The 20 best Christmas movies to watch with the family
Get into the festive spirit with our list of the 20 best Christmas movies for families, including holiday classics, animated staples and new favorites.
Fri Dec 14 2012
A small-town teen gets an adorable furry creature as a Christmas gift. But there’s a catch: don’t get him wet—and don’t feed him after midnight. Those with a wicked sense of yuletide cheer will love the subversive anarchy of this Steven Spielberg production, a gleefully black lump of coal that’s equal parts fantasy and horror. Rated PG.
A seven-year-old Brit discovers a sack of money flung from a train and shares it with his brother. Do they revel in material goods or be charitable—especially when they learn the loot was stolen? Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle offers his own hip answer to the Christmas film, full of sassy backtalking saints, wisecracking kids and a fervent sense of holiday virtue. Rated PG-13.
Home Alone (1990)
Macaulay Culkin holds down the fort against bumbling burglars while his family accidentally flies to Paris without him in this massive hit that’s every kid’s fantasy—and nightmare. While his Rube Goldberg booby traps and Edvard Munch–inspired visage deliver the laughs, it’s the warmer moments with negligent parents (as well as a mysterious shut-in neighbor) that give heart to this comic evergreen. Rated PG.
White Christmas (1954)
Swap Connecticut for Vermont, turn the entertainment troupers into former military troopers and slather on a Technicolor sheen: You’ll be forgiven for thinking this Bing Crosby musical is just a toe-tapping variation on Holiday Inn. But it’s still a swell time, and no one should begrudge another cinematic victory lap for the juggernaut title song. Not rated.
Holiday Inn (1942)
Families dreaming of a “White Christmas” are required to watch this delightful romp about star-crossed show people and a Connecticut resort. The comedy boasts a cavalcade of Irving Berlin songs that includes one of the biggest holiday standards of all time—and helped to make Bing Crosby the de facto voice of the yuletide season. Not rated.
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