Most of these selections are traditional choices, some not so much, but all do have a Christmas element to them.
SPOILER: Non of the cheesy Hallmark Channel love stories made the list. #SorryNotSorry
1. Christmas Vacation
Christmas Vacation is the pinnacle of all holiday movies. I have this movie memorized beginning to end and still laugh out loud when the squirrel jumps out of the tree, Aunt Bethany says Grace at the dinner table or cousin Eddy drains the chemical toilet.
Every year, Clark W. Griswold reminds me more and more of my own father. Glorious designs of having the entire family together for a big family holiday only to have it blow up in his face in literally every way possible.
2. Die Hard
No surprise here. Everyone loves to make a visit to Nakatomi plaza on Christmas Eve.
Beyond making Moonlighting’s Bruce Willis a household name, this movie took action films to new heights with its amazing action, GQ inspired villains, emotionally void FBI agents and holiday music.
3. Trading Places
Who doesn’t love watching Winthorpe and Valentine pull off the frozen orange juice financial heist of the century while leaving Randolph and Mortimer Duke holding the bag.
Any 80’s film written by Dan Aykroyd is a near guaranteed fun time and anything (pre-Beverly Hills Cop III) staring Eddie Murphy is hilarious. Combine them with Jamie Lee Curtis’ boobs, and you have a Yuletide winner!
2003 was Will Ferrell’s break-out year with the releases of Old School and Elf. Beyond the mailroom and the scenes with Miles Finch, the movie is more entertaining than ‘laugh out loud’ funny, but I always end up watching it beginning to end whenever it comes on.
5. Bad Santa
I went into this movie with extremely low expectations and can honestly say I laughed my butt off through out.
This crude humor is surely not for everyone. I wouldn’t watch it with my parents or my toddler in the room (or even the house probably), but my maturity-lacking sense of humor loved it!
6. Lethal Weapon
Lethal Weapon does not get the same Yuletide love Die Hard gets, I think possibly because the entire film does not take place on Christmas Eve itself like Die Hard does.
Any possibly because Gary Busey is a poor man’s Alan Rickman. Like extremely poor. Like if Alan Rickman were ‘Bruce Wayne’, Gary Busey would be homeless ‘living in a van down by the river’ poor
7. Christmas Story
You could walk up to just about anyone in the western hemisphere and say “You’ll Shoot your eye out kid” and they will know exactly what movie you are quoting.
Ten years ago I would have had this movie higher up the list but I think I have suffered from Christmas Story fatigue after way too many years of Turner bombarding us with ’24 hrs of a Christmas Story.’
8. Love Actually
With a few exceptions, normally I am not a huge fan of ‘ensemble cast’ movies. For every quality Ocean’s Eleven or Avengers movie we get, it seems like we get 3 Valentine’s Day, New Years Eve or 200 Cigarettes.
Love Actually definitely falls in the high quality column with memorable performances chipped in by Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and keira knightley. Or as I like to think of them as Bryan Mills, Hans Gruber, Harry Hart and Queen Amidala’s double.
9. Nightmare Before Christmas
If you ever hear a synopsis of a Tim Burton film, then actually see the film and you are able to honestly say to yourself “Wow, that is exactly how I pictured the movie in my head”, you are F-ed up in the head.
And I mean that in the nicest possible way because Burton is an incredibly talented visionary. Just really, really weird.
10. Home Alone
I like to think of this movie as a live action Loony Toons cartoon with the ‘Wet Bandits’ playing the part of Wile E. Coyote. You know they are the bad guys, but after watching them continually be on the receiving end of a blowtorch or a bag full of hammers, you find yourself wanting to root for them.
Honorable Mention. The Empire Strikes Back
While this may not be a ‘Christmas Movie’ in the traditional sense, or in common sense I guess, it is to me.
The best Star Wars film in the history of the franchise did have a ton of snow and a giant Yeti. That is good enough to make the list for this guy with “Geeky” in his name!
What did you think of my list? What movies did I miss? What would you have added?
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