HCN's Top Rated Christmas Films

Ah Christmas time! A time for sitting around drinking tea, eating gingerbread and watching films that just never get old. Some are classics, some will bring a tear to your eye, others are simply so bad they're good!  Here's our list of the best films to get you into the Christmas spirit!

1) Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell playing Buddy the Elf. Is there anything that can top this piece of cinematic magic? It's the story of a baby who crawls into Santa's toy bag and gets raised as an elf until he becomes so tall that he realises he must be adopted. Cue the cynical Scrooge figure (his birth father) and the inevitable fight to regain the Christmas spirit, and you have a comedy classic for the whole family. I mean who hasn't watched Elf and contemplated putting candy and syrup in their spaghetti? Plus there's something about Will Ferrell in tights right? No? Just me then. If you claim you don't like Elf then, 'you sit on a throne of lies'.


2) Home Alone (1990)

A fun-filled tale of an innocent kid who feels unloved and ignored by his family, a worry that is confirmed when his parents take all his siblings on holiday and don't notice that they've left him behind. Little Kevin is left to fend for himself and take on burglars with his pranks, basically saving the day and saving us from boredom.

Fun fact: One of the burglars (Pesci) tried to make Macaulay Culkin scared of him to make the acting authentic. Instead Culkin bit him and broke the skin. Ouch.


3)  The Snowman (1982)

A Christmas classic about a snowman that comes to life. This short film, adapted from Raymond Briggs's book, was released in 1982 and has been on our screens every year since. A silent film minus the song 'Walking in the Air', this film has great animation and music. The Snowman has become so iconic at Christmas that it has led to a sequel The Snowman and The Snowdog which reached 7.1 on IMDB. Pretty good for a sequel.


4) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

A bit of a different christmas film, but nevertheless a brilliant one with some great animations and a storyline that doesn't make you want to throw up! This film is a Halloween film but Jack Skellington, King of Halloween Town, finds Christmas Town where it is Christmas all the time. Jack gets tired of Halloween and kidnaps Santa and takes over. The film shows that too much of anything eventually gets boring. Except this film- we can't get enough of it!

5) Love Actually (2003)

Here's one for the romcom fans and a guilty pleasure for the rest of us. With a huge celebrity cast, we follow the lives of eight different couples around Christmas time. We have so much love for this film and for so many reasons! Who can forget Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister having a solo dance party at no. 10? The nativity play we'd actually enjoy watching: 'There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?' and Liam Neeson running through airports, this time not in the pursuit of human traffickers, but just to help his son find the girl he loves. Also not forgetting the heart breaking moment when Snape's wife confronts him after finding out the gold necklace she found was for another woman. Snape, once again you have made us all cry with your betrayal.


6) Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

A remake of an old classic. The little girl (who also plays Matilda) is having doubts about whether Santa is real, after her Scrooge-like mother (see a pattern forming?) tells her Santa doesn't exist. After meeting THE REAL Kriss Kringle at a department store, her belief is revitalised. He reveals he truly believes he is the real Santa and the authorities threaten to lock him up, but with her newfound belief in Santa the little girl (and her lawyer) save him. Showing that anything can happen if you believe.


7) Jingle All The Way (1996)

TURBO MAN. Everybody wants a Turbo Man for Christmas but Arnie forgets to order one and has to embrace the Christmas Eve rush in the hope of finding one. The film attempts to depict the materialistic nature of Christmas in a satirical way but falls short. This film is so bad it's good. So if in doubt about what to watch this Christmas...it's Turbo time!


8) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Who doesn't love Christmas? Well Seuss' Whos of Whoville certainly love it! Until the Grinch attempts to ruin Christmas for the town with his handy sidekick Sam the Dog. He meets Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen before all the black eyeshadow) who reminds him of the true spirit of Christmas, leading him to return all the presents. It has a dog in it and the usual Scrooge turned Grinch, making it a classic for years to come.


9) Olive the Other Reindeer (1999)

A film produced by Matt Groening. Olive the Other Reindeer tells the story of a little dog who loves Christmas. Her pet flee, Fido, tells her that one of Santa's reindeers has fallen ill and that Christmas will be ruined if she doesn't go to the North Pole and help out. On her way she meets (you got it!) a Grinch-like postman who on hearing her plan to save Christmas wants to stop her. Olive meets Martini, a con artist penguin escaped from the zoo who sells her a 'Rolexxx'. He eventually helps her on her journey. She fills in and saves Christmas, ensuring builders everywhere get their drills.

10) Jack Frost (1998)

Nothing says Christmas than a bit of tragedy followed by the reincarnation of your dad as snowman. We've all experienced that right? No? Well, regardless, this film touches the heart and shows the importance of appreciating family after all, expressed through possibly one of the worst lines in film ever, 'a snowdad is better than no dad'. Jack Frost is filled with cheesy lines and poor acting but you can't have Christmas without one cheesy film! 


Edited by Katie Randall