25 Christmas Films for your watch list this December

With December finally here, the cinema isn’t always the easiest place to get to. With Christmas shopping, visiting families, office parties and simply not wanting to leave the house without your pajamas, it’s the perfect time of year to dig out some classic Christmas films.

Our team have listed some of their favourites below with why they are so loved, not everyone may agree, but here’s what we think you should be watching this December. (in alphabetical order to avoid the argument of what is best…)

1 Arthur Christmas (2011)

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Half of the fun of this film is saying out loud every time you watch it “Oh my god, that’s *insert actors name here*” whenever a new character speaks. I’m shocked every time I watch it at the cast it has! It’s an adorable animated story with really cool festive tech - Santa really upgrades in this film. - Sophie Duncan

2 Batman Returns (1992)

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Who doesn’t love Batman and Christmas together?! Especially with Michelle Pfeiffer’s iconic Catwoman. Even if you don’t like celebrations too much, you would like Batman. Or the other way around  - it belongs to a rare category that every can enjoy. I remember a time in my childhood where I would watch it over and over again – I need to do that again this year! - Cagla Demirbas.

3 Better Watch Out (2016)

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The mixture of Christmas and Horror has been attempted many times without success. Better Watch Out keeps you on your toes as to who the villian is throughout and is a great representation of young men throwing a fit when they don’t get what they want. It’s twisted and will make you smile with revenge at the end. - Caris Rianne

4 Die Hard (1988)

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Every year you see the same argument with a poll. “Is Die Hard a Christmas film?” Yes, yes it bloody is. You think your office christmas party is bad? Try being in this guys shoes…or bare feet… - Caris Rianne

5 Elf (2003)

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Over quoted, over gif-ed, but it still deserves a place on this list. Not only for Zooey Deschanel’s shower rendition of Baby It’s Cold Outside but Buddy’s impressive over night Christmas decorations. - Caris Rianne

6 Four Christmases (2008)

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I’ll admit I hadn’t seen this before, but it’s definitely got a place in my Christmas movie collection now! It seems a little suspicious a couple could be together for so many years and not know anything about each other, but the comedy makes up for it. - Ashton Clarke

7 GREMLINS 1984

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Despite its 80s animatronics, Gremlins is a classic black comedy and perfect for when you want something more than a romcom Christmas film. - Ashton Clarke

Often forgotten in the ‘best of’ lists, Gremlins was a terrifying film as a young child but so much fun. Adventure films like this are few and far between these days, - Caris Rianne

8 HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000)

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It’s impossible not to mention Grinch when talking about Christmas, especially with the recent reboot. Jim Carrey carries the film, in the in the titular role tailor made for him. I’m still amazed by how good Grinch looked with the prosthetic make up, considering it was only 2000. - Cagla Demirbas

Jim Carrey made this film and it’s timeless. Still the best version of the Grinch (sorry Benedict!). - Ashton Clarke

9 HOME ALONE (1990)

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Home Alone is definitely the first film to come my mind. For the longest time, i thought that it was every child’s dream to be alone in your house  without your family and spend all your time putting up these amazing traps! Years latter when I befriended a friend from Chicago, our first initial bonding happened thanks to Home Alone! His family lived in the shooting location neighbourhood  and their house even appears for a brief moment! After our dialogue i realized how important Home Alone is for my winter routine. - Cagla Demirbas

10 HOME ALONE 2 (1992)

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After loving the first one, of course i  enjoyed the second one as well. New York was definitely an exciting settting for Christmas, and seeing Kevin’s fate would never change was a perfect running gag. Compared to its predecessor, it has its flaws. But stil it was better than Home Alone 3, which didn’t even had the child star we all loved Macaulay Culkin. - Cagla Demibras

11 THE HOLIDAY (2006)

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I only properly watched this a few years ago but I loved the cheesy life swap scenario. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry and it makes me want to sit by the fire and curl up in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate. - Sophie Duncan

12 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

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The one everyone tells you to watch because it’s the “best” Christmas film. Jimmy Stewart is so charming in this tale of reflection upon our actions and how we treat those closest to us. It’s become a tradition for many and if you can catch it in a cinema it’s a treat on the big screen. - Caris Rianne

13 JINGLE ALL THE WAY (1996)

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Me and my brother only watched this a few years ago but it’s now the film we make sure to watch together every year. It’s so ridiculously silly but also so damn quotable! The true holiday spirit is shown in the mutual hatred everyone who watches it has of their annoying neighbour, Ted.  - Sophie Duncan.

