So to mark the festive season we’ve ranked* a wide range of Christmas films** from worst to best. Not even the presence of John Krasinski in a supporting role can save The Holiday from itself. Take a beloved Dr Seuss classic, let Ron Howard make a hatchet job of it, and you’ve got number 19 on our list.
This clumsy attempt to teach us about how the true meaning of Christmas is lost in Western consumerism is, quite frankly, pants.
However, throw in one of the most hateful, smug families ever committed to film, a predictable, slow-moving storyline, and you might struggle to feel festive by the end of The Family Stone.
Dogged devotion to the ultimate Irish mammy Brenda Fricker means Home Alone 2 makes it into the list at number 15.
We feel pretty humbugish towards Christmas sequels, and Home Alone 2 is pretty poor by anyone’s standards, so the Fricker effect is the only explanation we have, and we stand by it. The stop motion animation in The Nightmare Before Christmas is stunning and the musical numbers are a joy to behold.
But how, in good conscience, could we put a film that attempts to bridge the gap between Halloween and Christmas any higher than number 14 in this list?


An acceptable premise and a nicely executed Christmas film, but The Santa Clause loses points because it spawned so many sub par sequels. Tim Allen stars as a Dad who has to take over the role of Santa Claus after the big man himself falls off his roof. That’s pretty telling about the power of this Christmas classic starring Dudley Moore and some frankly terrifying mechanical reindeer.
Say what you want about the awful cloying sentimentality that runs through many parts of this film and the 700 storylines that battle for attention, we stand by its inclusion at number nine.
This is a two-for-one special, because either of the Miracle on 34th Street films is an acceptable number eight. Look, if we could put Groundhog Day or What About Bob on the list we would, but why bother when we’ve got a real live Christmas film with Bill Murray already in it? Murray plays a hateful TV exec (who you obviously grow to love by the end of the film, as he realises the error of his ways) AND it’s got the amazing Put A Little Love in Your Heart ending. Kevin McAllister makes a Christmas wish that his family will disappear, but little does he know that his wish is about to come true. The slapstick is wonderful, the soundtrack is Christmas personified, the touching moments are so very touching, and there’s even a bonus John Candy appearance.


We simply refuse to believe that there are people out there who don’t like it, and it there are, they have no place here. Family man Clark Griswold is determined to have the perfect Christmas, despite a less-than-enthusiastic family, problematic relatives, painful neighbours, a potentially rabid squirrel and an unlucky cat. The perfect combination of gags, slapstick and poignant moments, coupled with a stunning theme song make this a solid number three. Who would have thought that violence, explosions, terror and Bruce Willis in a white vest would amount to one of the greatest Christmas films ever?
Screenshot of Foghorn Leghorn in The Looney Tunes Show music video "Christmas Rocks" to illustrate his article, taken from a YouTube upload. We’d expect this kind of dross from Cameron Diaz and Jude Law, but you pair should know better.



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