Christmas is nearly here, so it's time to do that final countdown to the best holiday movies around. From the traditional to the new and even to the unconvential, we've got it all. Here are our top 5 Christmas movies this holiday season:
1. “Love Actually”
“Love Actually” is something of a modern classic, and a cult one at that. Though it wasn’t universally praised upon its release, the film has found new life in its numerous re-airings around the holidays. Starring Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley and more, the movie predates all the other vignette-style holiday movies to make – as the tagline suggests – the “ultimate romantic comedy.” And if it’s all a little too sweet, check out the hilarious “Love Actually 2” trailer parody, but be warned that things get a bit violent.
2. “Home Alone”
“Home Alone” is one of those movies that you have to stop and watch every time it’s on TV. Starring an adorably precocious Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, the story follows a young boy who gets – you guessed it – left home alone around the holidays. Yet when a pair of goofy robbers (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) attempts to burglarize the place, Kevin has to save the day using his wits, his train set and a Michael Jordan cardboard cutout. The film is filled with iconic moments, from Kevin’s trademark scream to the unbeatable “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” moment.
Another contemporary masterpiece, Will Ferrell shines Buddy, who realizes a bit late that despite being raised by elves at the North Pole, he is in fact a human. On his quest to find his father (James Caan), he discovers a toy store, where he meets the beautiful Jovie (a pre-“New Girl” Zooey Deschanel). Buddy may pour syrup on pancakes and take gum off the street, but he’s certainly smart enough to still believe in the magic of Santa and to share that joy with those he loves.
4. “It’s a Wonderful Life”
No Christmas movie list would be complete without this Frank Capra classic. Though it has been emulated year after year in movies and TV shows, nothing can touch the original story of George Bailey. The 1946 film starred Jimmy Stewart as George and Donna Reed as his wife. After a near-death experience, George is visited by his guardian angel, who shows him what life would be like had he never been born. Not only is it considered one of the best Christmas films of all time, it is widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest movies ever made.
5. “Bad Santa”
Though it might seem like an odd choice for a list of top Christmas flicks, but the raunchily hilarious “Bad Santa” has it all: a hard-drinking Billy Bob Thornton, a daffy little boy named Thurman Murman and whole lotta heart. That last one might surprise you, but with a charming turn from “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham as his love interest, you’ll find yourself rooting for Thornton, even as he plans to rob a shopping mall at Christmastime. If you find “Bad Santa” surprisingly hilarious, there’s good news, because a sequel is in the works.
Disagree? Weigh in with your list in the comments!