(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.

One movie you won’t see on this list: the Rotten-rated Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. On our podcast, we discuss whether ‘Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong’ about this sequel.

And now you’re ready to enter a wonderland of cinematic history, with the Best Christmas Movies ever!

Best Christmas Movies | Worst Christmas Movies
Best and Worst Christmas Horror | Best Foreign Christmas Movies
Rotten Christmas Movies We Love | Modern Christmas Classics

#69

Remember the Night (1940)
100%

#69
Adjusted Score: 49253%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Moved to pity by the Christmas season, New York District Attorney John Sargent (Fred MacMurray) lets pretty shoplifter Lee Leander... [More]
Directed By: Mitchell Leisen

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 61774%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Six-year-old Susan Walker (Mara Wilson) is skeptical of the Christmas myth surrounding Santa Claus, a trait she perhaps learned from... [More]
Directed By: Les Mayfield

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 62208%
Critics Consensus: Solid performances and a steady directorial hand help The Preacher's Wife offer some reliably heartwarming - albeit fairly predictable - holiday cheer.
Synopsis: A cleric begins to doubt himself and is visited by an angel. The heavenly emissary is supposed to help the... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#66
Adjusted Score: 63597%
Critics Consensus: Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square isn't quite up to its star's standards, but its overwhelming good cheer and campy self-awareness may be just what viewers are looking for.
Synopsis: A woman who plans to sell a small town without regard for the people who live there receives a visit... [More]
Directed By: Debbie Allen

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 64472%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Desperate to avoid his family's judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter (Michael Urie) convinces his best friend Nick (Philemon... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mayer

#64

Silent Night (2021)
64%

#64
Adjusted Score: 69241%
Critics Consensus: Spending time with these characters can be a lot to ask, but Silent Night peers into the abyss with admirable aplomb.
Synopsis: From producers Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman franchise), Trudie Styler (Moon) and Celine Rattray (The Kids Are Alright), Silent Night follows parents... [More]
Directed By: Camille Griffin

#63
Adjusted Score: 69380%
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]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 69791%
Critics Consensus: Viewers seeking a fresh holiday viewing option -- or those simply in the mood for Santa Kurt Russell -- should find The Christmas Chronicles well worth a yuletide stream.
Synopsis: Siblings Kate and Teddy Pierce hatch a scheme to capture Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. When the plan goes awry,... [More]
Directed By: Clay Kaytis

#61
Adjusted Score: 70461%
Critics Consensus: While Christmas Vacation may not be the most disciplined comedy, it's got enough laughs and good cheer to make for a solid seasonal treat.
Synopsis: As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife,... [More]
Directed By: Jeremiah S. Chechik

#60

Love Actually (2003)
64%

#60
Adjusted Score: 71835%
Critics Consensus: A sugary tale overstuffed with too many stories. Still, the cast charms.
Synopsis: Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis

#59

Krampus (2015)
67%

#59
Adjusted Score: 70916%
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.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

#58
Adjusted Score: 71643%
Critics Consensus: Still raunchy, still irreverent, and still hit-and-miss, this Harold & Kumar outing also has a Christmas miracle: The audience gets to see the sweeter side of the duo.
Synopsis: Six years after their last adventure, stoner pals Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have grown apart and found... [More]
Directed By: Todd Strauss-Schulson

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 72961%
Critics Consensus: The rare slasher with enough intelligence to wind up the tension between bloody outbursts, Black Christmas offers fiendishly enjoyable holiday viewing for genre fans.
Synopsis: As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder),... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#56

Godmothered (2020)
68%

#56
Adjusted Score: 72345%
Critics Consensus: More bippity boppity than boo, Godmothered tweaks fairytale conventions with just enough self-aware humor to overcome a disappointing deficit of genuine magic.
Synopsis: Set at Christmas time, "Godmothered" is a comedy about Eleanor, a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training (Jillian Bell), who upon hearing... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 73343%
Critics Consensus: The Best Man Holiday manages honest laughs out of broad humor, and affects convincing drama from a deeply conventional plot.
Synopsis: Nearly 15 years after they were last together as a group, college friends Lance (Morris Chestnut), Harper (Taye Diggs), Candace... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#54

