Top 10 – Christmas films

We’re fast approaching Christmas day, can you believe it? SAAAANTAAAA! With Christmas comes a load of fantastic films, so since we’re in the festive spirit here at Film Swot, here’s a top 10 list of the greatest Christmas films out there! Enjoy!

10. The Nightmare Before Christmas

(© – Touchstone Pictures)

Anytime I hear “Tim Burton” I instantly think of The Nightmare Before Christmas. A truly wonderful, beautiful, bizarre stop-motion film, it has gained a huge cult following since its release in 1993. Nightmare Before Christmas is a comedy, a fantasy, a musical, and a horror. Iconic to say the least, it sticks out from typical Christmas films. It’s pure weird, but you’ll love it.

9. The Grinch

(© – Universal Pictures)

The Grinch is another christmas film filled with colourful imagery and bizarre characters, but the main thing which makes this a classic is Jim Carrey’s performance as The Grinch himself. His devilish, cheeky, insane performance paired and outstanding costume and make up is massively memorable.

8. The Family Stone

(© – 20th Century Fox)

A majorly under-rated Christmas movie, The Family Stone is about a dysfunctional family coming together at Christmas, with one son in particular bringing his girlfriend to the house. Starring a stellar cast which includes Luke Wilson and Diane Keaton, it is absolutely hilarious. It also has one of the greatest “Aw fuck why would you even say that” moments you’ll ever see – watch out for that dinner scene.

7. The Polar Express

(© – Warner Bros)

Not all critics were overly impressed by The Polar Express, but I immediately fell in love with it. The animation is absolutely beautiful, which is odd considering critics often negatively commented on it. Everything about it is so ‘feel good’, and really wants you to get into the spirit of Christmas. “I believe”.

6. The Santa Clause

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

So a dad accidentally kills Santa, puts on the suit, and therefore ‘legally’ becomes Santa. Sounds simple, but it is genius. All made better by the hilarious Tim Allen, who really was the perfect choice. Fun for both kids and adults, it should fit right in with your annual viewings.

5. Die Hard

(© – 20th Century Fox)

Just because it isn’t about Santa or families coming together doesn’t mean it’s not a Christmas film. Die Hard is the perfect example of that – an incredible, funny, thrilling action movie which doesn’t focus on the usual Christmas themes, but still remains a festive tradition to watch. Yippee-ki-yay!

4. It’s a Wonderful Life

(© – RKO Pictures)

You knew it was coming here somewhere. It’s a Wonderful Life is a bloody brilliant film, and I refuse to accept an opinion other than that. Great story, great performances – just great. Really, it is perfect. It’s one of those films that you’ll never forget, and I’m sure some of you out there cried/will cry when you watch it.

3. Love Actually

(© – Universal Pictures)

There are so many shitty, pish rom-coms out there. Like some really fucking rotten films. But Love Actually sits high at the top, made all the better by the fact it’s a christmas movie. Sure there’s some cheesiness, but who cares? Love Actually pulls it all back because it is actually really funny, and each of the intertwining love stories are brill in their own ways. Not to mention Hugh Grant dancing.

2. Home Alone

(© – 20th Century Fox)

Home Alone is in one word; timeless. I have seen it hundreds of times now, and I still laugh out loud as I watch it. It’s a wonderful family film, that has something there for everyone to enjoy. Who doesn’t want to see two grown men being outwitted by an 8 year old in a series of hilarious booby-traps? It is silly, but that is irrelevant – Home Alone is outstanding. Home Alone 2 is also fantastic, but 3 and 4 are absolute mince.

Honourable Mentions

The Holiday

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Jingle All the Way

Christmas with the Kranks

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Jack Frost

Miracle on 34th Street



  1. Elf
(© – New Line Cinema)

Here we have it guys, the number one Christmas film of all time – Elf. This really was a tough decision for me, I meant there’s so much choice. But Elf won the fight for the top spot and here’s why.

First of all, it’s a great story. A human who grew up as an elf going to find his father in New York City has a lot of scope for what could be done. Whilst it could of been turned into a painfully average family flick, it became so much more.

Will Ferrell’s performance as Buddy the Elf is arguably his best ever. He puts so much enthusiasm into Buddy, and plays him with such innocence and joy that it makes him brilliant to watch. Seeing Will Ferrell dressed as an Elf walking around New York is amusing in itself, but his consistency through the film is outstanding. There are so many memorable moments in it, for example Buddy gets how excited I am for Christmas.

Elf is innocent, heartwarming, charming and will make you smile all the way through. Really it has a great message behind it. It reminds us all of how important christmas spirit is, so don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins this year, pop Elf on and have a good time.

Let me know your favourite christmas films in the comments below, or send a tweet to @frew_cameron.

All of us here at Film Swot hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!


Cameron Frew




Published by

Cameron Frew

Freelance film writer. Words on Flickering Myth, Bloody Disgusting, Movie Corner UK and Jumpcut Online. My five favourite films are: 1. The Goonies 2. Forrest Gump 3. The Shawshank Redemption 4. Warrior 5. Whiplash

5 thoughts on “Top 10 – Christmas films”

  1. This would be my top 3 Cameron, just too difficult to pick Ten.

    1: It’s a Wonderful Life
    2: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
    3: A Christmas Carol (2009) (3D)




  2. 1. It’s a wonderful life
    2. A Christmas Carol 3D (2009)
    3. Scrooged
    4. National Lanpoons Xmas vacation.
    5. Santa Claus the movie
    6. The Santa Clause
    7. A Christmas Story
    8. Home Alone
    9. Polar Express
    10. Miracle on 34th St.

    Die Hard does not deserve a place period.


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