10 Must-Watch Christmas Movies


Madison Choi

With Dec. 25 quickly approaching, it’s time to count down to Christmas with these 10 movies.

Brew a cup of hot chocolate, light a candle, and snuggle up to your loved ones because it’s Christmas movie-watching season. Below are the 10 best Christmas films from great to greatest.

“Just Friends” (2005) – Although it is almost unimaginable that Hollywood hottie Ryan Reynolds would ever have trouble with the ladies – cue entrance of ex-wife Scarlett Johansson and current wife Blake Lively – he depicts the agony of being friend zoned in the most hilarious, heart-wrenching, and relatable way. Reynolds’ character Chris Bradner evolves from overweight, self-conscious teen to confident hunk, and is forced to return home for the holidays. He must then confront his high school love and former best friend, played by Amy Smart.

“Four Christmases” (2008) – The best and the worst part about Christmas is reuniting with family. They are the only people in the world that you can love and hate simultaneously. Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn’s characters endure the treacherous terrain that is visiting family over the holidays.

“The Holiday” (2006) – The holidays are dedicated to spending time with loved ones and prove to be difficult for singles. This film – starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black – demonstrates that while the holidays can make the yearning for a special someone even more prevalent, it is a magical time to take chances and make new connections.

“Christmas with the Kranks” (2004) – I’ve always wondered what my parents would do for the holidays if they were empty nesters and I wasn’t a permanent squatter in their home until “Christmas with the Kranks” gave me a possible answer. The comedy, featuring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, tells the story of an older married couple’s desire to forego the headaches involved in making Christmas special with their daughter out of the house for the first time.

“While You Were Sleeping” (1995) – This gem of a throwback, featuring a young Sandra Bullock, is a film I’m sure your mom and dad would be thrilled to watch with you. Bullock’s character Lucy, a ticket collector at a train station, has loved a handsome commuter from afar for years. When he gets mugged and is pushed unconscious onto the train tracks, Lucy saves him and tells the hospital nurse that she is his fiancée. Accepted by the handsome stranger’s family with a warm welcome, the orphaned Lucy hesitates to tell the truth in the midst of the communal holiday season.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000) – As a child, I thought this movie was garbage. As an adult, I realize that the Grinch is my spirit animal. While the deformed Whos still chills me to the bone with fear, the Grinch’s pessimistic view of life and the frivolities of Christmas is one I relate to on a spiritual level.

“The Polar Express” (2004) – In stark contrast to the previous film, “The Polar Express” excites the hope and belief synonymous with childhood. Every Christmas Eve since watching this movie, I’ve hoped the Polar Express will stop by my house and take me to the North Pole to meet Santa.

“The Santa Clause” (1994) – A Christmas movie classic in my book, “The Santa Clause” is the perfect combination of humorous and poignant. This is the film that taught me how the Santa thing really works. Although as I child I suffered from the initial horror that Santa can in fact die, Tim Allen quickly won my heart and I was readily convinced he was probably better than the last guy.

“Elf” (2003) – Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf is comedic gold in this highly quotable Christmas movie. The film follows Buddy’s journey into New York City to find his biological father and shows the rough and tumble city through his innocent eyes.

“Love Actually” (2003) – Never has any film been more star-studded or a more successful amalgam of storylines than “Love Actually.” The movie, starring Colin Firth, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Emma Thomson, and Liam Neeson, could easily be mistaken for an awards show for celebrated actors. “Love Actually” proves that love, the most important part of Christmas, takes many shapes and forms.

Dec. 25 is quickly approaching so get yourself into the Christmas spirit and check these must-watch movies off your holiday to-do list.