The best Christmas movies of all time – December 2020

The gentle ringing of the little bell from the living room is slowly in your ears, Christmas greens are played up and down again wherever possible and the magnificent snow hoods lie on the trees, roofs and bushes (what is not yet, can still be will). Yes, the Christmas season will be a little different this year. Without Christmas markets, mulled wine and kitsch, it will mainly be in your own four walls to look at. At least the thing with the advent calendars will not change and the innocent children’s eyes, beaming with anticipation and excitedly about the big day, will also put a smile on our adults’ faces. Of course, the obligatory Christmas films should not be missing either, which is why we have prepared a small list for you, which presents our favorite films for the Christmas season and can certainly reap one or two nods in agreement. In this sense: CinemaForever wishes you all a peaceful, cozy Christmas week.

15. Santa Clause (USA 1994)

In Santa Clause is about a divorced Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), who has long lost faith in Christmas, just to mourn his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd). When there was a tremendous rumble on the house one evening, Scott storms out of the house and the unbelievable happens: Scott scares the real Santa Claus on the roof, who then falls and his time as a gift bringer is up. But that’s only the beginning of the story, because Santa Claus ultimately needs a successor and he can be found in Scott Calvin of all people, even if he doesn’t feel like doing the versatile job. Santa Clause is of course primarily a pleasure for the young audience, but adults can also enjoy the Christmas fun, because John Pasquin’s film is not lacking in heart.

14. A Promise is a Promise (USA 1996)


Mr. Universum has also celebrated a turbulent Christmas in front of the camera. In Brian Levant’s Promise is Promise (alternative title: Jingle All the Way ) Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the busy family man Howard Langston, who gives his son the most varied of promises, but cannot keep any of them. But Howard vows to get better and wants to fulfill his son’s greatest wish for Christmas: a Turboman action figure. Howard forgets that too and the figures are sold out everywhere. Well, not exactly. More should not be revealed at this point, only that Arnold Schwarzenegger is rushed through chaotic New York according to all the rules of the art in order to enable his son to have a nice party.A promise is a promise is exactly the right thing for a family home evening at Christmas and, in addition, Arnold can once again show how well he can strike.

13. The Spirits I Called (USA 1988)


In Richard Donner’s The Spirits I Get Calledwe presented Charles Dickens’ Christmas story in a slightly different light. Our main character Frank Cross is played by a wonderful Bill Murray and this Frank Cross is a rag like it is in the book. For the conceited and emotionally cold TV boss, only his career, the ratings and the miserable money count. He wants to broadcast a brutal horror show for Christmas and not only attract the viewer, but also let the ratings shoot through the roof. Frank should also get his horror show, but a little differently than planned, because when suddenly a former acquaintance, who died years ago, stands in front of Frank again and announces three more ghosts, the change in character of Frank begins. The ghosts that I called is certainly not a Christmas film of warm colors and lots of clutter, but it is a film that reveals the true values ​​of Christmas and can project them into the present at the same time.

12.Love Doesn’t Need a Vacation (USA 2006)


This romantic comedy, starring Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, is always fun. Here everything starts with the escapism of the two women who both have problems with men and who swap houses with each other over the Christmas holidays in order to at least for a short time distance themselves from everything and find themselves. But even in the cold Christmas season nothing comes as expected.  Love doesn’t need a vacation is certainly not profound, downright predictable, but always knows how to move with honest emotions, good-humored actors and a positive energy. You can currently stream the film for free on Amazon Prime *.

11. The Grinch (USA 2000)


In the United States, the notorious Grinch is much more widely known than in Germany. It was only when Ron Howard brought his version of The Grinch to the cinemas in 2000 that the nasty Christmas grouch could also enjoy a higher status for German cinema-goers (especially for the little ones). Quite rightly, because even if the moral club is of course appropriately packaged for children, The Grinch is a wonderful fairy tale that can shine not only with creativity and the ideal cast of Jim Carrey under a green mask, but also a film that captures the magic and love of Christmas and brings the viewer straight into the right holiday mood. 

10. Indeed … love (GB 2003)

love actually

Christmas is not just about gifts, but also love for one’s fellow human beings, giving and taking plays a major role these days. Indeed … lovehas, as the title shows, has taken up the theme of love on Christmas days and Richard Curtis staged an episode film that should have been drowned in the boring RomCom swamp, but consistently managed to survive as an extraordinarily good film. This is not only due to the fantastic cast (Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Rowan Atkinson, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy), but also to the soulful approach, which brings frosting and kitsch en masse, but always strikes the right notes and convincingly masters both the serious and the humorous scenes. A beautiful, touching and extremely entertaining film. 

