Must Watch – The ultimate list of the top 20 best Christmas movies of all time

Christmas is a magical time of year. It is filled with joy, laughter, and celebrations. It is also the perfect time to wrap yourself in a warm blanket and enjoy your favorite movies while sipping on a hot coffee.

Fortunately, there are hundreds of great Christmas movies that you can enjoy. At the same time, it can be overwhelming to watch all of these movies in a limited time. To help you out, we have compiled a list of the 20 greatest Christmas movies of all time.

All of these movies are binge-worthy and captivating. We are sure that you are going to love all of them. Let’s dive straight into the list of these amazing cinematic masterpieces.  

List of 20 Best Christmas Movies in the World

S.No.Name of the MoviesYear of Release
2The Snowman1982
4The Santa Clause1994
5Miracle on 34th Street1947
6Almost Christmas2016
7Bad Santa2003
8The Christmas Chronicles2018
9Four Christmases2008
11Home Alone1990
12Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence1983
13My Santa2019
15The Nightmare Before Christmas1993
16The Polar Express2004
17Daddy’s Home 22017
18Six Weeks1982
19Surviving Christmas2004
20A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas2011

Details of Top 20 Best Christmas Movies in the World

  1. Carol
DirectorTodd Haynes
ProducerElizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley, Christine Vachon
CastCate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, Kyle Chandler
Release DateNovember 20, 2015 (United States), November 27, 2015 (United Kingdom)
CountriesUnited Kingdom, United States

Marvel Movies in Order

Directed by Todd Haynes, Carol is a romantic drama movie based on the 1952 novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith. The film showcases a forbidden affair between a young photographer and an older woman.

Set in NYC in the 1950s, this movie starts with the photographer Therese Belivet meeting a woman searching for a Christmas doll for her daughter. According to the BBC, Carol is one of the greatest films of the 21st Century.     

  1. The Snowman
DirectorDianne Jackson
ProducerJohn Coates
CastAnimated Movie
Release DateDecember 26, 1982
CountriesUnited Kingdom

The Snowman is an animated movie that your children are going to love this Christmas. Based on Raymond Briggs’s picture book of the same name, this movie was released in 1982. It went on to win various prestigious awards like Best Animated Short Film at the 55th Academy Awards, BAFTA TV Award, etc. 

  1. Elf
DirectorJon Favreau
ProducerJon Berg, Todd Komarnicki, Shauna Robertson
CastWill Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Asner, Bob Newhart
Release DateNovember 7, 2003
CountriesUnited States

Elf is a movie for those who want to have a laughter ride this Christmas. It narrates the story of a baby raised by Santa’s elves. Growing up, he heads to New York City to search for his biological father. Released in 2003, this movie was a huge commercial success at that time. It grossed more than $220 million against a budget of only $33 million. 

  1. The Santa Clause
DirectorJohn Pasquin
ProducerBrian Reilly, Jeffery Silver, Robert Newmyer
CastTim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, David Krumholtz, Peter Boyle
Release DateNovember 5, 1994
CountriesUnited States

The Santa Clause is a wholesome comedy movie released in 1994. The movie follows the story of a divorced father, Scott Calvin, who accidentally caused the original Santa Claus to fall from his roof and die. After that, he along with his son went to the North Pole. There they realized that now Scott has to fulfill the duties of Santa Claus.   

  1. Miracle on 34th Street
DirectorGeorge Seaton
ProducerWilliam Perlberg
CastMaureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood, Porter Hall, William Frawley, Jerome Cowan, Philip Tonge
Release DateJune 11, 1947
CountriesUnited States

This one is an absolute Classic! Miracle on 34th Street was released way back in 1947. It is one of the most successful Christmas movies ever with three Academy Awards. The movie tells the story that took place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City. It also revolves around a departmental store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa.

  1. Almost Christmas
DirectorDavid E. Talbert
ProducerWill Packer, Mikael Hed
CastKimberly Elise, Danny Glover, John Michael Higgins, Romany Malco, Mo’Nique, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union
Release DateNovember 11, 2016
CountriesUnited States

Almost Christmas is a heartwarming drama movie. Released in 2016, it revolves around the Mayers family. This dysfunctional family comes together for the Christmas holiday for the first time after the death of their mother. This holiday season turns out to be hilarious and chaotic for the Mayers family.  

  1. Bad Santa
DirectorTerry Zwigoff
ProducerJohn Cameron, Sarah Aubrey, Bob Weinstein
CastBilly Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, John Ritter, Bernie Mac
Release DateNovember 26, 2003
CountriesUnited States

You are going to love this movie if you are a fan of black comedy. The story follows Willie T. Stokes, an alcoholic man who poses as Santa Claus during the Christmas season and robs stores in the night. The movie takes a heartwarming turn when Willie meets Thurman, a troubled young boy who believes in the goodness of Santa.   

  1. The Christmas Chronicles
DirectorClay Kaytis
ProducerChris Columbus, Michael Barnathan
CastKurt Russell, Judah Lewis, Darby Camp, Lamorne Morris, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Oliver Hudson
Release DateNovember 22, 2018
CountriesUnited States

The Christmas Chronicles is another Christmas movie that focuses on children. The plot follows two young kids, Kate and Teddy. On Christmas Eve, they accidentally destroyed Santa’s sleigh.  Now, it is up to the children and Santa to deliver all presents on time.

