Christmas movies decorate our Christmas just as much as the bells, candles, and carols.
They add this extra flavor of emotions and thrills of holiday mood.
Thus, choosing the best Christmas movies will escalate the holiday mood to new levels.
Like the Santa Clouse himself. I have a sack full of great Christmas movies from rom coms to animated movies to all-time Christmas classics.
Since this year will not include trips to the Caribbean, perhaps not even to the festive market. Prepare your favorite Christmas cocktail and cozy up to enjoy the best Christmas movies.
So, I invite you on a journey into the world of Tim Burtons’ Nightmare Before Christmas. Feel the wrath of Cindee from Tangerine. And experience the love as strong as Carols’ and dance with the four sisters in the Meet me in St Louis.
Best Christmas Movies: Carol
Director: Todd Haynes
Writers: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel)
Stars: Jodie Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
Carol came out in 2015 under the direction of Todd Hynes. Phyllis Nagy wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith.
Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) an aspiring photographer encounters Carol (Cate Blanchet) who is going through a divorce from her husband. The women develop feelings for each other that have consequences as the movie is based in the 50s.
Analysis of every single detail of the movie. If mirrored, would only show us how much fastidious attention was wasted on every single scene. From script to dialogue, to meticulously designed set, production, and costumes. Carol whispers to us how much Haynes loves this movie.
The colorful photography and the gritty expressionist shots represent the period in its fullest context. The orchestration of this gorgeous picture with excellent in-tune music score makes for one intense viewing experience.
Even as a straight man. Especially as one. Watching the kissing scene exploded the neurons and dopamine receptors in my brain. The chemistry between the characters delivers emotions without a word. The way they communicate covertly gazing at each other takes you inside their passionate love and conquers your heart in one scene, just as love conquers all.
Stellar performances from both actresses and even the supporting roles and secondary characters stand out as being top-notch.
Carol is a movie that moves at a subtle pace and steals your heart away subtly. While you are so deeply enjoying and digesting every elegantly crafted scene. Set in the time with defined gender roles post-war depression. This illuminating love story portrays more than just a love story but the whole period in full quintessence.
I loved the movie for its message and for its every shot, for every unspoken word. It is one of the best Christmas movies to watch..
Popular Christmas Movies: Holiday Inn
Director: Mark Sandrich, Robert Allen (uncredited)
Writers: Claude Binyon (screenplay), Elmer Rice (adaptation)
Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds
1942’s Mark Sandrich-directed Holiday Inn, Claude Binyon-written, Irving Berlin’s musical is an all-time Christmas Classic. Features the biggest stars of the 1940s: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds.
Holiday Inn is just one of the earliest examples of feel-good movies. It does not try to teach or preach you anything, it just be-s in a sense. Just being sometimes is enough. For the period the film came out, it’s the only intention was to only uplift people.
I must say it achieved more than that, making generations of people feel good even generations later. This one of the Christmas movies, although in black and white delivers colorful emotions of the love triangle. Having the best actors of that time coupled with one of the best composers of all time, could not have done it any better.
Yes, there are some controversial scenes, depending on how politically correct you want to be.
This is a movie that just celebrates holidays. In that, it is the truest expression of holiday traditions.
Impeccable production and acting and of course the music score are all over the movie. The energy of the movie is infectious and transferable even through the screen.
You probably only heard about those geniuses only from the words of your elders. And this movie is the proof of their praise if of course, your elders praised them.
Watching older movies seems to me as if those movies had better actors. I am not saying contemporary actors cannot act. But it is just they were able to deliver so much with just their facial expressions.
As an example of Marjorie Reynolds. You feel the empathy and the sadness in her eyes when she sings the white Christmas song. Or the easter ride on a carriage her eyes tell more than her words.
Famous Christmas Movies: The Shop Around Corner
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Writers: Samson Raphaelson (screenplay), Miklós László (based on a play by) (as Nikolaus Laszlo)
Stars: Jodie Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan
The Shop Around Corner is Ernst Lubitsch’s legendary Christmas adjacent classic.
The screenplay is written by Samson Raphaelson based on the play by Miklos Laszlo. Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, and Frank Morgan play the main cast. This movie’s central point is about that exclusive retail experience.
The plot revolves around two shop employees who are constantly at odds with each other. They both exchange letters with their pen pal after work. Little do they know about the true identity of the person behind the letters. It comes to an interesting and intense conclusion when they find out.
This movie has one of the best meet-cutes ever shot on screen. You know, the kind when both don’t like each other at first and exchange unpleasantries instead of the other way around.
Through this complicated love story, the movie tells the story of a society at its brink. This movie is of high personal importance to Lubitsch who himself has a central European background. It is incredible how he was able to build a mini world of a shop. Yet address the problems of the century from that small intimate world.
