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19 iconic Christmas movies, ranked from worst to best

A definitive list.

19. Christmas with the Kranks

Every year, Hollywood releases one atrocious Christmas film in an attempt to cash in on the season. (See this year’s offering Christmas with the Coopers.)

In 2004, we were subjected to Christmas with the Kranks, an abysmal film starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis who decide to skip Christmas.

If you haven’t seen it, congratulations. IT’S MUCK.

kranks

18. Deck The Halls

Reader, I’m not proud of this, but I once watched Deck The Halls in its entirety. (In my defense, I had just had the swine flu vaccination and was feeling very unwell.)

It stars Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth as a couple engaged in a manic battle with their neighbours over who can have the most Christmassy house.

An insult to the genre.

deck Source: YouTube

17. The Holiday

Reader, there’s nothing we love more than the idea of a transatlantic romantic comedy set at Christmas.

Unfortunately, The Holiday is pretty woeful and very convoluted. (Kate Winslet loves Jasper! Kate Winslet is in Los Angeles! Kate Winlset meets Jack Black! Jack Black’s girlfriend is preposterously good looking! Wait, Kate Winslet is now trying to convince an old screenwriter to accept a lifetime achievement award?)

Avoid.

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16. Jingle All The Way

There’s a reason why there are no Jingle All The Way screenings happening around Dublin this week — because it’s shite.

The kind of film you watch when you’re in a house that only has four TV channels.

jing Source: YouTube

15. Home Alone 2

There are some people out there who believe Home Alone 2: Lost in New York to be superior to Home Alone. These people could not be more wrong.

It stars Donald Trump, for crying out loud.

14. The Family Stone

The Family Stone has a lot going for it — good cast, family drama, sentimentality — but it also might be too dramatic. There’s cheating, rows at the dinner table, terminal illness — it’s a lot.

Still, though — not a bad one to watch over a glass of wine.

giphy (33) Source: Tumblr

13. Bad Santa

The world is divided into two camps — people who think Bad Santa is the greatest thing since sliced bread and people who just don’t really get it.

We’re not convinced it’s a Christmas classic yet, but we can see its misanthropic appeal.

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12. Gremlins

The only reason this isn’t ranked higher is it because gave your writer nightmares at a very young age and she hasn’t had the heart to revisit it since.

giphy (31) Source: Giphy

11. The Santa Clause

Dad who works too much? Check. Divorced parents? Check. Kid with bowl cut? Check.

The Santa Clause is the 90s Christmas film.

giphy (30) Source: Giphy

10. Trading Places

Sure, it might not be the first Christmas film that enters your head, but make no mistake about it: it’s a Christmas classic.

eddie Source: YouTube

9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Just watch this scene and try not to laugh.

Source: RickyD1967/YouTube

8. While You Were Sleeping

One of the greatest romantic comedies ever made, if you ask us. (If you overlook Sandra Bullock’s slightly creepy stalking.)

When she has Christmas with her “husband’s” family and realises what she’s been missing all these years = perfection.

giphy (29) Source: zstephanie/Tumblr

7. Love Actually

We’ve written at great length about how absolutely preposterous Love Actually is.

But whether you love it or loathe it, you have to admit that there’s something about watching it that makes you feel all Christmassy and tingly. (Even if you find yourself screaming, “DON’T ANSWER THE BLOODY PHONE, LAURA LINNEY!” at the telly.)

giphy (28) Source: xmas-presnet/Tumblr

6. Scrooged

The only Very Murray Christmas we need, thank you very much.

<3

scrooged

5. Die Hard

If you thought Christmas movies had to be all romance, mush and Santa hats, you’re dead wrong.

Die Hard features explosions, terrorists and Alan Rickman threatening to ruin Christmas as he did in Love Actually.

Our kind of Christmas film, to be honest.

giphy (27) Source: Giphy

4. It’s A Wonderful Life

If there’s any film that encapsulate the ~true~ meaning of Christmas, it’s this.

As comforting as a roaring fire and mince pies, It’s A Wonderful Life is Christmas.

giphy (26) Source: Giphy

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol is as joyous now as it was 23 years old.

Funny, sentimental and featuring some of the greatest Christmas songs ever written, The Muppet Christmas Carol is that rare Christmas film that even the most cynical bore can appreciate.

Also, Michael Caine.

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2. Home Alone

Home Alone has everything you could want from a Christmas film —  a sense of mischief, brilliant slapstick, excellent coats and jumpers and laughs aplenty.

One of those rare films that makes you feel eight years old again.

homeal Source: Movieclips/YouTube

1. Elf

But the best Christmas film? That would be Elf.

In recent years, Elf has ascended the ranks to become a bona fide Christmas classic, beloved by children and adults alike.

How many times have you uttered the immortal line, “You sit on a throne of lies?” How many times have you chuckled at the mere sight of Will Ferrell in those tights? How warm and fuzzy does it make you feel inside?

Exactly. 

elf Source: YouTube

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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