  1. Four Christmases
DirectorSeth Gordon
ProducerGary Barber, Jonathan Glickman, Roger Birnbaum
CastVince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Jon Favreau, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight, Sissy Spacek
Release DateNovember 26, 2008
CountriesUnited States

Four Christmases is a light comedy movie with an interesting plot. It follows a couple named Brad and Kate. They decided to visit all four of their divorced parents’ homes on Christmas Day.   

  1. Holidate
DirectorJohn Whitesell
ProducerMcG, Mary Viola
CastEmma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Jake Manley, Jessica Capshaw, Andrew Bachelor, Frances Fisher, Manish Dayal, Kristin Chenoweth
Release DateOctober 28, 2020
CountriesUnited States

Holidate is a movie for the fans of romantic cinema. It follows Sloane and Jackson who meet on Christmas and decide to become each other’s “Holidate” for all major holidays throughout the year. The movie explores the complexities of modern-day dating. 

  1. Home Alone
DirectorChris Columbus
ProducerJohn Hughes
CastMacaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, Catherine O’Hara
Release DateNovember 16, 1990
CountriesUnited States

This is probably the most popular film on our list of top 20 best Christmas movies. It is the first movie in the Home Alone franchise where Macaulay Culkin plays Kevin McCallister. Kevin is the boy who defends his home from a home invasion after his family leaves him behind on their Christmas holiday.

  1. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
DirectorNagisa Ōshima
ProducerJeremy Thomas
CastDavid Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Jack Thompson
Release DateMay 28 ,1983 (Japan) August 25, 1983 (United Kingdom)
CountriesJapan, United Kingdom, New Zealand
LanguageEnglish, Japanese

Our soldiers have to experience the toughest of times during wars. Directed by Nagisa Ōshima, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence showcases the injustice POWs had to deal with during World War 2. Apart from the US, this movie was also released in Japan.

  1. My Santa
ProducerNishad Koya, Ajeesh O. K., Sajith Krishna, Saritha Sugeeth
CastDileep, Manasvi Kottachi, Devanandha, Anusree, Sai Kumar, Sunny Wayne
Release DateDecember 25th 2019

If you are from India then you should definitely watch this movie. It is an emotional movie about a child Aisa Elizabeth. She lost her entire family except her grandfather in an accident. She always hopes that Santa is alive somewhere. One Christmas night, Santa arrives to meet Aisa and accompanies her to fulfill her wishes.  

  1. Noel
DirectorChazz Palminteri
ProducerAl Corley, Howard Rosenman
CastPenélope Cruz, Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin, Marcus Thomas, Robin Williams
Release DateSeptember 12, 2004
CountriesUnited States

Noel is another film that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride. The story revolves around a group of interconnected individuals whose lives intersect on Christmas Eve in New York City. The film lets you know about the true meaning of love and Christmas.

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
DirectorHenry Selick
ProducerTim Burton, Denise Di Novi
CastDanny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Ed Ivory
Release DateOctober 29, 1993 (United States)
CountriesUnited States

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a famous animated film that you can watch at Christmas. It was the debut movie of director Tim Burton. This movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of “Halloween Town” who goes to Christmas Town and becomes captivated by the holiday spirit. It is a dark fantasy movie.

  1. The Polar Express
DirectorRobert Zemeckis
ProducerSteve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Gary Goetzman, William Teitler
CastTom Hanks, Daryl Sabara, Nona Gaye, Jimmy Bennett, Eddie Deezen
Release DateNovember 10, 2004
CountriesUnited States

“The Polar Express” is an animated film released in 2004. It takes you through the story of a young boy who begins a magical train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The movie is filled with both joy and emotion. It is the perfect Christmas movie for the audience of all ages.

  1. Daddy’s Home 2
DirectorSean Anders
ProducerWill Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, John Morris
CastWill Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson
Release DateNovember 10, 2017
CountriesUnited States

What happens when two stepdads decide to team up to provide a perfect Christmas for their children? This is the plot of Sean Anders’s movie “Daddy’s Home 2” released in 2017. 

  1. Six Weeks
DirectorTony Bill
ProducerPeter Guber, Jon Peters
CastDudley Moore, Mary Tyler Moore, Katherine Healy
Release DateDecember 17, 1982
CountriesUnited States

Six Weeks is a drama film that follows the emotional journey of a 12-year-old girl dying from leukemia and her friendship with a politician Patrick Dalton. Although the film was not successful at the box office it was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards.

  1. Surviving Christmas
DirectorMike Mitchell
ProducerBetty Thomas, Jenno Topping
CastBen Affleck, James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, Catherine O’Hara
Release DateOctober 22, 2004
CountriesUnited States

This is a story about a millionaire who decides to relive his childhood memories by spending Christmas at his Childhood home. However, his childhood home is now owned by a different family. This leads to a series of funny situations.

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas

DirectorTodd Strauss-Schulson
ProducerGreg Shapiro
CastJohn Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris
Release DateNovember 4, 2011
CountriesUnited States

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas” follows the hilarious adventures of Harold Lee and Kumar Patel during the Christmas season. The two friends tried their best to find a replacement for the Christmas Tree accidentally destroyed by Kumar’s Father-In-Law. Along the way, they encounter various bizarre and comedic situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the best animated Christmas movies?

You can go for films like The Polar Express, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Snowman, etc.

Are there any funny Christmas movies?

Yes, there are plenty of funny Christmas movies like Elf, Home Alone, Bad Santa, etc.

Where can I stream these movies?

All of these movies are available on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, etc.

Are there any romantic Christmas movies worth watching?

Yes, you can opt for movies like Carol, Holidate, etc.

Which is the best Christmas movie for the LGBT community?

In our opinion, Carol is the best Christmas movie for the LGBT community.

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