The 25 Most-Loved Holiday Movies


Christmas movies are a mixed bag, offering everything from heartwarming tales to cantankerous characters that aim to spoil the holidays with their plans. This results in a fun set of offerings that is perfect for every taste and any age.

To compile the list of the best holiday movies, PrettyFamous averaged critic ratings from Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, and Gracenote with user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb to come up with a comprehensive list of Christmas movies everyone will enjoy. If you're looking to celebrate the days leading up to the holidays with good seasonal favorites, we have your list here.

Note: Cumulative box office represents U.S. earnings only.

#25. Jingle All the Way

Release date: Nov. 16, 1996
Inflation cumulative box office: $91,497,500

It's a tale of two dads searching frantically for the elusive Turbo Man action figure, where each will go to incredible lengths to secure the toy for their children.

#24. Jack Frost

Release date: Dec. 11, 1998
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $50,228,000

This family drama-comedy features Michael Keaton, who dies in a car accident then returns a year later as a snowman to make up for lost time with his son.

#23. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas

Release date: Dec. 13, 2013
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $53,440,000

Madea goes country in this holiday comedy, when she helps her friend make a surprise visit to her daughter in a rural town.

#22. Fred Claus

Release date: Nov. 8, 2007
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $82,316,500

Sibling rivalry takes root when Santa's troublemaking brother, Fred Claus, comes to the North Pole to help him make toys. Adding further concerns for Santa is an efficiency expert that probes to see if Santa is doing a great job.

#21. Four Christmases

Release date: Nov. 26, 2008
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $132,243,000

Brad and Kate have a whirlwind Christmas when they must visit their four divorced parents.

#20. The Santa Clause 2

Release date: Nov. 1, 2002
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $183,416,000

As if Christmas isn't enough on Santa's to-do list, he discovers he must become married or risk losing his job as Santa.

#19. Ernest Saves Christmas

Release date: Nov. 11, 1988
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $56,220,000

Ernest is a bumbling man with a huge heart who wants to help Santa find his successor to keep Christmas going.

#18. Santa Claus

Release date: Nov. 29, 1985
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $51,966,300

Claus becomes Santa through the help of his friend Patch, an elf and expert toy maker. Patch buckles under the holiday demand and flees to New York City where he begins work for B.Z., a businessman that wants to take over Christmas.

#17. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Release date: Nov. 8, 2000
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $357,882,000

Jim Carrey plays the Grinch, a nasty creature whose intent is to ruin Christmas for the residents of Whoville.

#16. Scrooged

Release date: Nov. 23, 1988
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $116,516,000

Frank Cross, played by Bill Murray, is a brash T.V. executive visited by three ghosts: the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmas future, all of whom aim to teach Frank the true meaning of the holidays.

#15. The Holiday

Release date: Dec. 5, 2006
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $74,326,800

Iris and Amanda find each other on a house exchange website and decide to swap places in each's respective countries during the holidays, leading to them discovering their romantic partners.

#14. Miracle on 34th Street

Release date: Nov. 18, 1994
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $27,464,600

Six-year-old Susan has her faith in Santa Claus renewed when she encounters a department store Santa named Kris Kringle who claims he's the real thing; this leads Susan and a young lawyer on a crusade to prove Kris is the real Santa.

#13. The Polar Express

Release date:Nov. 6, 2004
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $228,232,000

A doubting young boy learns about the magic of Christmas and the power of friendship when he takes an amazing train ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express.

#12. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas

Release date: Nov. 04, 2011
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $36,912,200

After burning down Harold's father-in-law's Christmas tree, Harold and Kumar go on a goofy adventure through New York City on a quest to find the perfect replacement.

#11. This Christmas

Release date: Nov. 21, 2007
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $56,159,700

For the first time in four years, Ma'Dere Whitfield's family reunites during the holidays, where secrets emerge putting strain on relationships.

#10. The Santa Clause

Release date: Nov. 11, 1994
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $231,612,000

Advertising executive Scott Calvin inadvertently becomes Santa and must learn all the tricks and trades of the new job while struggling with his new identity; those struggles result in scrutiny from everyone he knows outside of his son, Charlie, who believes in him and encourages him, resulting in a heart-warming bond between him and his dad.

#9. Home Alone

Release date: Nov. 10, 1990
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $510,437,000

Kevin McCallister's family accidentally leaves him home alone during the holidays, when he encounters a bungling pair of burglars in Harry and Marv and makes them regret ever trying to break into his house.

#8. Elf

Release date: Nov. 07, 2003
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $223,323,000

Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a human raised by elves, who leaves the North Pole to find his father in New York City; Buddy's childlike curiosity in his new surroundings makes this a beautiful and silly tale of a man trying to discover his identity.

#7. Bad Santa

Release date: Nov. 26, 2003
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $77,356,800

Partners in crime, Willie and Marcus pose as Santa and his elf, respectively, at malls during the holidays to rob department stores; this plan works until Willie breaks down from emotional strain and an unexpected friendship with a small boy helps him develop compassion.

#6. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Release date: Dec. 10, 1992
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $46,072,400

The Muppets retell the Charles Dickens's story of Ebenezer Scrooge, injecting their personality along the way.

#5. Arthur Christmas

Release date: Nov. 11, 2011
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $48,930,600

Arthur is Santa's clumsy son tasked with delivering a forgotten present to a little girl before Christmas morning.

#4. Edward Scissorhands

Release date: Dec. 7, 1990
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $98,201,000

Edward, an isolated man with scissors for hands, tries to adapt when Peg brings him home to live with her family; the result is a struggle for Edward, whose gentleness and artistic talent is inspiring, but his hands keep people away.

#3. A Christmas Story

Release date: Nov. 18, 1983
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $20,605,209

A coming-of-age tale set in the 1940s where Ralph tries to convince everyone from his parents to his teacher that the perfect Christmas gift for him is a Red Ryder B.B. gun.

#2. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Release date: Oct. 29, 1993
Inflation adjusted cumulative box office: $123,046,000

Jack Skellington discovers Christmas Town and finds its holiday celebration so intriguing he tries to kidnap Santa Claus in hopes of taking over the role, but poor Jack discovers his plans are much more than he can handle.

#1. It's a Wonderful Life

Release date: Jan. 7, 1946

Frank Capra's classic centers on troubled George Bailey, whose anger and desperation provokes him to consider suicide until an angel, Clarence, shows George what life would be like if he didn't exist; this revelation gives George a new appreciation of life.

Research Top-Rated Films on PrettyFamous

#1. Rotten Tomatoes Scores for Christmas Movies


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions