Top Five Christmas Movies by Greg Davis
To wrap up our 25 Top Five Blog series, here are the best five Christmas movies to watch during the holidays!
5. Die Hard
To start our list is a controversial classic. Inexplicably, there are people who attempt to argue that this is not a Christmas movie. They are wrong. It takes place on Christmas Eve; the movie has all the hallmarks of Christmas and it even factors into the plot at times. John’s love for his family & Christmas spirit guides him through the trials & tribulations of foiling the plot of 13 terrorists to get back home for Christmas morning. In addition to the Christmas cheer, it’s also an incredibly well-made action film that is a true joy to watch.
4. It’s a Wonderful Life
A great foil to our fifth entry is a classic film that few people dispute is a Christmas movie, despite the fact that most of the movie doesn’t even happen at Christmas. The classic tale of one man’s impact in the world resonates throughout the ages and warms the cockles of all who watch it. This film has inspired later films like “Back to the Future II” and “It’s a Wonderfully Nickie Life”.
3. Muppet Christmas Carol
There have been an almost countless number of movies based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, but a strong argument can be made for the Muppets version as being the best. Michael Caine brings his best as the miser turned Christmas Enthusiast, Steve Whitmire does an admirable turn as Kermit (the first to fill Jim Henson’s large shoes in the role after his passing), and the musical numbers are top notch. The Muppets themselves look great, particularly the originals for this movie- the real standout being The Ghost of Christmas Present. While the story always resonates, the best adaptations can bring a person to tears by the mere sight of Tiny Tim’s unattended crutch by the fire and this version delivers.
2. White Christmas
Another classic Christmas musical! There are few things that can’t be said about this movie, it has it all- amazing music, amazing sets, and a story that is both hilarious & heartwarming. White Christmas built on the best parts of the earlier Bing Crosby movie, Holiday Inn, separating the wheat from the chaff, paring down to just one holiday, Christmas, adding a better story & more songs to boot!
1. Home Alone
Our number one spot is the classic John Hughes written, Chris Columbus directed, Macaulay Culkin vehicle, Home Alone. There are actually a lot of similarities with this one and Die Hard, both have a solitary figure, fighting for his family against difficult, but almost realistic odds. Home Alone takes the top spot for a few different reasons. First of all, the main theme is one of family- even if one discounts Kevin’s story, the story of Kate McAllister doing ANYTHING she can to get back to her son as soon as possible is impossible to ignore. When it comes to the holidays, family is often what makes the difference. Throughout the movie, there are several stories of people and their families at Christmas. John Candy’s incredible performance as Gus Polinski tells Kate that she’s a great mother for doing whatever she can to get back to her son, and that he and his bandmates only wish they had that opportunity. Home Alone also scores top marks in the set design and definitely the musical score. Everything comes together to just create such an incredible Christmas feeling that fits the movie perfectly.
Elf (alternate for people who don’t accept Die Hard as a Christmas movie)
For people who refuse to accept Die Hard as Christmas, we present Elf as an alternate entry. It’s a lot of fun, with wonderful performances by all involved, although it suffers from a weak half baked ending with Central Park rangers as the bad guys.
Honorable Mention- Just Friends
Although it might not make the list proper, no list would be complete without the Watterson favorite- Just Friends. Before he was the jolly man in the red suit, Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds played Chris Brander, one-time lovable loser, spurned in childhood, who becomes a handsome famous rake. When he returns home for Christmas, he is confronted by his former best friend, and woman of his dreams. Plenty of laughs & Christmas cheer are in this movie, and Brian gets a special Christmas thrill when people watch it!