9. Santa Claus is horrified (FR 1982)


Jean-Marie Poiré’s comedy can keep what the title promises: Le père Noël est une ordure turns the classic Christmas night into a splendid disaster, which gives the laughing muscles no break. It’s the kind of comedy you like to watch every year because the script is so rich, so full of wonderful dialogue and really funny situations that one view is not enough to take it all in. Ultimately, this is a film about the spirit of Christmas in modern times. We live a stressed and hectic life. Why should Christmas Eve be any different than a normal day? In this respect a timeless comedy, despite the almost 40 years that it already has under its belt.

8. Bad Santa (USA 2003)

bad santa

There will never be a nastier Santa than the one in Bad Santa . Billy Bob Thornton not only plays Bad Santa, he IS Bad Santa. A boozy, sexist and child-hostile bully who appears at the desired hour with wet pants and would much rather offend the children than wish them a good party. And even if Bad Santa is only too happy to indulge in the conventions and patterns of the Christmas film with increasing running time, it remains a beautifully evil and wonderful (for the time being) anti-Christmas film, which can shine with a great Billy Bob Thornton and is just really good fun. It doesn’t always have to be peace, joy, pancakes right from the start, does it?

7. Klaus (USA 2019)


This Netflix Christmas film was not only surprisingly successful, it was also surprisingly good. In this respect, Klaus is probably the only film in recent years that should soon be one of the Christmas classics. For us it already is, because a freshly told and fantastically animated Christmas story is an absolute rarity. A simple act of kindness always triggers another, even in a frozen, distant, malicious place called Smeerensburg – Klaus talks about it in a heartbreaking and adventurous way.

6. Gremlins (US 1984)


Now it’s getting cozy and greasy at the same time. Joe Dante’s Gremlins is one of the classics of the 80s cinema, boldly advertised with the name Steven Spielberg (only producer), it went around the world and became a commercial hit. From today’s perspective, the effects of gremlins areOf course, not quite as good as it was in 1984, but the creepy Christmas comedy has not lost one thing: its charm. If the viewer has to defend himself against the evil monsters with the cuddly gizmo, then the entertainment quickly reaches its climax and the somewhat different Christmas film has served its purpose perfectly, because Joe Dante not only let his heart flow into his production, but also with it Safely had a lot of fun at work.

5. Kevin – Home Alone & Alone in New York (USA 1990/1992)

kevin alone

Whether Kevin – Alone at home or Kevin – Alone New York , both are practically compulsory in Germany on Christmas days. There is probably no family in which you don’t compete with Kevin every year against the nasty burglars and laugh over and over again at the same scenes. Of course, the whole thing is far from any realism and from today’s perspective Macaulay Culkin is the tragic figure of the two world successes, but these are things for the viewer that do not affect him at any time during the viewing. Here fun is in the foreground and you will have it with both parts, no matter what phase of life you are in.

4. Nightmare Before Christmas (US 1993)


A triumph of stop motion animation, set between Halloween and Christmas, presented as an unforgettable musical about the search for new paths. The Nightmare Before Christmas , co-created by Tim Burton (story and characters), is a true fantasy festival, wonderfully unusual from the first to the last minute and unique to this day. A must for Christmas time!

3. Die Hard (US 1988)

the hard

John McLane should of course not be missing on a Christmas list. When Bruce Willis as a New York police officer only wants to go home to spend the holidays with his family in Los Angeles, and then a skyscraper is hijacked by German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), that is the beginning of one of the best Action movies of all time. Bruce Willis became an all-time action star and Die Hard went down in the annals as a legendary flick. And yes, die hardactually works over and over again, no matter how many times you’ve fought Gruber with McLane and even if you know how it all turns out, it’s just a lot of fun watching the cop knocking at work. Therefore: Yippie-Aye-Yeah, pig cheek!

2. Beautiful presents (USA 1989)


Now we come to one of the two ultimate Christmas movies. More feeling is just not possible, more fun would border on physical harm and if you added up every single sighting, you are probably close to the three-digit range. We’re talking about Jeremiah S. Chechik’s beautiful mess . Christmas with the Griswolds, that means Chevy Chase as Clark in his parade role and a family chaos, which one would not wish for anyone, but just love to watch how everything goes haywire in the house (and outside) of the Griswolds. You can’t beat beautiful presents , every gag is perfect, quotes can be spoken and the whole family comes together to laugh and enjoy the hours together.

1. Isn’t life beautiful? (USA 1946)


So how  is life not beautiful? must look like a Christmas movie. One way and no other – the pure fairytale feeling in a real environment. An angel is sent from heaven to help a frustrated businessman (James Stewart) by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. Frank Capra’s Feel Good Movie, nominated for five Oscars, is not only the best Christmas film, but can still generally be celebrated as one of the best films of all time.

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