The characters in this movie all have their important role and place for the plot and are all three dimensional. It is as easy to root for the supporting roles as it is, for the main cast.
The Shop Around Corner leaves one asking the ultimate question that people always ask.
Should love has to go through conflict and misunderstanding ?
Although the movie answers this just like any other romantic comedy would: positively. The audience is left to wonder if it is the case in real life.
Top Christmas Movies: Tangerine
Director: Sean Baker
Writers: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Stars: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian
Directed and written by Sean Baker, Tangerine takes place in a small corner of LA. features actors like Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian. It’s about two transgender sex workers.
Sin Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriquez) after hearing her boyfriend who is her pimp at the same time cheated on her. Sets out on a mission to teach them a lesson with her friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor)
It does not look like a movie shot on iPhone, for it looks just as amazing as it was shot with professional cameras. They were especially able to capture the ambiance of the town in a much more realistic fashion. The realism in this movie conveyed unlike any other movie out there.
Everything about the movie, even the locations are so accurate one would not doubt its correctness for a sec. Yet, it has such a big heart and affectionate it is. That it is not a judgemental movie toward those sex workers.
It is a deep-dive into the lives of those people. It’s like a day in the life of sex workers in Santa Monica’s corner. I just love how loud it speaks with the banalest speech. Bright it shines, most of all ends with a bang. Raunchy, and salacious, its eroticism is much more elegant and better than some of those Hollywood blockbusters with big budgets.
In Christmas movies like this, location plays a big role. Apart from that, how you deliver the location-specific events into the big screen. Sean Baker does this best. If you watched any of his previous movies you already know how talented and genius he is.
He is proof that to make an influential piece of a flick you do not need a big budget.
Good Christmas Movies: Metropolitan
Director: Whit Stillman
Writers: Whit Stillman
Stars: Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Chris Eigeman
Metropolitan was directed and written by Whit Stillman, features fresh actors like Carolyn, Farina, Edward Clements, Chris Eigeman. It is about a group of friends who gather in upper-class Manhattan apartments to discuss various topics that seem too clever for their age.
When an interloper joins this group of friends, things start to change. As the new joiner has critical views of things they usually discuss.
I am a sucker for good dialogue. And this movie is full of it. So, as you could guess, this is exactly the type of movie for people like me.
Metropolitan is way more than that. It is not just good dialogue. Its sophisticated characterization and layered and ethereal acting are what enables it. At times it seems like the characters joust with each other except with words instead of lances.
I found out during my research about Christmas movies that they had a small budget and an independent direction, also his debut in directing.
It is a cheap movie about expensive people. A class of young adults who have their own fears and doubts about adulthood and their future. While Metropolitan captures this aspect very well. The music adds these last bits of decorations and makes that deep-dive all the more heartfelt.
In a simple look, it is going to seem like not much happens in the movie. Yet much more happens than seems. This movie has this intimately personal feel to it. Although you might not be from that period or even class, you spend the during with them in their shoes.
It is one of those movies that prove; a group of talented enthusiasm can come together and bring out something incredibly wonderful. As good of a flick as any other Hollywood movie.
Christmas Movies To Watch: Nightmare Before Christmas
Director: Henry Selick
Writers: Tim Burton (story and characters), Michael McDowell (adaptation)
Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
This animated masterpiece’s story is obviously from Tim Burton. But it is directed by Henry Selick. Has voice over actors like Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara.
The king of Halloween town Jack Skellengton after growing tired of performing scares for people wanders off to a new town. This new town is Christmastown with which he falls in love so much that he abducts Santa.
Nightmare Before Christmas takes a lot from the German expressionist style of the set design of horror movies. The distorted buildings, warped, and twisted architecture of the atmosphere are all but signs of that early 19th-century expressionism.
Even though we are now used to seeing 3d animation movies all around. This came out in the 90s when the whole world was watching 2d movies. And its stop-animation, and the rich visuals, were the thing of the gods in the 90s in the Christmas movies.
This animation overall has a good message, as it is kids’ movie mainly. What it teaches us is something that parents do not have to worry about before showing it to their kids.
Apart from the animation, and the message, it has developed its characters very three-dimensionally. The screenplay and the writing stays on par with the characters that it is easy to watch and relate and simply enjoy the movie.
Above all, the music and its soundtracks touch the cords of the soul that you can’t help fall in love with this animation. It is not the perfect one but dams near perfection that are worth watching once every year.
Despite many good Christmas movies of the 90s. This is definitely one of the best Christmas movies of the 90s.
