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The Best Christmas Movies Ever – Ranked

Posted in Blog by nido team on November 19, 2020

When it comes to the festive season, the TV guide is packed full of seasonal classics, giving you the chance to have a proper Christmas movie marathon. Whether it’s a total cheese-fest, an animated classic, or a cop in a dirty vest taking down terrorists, yuletide cinema truly has something for everyone.

But with so many Christmas films to watch, there’s always going to be debate over which ones are the best – until now, that is.

We know how important films are at this time of year, which is why we’ve done some research to find out, definitively, which films are the Christmas crackers, and which are the turkeys you’d do well to skip.

So, while Christmas will be a little different this year, let our rankings of the best Christmas movies help get you in the spirit of the season. Take a look at the results below!

 

How did we collect our results?

Turning to the three titans of online movie criticism, we looked at IMDB rankings, Rotten Tomatoes scores, and Google percentages of users who liked the movie. Taking the scores from across these sites, we then averaged them to create an index of the all-time top Christmas movies.

streaming christmas movie

 

Nido Student’s Top-Rated Christmas Movies

top 10 christmas movies

 

Despite only coming out on Netflix last year, Klaus managed to beat some real festive heavy hitters, including It’s a Wonderful Life, The Muppets Christmas Carol and Miracle on 34th Street. And while traditionalists may not like the inclusion of Die Hard on our list – with debate still raging over whether it’s a Christmas film or not – the fact is, John McClane is for life, not just for Christmas, and worthy of inclusion on any movie listicle.

The top 10 is also interesting in the festive favourites missing from our list. Classics like Home Alone, Love Actually and Elf were all denied a place in this upper echelon. Nevertheless, a viewing schedule consisting of these Christmas capers is a good selection by any reckoning, we’d say.

Oh, and by the way, if you were to watch all 167 of the mainstream Christmas movies (i.e. the ones not made for TV) analysed as part of our research, it would take you 16,499 minutes to watch them all – which works out at just over 11 days to get through them all. Factor in the TV movies as well, and you’re looking at a 31,398-minute session, or 3.8 weeks, to polish off the list.

friends watching christmas movies

 

Nido Student’s Lowest-Rated Christmas Movies

worst rated christmas movies

We’re firm believers that a bad Christmas film can still have a certain magic about it. And while everyone’s mileage may vary, some people just love a bad movie.

Nevertheless, there’s plenty of interesting points to take away from these perceived cinematic lumps of coal. For one, 2014’s Saving Christmas was far and away the loser, even with the Rotten Tomatoes score dragging the average up from its woeful 1.4 rating on IMDB. Even so, it’s still a full 12 points lower than second place, 2002’s Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House.

Speaking of which, it was a bad showing for the Culkin-less efforts of the franchise, with the third film also taking the eighth spot. The third Home Alone film was also the only film from the 20th century to make our bottom ten, while six other films were from this decade alone. Still, if you love Christmas that much, we’re sure you could still have fun watching this list, we guess.

 

Are Christmas movies getting better or worse?

How have Christmas movies fared over time? In our research, we wanted to see if there has been a notable dip in quality. To do this, we compared the aggregated average score of all movies against their year of release, to see whether ratings fluctuated. Although “better or worse” is all a matter of taste, here’s what we found:

  • Movies consistently ranked highly from the 1930s to now, though scores have generally declined from the 1930s to 2020.
  • Before 1960, none of the Christmas movies on our list scored below 65, making the 1930-1960 the time when the most consistently high-ranking festive films were released.
  • Most movies released between 1930 and 1960 scored within 75 to 100, whereas between 1980 to 2020 most movies ranked within the 50 to 75 range – we think we can thank Saving Christmas for that!

 

We hope you enjoyed reading this rundown of festive favourites as much as we loved making it. If you’re looking for a student living experience that offers more, head over to the Nido Student homepage or drop us a line on 0207 1000 100 for more information on our student residences.