(Photo by New Line, Warner Bros., Miramax, RKO, 20th Century Fox/ courtesy Everett Collection)
The Best Christmas Movies of All Time
From Home Alone and Elf to classics like Miracle on 34th Street, we’ve made our list of great holiday films and checked it at least twice. Now, to all you nice boys and girls out there, we present the Best Christmas Movies ever!
Christmas has come to represent different things to people over the years, and the movies here reflect that in kind. If you’re traditional and feeling nostalgic, you’ll be pleased to see where It’s A Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn made it on our list of top holiday films. If this time of the year reminds you of sitting around the TV, eagerly awaiting those annual specials, look out for A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There’s horror (Black Christmas), comedy (Trading Places), horror and comedy (Gremlins), and even a superhero covered in tinsel somewhere (Batman Returns). For those with an independent streak to celebrate, check out Tangerine and Carol. Meanwhile, Netflix has made great strides in the Kris Kringle quadrant with The Christmas Chronicles and Klaus. And if Christmas means traveling somewhere you don’t want to be, stuck in a building with people you don’t like, have we got the ultimate movie for you: Die Hard! Ho ho ho, now we have a complete list of great Christmas movies.
Wondering how we put this Christmas movie list together? Every movie on the list is Fresh and plays around with the spirit of Christmas and the holidays as a central theme. Then we sorted them all by our ranked formula, which factors in the movie’s release year its number of reviews, to make the ultimate list of holiday films that melted even the most cynical critics’ hearts.
Critics Consensus: While it's missing some of the magic of the original, The Christmas Chronicles 2 serves up a sweet second helping of holiday cheer that makes the most of its marvelously matched leads.
Synopsis: Teenager Kate Pierce is reunited with Santa Claus when a troublemaker threatens to cancel Christmas -- forever.... [More]
Critics Consensus:Krampus is gory good fun for fans of non-traditional holiday horror with a fondness for Joe Dante's B- movie classics, even if it doesn't have quite the savage bite its concept calls for.
Critics Consensus:Frosty the Snowman is a jolly, happy sing-along that will delight children with its crisp animation and affable title character, who makes an indelible impression with his corncob pipe, button nose, and eyes made out of coal.
Synopsis: A discarded magic top hat brings to life the snowman that a group of children made, until a magician, professor... [More]
Critics Consensus:The Night Before provokes enough belly laughs to qualify as a worthwhile addition to the list of Christmas comedies worth revisiting, even if it isn't quite as consistent as the classics.
Synopsis: For the last 10 years, lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have gathered on... [More]
Critics Consensus: The Force isn't fully with this Lego Star Wars adventure, but its affectionate franchise callbacks and self-aware humor should please fans looking to spend their holidays in a galaxy far, far away...
Synopsis: "The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special" reunites Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, Rose and the droids for a joyous feast on... [More]
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest version of Charles Dickens' tale to grace the screen, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is funny and heartwarming, and serves as a good introduction to the story for young viewers.
Synopsis: The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy... [More]
Critics Consensus:While You Were Sleeping is built wholly from familiar ingredients, but assembled with such skill -- and with such a charming performance from Sandra Bullock -- that it gives formula a good name.
Synopsis: Lonely transit worker Lucy Eleanor Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) pulls her longtime crush, Peter (Peter Gallagher), from the path of an... [More]
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Critics Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.
Synopsis: Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves.... [More]
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a powerhouse lineup of talented actresses, Gillian Armstrong's take on Louisa May Alcott's Little Women proves that a timeless story can succeed no matter how many times it's told.
Synopsis: In this 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic, the March sisters confront growing pains, financial shortages, family tragedies and... [More]
Critics Consensus:How the Grinch Stole Christmas brings an impressive array of talent to bear on an adaptation that honors a classic holiday story -- and has rightfully become a yuletide tradition of its own.
Synopsis: This made-for-TV Christmas special is a classic. Based on a Dr. Seuss book, it is about a Christmas-hating Grinch who... [More]
Critics Consensus: With the combined might of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Irving Berlin working in its favor, Holiday Inn is a seasonal classic -- not least because it introduced "White Christmas" to the world.
