May 19, 2024

Christmas must-see movies to get you in the festive mood

This festive film starring Kurt Russell follows brother and sister Kate and Teddy Pierce who hatch a plan to catch Santa Claus on camera. It’s a Christmas classic in the making!

The Christmas Chronicles

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

Netflix are making dreams come true one festive film at a time. The sequel to the Christmas Prince will centre around Prince Richard and Amber’s royal wedding. If the trailer is anything to go by, it is guaranteed to be a truly festive affair. We wonder if Meghan and Kate will be watching from Sandringham?

Home Alone

Directed by: Chris Columbus (1990)
Starring: Macaulay Calkin, Joe Pesci, Catherine O’Hara
Why We Love It: Another movie dredged up from the basements of our Christmas pasts. In case you’re the only person on the planet yet to have seen this movie, its features an eight-year-old boy (Kevin McCallister) who, after a particularly bad scolding from his mother, wishes he had a nicer family. He wakes up on Christmas morning to discover he’s the only one left in the house. He thinks his wish has come true – but his family have actually left him there by mistake. Queue a hilarious sequence of events, and some seriously inventive booby traps…
Festive Factor: GGGG

Love Actually

Directed by: Richard Curtis(2003)
Starring: Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth
Why We Love It: Even if you’re not a fan of rom-coms, you’ll be hard-pressed to resist the charms of this quintessentially English, slightly awkward, cockle-warming tale. The star-studded movie focuses on the lives of eight very different couples and their love lives leading up to Christmas day. Not the most challenging movie you’ll ever see, but festive and fun all the same. And mother-friendly.
Festive Factor: GGGGG

Miracle On 34th Street

Directed by: George Seaton (1947)
Starring: Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood
Why We Love It: Yup, you guessed it – another Christmas classic we simply can’t do without this season. Set in New York, the somewhat far-fetched story centres around a confused group of individuals who, after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, start to reason that the department store Santa could be the real thing. A barmy conclusion to arrive upon? Yes – that is, aside from the little miracle that just might take place on 34th street…
Festive Factor: GGGGG

Bad Santa

Directed by: Terry Zwigoff (2003)
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly
Why We Love It: A word of warning – this is not a family movie. With a 15 rating, this expletive-littered movie tells the story of miserable conman Willie and his equally miserable little helper, Marcas. The pair pose as Santa and his Elf at department stores each Christmas Eve, disable the security alarm systems, and take advantage of their festive positions to hatch elaborate robbery plots. Equal parts amusing and tragic, this is a definite, very adult, Christmas must-see.
Festive Factor: GGG

It’s A Wonderful Life

Directed by: Frank Capra (1946)
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Why We Love It: Can 48,000 people really be that wrong? Sky Movies viewers voted in their thousands for the film they’re most likely to tune into on Christmas day, and Frank Capra’s classic drama came out on top. Starring the iconic James Stewart and the glamorous Donna Reed, it tells the tale of George Bailey – a man driven to the brink of suicide on Christmas Eve before an intervention by his guardian angel gives him a new perspective on life. What can we say, it’s a classic…
Festive Factor: GGGG

White Christmas

Directed by: Michael Curitz(1954)
Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney
Why We Love It: Could you get any more festive than this legendary black and white movie which features (arguably) the most well-known Christmas song of all? We doubt it. After leaving the army, two friends team up to be a song-and-dance act. They meet two good looking sisters who – uncannily – just so happen be a song-and-dance act as well. Together, the foursome travel to a winter lodge to perform a Christmas show, only to find that it’s owned by the two friend’s former army general – a series of thigh-slapping incidents ensue.
Festive Factor:GGGGG

The Holiday

Directed by: Nancy Meyers (2006)
Starring: Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black
Why We Love It: Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black! Could there be a better cast for a Christmas rom-com? You have to watch it purely for the amazing chemistry between Jude and Cam. Oh and for the scene where Ms Diaz runs rather fast in the snow – wearing heels! Cam, we salute you!
Festive Factor: GGGG