Scrooged (1988)
69%

#54
Adjusted Score: 72384%
Critics Consensus: Scrooged gets by with Bill Murray and a dash of holiday spirit, although it's hampered by a markedly conflicted tone and an undercurrent of mean-spiritedness.
Synopsis: In this modern take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#53

Home Alone (1990)
68%

#53
Adjusted Score: 71390%
Critics Consensus: Home Alone uneven but frequently funny premise stretched unreasonably thin is buoyed by Macaulay Culkin's cute performance and strong supporting stars.
Synopsis: When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 74177%
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]

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 74140%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A retelling of the classic Dickens tale with Disney's classic characters.... [More]
Directed By: Burny Mattinson

#50

The Night Before (2015)
69%

#50
Adjusted Score: 74217%
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]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#49

The Ref (1994)
72%

#49
Adjusted Score: 75276%
Critics Consensus: Undeniably uneven and too dark for some, The Ref nonetheless boasts strong turns from Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey, as well as a sharply funny script.
Synopsis: Bickering spouses (Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey) annoy the cat burglar (Denis Leary) who takes them hostage in their Connecticut home.... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#48

The Santa Clause (1994)
72%

#48
Adjusted Score: 75592%
Critics Consensus: The Santa Clause is utterly undemanding, but it's firmly rooted in the sort of good old-fashioned holiday spirit missing from too many modern yuletide films.
Synopsis: Divorced dad Scott (Tim Allen) has custody of his son (Eric Lloyd) on Christmas Eve. After he accidentally kills a... [More]
Directed By: John Pasquin

#47
Adjusted Score: 76157%
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]
Directed By: Ken Cunningham

#46

Happy Christmas (2014)
75%

#46
Adjusted Score: 77758%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent, well-acted, and satisfyingly low-key, Happy Christmas marks another step in prolific filmmaker Joe Swanberg's creative evolution.
Synopsis: An immature party girl (Anna Kendrick) moves in with her brother's family to get over a breakup and throws their... [More]
Directed By: Joe Swanberg

#45

Merry Christmas (2005)
74%

#45
Adjusted Score: 78335%
Critics Consensus: The poignant humanity on display in Joyeux Noel makes its sentimentality forgivable.
Synopsis: With the advent of World War I, Europe is thrown into a brutal and vicious chaos as men are forced... [More]
Directed By: Christian Carion

#44
Adjusted Score: 77941%
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]
Directed By: Brian Henson

#43

White Christmas (1954)
77%

#43
Adjusted Score: 81247%
Critics Consensus: It may be too sweet for some, but this unabashedly sentimental holiday favorite is too cheerful to resist.
Synopsis: Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen)... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#42

Let It Snow (2019)
81%

#42
Adjusted Score: 81773%
Critics Consensus: Comfortably cliché, Let It Snow wears its influences on its sleeve, but works anyway thanks an excellent ensemble and just the right amount of holiday cheer.
Synopsis: A snowstorm brings a group of young people together.... [More]
Directed By: Luke Snellin

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 82031%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Not even Santa Claus is safe from the evil that descends on Bailey Downs, a small town that is suddenly... [More]

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 83815%
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]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 83902%
Critics Consensus: Anna and the Apocalypse finds fresh brains and a lot of heart in the crowded zombie genre - not to mention a fun genre mashup populated by rootable characters.
Synopsis: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to... [More]
Directed By: John McPhail

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 85973%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer. And for Peanuts fans everywhere, it just wouldn't be Christmas without this classic holiday... [More]
Directed By: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman

#37

Bad Santa (2003)
78%

#37
Adjusted Score: 85678%
Critics Consensus: A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn't for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.
Synopsis: In this dark comedy, the crotchety Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner (Tony Cox) reunite once a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

#36

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#36
Adjusted Score: 87234%
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]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 87080%
Critics Consensus: The Bishop's Wife succeeds thanks to the strength of winning performances from a stellar cast, which includes Cary Grant and Loretta Young.
Synopsis: Dejected by his efforts to raise money to build a cathedral, Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) beseeches heaven for guidance,... [More]
Directed By: Henry Koster

#34

Trading Places (1983)
88%

#34
Adjusted Score: 88934%
Critics Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.
Synopsis: Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#33
Adjusted Score: 102151%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Stannie Dum (Stan Laurel) and Ollie Dee (Oliver Hardy) rent rooms in Mother Peep's shoe in Toyland. When Mother Peep... [More]
Directed By: Gus Meins, Charley Rogers

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 89363%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While recovering in a hospital, war hero Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) grows familiar with the "Diary of a Housewife" column... [More]
Directed By: Peter Godfrey

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 89417%
Critics Consensus: The 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens' timeless classic is perhaps the most faithful film version -- and Alastair Sim's performance as Scrooge is not to be missed.
Synopsis: Crotchety Victorian businessman Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) has no use for festivity, even at Christmas. After resentfully allowing timid clerk... [More]
Directed By: Brian Desmond Hurst

#30

Gremlins (1984)
85%

#30
Adjusted Score: 91127%
Critics Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.
Synopsis: A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#29

A Christmas Tale (2008)
86%

#29
Adjusted Score: 90008%
Critics Consensus: A sharp black comedy about a chaotic family holiday gathering, A Christmas Tale is always involving, thanks to an impressive ensemble cast.
Synopsis: When steely French matriarch Junon (Catherine Deneuve) learns she has leukemia, she asks her children and grandchildren at the family... [More]
Directed By: Arnaud Desplechin

#28

Elf (2003)
85%

#28
Adjusted Score: 90696%
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]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#27
Adjusted Score: 90662%
Critics Consensus: The Man Who Invented Christmas adds holiday magic to the writing of A Christmas Carol, putting a sweetly revisionist spin on the story behind a classic yuletide tale.
Synopsis: In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate... [More]
Directed By: Bharat Nalluri

#26

White Reindeer (2013)
90%

#26
Adjusted Score: 91434%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Suzanne struggles to put her life back together after a tragedy at Christmas time.... [More]
Directed By: Zach Clark

#25

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
91%

#25
Adjusted Score: 91906%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful and substantive, Tokyo Godfathers adds a moving -- and somewhat unconventional -- entry to the animated Christmas canon.
Synopsis: Middle-aged alcoholic Gin (Toru Emori), teenage runaway Miyuki (Aya Okamoto) and former drag queen Hana (Yoshiaki Umegaki) are a trio... [More]
Directed By: Satoshi Kon

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 92176%
Critics Consensus: Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and spot-on performances in this dark, eclectic neo-noir homage.
Synopsis: Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#23
Adjusted Score: 92567%
Critics Consensus: Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror.
Synopsis: A young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommila) and his friend Juuso (Ilmari Järvenpää) think a secret mountain drilling project near... [More]
Directed By: Jalmari Helander

#22

Better Watch Out (2016)
89%

#22
Adjusted Score: 93103%
Critics Consensus: Carried by its charismatic young cast, Better Watch Out is an adorably sinister holiday horror film.
Synopsis: Ashley travels to the suburban home of the Lerners to baby-sit their 12-year-old son Luke at Christmastime. She must soon... [More]
Directed By: Chris Peckover

#21
Adjusted Score: 93642%
Critics Consensus: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey celebrates the yuletide season with a holiday adventure whose exuberant spirit is matched by its uplifting message.
Synopsis: Decades after his apprentice betrays him, a once joyful toymaker finds new hope when his bright young granddaughter appears on... [More]
Directed By: David E. Talbert

#20

The Apartment (1960)
93%

#20
Adjusted Score: 100882%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Synopsis: Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 94141%
Critics Consensus: Both warmly nostalgic and darkly humorous, A Christmas Story deserves its status as a holiday perennial.
Synopsis: Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#18

Little Women (1994)
93%

#18
Adjusted Score: 94167%
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]
Directed By: Gillian Armstrong

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 94201%
Critics Consensus: The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center.
Synopsis: A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#16

Happiest Season (2020)
82%

#16
Adjusted Score: 95288%
Critics Consensus: A jolly good time with heartfelt performances and more than enough holiday cheer, all you'll want for Christmas is Happiest Season.
Synopsis: This romantic comedy is about longtime lesbian couple Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), who made plans to go... [More]
Directed By: Clea DuVall

#15
Adjusted Score: 96158%
Critics Consensus: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a yule-tide gem that bursts with eye-popping iconography, a spirited soundtrack, and a heart-warming celebration of difference.
Synopsis: This stop-motion animagic version of the classic Christmas tale adds a bit of a twist when Rudolph encounters an abominable... [More]
Directed By: Maury Laws, Larry Roemer

#14

Klaus (2019)
94%

#14
Adjusted Score: 97595%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful hand-drawn animation and a humorous, heartwarming narrative make Klaus an instant candidate for holiday classic status.
Synopsis: A desperate postman accidentally brings about the genesis of Santa Claus.... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Pablos

#13

Arthur Christmas (2011)
92%

#13
Adjusted Score: 98280%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: Everyone knows that, each Christmas, Santa Claus delivers presents to every last child on Earth. What everyone doesn't know is... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith

#12

Die Hard (1988)
94%

#12
Adjusted Score: 99439%
Critics Consensus: Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.
Synopsis: New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#11

Tangerine (2015)
96%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102208%
Critics Consensus: Tangerine shatters casting conventions and its filmmaking techniques are up-to-the-minute, but it's an old-fashioned comedy at heart -- and a pretty wonderful one at that.
Synopsis: After hearing that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail, a hooker and her best friend set... [More]
Directed By: Sean Baker

#10

Carol (2015)
94%

#10
Adjusted Score: 106076%
Critics Consensus: Shaped by Todd Haynes' deft direction and powered by a strong cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Carol lives up to its groundbreaking source material.
Synopsis: Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department... [More]
Directed By: Todd Haynes

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 104342%
Critics Consensus: A disarmingly sweet musical led by outstanding performances from Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien, Meet Me in St. Louis offers a holiday treat for all ages.
Synopsis: "Meet Me in St. Louis" is a classic MGM romantic musical comedy that focuses on four sisters (one of whom... [More]
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli

#8

Little Women (2019)
95%

#8
Adjusted Score: 120899%
Critics Consensus: With a stellar cast and a smart, sensitive retelling of its classic source material, Greta Gerwig's Little Women proves some stories truly are timeless.
Synopsis: In the years after the Civil War, Jo March lives in New York and makes her living as a writer,... [More]
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

#7
Adjusted Score: 103690%
Critics Consensus: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation.
Synopsis: The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick

#6
Adjusted Score: 100735%
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]
Directed By: Chuck Jones

#5
Adjusted Score: 103994%
Critics Consensus: Deftly directed by Ernst Lubitsch from a smart, funny script by Samson Raphaelson, The Shop Around the Corner is a romantic comedy in the finest sense of the term.
Synopsis: Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) are employees at Matuschek and Company, a general store in Budapest.... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#4

Holiday Inn (1942)
100%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100120%
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]
Directed By: Mark Sandrich

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 101833%
Critics Consensus: Irrefutable proof that gentle sentimentalism can be the chief ingredient in a wonderful film, Miracle on 34th Street delivers a warm holiday message without resorting to treacle.
Synopsis: In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) fills in for an... [More]
Directed By: George Seaton

#2

8-Bit Christmas (2021)
82%

#2
Adjusted Score: 82649%
Critics Consensus: For viewers seeking an undemanding and sweetly nostalgic ode to yuletide seasons past, 8-Bit Christmas boots up without a glitch.
Synopsis: A humorous and heartfelt look back at the adventures of childhood. Set in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s, the... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104757%
Critics Consensus: The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It's a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.
Synopsis: After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra


GWEN STEFANI: YOU MAKE IT FEEL LIKE CHRISTMAS (Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

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.)


MARATHONS

The Nutcracker by The Royal Ballet (Tristram Kenton/Ovation TV)

(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 Angel at 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.


SPECIALS 

Charlie Brown Christmas

(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.

Will Ferrell in Elf (New Line Cinema)

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 - Taye Diggs, Taraji P. Henson, Tituss Burgess and Jay Pharoah (Michael Becker/FOX)

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.


 SERIES 

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.


HOLIDAY EPISODES 

The Powerpuff Girls - "You're a Good Man, Mojo Jojo" (Cartoon Network)

(Photo by Cartoon Network)

Teen Titans Go! — “TTG v. Santa,” Dec. 1, 6 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network

We Bare Bears — “The Perfect Tree,” Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network

The Powerpuff Girls — “You’re a Good Man, Mojo Jojo,” Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network

Will & Grace — “A Gay Olde Christmas,” Dec. 5, 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC

Superstore  — “Christmas Eve,” Dec. 5, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC

Dynasty —”The Best Things in Life,” Dec. 6, 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW

Bob’s Burgers — “The Bleakening Christmas Special Pt. 1” and “The Bleakening Christmas Special Pt. 2,” Dec. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Fox

Family Guy  — “Don’t Be A Dickens At Christmas,” Dec. 10, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Fox

(Photo by Eddy Chen/Fox)

Lethal Weapon — “Wreck the Halls,” Dec. 12, 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox

Little Women: LA —”A Little Festive,” Dec. 13, 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime

Steven Universe — “Dewey Wins” and “Gemcation,” Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network

Great News — “A Christmas Carol” and “Sensitivity Training,” Dec. 21, 8 and 8:30 p.m ET/PT on NBC

Saturday Night Live — “Christmas Special,” Dec. 21, 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC

Peppa Pig — “Father Christmas,” Dec. 22, 12:30 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon

The Rap Game — “Holiday Remix,” Dec. 22, 10 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime

The Simpsons — “The Nightmare After Krustmas,” Christmas Eve, 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox

Married at First Sight — “Holiday Game Night,” Dec. 26, 9 p.m. on Lifetime

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:



Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

90%

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.



The Hundred-Foot Journey

68%

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.



As Above, So Below

26%

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:




A Charlie Brown Christmas

84%

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.



Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

100%

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.



A Christmas Story

90%

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.



The Nightmare Before Christmas

95%

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.



Elf

85%

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?

It’s Day Four of RT’s Five Days of Christmas Countdown, where we serve up a different list each day of the best holiday flicks around. Today, we’ve got something for kids and families — all the Whos down in Whoville, the king of Halloweentown, and the most famous reindeer of all.

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!

5) Tokyo Godfathers (2004) 89%

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?

Directed by: Satoshi Kon

3) [tie] Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) 90%

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.

Starring: Burl Ives, Billie Mae Richards
Directed by: Kizo Nagashima, Larry Roemer

3) [tie] A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) 90%

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"…

Starring: Peter Robbins, Tracy Stratford
Directed by: Bill Melendez

2) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) 97%

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.

Starring: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
Directed by: Henry Selick

1) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) 100%

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.

Starring: Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray, Boris Karloff
Directed by: Chuck Jones

Click here for Day Three: Top Five Holiday Thrillers
Click here for Day Two: Top Five Seasonal Dramas
Click here for Day One: Top Five Yuletide Comedies

And check back tomorrow for the final installment of the countdown: RT’s Top Five Christmas Classics!

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