5 of the best Christmas movies ever: The top festive films of all time
5. The Snowman
This beautiful adaptation of Raymond Briggs’s book ruined a million childhoods. It manages to capture the wonder of Christmas, telling the story of a young boy and his friendship with a snowman, before shattering out hearts into a million pieces with it’s sobworthy ending. The instantly recognisable score was actually performed by chorister Peter Auty in the original, though Aled Jones released a version of the song three years later which made him a star at the age of 11.
4. Home Alone
In many ways, Home Alone is the ultimate Christmas kids’ film. The movie has been parodied and copied hundreds of times, but the original has never been bettered. Also, the fact that Joe Pesci starred in both Home Alone and Goodfellas in 1990 is pretty amazing in itself, and seeing him trying to get through a kids’ film without swearing as the villainous home invader Harry Lime is enough of a reason to give it a watch.
3. Miracle on 34th Street
Richard Attenborough’s Miracle on 34th Street from 1994 is a rare example of a Christmas remake that does the original justice. While the 1947 film is rightly regarded as a festive classic, the remake added a new sense of wonder and warmth to the classic story and brought it to a new generation of fans. It also marked the first film role for prolific child star Mara Wilson, who played the lead in Matilda a year later.
2. Die Hard
Is it a Christmas film? We say yes. Bruce Willis plays New York cop John McClane, a man forced to fight off German terrorists when they take over a Los Angeles skyscraper on December 24. As well as Willis’s depiction of all-American everyman McClane, the film features one of the finest movie bad guys of all time in Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber (who's only marginally more evil than Rickman's other Christmas turn, in Love, Actually).
1. It’s a Wonderful Life
They don’t come better than this: It’s a Wonderful Life is the best Christmas movie ever made. The 1946 film focuses on George Bailey, a man struggling to balance failing finances with an unhappy home life. After travelling to a bridge with the intention of ending his life, he encounters Clarence, his guardian angel, who gradually reminds George of all the joy, love and happiness in his life. It’s life-affirming, even after too much turkey and a 3pm nap.