There have been more Christmas movies than can be counted, but we thought we would take a look at some of the best of all-time. In this fifth and final part of a five-part series, we're going to offer up our picks for the best Christmas movies of:
I cheated a bit and also expanded this list to include streaming releases (not just theatrical releases) given the pandemic of 2020.
Here then, are the 10 Best Christmas movies from 2010 through today!
10. "The Best Man Holiday" (2013)
A Christmas sequel to the 1999 film "The Best Man," this is a conventional holiday comedy that thrives on the strong performances from its ensemble. Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Monica Calhoun to name a few. It's just heart-warming enough to make the list.
9. "Arthur Christmas" (2011)
A computer glitch leaves a young child without a Christmas gift, and it's up to Santa's youngest son Arthur to save her Christmas. There is enough Christmas heart and magic in the characters and what the film says about modern commercialization of Christmas to make this an enjoyable, if not too memorable holiday romp. Read our full review.
8. "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" (2011)
A 3D Christmas movie? OK! The beloved stoners Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) set out on a Christmas adventure in this, their third feature film.
7. "The Night Before" (2015)
This Seth Rogen comedy is the most recent film to be included on this list. Rogen stars alongside Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as three friends who reunite each Christmas Eve. As would be expected from Seth Rogen, the plot also revolves around marijuana. But this is a funny and off-the-cuff Christmas story, if not an "all-time classic."
6. "The Christmas Chronicles" (2018)
Real-life couple Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn star as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and prove to be an endearing pair on-screen as well as off. Two children sneak a ride on Santa's sleigh, and need to help Santa deliver his toys by Christmas morning. It spawned a 2020 sequel and was originally viewed by over 20 million households in its initial week of release on Netflix, making this a modern Christmas classic for a whole new generation of children and parents alike.
5. "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey" (2020)
This musical hit Netflix in November of 2020, and was surprisingly effective. Featuring an all-star cast (Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad and Hugh Bonneville, to name a few), this film has some great musical numbers and more importantly, is the rare family-holiday film featuring non-white and under-represented actors. It's uplifting and joyous, with some great production value to boot...it's definitely a film that I believe will deserve an annual re-watch during Christmases to come.
4. "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" (2010)
You've probably never seen or heard of this (kudos if you have), having only grossed 4 million stateside, but you should seek it out this Christmas. It's a Finnish movie starring no one you've ever seen before, and it mixes tongue-in-cheek humor with dark fantasy horror. Roger Ebert called this movie "a rather brilliant lump of coal for your stocking" and a "superior horror film." He concluded, "this is an exemplary horror film, apart from the detail that they're not usually subtitled A Christmas Tale and tell about terrifying wild Santas." Intrigued?
3. "Happiest Season" (2020)
What a delight. It's a modern Christmas classic celebrating inclusion and tolerance, but best of all, it's downright funny. Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis star as lesbian couple Abby and Harper, who come back to visit Harper's family for Christmas...but oopsies, Harper has yet to come out to her family, so Abby is forced to play along as her roommate. The premise and structure are a bit conventional, but there are laughs galore, especially from Dan Levy and the rest of the impressive cast, also featuring Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Mary Holland and Alison Brie. It's a Christmas movie for our time. Read the full review here.
2. "Fatman" (2020)
Mel Gibson as Santa? That elevator pitch alone had me sold, but "Fatman" will stand as maybe one of the more inventive take on the Christmas holiday that you'll ever find. A spoiled brat kid hires a hitman (played deliciously by Walton Goggins) to find and kill Santa after he receives a lump of coal for Christmas. Christmas traditions and clichés are honored, and much of it plays like a tongue-in-cheek grindhouse film, but this "Fatman" is a version of Old Saint Nick you can believe in, featuring a few sequences that you won't believe (in a good way).
1. "Klaus" (2019)
A beautiful, touching animated film from Spain, "Klaus" landed on Netflix around Christmas 2019 without much fanfare (it was in fact the very first original animated feature released on Netflix). Featuring the voice-talents of Jason Schwartzman, JK Simmons, Rashida Jones, Norm Macdonald, Joan Cusack and Will Sasso, it tells an alternate origin story of what would come to be known as Santa Claus. "Klaus" did earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Film, and deservedly so. Maybe more so than any other Christmas film, this movie feels original...not derived or based on pre-existing beliefs or imagery involving the holidays. It's magical, funny and heart-warming and like the very best Christmas films, it will undoubtedly stand the test of time.
Agree or disagree with this list? Comment below! And be sure to check out the rest of our BEST OF CHRISTMAS Lists (links at the top of article!)
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