The Top 20 Holiday Movies, According to Noovie Fans

There are lots of different movies (and genres) to ring in the winter holidays. These are the top 20 holiday movies, according to Noovie users, to watch right now.

Chuck Walton

By Chuck Walton

Ranked the Top 20 Christmas Movies A Christmas Story

(c) MGM/UA Entertainment Co. Courtesy of Everett.

Just in time for Christmas week, we've tabulated your Noovie votes for the top 20 holiday movies via our social media showdowns, and ranked them all together here, counting down to number one.

Which one's the hottest to keep things warm around your home entertainment system? Or even better, to rent out a local theater and watch with friends and fam (in case you've already seen "Spider-Man: No Way Home" multiple times)? See below, and take in the best holiday movie spirit.

20 / Bad Santa (2003)

A favorite amongst the "bah humbug" crowd, this anti-Christmas classic directed by Terry Zwigoff stars Billy Bob Thornton as the title character, a man who's definitely not inclined to deliver gifts or good cheer to your little ones. If you're looking for a drinking partner or a partner to rob the local department store, though, he's your guy.

Bad Santa Poster

Bad Santa

R

Holiday

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19 / Four Christmases (2008)

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon stand in for all of us couples without kids but plenty of local relatives in different households. This one's a relatable and hilarious rom com about the things we enjoy and dread about the family get-togethers at the holidays.

Four Christmases Poster

Four Christmases

PG-13

Holiday

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18 / Scrooged (1988)

Long before he was nominated for Oscars in movies like "Lost in Translation," Bill Murray was content to coast on his easy comic charms in stuff like "Scrooged," an '80s version of "A Christmas Carol," which finds Murray's snarky tv executive being visited by ghosts determined to change his ways during the "greed is good" decade.

Scrooged Poster

Scrooged

PG-13

Holiday

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17 / It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Our Noovie audience ranks "It's a Wonderful Life" a little bit lower than traditional holiday movie cineastes. But it still lands in the top 20, and, whether you've seen it one or 100 times, its hard-earned ending still draws a tear. Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey, and his journey from bitterness to gratitude, is one for the record books.

It's a Wonderful Life Poster

It's a Wonderful Life

PG

Holiday

January 7, 1946

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16 / Happiest Season (2020)

Looking for a recent gem? This one, starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, is a 2020 winner that finds the two actresses as a loving couple dealing with their own challenges at the family holiday…including the reality the family doesn't know they're a couple.

Happiest Season Poster

Happiest Season

PG-13

Comedy

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15 / Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

"Top Gun's" Iceman. The MCU's Iron Man. And a Los Angeles murder mystery. While it doesn't sound like a Christmas movie…well, no one originally thought "Die Hard" was one, either. What this fun flick from "Iron Man 3" director Shane Black offers is the holiday time of year in the City of Angels, and lots of awesome interplay between Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of the team.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang Poster

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

R

Mystery

November 11, 2005

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14 / The Night Before (2015)

Another recent holiday classic, "The Night Before" finds the likeable trio of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie spending one last Christmas Eve together in their annual adventure, this time before the inevitability of adulthood. Thanks to them, you can live out some outrageousness vicariously.

The Night Before Poster

The Night Before

R

Holiday

November 20, 2015

13 / Love Actually (2003)

All-star cast? Check. Multiple storylines, heartbreaking and hilarious? Check. Meet cutes at doorway and airport? Got 'em. Plus, a soundtrack chockfull of greatness? No problem. Love actually? Love actually.

Love Actually Poster

Love Actually

R

Holiday

November 26, 2003

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12 / The Grinch (2018)

There's lots of versions of "The Grinch" to choose from, but our users went with the 2018 edition, featuring the amazing Benedict Cumberbatch as the animated green and grouchy grinch. He's still a mean one…but we love him anyways.

The Grinch Poster

The Grinch

PG

Animated

November 9, 2018

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11 / The Polar Express (2004)

It was one of the first full CGI holiday films. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and featuring Tom Hanks as multiple characters, it's still a Christmas marvel. While computer animation has improved in the years since, the film's antiquated visuals make it feel holiday appropriate.

The Polar Express Poster

The Polar Express

G

Animated

November 10, 2004

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10 / A Christmas Story (1983)

You may shoot your eye out with the thing, but the timeless story of Ralphie's quest for a Red Ryder B.B. Gun never gets old. Having the movie on in the background in TNT's marathon viewings is a tradition itself.

A Christmas Story Poster

A Christmas Story

PG

Comedy

November 18, 1983

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9 / The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Halloween or Christmas, Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" works both as a jolly dark fantasy and a shadowy, ultimately warm-hearted story about mischief maker Jack Skellington's obsession with Christmas Town.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Poster

The Nightmare Before Christmas

PG

Animated

October 29, 1993

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8 / Gremlins (1984)

Another unorthodox selection making the Noovie top ten is Joe Dante's monster movie "Gremlins." Enjoy with your eggnog, but remember the rules – no sunlight, no water, and no food after midnight.

Gremlins Poster

Gremlins

PG

Comedy

June 8, 1984

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7 / The Santa Clause (1994)

Tim Allen actually has two iconic movie characters to his name - Buzz Lightyear and this guy. Originally just a toy salesman named Scott, Allen's character becomes the next Claus himself when the original has an accident, and Scott assumes the mantle – for this and two sequels.

The Santa Clause Poster

The Santa Clause

PG

Comedy

November 11, 1994

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6 / Jingle All the Way (1996)

In the realm of harmless holiday movies that Millennials may recall, "Jingle All the Way" ranks high on Noovie lists. Sort of the last hurrah for Schwarzenegger comedies that made a bundle, it's an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink comedy that finds Arnold and Sinbad chasing down the last Turbo-Man toy in town.

Jingle All the Way Poster

Jingle All the Way

PG

Comedy

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5 / Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Technically, it's a tv show special, not a movie, but who's counting? For movie and tv and holiday fans the world over, Rudolph truly is the most famous reindeer of all.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Poster

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Animated

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4 / Die Hard (1988)

We happily agree with Noovie voters that yes, "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. The tunes, the holiday party setting, and the theme of family making it home after adversity (terrorists here) make it perfect viewing for a Christmas party – as long as it's R-rating approved.

Die Hard Poster

Die Hard

R

Action

July 15, 1988

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3 / National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

A staycation with the Griswolds makes for the ultimate family statement. What's more fun when it's cold out than seeing Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold literally get lit up with Christmas lights. He and his Cousin Eddie are primed to keep things jolly through to the new year.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Poster

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

PG-13

Holiday

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2 / Home Alone (1990)

Macaulay Culkin is a holiday legend as Kevin McAllister, the kid left home alone after his family inadvertently leaves him behind on their Christmas vacation to Paris. No matter. Kevin lets us all enjoy the household on his own, especially when he becomes the hero evading would-be house robbers and slapstick villains Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

Home Alone Poster

Home Alone

PG

Holiday

November 16, 1990

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1 / Elf (2003)

And number one according to our Noovie users is…Will Ferrell in "Elf," directed by future "Iron Man" creator Jon Favreau. The Christmas story, which finds Ferrell's adopted elf seeking his human dad in the Big Apple, is a warm-hearted bear hug of a holiday movie. It's classic and modern in its knowing take on Hollywood formula. Whether you're 8, 18 or 80, it's a movie gift worth watching.

Elf Poster

Elf

PG

Comedy

November 7, 2003

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Chuck Walton

Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.

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