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Directed by: Henry Selick (1993)
Starring:Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
Why We Love It: Far from the usual cheer and frivolities, Tim Burton’s eerily animated tale The Nightmare Before Christmas puts a slightly darker spin on Christmas. A fantasy town filled with ghosts, ghouls and deformed monsters look forward to a frightful Halloween celebration every year, as put on by their master of ceremonies, Jack Skellington. One day, in search of something a little different, Jack wonders out of a portal and stumbles upon Christmas Town. But when he brings his new-found knowledge of snow, tinsel and wholesomeness back to Halloween Town, the residents are less than impressed with his findings…
Festive Factor: GGGG

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Directed by: Brian Henson (1992)
Starring:Michael Caine, Kermit The Frog, Gonzo The Great, Miss Piggy
Why We Love It: A film adaptation of a classic Dickens novel, in which Charles Dickens is played by Gonzo The Great, Ebenezer Scrooge by Michael Caine and Bob Cratchit by Kermit The Frog? You know it’s going to be amazing before it even starts. Heart-warming, fun, festive and family-friendly, this is by far one of our favourite Christmas movies – ever!
Festive Factor: GGGGG

The Chronicles Of Narnia

Directed by: Andrew Adamson and Michael Apted (2005)
Starring: Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, Ray Winstone, Dawn French
Why We Love It: In particular, the film adaptation of C. S Lewis’s fantasy novel, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, has snowy landscapes, ice queens, Turkish delights and friendly, talking animals. If you do find anything less than festive about this epic children’s adventure, please let us know – we’re yet to discover anything ourselves!
Festive Factor: GGGGG


Directed by: Joe Dante (1984)
Starring: Hoyt Axton, Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates
Why We Love It: Think that knitted woolly your Gran gave you for Christmas was bad? Just be grateful you didn’t wind up with a mischievous Gremlin as a gift. This hilarious and terrifying horror-comedy tells the story of a young boy who receives a super-cute Mogwai pet as a present. However, he misreads the care instructions, and it soon spawns smaller, evil creatures that turn into green destructive monsters. We love this movie for all its 80s ridiculousness and humour – preferably viewed with a glass of something festive and a cushion to hide behind.
Festive Factor: GGG

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Directed by: Sharon Maguire(2001)
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
Why We Love It: While we’re on the theme of festive, English, slightly squirmy rom-coms, here’s another one of our Christmas favourites – Bridget Jones’s Diary. Adapted for screen from Helen Fielding’s popular chick-lit novel of the same name – a loosely modern tale of Jane Austin’s Classic Pride and Prejudice – the film follows the love and life of English heroin and broadcast journalist Bridget Jones. Super-girly, but definitely worth convincing your dad to sit through…
Festive Factor:GGGGG

Edward Scissorhands
Directed by: Tim Burton (1990)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder
Why We Love It: Once again bringing a darker, more twisted tale to a festively-themed film, Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands is the story of a gentle but artificial boy who – no prizes for guessing – has scissors for hands. He is taken in by an ordinary, suburban family and falls in love with a teenage girl called Kim. Some are impressed by his hair-cutting and hedge-trimming skills, but others in the community fear him and plot to get rid. Tragic, eerie and captivating to the last, this is our top pick if you’re after something a little bit different to occupy your time this Christmas.
Festive Factor: GGG

Eyes Wide Shut

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick(1999)
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise
Why We Love It: This was Stanley Kubrick’s very last film, and, as expected, is very adult and a tad strange so definitely not one to stick on for the family. Set in New York, it features the life of Dr. Bill Harford and his wife. His image of his perfect marriage is shattered when his wife confesses to being tempted by an affair, prompting the Doctor to escape out into the Manhattan night, where he is confronted with a different, more hedonistic way of life. It’s not strictly a Christmas movie, but there is a festive scene at the start, and we reckon that’s got to count for something (surely? ! ).
Festive Factor: GG


Directed by: Jon Favreau(2003)
Starring: Will Ferrell
Why We Love It: From the sort-of-seasonal, to the couldn’t-get-more-Christmassy if you tied it up in a bow and stuck it under the tree, here’s a little number for all the Ferrell fans out there. Predictably ridiculous, this film tells the story of an oversized helper who reaps havoc on his Elf community because of his unusual height and is sent packing to America to discover his true identity. If you’re looking to escape the serious and sane, this may just be silly enough for you.
Festive Factor: GGGGG