Great Christmas Movies: Little Women
Director: Greta Gerwig
Writers: Greta Gerwig (written for the screen by), Louisa May Alcott (based on the novel by)
Stars: Jodie Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh
Little Women 2019 is directed by Greta Gerwig and written by her based on the novel of Louisa May Alcott. Features stars like Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh. It’s about a group of young and ambitious women trying to make their dreams come true in an unwelcoming world and times.
Jo and other March sisters struggle to live life on their terms. The movie summarizes their struggles and challenges and tells the story through Jo’s perspective supported by other sisters.
There are movies whose central question you know from the get-go. For example, watching friends you want to know when the hell Rachel and Ross will finally get together.
However, watching Little Woman you realize. This central question is revealed to neither in the beginning nor in the end nor anywhere in between. It is simply not revealed to the conscious mind.
That keeps the audience asking it from themselves. This is this little technique of moviemaking that makes Little Women quite an engaging one of the Christmas movies.
The use of high contrast of colors to express the time in which the story is being told about.
The music score that encaptures the supposed feeling one is to have under. Along with the extraordinary yet realistic cinematography tells us the old all-familiar story with a bit of modern touch.
The story and the drama which made all the other adaptations or even the novel famous are still here. With the personal and passionate touch of Greta Gerwig. With this, she proves her first-ever debut Lady Bird was not just a lucky break. But a calculated action that won her the Oscar.
The jumps in the timeline, although beautifully shot and expressed through cinematography, can sometimes get complex and dangled that you find hard to understand.
Most Popular Christmas Movies: Meet Me in St Louis
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Writers: Irving Brecher (screen play), Fred F. Finklehoffe (screen play)
Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor
Vincente Minelli directed this rom-com musical of the previous century. Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finklehoffe wrote the screenplay for him starring Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor. The movie is about a family in the midwest at the turn of the century.
The plot is as basic as it gets. It is about a family with teenage daughters. The father has an offer to move to New York. But his daughters don’t want to move from St Louis to New York before this World’s Fair.
The first thing that caught my eyes watching this movie was that it is really a depiction of much simpler and innocent times. A movie that was merely going to be a distraction for the war times, ended up becoming one of the classics of the 19th century.
Technicolored classic was one of the first movies that successfully integrated the songs into its plot. This in fact is one of the aspects that made it more popular than the fact it is technicolor.
The acting of course was of the breakthrough quality. It is not enough to say it was colored or had popular songs and finish the review of Christmas movies
Because of the acting, especially of Margaret O’Brien, the 6 year of genius is still probably one of the only performances by a six-year-old that won an Oscar.
The filmmaker’s understanding of the emotions and emotional aspects that the movie and its songs try to convey is another one of these integral parts that made this movie a classic.
To be honest, this is not necessarily a Christmas movie. But it is an old classic musical with some damn good songs that, regardless, will be a good treat in the holiday times.
Christmas movies: Arthur Christmas
Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook (co-director)
Writers: Peter Baynham (screenplay), Sarah Smith (screenplay)
Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy
Arthur Christmas is directed by Sarah Smith and co-directed by Barry Cook. Written by Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith herself. It features voice-over actors like James, McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy.
One Christmas, they misplace a girl’s gift. Now, his younger son Arthur who believes in the spirit of giving decides to deliver that little girl her gift. Even though his elder brother who basically runs the operation is going to be against it.
It is crucial to start the review by saying that the visuals and the animation of this movie and the pacing of the animation, the camera angle which might be different in animated movies were spectacular.
But overall everything related to animation was, what was that adjective… incredible for lack of a better word. But to further elaborate, it is witty, smart, quick, excellent quality facilitates the story and the plot, and a fun, engaging experience.
The characters and character arc is so well developed. Now add a bit of British humor in there, you get a recipe for a perfect Christmas movie. I just love the old grandson character.
He is, in fact, against technology, thus does not like Steve, his older grandson who basically runs everything. While his father has become this Santa figure without much of anything.
The execution of The contrast of characters and their arc development within the plot is something that the movies have a hard time achieving. Yet this movie has it all; the characters, the story, the dialogue, the jokes, everything a movie enthusiasm would dream to have in one movie.
The sub-plot of tradition vs technology has been defined and laid out way better than most movies do with their main plot.
This is simply the best Christmas movie ever made from what I personally could gather.
This list of Christmas movies featured here are but some of the best examples of the movie that sends a good message. So, after watching these, you will start to believe in Santa Claus again.
Enjoy the awry and eerie Christmas with the trolls and zombies of Tim Burton, while dancing to the songs of the Meet Me in St Louis, you will understand this was the article that changed your life by offering you the absolute best Christmas has to offer.
Now, check out the best Halloween movies on Hulu or the best thriller movies to get back the frights of Halloween. Or You can also check out the best rom coms on Netflix to continue the love you have starting feeling toward a good cinema.