Jingle All The Way was a rather late discovery for me. I was never lucky enough to catch it on TV, i watched it way after I way passed childhood, after stumbling upon to it online somewhere. It is a dream come true for every Arnold Schwarzenegger fan out there. In his own words playing ‘‘an ordinary character in a family film’’ was a big chance and source of entertainment. I can only imagine how much fun the crew had while shooting, especially the Santa Smackdown scene! - Cagla Demirbas

Yes there are two reviews on this already, but this is my all time favourite Christmas film. The cat and mouse chase, the over eager neighbour and that parade. More importantly, this is about a dad getting his son the best gift something that makes me cry each year. TURBOTIME. - Caris Rianne

14 LETHAL WEAPON (1987)

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Probably not your first choice for a festive flick, but who doesn’t love a good cop film? I don’t even want to know how long Roger’s daughter was in therapy for after going through all that. - Ashton Clarke

15 LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)

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I love the array of characters in this film and how all the different stories connect and interlink with each other. All different kinds of love - platonic, romantic, familial - are all shown as equally important and this is the message I love. This is a great film if you’re sensitive like me and want a good, cathartic cry before Christmas. - Sophie Duncan


Ahh Love Actually is the ultimate feel good film! It’s the film that  made me realize how much I enjoy variety of characters and different segments. It was one of the first DVDs  I owned, with the iconic cover with the red ribbon… So simple yet effective! I genuinely believe that it created a never-ending and unrealistic expectation about romantic written messages. But at least I can also admit I draw inspiration from the opening lines of the film. Hugh Grant  - Prime Minister ‘s speech about ‘‘Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.’’ helped me alot in many essays! - Cagla Demirbas

16 MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)

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Richard Attenborough’s Father Christmas is the Father Christmas. The message and heart of this film is so pure and wholesome that I just want to hug everyone after seeing it. It’s a sickly sweet watch but it also has a couple of unexpected dark moments! - Sophie Duncan.

Okay, so the plot is a little ridiculous, I don’t know many six-year olds who could win a court case and get manage to wrangle a baby brother out of Santa Claus. However, it’s still heart-warming and Mara Wilson was amazing. - Ashton Clarke.

17 THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992)

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My absolute favourite Christmas film! Still can’t understand how people though the ghost of Christmas future was scary, and I have no shame playing the soundtrack to get into the Christmas spirit. - Ashton Clarke.

18 THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)

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The only Christmas film you can start watching at Halloween. Jack technically ruins Christmas, but we all learn a valuable lesson and it’s still got some good songs. - Ashton Clarke.

19 THE NIGHT BEFORE (2015)

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With a cast list full of this many well known faces, it was always going to be a hit at the cinema. The chase for the lead characters to attend a secret society party they’ve always wanted to be at teamed with the fear of growing older and settling down makes this film not only funny but heart warming. Michael Shannon playing a drug dealing angel is also the best cameo you’ll ever see. - Caris Rianne

20 THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)

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I remember watching The Polar Express in class and falling in love with the animation style instantly. I was surprised when I noticed audience never learns main characters names throughout the film – even they don’t learn each other’s names. But that’s not a problem at all because we are already in the mood for festive spirit thanks to the plot! - Cagla Demirbas.

21 SCROOGED (1988)

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Yes, another take on ‘A Christmas Carol’ but Bill Murray brings something special to this comedic take on the tale. Set against the production of a Christmas TV special, It’s raunchy, sometimes wrong but very festive. - Caris Rianne

22 THE SANTA CLAUSE (1994)

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This is my all time favourite Christmas film. It’s ridiculous and cheesy but reminds me of being young and watching it every year with my family. Whenever I watch it, I’m reminded of what it felt like as a kid to believe in Father Christmas and be too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve. I’m pretty sure I’ll still be quoting this film and making jokes about Neil’s sweaters when I’m an old lady.  - Sophie Duncan

23 THE SANTA CLAUSE 2 (2002)

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A ridiculous but pretty good sequel. Also completely worth watching for that one scene where Scott goes on a date with the crazy Christmas lady (Molly Shannon’s character) and she sings a festive version of Man! I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain. Catch me and my girlfriend singing that all year round. - Sophie Duncan

24 TRADING PLACES (1983)

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Eddie Murphy is in his top form in this comedic character swap. Possibly the only Christmas film which features a prostitute also played by the ever incredibly Jamie Lee Curtis. This is another hit from the 80’s which seems to boast the best Christmas films. - Caris Rianne

25 WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)

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As a lover of musicals, the dancing sequences fill my heart with joy. This classical and somewhat cheesy tale of the performers will be a favourite for anyone who is a fan of ‘classic hollywood’. It’a a staple in my Christmas film marathon ever since I first saw it a few years ago. - Caris Rianne

Well that’s our mix! What will you be watching this December? Let us know on Twitter @RiannePictures