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone

Directed by: Chris Columbus(2001)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Why We Love It: Again, not a Christmas film as such, but one that makes us feel unmistakably festive all the same – perhaps it’s all that cold weather and magic? Based on JK Rowling’s first book in the series, The Philosopher’s Stone sees a young Harry Potter rescued from the clutches of his negligent aunty and uncle, and transported off to Hogwarts – a school for wizards and witches. We defy any child not to be transfixed by this – or adult, for that matter.
Festive Factor: GGG


Directed by: Richard Donner (1988)
Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen
Why We Love It: If you’re not allowed to watch Bill Murray movies at Christmas, when are you? A modern twist on the classic Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol , Murray plays a selfish TV executive who gets haunted by three spirits on Christmas Eve and forced to face a few home truths about his life of greed and excess. You know how the rest of the story goes…
Festive Factor: GGGG

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Directed by: Ron Howard(2000)
Starring: Jim Carey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor
Why We Love It: So, who wants to see Taylor Momsen sans panda eye make-up, stripper shoes and hold-ups? The former Gossip Girl star had her big break at the tender age of ten playing Cindy Lou Who in this freaky film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s children’s book. Jim Carey plays the (frankly terrifying) Grinch, who plots and plans to steal Christmas from the mythical and happy land of Whoville. Worth a look, if only to marvel at the Momsen before and after.
Festive Factor: GGGG

Die Hard

Directed by: John McTiernan (1988)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman
Why We Love It: Christmas won’t be Christmas without spending quality time with Bruce Willis as John McClane in his ripped and bloody vest, leaping over broken glass and taking out the bad guys. Yippie-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker! (that means Merry Christmas everyone!
Festive Factor: GGG

The Polar Express

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis (2004)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola
Why We Love It: A little boy who struggles with the notion of Christmas is whisked aboard a magical train heading to the North Pole where he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that, well, basically proves Santa is real. Ok?
Festive Factor: GGGG

The Santa Clause

Directed by: John Pasquin (1994)
Starring: Tim Allen and Wendy Crewson
Why We Love It: Tim Allen ends up taking on the (greatest) role of (secret) Santa and has to try and hide it from his friends and family. His physical transformation into Santa is just too damn Christmassy for words.
Festive Factor: GGGG

The Snowman

Directed by: Dianne Jackson and Jimmy T. Murakami (1982)
Starring: David Bowie and Raymond Briggs
Why We Love It: A British childhood classic that will have you smiling and weeping simultaneously. This animated story tells the tale of a boy who’s snowman comes to life one night. Famously featuring the vocal skills of Aled Jones, if ‘we’re walking in the air’ doesn’t get you – nothing will.
Festive Factor: GGGGG

About a Boy

Directed by: Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz (2002)
Starring: Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult
Why We Love It:Hugh Grant plays footloose and fancy-free Wil who invents a ’son’ to pick up women. He inadventantly inherits a 12 year old boy and their developing relationships is emotionally. And Christmassy.
Festive Factor: GGG

Arthur Christmas

Directed by: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook (2011)
Starring: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy.
Why We Love It: Several generations of the Santa dynasty are at odds as to whether the old school method of reindeer, sleighs and a sprinkle of magic or high spec ship are the best methods of delivery on Christmas Eve. Enter young Arthur who likes the old school method and is determined to make sure one little girl gets her present. A brilliant, super Christmassy animation.
Festive Factor: GGG

A Christmas Carol

Directed by: Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz (1938)
Starring: Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart and Kathleen Lockhart
Why We Love It: A Christmas classic from the master of Christmas himself Charles Dickens. The story of a grumpy, ungrateful man that gets a visit from the ghost of past, present and future, and has the opportunity to mend his ways.
Festive Factor: GGGGG

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Directed by: Jeremiah Chechik (1989)
Starring: John Hughes
Why We Love It:
Festive Factor: GGGG
Ahhh the Griswolds! Take a joinery with America’s first family and discover the true meaning of Christmas. Sort of.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *