It’s chilly outside, the streets are filled with lights, and your annoying flatmate is already playing Fairytale of New York. This can only mean one thing: Christmas is once again nearly upon us! And whether you’re that annoying flatmate or a bigger Scrooge that Scrooge himself, one thing is indisputable – everyone loves a good Christmas film. From the charming family classics, to the cheesy rom-coms, it is safe to say there is an abundance of movies to choose from. Therefore, I have devised a list of the five perfect films to get you in the Christmas spirit, ones that are sure to put a smile on your face and a warmth in your heart, even you Scrooges.
I could begin this list with none other than my favourite Christmas film ever made. This family classic follows Kevin McCallister on his pursuit to protect his house from a pair of burglars after his family leave him behind after leaving for a Christmas vacation. Charming and entertaining from start to finish, Home Alone offers an excellent plot from the brilliant mind of Steve Hughes, putting a witty and hilarious twist on the home invasion movie. Macaulay Culkin carries the film at only nine years old, and following him through the final act as he battles the burglars is as satisfying as it is funny. It’s safe to say that Home Alone is a must-see on any Christmas break.
With this film comes the long-debated question: is it really a Christmas film? Yes it is. It’s set at Christmas, so it is a Christmas film. Now that’s out of the way, let’s discuss why it’s one of the best. As action films go, this is as good as they come. Die Hard follows police officer John McClane as he fights to save his wife and others from a terrorist-hostage situation in an office block. Suspense is high from the get-go, and it is made all the more thrilling thanks to Alan Rickman’s superb performance as Hans Gruber, the film’s antagonist. With nail-biting scenes of suspense and huge set pieces, Die Hard is a film that everyone should be able to say they have seen, especially at Christmas.
Love Actually is one of the most defining British rom-coms of the 21st century. Written and directed by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill), and with a star-studded cast including the likes of Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Emma Thompson, this film really does speak for itself. Following the lives of various couples as they struggle with their relationships over the festive period, this film has something for everyone to relate to, as it looks at what love actually is (excuse the terrible pun). Full of laughs and heart-warming spirit, this is always one to watch, especially if you’re looking for something to finish a Christmas date night.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Considered by many to be not only the greatest Christmas film of all time, but one of the greatest films full stop, It’s A Wonderful Life is truly one of the definitive classics. The film follows a troubled businessman visited by an angel at Christmas, who shows him what life would have been like if he had never existed, and a tale of discovery and understanding ensues. The film is flawlessly written and directed, with excellent acting all round, most notably from James Stuart, delivering a career-defining performance. This is one of those films that never seems to age, and can be enjoyed by every generation. So grab your nan, grab some tissues, and enjoy a remarkable film that will stay with you long after Christmas.
To finish the list is a film that, like Die Hard, many may not think of with festive connotations. Alas, following the Die Hard rule, its set at Christmas, so it’s a Christmas film. Edward Scissorhands tells the tale of a tender man with scissors for hands, who after being isolated in a castle for many years is brought into society. In classic Tim Burton style, this film has a very quirky and uneasy edge to it, which is incredibly fitting to the premise and characters involved. This is a story not only of discrimination but also acceptance and self-worth, hitting all the beats it sets out to hit perfectly. If you want a break from the average holiday-filled movie with carols and costumes, then this is the one for you.