Synopsis: In this Irving Berlin musical, Jim (Bing Crosby) and Lila are members of a performing trio who plan to quit... [More]
A holly, jolly holiday season kicks off now with our guide to the most festive TV coming in December. Read on to find out which network is airing those famous Rankin and Bass stop-motion television classics and where you can find all sorts of seasonal programming fare from Gwen Stefani to Bruno Mars to fragile leg lamps, the Grinch, and more.
(We will update this list with more holiday programming as new information becomes available.)
(Photo by Tristram Kenton/Ovation TV)
Turner Christmas Classics — Set your DVRs for these lesser-known black-and-white seasonal options starting with 1947’s Bush Christmas. It’s a family adventure film about a group of children who set out across the Australian bush to get back their horses from thieves. Airs Friday, Dec. 1 at midnight ET/PT on TCM followed by Tenth Avenue Angelat 1:30 a.m. ET/PT. Angela Lansbury stars in this 1948 drama about a child who helps an ex-con find love for Christmas. The triple feature ends with the hour-long documentary Night at the Movies: A Merry Christmas, which traces the history of Yule inspired movies at 3 a.m. ET/PT.
Nutcracker Overload — Ovation TV will air its 11th annual “Battle of the Nutcrackers,” a five-day marathon beginning Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 a.m. ET with Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker from the Australian Ballet. The latter is considered one of the world’s most beautiful renditions. Viewers can decide by voting on Ovation’s Facebook page. This will be followed by Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 7 a.m. ET, as performed by the Dutch National Ballet. The Nutcracker Semperoper Ballet will do the honors Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7 a.m. ET with the Berlin State Opera performance airing Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 a.m. ET. The Royal Opera House will close out the competition Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 a.m. ET.
A Christmas Story— Remakes are cool, but there is nothing like the original. Relive the fun from the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story when it airs around the clock like it does every year. The fun kicks off Sunday, Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. ET on TBS.
Big Laughs — Enjoy the biggest and funniest pranks when the Impractical Jokers Christmas Day marathon spotlights some of Sal, Q, Joe and Murr’s best work. It airs all day Monday, Dec. 25 on truTV.
Harry Potter: The Entire Adventure — Every Harry Potter movie airs on HBO in handy binge-format Jan. 1, 2018.
(Photo by ABC)
A Charlie Brown Christmas—Celebrate the holidays with this digitally-re-mastered hit, which originally aired in 1965. It airs Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration— Join Emmy winner Julianne Hough and multiplatinum recording artist and TV personality Nick Lachey, as they host the two-hour show from the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. The special airs Thursday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
A StoryBots Christmas — The StoryBots are headed to the North Pole in this all-new Netflix original holiday offering. The animated special begins streaming Friday, Dec. 1 on Netflix and stars Ed Asner and Judy Greer.
Masters of Illusion: Christmas Magic — Illusionist Michael Grandinetti will add his own brand of magic to the holidays in this new special. It airs Friday, Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Miss Me This Christmas— The “perfect couple,” Regina (Erica Ash, Survivor’s Remorse) and Franklin (Redaric Williams), celebrate a fairy-tale Christmas wedding anniversary and seem to have it all. Yet their marriage is on the rocks. Can mistletoe and holly save their love? Find out when this made-for-TV offering airs Sunday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. ET on TV One.
Psych: The Movie — Catch up with fake psychic Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill) in this two-hour movie set three years after the series finale of the popular USA Network detective show. A mystery assailant brings the duo together during the holidays. Airs Thursday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on USA.
Freshly Baked: The Robot Chicken Santa Claus Pot Cookie Freakout Special: Special Edition — The Robot Chicken holiday special kicks off season 9 of the series. St. Nick meets his idol Jared Leto and more in the special, which airs Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11:30 a.m. ET/PT.
The Nightmare Before Christmas — Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s popular Pumpkin King, becomes obsessed with bringing Christmas under his control in this 1993 hit. It airs Friday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform and repeats Saturday, Dec. 2 at 3:10 p.m. ET/PT and Wednesday Dec. 13 at midnight.
Elf – Buddy the Elf goes looking for his biological father in this hilarious holiday movie from 2003. It airs Friday, Dec. 1 at 9:15 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform. Look for re-airings at Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, Dec. 24 at 9:15 p.m ET/PT.
The Chew: Snowed In For the Holidays — Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall whip up festive dishes and crafts, while pop vocal group Human Nature sings fun holiday carols. It airs Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. PT on ABC and re-airs Christmas Day at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special — Tune in to this 50th anniversary celebration of the award-winning comedy series The Carol Burnett Show, which premiered on Sept. 11, 1967. The tribute airs Sunday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Christmas at Holly Lodge — A business owner falls in love with a real-estate developer who wants to buy her lodge. The problem is, the lodge isn’t for sale. It stars Alison Sweeney, Jordan Bridges and Sheryl Lee Ralph and premieres Sunday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the Hallmark Channel.
My Christmas Prince — Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect) stars as Samantha, a dedicated teacher in Manhattan who returns to her small Wyoming hometown every year for Christmas. This year, she’s thrilled when her boyfriend Alex, a European diplomat, joins her. But when Samantha discovers Alex is actually a prince destined for the throne, her entire world is turned upside down. It airs Sunday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.
The Holiday— Cozy up to this adorable 2006 romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black when it airs Monday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.
Toy Story That Time Forgot – Woody, Buzz and more beloved Toy Story characters return for this holiday treat, which features Trixie the triceratops (Kristen Schaal) as the hero. The animated offering airs Dec. 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town— Feel warm and fuzzy with Rankin and Bass’ perennial favorite from 1970, which airs Monday, Dec. 11 at 1:35 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.
Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas — The Grammy winning singer will perform holiday classics from her album of the same name including “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night.” It airs Tuesday Dec. 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Taraji’s White Hot Holidays— The star behind Empire’s heroine Cookie is back to host another star-studded affair full of caroling and classic holiday songs. Special guests include Chaka Khan, Leslie Odom Jr., Salt-N-Pepa and more. It airs Thursday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas — Boris Karloff narrates this classic 1966 animated favorite, which airs Saturday, Dec. 16 at 9:15 p.m. ET/PT and Saturday, Dec. 23 at 9:20 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform. NBC is also airing the movie Christmas Day at 8:30 p.m ET/PT.
(Photo by Tommy Garcia/Fox)
A Christmas Story Live! — Enjoy this three-hour live musical television event, which like the original movie focuses on 9-year-old Ralphie (Andy Walken), a boy who incessantly dreams of getting a Red Ryder Range Model Carbine Action BB Gun for Christmas. It premieres Sunday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
Last Tango in Halifax Holiday Special— The drama follows Celia’s daughter Caroline as she moves the family to a less-than-desirable farmhouse in time for Christmas. It airs back-to-back Sundays, Dec. 17 and 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.
Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic — Tap into your inner child with this inside look at how Disney destinations are turned into winter wonderlands just in time for the holidays. It airs Monday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.
I Love Lucy Christmas Special — This one-hour special features back-to-back classic and colorized episodes of the beloved sitcom. It airs Friday, Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now In Living Color — Series creator Carl Reiner selected this pair of newly colorized episodes as two examples of the late great Mary Tyler Moore’s best work. They air Friday, Dec. 22 beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
How Murray Saved Christmas — Laugh along as Murray (Jerry Stiller), a very unlikely hero, saves the big day. The animated special airs Sunday, Christmas Eve at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
It’s a Wonderful Life— Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings in this beloved holiday classic from 1946. It airs Sunday, Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Christmas Eve with Fairfield University— This hour-long Christmas special features musical performances from the University Glee Club, an ensemble of jazz musicians and the alumni band Lionfish. Fairfield University is located on a 200-acre campus on the Connecticut coast. The special airs Sunday, Christmas Eve at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Call the Midwife Holiday Special— Neither a thick blanket of snow nor the coldest winter in 300 years can stop this group of dedicated midwives from helping their patients. Tune in when this special installment airs Monday, Christmas Day at 9 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.
Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration — This holiday showcase will be brighter and bigger bringing together the beloved Christmas Day parade, magical musical performances and surprise celebrity guests. It airs Monday, Christmas Day at 10 a.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT on ABC.
Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time — Get into the holiday spirit when the Doctor comes face to face with the Doctor in this epic finale to the Peter Capaldi era. In “Twice Upon a Time,” the twelfth Doctor (Capaldi) still refuses to change but starts to see the light when he goes on an adventure with the first Doctor (David Bradley, Game of Thrones). Pearl Mackie and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) also star. It airs Monday, Christmas Day at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America.
Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day — Peter, a young boy in a red snowsuit, jumps off the pages of this beloved children’s book and right into our hearts in this animated special. It begins streaming Tuesday, Dec. 26 on Amazon Prime Video.
Pete the Cat: A Groovy New Year — Pete the Cat needs a New Year’s resolution but first he must figure out what a resolution is. The animated special starts streaming Tuesday, Dec. 26 on Amazon Prime Video.
Great Performances — From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2018 — Ring in the New Year with the Vienna Philharmonic as they perform a selection of beloved Strauss Family waltzes with guest conductor Riccardo Muti. It airs Monday, Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.
Homicide for the Holidays — Season 2 of this perennial series features a whole new batch of holiday crime stories with interviews from the detectives who worked the cases as well as the friends and family of the victims. The five-part program premieres Saturday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.
The Great Christmas Light Fight— Nothing punctuates the holidays like Christmas lights and fights about Christmas lights especially when there’s a $50,000 prize. Season 5 of the holiday offering airs for three consecutive weeks beginning Monday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Happy! — Based on the graphic novel of the same name, this dark comedy follows Nick Sax (star Christopher Meloni), an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop who becomes a hit man. After an assassination gone wrong, his inebriated life is permanently changed by an imaginary but relentlessly positive blue-winged horse named Happy (voiced by Patton Oswalt). The series kicks off Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SyFy.
The Great American Baking Show — Feast your eyes and stomachs on this two-hour season premiere, which kicks off Thursday, Dec. 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Cyberchase— “A Reboot Eve to Remember,” Dec. 29, air times vary so check your local listings, PBS
As is annual tradition, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving aired last week on ABC, and following that is A Charlie Brown Christmas on the 30th, also on ABC. Good grief, this Peanuts Movie-led revival of all things Charlie is prompting us to spend this week’s 24 Frames gallery on the animated history of Peanuts movies and TV specials.
This week on home video, we’ve got the second installment of the successfully rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise, a feelgood drama from Lasse Hallström, and a claustrophobic found-footage horror film to kick things off. Then, we’ve got a couple of Certified Fresh TV shows, a few indie flicks, a rerelease of a Holiday favorite on DVD, and a newly remastered classic starring Jimmy Stewart. Read on for details:
If you were as disappointed by Tim Burton’s 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot as half the critics were, then 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes probably went a long way toward making you feel better about the future of the franchise. Thanks to glowing reviews and a smartly told origin story, we got part two of the reinvigorated series this year with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which finds the human race fighting to survive in the aftermath of a “simian flu” that has wiped out much of humanity while Ceasar (a mo-capped Andy Serkis) and his tribe of intelligent apes flourished in the meantime. Jason Clarke represents a community of San Francisco survivors in search of a power source located in ape territory, and though Ceasar sees benefit in maintaining peace with the humans, an angry chimpanzee named Koba challenges his authority and seeks to eradicate the human threat. Critics raved yet again, sending Dawn to a Certified Fresh 91 percent Tomatometer score in recognition of the film’s intelligent, ambitious, and surprisingly emotional script, as well as its skillful use of immersive visual effects. The Blu-ray comes with a number of featurettes, including a look at the production design, the community of apes, the special effects, and an interview with Andy Serkis, among other things.
