventures and comedic showdowns. The film’s humour stems from the absurdity of the situation and the lengths to which Howard and Myron go, highlighting the often-overlooked craziness of the holiday season.
“Jingle All the Way” resonates with anyone who has experienced the last-minute holiday shopping panic. Schwarzenegger’s foray into family comedy provides a delightful contrast to his action-hero persona, and his chemistry with Sinbad adds to the film’s charm.
Despite a mixed reception from critics, with a 5.7 rating on IMBd and 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has become a holiday staple for its lighthearted take on the Christmas spirit and the universal theme of a parent’s love and dedication. It’s a movie that not only entertains with its over-the-top antics but also subtly critiques the commercial frenzy that often overshadows the season’s true meaning.
Where to watch Jingle All The Way
Available to stream on Disney+.
Falling For Christmas
“Falling for Christmas” is Lindsay Lohan’s festive return to the screen in a film that plays to the well-trodden but beloved theme of rediscovery and romance during the holiday season. Directed by Janeen Damian, this feel-good film sticks to the classic recipe of a city girl, in this case, a hotel heiress played by Lohan, who after a skiing accident and subsequent amnesia, finds herself in the care of a blue-collar lodge owner and his daughter, sparking an unexpected journey of self-discovery and romance.
Lohan’s performance is a highlight, reminiscent of her early comedic charm, bringing life to the spirited Sierra. However, the film scored a modest 5.2 rating on IMBd. and 53% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, likely due to the film’s adherence to a formulaic narrative and some moments of mismatched chemistry between the leads. But despite this “Falling for Christmas” provides the warm and fuzzy feelings one craves from a holiday movie, like a ribbon bow reused each year – not super special, but with a charm that endures season after season.
Where to watch Falling For Christmas
Available to stream on Netflix.
For many, “Love Actually” has become as much a part of the Christmas tradition as eggnog and mistletoe, a film that not only seeks to entertain but also to remind us that “love, actually, is all around.”
“Love Actually” (2003), directed by Richard Curtis, is a mosaic of interwoven love stories that come together to celebrate love in its many forms against the festive backdrop of London at Christmas Time. This film boasts a stellar ensemble cast, including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, and many more, each portraying characters caught in the web of love’s triumphs and challenges.
The film has become synonymous with the holidays, offering a blend of heartfelt moments, witty writing, and poignant performances. It’s praised for its ability to navigate multiple storylines without losing its charm or emotional impact. From the prime minister’s dance moves to a heartbroken wife’s quiet realisation, the movie pulls at the heartstrings and tickles the funny bone in equal measure.
“Love Actually” has been critiqued for its saccharine take on love but maintains a beloved place in the holiday film canon, reflected in its 7.6 IMDb rating and 72% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Whether it’s the soaring musical score, Christmas time aesthetics or the bittersweet conclusions of its many love stories, the film has an undeniable magic that captures the complexities of relationships during the most wonderful time of the year.
Where to watch Love Actually
The Family Man
“The Family Man” (2000) tucks itself under the Christmas tree as a thought-provoking holiday gem that spins the ”what could have been’’ scenario with a festive twist. This charming blend of comedy, fantasy and drama directed by Brett Ratner is a feel-good watch this Christmas.
Imagine waking up one snowy Christmas morning to a life completely opposite to the one you know—this is the bewildering reality for high-flying investment broker, Jack Campbell. The movie weaves a tale of second chances and re-evaluated priorities as Jack navigates a life where his Ferrari is swapped for a family minivan and his solitary high-rise view for a cosy suburban home. It’s a narrative that asks us to ponder on the path not taken, and perhaps, appreciate the roads we’ve chosen.
Don Cheadle as the mysterious catalyst for Jack’s “glimpse” of what could have been brings warmth and heart to the story. Nicolas Cage brings Jack Campbell to life with a performance that balances the bewilderment of a man out of place with the growing warmth of discovering a new side to life. Tea Leoni is charming as his wife and a young Makenzie Vega, whose line “Welcome to Earth” is the epitome of adorableness
With an IMDb rating of 6.8 and a Rotten Tomatoes audience score hovering around 67%, “The Family Man” has snuggled its way into the hearts of viewers who relish a dose of holiday introspection alongside their eggnog. It’s a snug ride that wraps its message up with a big red bow: choose love and connection over material success
Where to watch The Family Man
Available to rent/buy on Amazon Prime.
“Arthur Christmas” (2011) is a fun animated movie that gives a modern twist to Santa’s classic gift-delivery. It’s a heartwarming story that shows just how Santa manages to deliver all his presents across the world in one night, with a bit of high-tech help. This Aardman film is all about the excitement and magic of Christmas, perfect for the whole family.
At the heart of this festive caper is Arthur, the clumsy but well-meaning younger son of Santa, voiced with infectious enthusiasm by James McAvoy. When one child’s present is accidentally missed, Arthur’s unwavering holiday spirit launches him into a comical, globe-trotting mission to ensure every kid wakes up with a gift come Christmas morning.
The animation sparkles like tinsel, and the voice cast, including Bill Nighy as the grumpy Grandsanta and Hugh Laurie as the efficient tech-savvy elder son Steve, add layers of warmth and wit. It’s a story that explores family dynamics, high-stakes adventure, and a sleighful of heart.
With an impressive 7.1 on IMDb and a festive 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Arthur Christmas” is a modern classic that captures the magic of Christmas and the importance of every single child feeling special on Christmas morning. It’s a gift of a film that offers charm, laughs, and a dash of Christmas wonder.
Where to watch Arthur Christmas
“Elf” (2003), directed by Jon Favreau, is a Christmas comedy that has quickly become a festive staple since its release. Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, the overgrown elf with a heart as big as the North Pole itself, who brings infectious joy and naivety to the role. Raised among Santa’s elves at the North Pole, Buddy’s life takes a turn when he discovers that he’s a human and sets out to New York City to find his biological father, played with gruff charm by James Caan.
The film’s humour is as sweet as the syrup Buddy pours on his spaghetti, striking a perfect balance between slapstick and sentiment. It celebrates the innocence of childhood with a grown man in yellow tights at the centre of its story, echoing the timeless message that the Christmas spirit is something to be cherished at any age.
“Elf” boasts a heartwarming script, endearing performances, particularly from Ferrell, and a memorable supporting cast including Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, and Bob Newhart. It charms with a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.1 rating on IMDb, a strong following that has only grown over the years.
What truly makes “Elf” stand out is its ability to capture the wonder of Christmas through Buddy’s eyes, reminding viewers of all ages to approach the holiday with the same wonder and enthusiasm. It’s a film that wraps up comedy, love, and holiday spirit in one big Christmas gift of a movie that continues to deliver laughs and joy year after year.
Where to watch Elf
Available to stream on Binge.
How we choose our Christmas movies
To be honest it’s a pretty simple process. We watch a lot of Christmas movies so we simply made a list of all our favourite Christmas movies and then had to make the tough call of removing several movies so that we only had 25.