There are so many Christmas and holiday movies out there that you could literally watch a couple of them every day in December and still have plenty left over for the following year. Whether you enjoy a raucous comedy or a feel good drama, there are multiple "classics" to turn to during the holiday season.
Home Alone or National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation scratch that physical comedy itch. While Love Actually or The Family Stone hit that gooey Christmas romantic comedy. Not to mention classics like It's A Wonderful Life or the many versions of A Christmas Carol.
But because there are
so many Christmas movies out there, there are also a few underrated holiday films that really should join the ranks of Christmas movie classics. For this list, we're looking at some of the more forgotten holiday films that really should be on the same level as the previously mentioned films. We've got rom-coms, horror, drama, classics, and more, so if you're tired of the same old same old Christmas movies, here are a few that need a little more appreciation.
This one is an old classic, and regardless of its holiday connections is truly one of the best movies ever made. Jack Lemmon, and Shirley MacLaine star in this '60s cynical rom-com from director Billy Wilder. It explores a Christmas that isn't gilded in glitter or wrapped neatly in a bow, rather the lonely, bitter holiday that many people experience every December. But even though it doesn't present the usual perfect Christmas,
The Apartment surely excels at offering up what the holiday truly represents: hope. The Nativity Story (2006)
In the plethora of Christmas films, this one actual captures the origins of the story. This nativity story stars Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary and
Star Wars hero Oscar Issac as Joseph. The film was directed by Twilight filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke and is probably the least stuffy, most gritty version of the biblical story of Christmas.
This 2005 French war epic tells the story of the World War I
Christmas truce of December 1914, depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish, and German soldiers. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman star in one of the best romantic comedies of the '90s that just so happens to revolve around Christmas. When the man of Lucy's dreams (Peter Gallagher) falls on the train tracks, she jumps to save him and becomes the savior of his family and presumptuous fiancé. This movie isn't just romantic, but presents a hilarious look at family dynamics, holiday shenanigans, and dinnertime conversations.
Jingle All the Way (1996)
While this one might be considered a classic to the millennial audience out there, Gen Z might not yet truly appreciate its greatness. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad (do ya'll even know who Sinbad is?) star as two rival fathers on the hunt for a particular super hero action figure for their kid on Christmas.
Who can resist baby Drew Barrymore and baby Keanu Reeves? These actorrs star in a made for TV movie musical about Toyland that is kind of convoluted but really quite magical. Oh and Pat Morita plays the toy master who turns out to be Santa.
Queen Latifah is truly the queen in this comedy of self discovery. The actor, singer, and comedian stars as a woman who is told she only has a few weeks left to live, so she makes the most of it on an elaborate trip overseas. This version is based on a 1950s film of the same name, but Queen's is far superior.
This 1994 comedy from the late great Nora Ephron stars Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, Rita Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Garry Shandling, Juliette Lewis, Adam Sandler, and Liev Schreiber. The story revolves around the workers of a suicide crisis hotline. So dark yes, but ultimately inspiring and moving.
Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
It's a zombie musical set at Christmas. Need we say more? Ok, fine. It was quite directly inspired by the
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Once More, With Feeling." Now that we've got your attention, check this weird holiday horror movie out.
Nicolas Cage and Téa Leoni star in this quasi-reimagining of
It's A Wonderful Life meets A Christmas Carol where Cage's character learns that, had he not pursued a life of wealth, he could have had one with a loving family. The Best Man Holiday (2013)
The Best Man is already considered a quality Black romantic comedy, but some don't appreciate how amazing its Christmas themed sequel is. The whole gang, Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, and Melissa De Sousa, all reprise their roles from the previous film.