Want to keep the peace this Christmas? Look no further. I’ve picked out the best Christmas movies, all festive, all brilliant. There’s definitely something for everyone. So, no lumps of coal in my stocking this year.
If you decide you want something different, we’ve got plenty more for you to pick from. Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Streaming!
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On to the turkey!
Jingle All The Way (HBO via Hulu)
It’s definitely not the best Christmas movie, yet it’s so bad it loops back and becomes a watchable guilty pleasure. It’s the worst flick on this list, but watching Arnold Schwarzenegger KO a reindeer never gets old!
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a tragic 15 percent, which is generous. Arnie is awful — he’s not built for comedy, despite Twins being great. Swap The Terminator for Jim Belushi, who plays a mall Santa in this, and it would have been better.
One last thing: Turbo Man sucks! No wonder Jake Lloyd turned to the dark side…
Bad Santa (Hoopla)
Billy Bob Thornton you glorious miserable, stone-faced b*stard. One expression for every occasion, and it’s perfect each time.
With Mr. Thornton, you know what you’re getting. But when it came to Bad Santa, I didn’t expect his one expression could be so moving. It’s gotta be that adorable kid!
If you’re looking for a movie that’ll clear a room of anyone with delicate sensibilities, Bad Santa is the streaming option you should be reaching for. Be warned, it’s not suitable for all the family!
Love Actually (HBO Now)
Hugh Grant. Emma Thompson. Colin Firth. Keira Knightley. Liam Neeson. Could it be any more British?
Love Actually is Pulp Fiction, made by Richard Curtis rather than Quentin Tarantino. It’s a collection of stories that cross over leading into a kid’s talent show at Christmas. Stories include a couple of extras standing in for the lighting of a movie’s sex scene, a work love-affair, and a backpacker seeking excitement.
The best of those stories places Hugh Grant as the awkward UK Prime Minister. He meets Martine McCutcheon, a maid working at No. 10 Downing Street. This newfound love leads to him to prove he’s got moves — and I’m not talking about that 20-year old sex worker story.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (Hoopla)
The critics loved it. Audiences loved it. Even I loved it, at the time. It’s still funny, charming, and romantic. Fact. You’re not going to find a better love-triangle Christmas movie out there!
Starring Renée Zellweger. We all know how talented she is. An Oscar winner for Cold Mountain, Golden Globe winner for Chicago, — and Nurse Betty! Then there’s Colin Firth and Hugh Grant: both in 2001 were hot stuff and dashing. According to my sisters.
But its tone in 2001, when it released, was edgy. Not anymore. The level of crude innuendo in a female-led comedy has evolved. Bridget Jones lost her “I can’t believe she did that!” magic. Compare it to something like Fleabag, the outrageous TV show starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Luckily, you don’t want something too crude to watch with loved ones. So despite losing that edge, it actually makes for one of the best Christmas movies available. Hurrah!
My wife is a huge Christmas movie fan. The only thing she loves more is horror movies. And yes, she loves both more than me. So when she says “check out this Christmas horror” — I’ve gotta!
The movie is about a family coming together at Christmas and clashing! So far, so accurate. This beef causes a kid called Max, played by Emjay Anthony, to turn his back on Christmas. This unleashes Krampus and all the other horrors we decorate with.
Want to know where you’ve seen Emjay Anthony before? He’s Percy out of Jon Favreau’s Chef movie. Thank god for Jon Favreau.
I watched this movie without reading reviews. I recommend you do the same. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics and audiences don’t like it. It’s not the best Christmas movie ever, but I thought it was refreshing — like a shot of heavily liquored eggnog. C’mon, it’s a horror Christmas movie!
Ghostbusters 2 (Sling TV)
Anything with Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd is an instant watch for me. It’s a shame Ghostbusters 2 didn’t hit the dizzying quality of the first, but sequels rarely do.
Rest assured, it’s still a fantastic watch. But is it a Christmas movie? That’s a toughie. The movie’s climax is New Year’s Eve… But I’m writing this list so it’s in!
The movie is once again set in New York. And again the Ghostbusters are struggling — despite saving the city! What an ungrateful Mayor!
All the cast is back, including Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett. Who has to be the greatest female actress ever. She’s Ripley from Aliens! “Get away from her, you b*tch!” Awesome. Relive that scene below.
Despite the repetition in Ghostbusters 2, it’s still a heap of fun and the cast has true chemistry. Plus, you can’t go far wrong by seeing Rick Moranis’s lovely face at Christmas.
Lethal Weapon (Hulu)
Lethal Weapon is more relevant than most movies with social commentary. This might be an 80’s action romp with dead hookers, explosions and Gary Busey looking human. Yes, it’s that old (1987).
This movie is not just a body count, though. It’s a story about the darkness of being alone at Christmas versus the joy of being with family and loved ones. It took me until I was in my mid-thirties to realize that! That’s some deep-rooted hidden messaging.
I’m certain you’ve seen Lethal Weapon. If you haven’t, where the heck have you been? And here’s a quick recap: Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is a cop with a death wish; Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a cop close to retirement. They get chucked together and all hell breaks loose in Los Angeles. It’s a buddy cop movie with heart, action and a story that has meaning!
Is it the best Christmas movie? If you step back and look at it as a dumb 80’s action movie, no. But if you step back and look at it from a man finding a family at Christmas…then still no. But it’s definitely top five!