Ah, Christmas, the perfect time of year to snuggle down with a cup of hot chocolate and relax in front of guilty pleasures and festive favourites, leaving the woes of the year behind. Here at Voice we know how hard it is to find a decent holiday movie, so we’ve put our heads together to come up with some personal favourites that might not make you cringe too hard this Christmas season…
Agree with our list? Think we've missed something? Let us know in the comments!
The Muppet Christmas Carol
I’m (totally not) ashamed to admit that until last year, the Muppet Christmas Carol was my only experience with the Charles Dickens novel, so by default it has to be the best interpretation, right?
You have Michael Caine. You have Muppets. You have an absolute killer song by Marley and Marley (played by Waldorf and Statler). You have the absolutely exceptional line ‘no cheeses for us meeces’. It even manages to jam in an out-of-nowhere tone shift from sadness to horror, ensuring that 6-year-old Tom was never comfortable watching it with the lights off. I don’t know what more you want from a Christmas movie?
Let It Snow
Most Christmas films are best enjoyed with a degree of irony, but when I was sat down to watch Let It Snow I did not expect to like it at all. I was surprised, then, to discover a genuinely original(-ish) and charming Christmas movie with refreshingly few clichés and tonnes of holiday spirit. A film about love, friendship and belonging (well, it is a Christmas movie), Let It Snow might just turn out to be the next Home Alone. If that’s not enough to get you excited, the John Green (et al) adaptation’s got a killer soundtrack to boot.
The Lion, The Witch and The WardrobeIts special effects may have aged considerably since its 2005 release, but this surprisingly faithful adaptation of the CS Lewis Chronicles of Narnia classic perfectly captures the mood of winter and spirit of Christmas. A thinly-veiled retelling of a series of Biblical stories, Andrew Adamson’s film feels more like a modern fairytale, even managing to sneak in an almost Arthurian take on the secular Santa Claus. Sit back by the fire with a bowl of Turkish Delight, and let Lewis and Adamson’s infectious imagination transport you to the magical kingdom of Narnia this Christmastime.
Last year was the 35th anniversary of Gremlins, and cinemas were doing a one-night screening to celebrate. I went to watch it, and was shocked at how many parents had brought their children with them. Bear in mind that these adults would only have been children themselves when this came out — I personally think that demonstrates the iconic nature of this film. Mixing Christmas spirit with ridiculous camp horror, if nothing else I think we can all agree that Gremlins teaches an important lesson about responsible pet gifting during the holidays. Oh, and the soundtrack slaps!
While there’s an incredibly serious and important debate around whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not, it’s a definitely good choice to keep the haters of rom-coms, love and cheesiness around. The concept is pretty simple: a NYPD cop John McClane is about to reconcile with his wife when her office building is taken over by terrorists. It’s effective, enjoyable action-fuelled fun, with sharp witty dialogue and fast-paced scenes. Die Hard doesn’t require much thought — making it the perfect film for a Christmas food-coma.
As Queen of TV trash it would be irresponsible of me not to have included this classic Christmas movie here, so I have 0 regrets. The ‘trashy’ yet brilliant Love Actually follows the lives of many different people in the lead up to Christmas, all with different stories to tell but with a sprinkling of Christmas and rom-com tropes that tie them all together beautifully. With an all-star cast of familiar faces such as Bill Nighy, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor, it’s not Christmas in my world til my sisters and I have drank wine and painted our nails whilst watching Hugh’s slick dance moves, and my Dad has regaled us for the millionth time about how he once starred in a movie with Keira Knightley. Merry Christmas!
The Polar Express
Become a kid again and live all of your childhood Christmas dreams as you board the train to the North Pole and embark on the adventure of a lifetime! But the journey won’t be as simple as a sleighride. Despite treacherous and challenging obstacles, the spirit of Christmas will always prevail, and no one gets left behind on The Polar Express. Stuffed full of Christmas cheer and Christmas presents and Christmas lights, this film never fails to put a smile on my face at any time of the year.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
You have to tick this one off of the Christmas bucket list even if it is just to say you’ve witnessed the incredible (and slightly horrific, I’ll admit) costumes and hairstyles that really make this festive film memorable. It has a warm, meaningful message at the core, which makes it the perfect Christmas family film. Even the bah-humbuggers will appreciate the Grinch’s grouchy, stubborn personality. Jim Carrey really brings the main character to life with his effortless ad-libbing and sarcastic comments.