Lasse Hallström has proven in the past that he can make schmaltzy stories work, and though The Hundred-Foot Journey isn’t quite the equivalent of cinematic haute cuisine, critics still thought it was fairly hearty. The film tells the story of Hassan (Manish Dayal), a young Indian ex-pat chef living in France whose family opens an Indian restaurant across the street from a classical French restaurant run by the fierce, calculating Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). As a feud ensues between the two, Hassan falls for Mme Mallory’s sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), and soon Mme Mallory herself begins to see Hassan’s potential as a fine chef. This is familiar narrative territory — even for Hallström, who helmed the thematically similar Chocolat — but Helen Mirren is a joy to watch, and Hallström knows what he’s doing, so critics awarded it a 67 percent on the Tomatometer. Special features include an interview with producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey discussing what drew them to the project, a look at the production design and the transition process from page to screen, and, as a nice little culinary bonus, a little how-to video recipe for coconut chicken.
Being trapped underground can be a frightening experience in and of itself, but being trapped underground in the catacombs? You’d think that would add an extra level of freakout to the proceedings. Not so, say the critics, at least not in the case of As Above, So Below, the Paris-set chiller by director/screenwriter duo the Dowdle brothers, who remade the Spanish zombie flick [REC] as Quarantine. As Above follows a group of intrepid explorers who venture into the catacombs of Paris in search of a legendary alchemical catalyst and stumble upon inexplicable supernatural forces. As Above, So Below begins intriguingly enough despite its found footage trappings, say critics, but like many other subpar horror films, it devolves into a barrage of genre clichés executed with little panache. Special features on the release include just one making-of doc.
Also available this week:
The Congress (76 percent), starring Robin Wright and Harvey Keitel in a half-animated meta sci-fi drama about an aging actress who agrees to have her image digitally recreated so that she can continue starring in films.
Field of Lost Shoes, starring David Arquette and Lauren Holly in a drama about a group of teenagers who are recruited to fight in the Civil War.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (92 percent) is getting a new 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition DVD release, which includes the TV special It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown.
Season one of the Certified Fresh FX sci-fi series The Strain (87 percent), produced by Guillermo Del Toro, is available.
The first season of Comedy Central’s Certified Fresh Broad City (95 percent), starring Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer as a couple of slackers living in New York, is also available.
And finally, Frank Capra’s 1939 classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (94 percent), starring Jimmy Stewart as the titular idealist who’s tapped as an interim senator and attempts to take on his corrupt opponents, is getting a 4k remastered Blu-ray with several special features, including a booklet featuring a new essay on the film.
Christmastime is here, as the kids sing in one of my favorite holiday movies. This time of year is tailor-made for gathering together with the family and revisiting some classic movies. Here are a few favorites that are suitable for all ages:
Part of the fun of being a mom is rediscovering the films and shows I loved as a child. My 4-year-old son, Nicolas, is totally into this animated classic in which Charlie Brown learns the true meaning of Christmas beyond the material trappings. Plus you’ve got all that great, jazzy music from composer Vince Guaraldi which will be stuck in your head while you’re cleaning up wrapping paper and leftovers.
Be sure and pop the animated classic into the DVD player, not the Ron Howard live-action version starring Jim Carrey. Boris Karloff provides a rich line-by-line reading of the favorite kids book and voices the scheming green monster who dares dash off with all the shiny finery brightening up Whoville for the holidays. He’s a mean one, Mr. Grinch — but kids as young as 4 will love him.
It’s on 24 hours a day around Christmas, so if you turn on the television you’re sure to come across it at some point. Even though you’ve seen it a million times, it always charms, and your own kids are sure to fall for it the same way you did. This comedy about a 9-year-old boy who desperately wants Santa to bring him a BB gun accurately captures the mixture of emotions children experience around Christmas: all the wonder, expectation and anxiety rolled together.
One of Tim Burton’s many marvels of stop-motion animation. Serving as writer and producer this time, Burton helps brings his signature gothic look brilliantly to life in this fairy tale in which the king of Halloweentown discovers the wonders that await in Christmastown. It may be slightly scary for only the littlest kids.
Seriously, how adorable is Will Ferrell? It is impossible not to smile — “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite” — watching the 6-foot-3 comic prancing around New York in his red-and-green get-up as the perpetually perky Buddy the Elf. The childlike innocence and enthusiasm he exudes is just dead-on.
