Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for many of us, and festive movies are a vital part of that. Even the most cynical of us love to be transported back to our childhoods and escape for a couple of hours. Many festive movies are full of cliches, but we still love the message and the nostalgia, and at LWOS Life, we wanted to bring you what we consider the five best Christmas movies of all time.
5 Top Christmas Movies of All Time
Best Christmas Movies: Die Hard 1
When looking at films to watch over the festive period, it’s almost impossible – not to include Die Hard 1. It’s set on Christmas Eve, when John McClane (Bruce Willis) visits his estranged ex-wife at her place of work, unaware that the evil Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his team of terrorists have taken over the building. The criminals attempt to open the Nakotomi Corporation’s computerised vault, while McClane attempts to thwart their efforts.
Die Hard is a 132-minute action-packed blockbuster from start to finish. Alongside Willis and Rickman are William Atherton, Reginald Veljohnson and Bonnie Bedelia, with John McTiernan behind the camera, which helped ensure this thrill-a-minute movie is on repeat every Christmas across the globe.
ELF is everything you could want from a Christmas movie, as it effortlessly weaves nostalgia and laughs to create a timeless festive film. Buddy (Will Ferrell) stars as a human-sized elf – raised in the innocent way of idealising the world. As Buddy ventures to New York and discovers his origin – we are treated to plenty of hilarious, awkward moments involving Buddy. This laugh-a-minute movie is for the whole family, but the funnier moments will definitely strike more of a chord with adults.
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Directed by Jon Favreau and starring James Caan, Peter Dinklage and Zooey Deschanel alongside Ferrell – ELF is arguably one of the most loved Christmas films of all time – and is just as popular every Christmas since its release back in 2003.
Home Alone 1 is undoubtedly a classic Christmas film. The classic film is set from a child’s perspective when his parents and extended relatives accidentally leave him at home as they go on their festive holidays to Paris. Despite some hints, no one realises they forgot Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) until his Mum notices and memorably screams his name on the plane. Despite Kevin’s initial excitement, he is scared when burglars quickly target his house.
It is a film with plenty of heartfelt moments, but director Chris Columbus combines these snippets with plenty of slapstick comedic moments, making it a classic Christmas film. The film also stars John Candy, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Stern and the legendary Joe Pesci.
Jingle All the Way
Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped out of his comfort zone to play a busy man who neglects his family for his job and promises his son the much-in-demand Turbo-Man action figure. As he realises how out of stock the toy is everywhere, he goes on a disastrous quest to obtain the toy, which involves a memorable battle with another father. It has plenty of important messages for children about the importance of family at Christmas, but it’s combined perfectly with the action and comedy scenes.
Released in 1996 and starring Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Jim Belushi and Rita Wilson, it’s a movie swimming in festive magic, with plenty of bright lights, a memorable parade and a slapstick scene involving a reindeer chasing Schwarzenegger.
Richard Curtis – the man behind the classic rom-com Notting Hill, returned in 2003 with a Christmas romantic comedy film called Love Actually. The festive-themed movie includes a star-studded cast and revolves around a number of separate stories involving people and their quest for love at Christmas. The multi-narrative script has plenty of comedic moments and more than a sprinkling of love. The story starts five weeks before Christmas and follows the various characters’ journey while counting down weekly.
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Love Actually contained a star-studded cast, including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Rowan Atkinson, to name just a few. The film grossed an impressive worldwide total of $246.2 million. The film also received a Best Screenplay Golden Globe nomination.
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Main Image Credit: Bill Strain on Flickr