Noted as the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas brings many familiar joys. The decorated trees, the carols on the radio, and the festive candies are some of the major highlights. Of course, you can’t forget Christmas movies, as they’re the perfect way to bring a family together for the holidays. But what should you watch? After our unconventional suggestions, here are our top picks for Christmas movies this year.
As the most excellent slapstick Christmas movie, “Home Alone” has become a holiday classic for its mixture of childhood independence and ludicrous traps. Kevin McCallister gets his Christmas wish of having the entire house to himself after his family leaves him behind for Christmas vacation. With the place to himself, Kevin learns what it’s like to do whatever he wants. At the same time, he’ll have to stop the home invaders known as the Wet Bandits, targeting suburban homes of the wealthy who go on vacation. The film still holds up more than 30 years later thanks to the direction by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter), a script by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club), and a comical cast that includes Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara, and John Candy.
Nagykarácsony (Christmas Flame)
If you’re in the mood for some romance this Christmas season, consider the Hungarian romantic comedy, “Nagykarácsony”. Arnold is a firefighter who finds his life turned upside down by his fear of heights and strange visions. Unable to do his job, he does different work at a Christmas market. Though the work is not to his liking, he soon finds himself fancying a teacher who might just be the cure to his problems. Directed by Daniel Tiszeker, this tender Christmas rom-com stars Péter Scherer, Lia Pokorny, Tamás Szabó Kimmel, Imre Csuja, Ákos Orosz, Barnabás Dékány and Géza Egger.
In animated Christmas movies, none have been as visually astounding and expertly directed as 2019’s “Klaus”. This animated adventure finds the lazy postman Jesper being assigned to a small and snowy town. During his time in town, he meets the quiet hermit known as Klaus, who spends his time crafting toys. With the town at each other’s throats, a Christmas tradition is started where Klaus and Jesper deliver toys to all the boys and girls, making Klaus the folk legend Santa Claus. As a Santa Claus origin story, this is one of the best for the stellar animation by former Disney animator Sergio Pablos and a vibrant voice cast that includes Jason Schwartzman, J. K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Neda Margrethe Labba, Sergio Pablos, Norm Macdonald, and Joan Cusack. The film was so delighted that it would also be nominated for the Academy Award of Best Animated Feature.
A Christmas Story
Ralphie recalls his unforgettable Christmas of the 1950s in this iconic coming-of-age comedy. All that Ralphie wants for Christmas is a BB gun, but he realizes he’s facing an uphill battle. Every adult shoots down his request with the piercing phrase, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” While Ralphie tries to figure out a plan to get that present, he’ll also have to deal with the issues in his neighborhood regarding the local bully, the troublesome dogs, and his father’s absurdly sexual lamp. The film is packed with relatable moments and hilarious pieces of dialogue that have stood the test of time. Directed by Bob Clark (“Black Christmas”), A Christmas Story has become so revered that the film runs for 24 hours as a Christmas tradition in America.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s Christmas melodrama has slowly grown into a classic Christmas movie. The film tells the story of George Bailey and how he plans to kill himself on Christmas. Before he takes a plunge off the bridge, the guardian angel Clarence arrives to show George what life would be like without him. Eventually, George is inspired to continue living and celebrates the most joyous Christmas of his life. Although considered a classic Christmas movie now, it wasn’t all that popular upon its 1947 theatrical release. Over time, it gained a significant following over the decades for television broadcasts and is now considered one of Capra’s most notable movies during Christmas.