Last time we were offered a big-budget "Robin Hood" movie, it starred Kevin Costner and his ill-fitting accent. But now comes a ‘revisionist’ take on the classic tale, only this time the Sheriff of Nottingham will get to be the good guy. Oh, and he’ll be played by Russell Crowe.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal won a heated bidding war between New Line and Warner Bros., but it was Uni that got the right to pay Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris a large sum of money. The fact that Russell Crowe is actively involved already was surely a deciding factor.
As far as directors go, THR indicates that no less than Sam Raimi, Ridley Scott, and Bryan Singer have expressed interest in helming "Nottingham," which should certainly make the young screenwriters happy. (Their "Splinter Cell" was canceled by Showtime not too long ago.) "Part of the strength of the script was the simple idea of doing Robin Hood by making the sheriff the good guy," Reiff said. "That’s something we didn’t talk (about) with anybody all the time we worked on it."
Sounds like a pretty interesting project. Who would you guys cast as a "villainous" Robin Hood?
The holidays are here, and it’s time to break out the sleds, roast the chestnuts, and watch a movie or five about yuletide magic (or a decided lack thereof). And when in doubt regarding your best viewing for any occasion, as always, we’re here to help; the merry elves at Rotten Tomatoes have listed the Tomatometers, checked them twice, and will be presenting, during the Five Days of Christmas, the best-reviewed holiday films in the following categories: Classics, Comedies, Animated/Children’s, Dramas, and Thrillers. Pour yourself a cup of eggnog and get ready for some fine seasonal viewing!
Top Five Yuletide Animated/Kids Films
Admit it, parents — kids’ movies can be painfully, painfully bad, and kids’ Christmas movies tend to be some of the worst. When faced with choosing between giving your children up for adoption or suffering through Macaulay Culkin‘s "Nutcracker" one more time…well, let’s just say life is full of difficult decisions and leave it at that. Thankfully, we’re here to help — here are five holiday movies for the kids, all Certified Fresh, maybe even including one or two you haven’t seen 10,000 times already!
What do an alcoholic bum, a homeless transvestite, and a violent runaway have in common? They’re the stars of this holiday-themed anime feature, in which even the most broken-down, ragtag group of outcasts can find redemption in unlikely and unexpected places. (Hint: there are strong parallels to not only the Old Testament, but the 1948 western classic "3 Godfathers.") If anime for Christmas strikes you as a little odd, well, it is — but you don’t really need to watch "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation" again, do you?
A classic example of early stop-motion animation (and, with the 2001 CGI-animated sequel, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys," an example of why technology can’t improve everything), CBS’ 1964 holiday offering is TV’s longest-running special for a reason. Several reasons, actually — whether it’s Burl Ives‘ narration, the story’s message of acceptance, or the animation alone, it’s impossible to argue with this "Rudolph"’s charm.
Before the Peanuts gang exhausted every major holiday, there was "A Charlie Brown Christmas," still one of the loveliest, most honest examples of animated joy to the world. From the flawless soundtrack to the poignant reminders of what truly constitutes Christmas spirit, Charles Schulz‘s creations have never looked better on our screens. Now if we could just do something about "It’s Secretaries’ Day, Charlie Brown"…
Given producer Tim Burton‘s career penchant for unmistakably stylish visuals, it was perhaps only a matter of time before he made the leap into animation, and with "The Nightmare Before Christmas," he did so in signature Burton style. Jack Skellington and his motley crew know how to run the ghoulish festivities of Halloweentown, but when they try to take over Christmas, all heck breaks loose. It isn’t for everyone, of course, but if you’ve got the goth kids coming over for some figgy pudding, there’s no better choice.
There is a generation of children whose first exposure to a moving, talking Grinch came courtesy of the Jim Carrey/Ron Howard live-action "update" of the classic Dr. Seuss story, but unquestionably, the definitive "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" film remains Chuck Jones’ animated classic. It celebrates its 40th birthday this Christmas, so if you really needed an excuse to see it again, now you’ve got one.