Where Are the Christmas Movies?

Around midnight last night, the House of Representatives passed the Senate tax bill with an "unexpectedly large bipartisan majority of 277-148."  The bill includes a payroll tax break, a lower estate tax, and, most publicized, a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts to all income brackets.  As the bill waits for Obama's final approval, there's loud punditry on both sides.  And in the middle of the debates, the praise, the criticism, the griping, the back-slapping, the 2012 projections, the partisanship, the "too muches," and the "not enoughs," I'm going to talk about Christmas movies.

Or the lack thereof.  That's right, 2010 may go down in history as the Scroogiest (feel free to steal my new adjective) year ever, because there are NO new Christmas movies coming out this season. (Note: there was a shortlived "Nutcracker 3D," but it was so poorly reviewed that it's not being given a wide release.) 

Critic Andy Goldberg blames, at least partly, the Oscar race.  December has increasingly become the month for Oscar-contenders, which is an annoying and expensive phenomenon that I'm sure I'll rant about more in January.  Preview: you suffer through sub-par movies on Saturday nights all year long, just to have the first 10 movies you actually want to see come out in the 2 weeks between Christmas and New Year when you're stuck playing board games [or drinking] with your [if it's my] family and you're too poor from Christmas gifts [booze] to spend $10 dollars on every awesome film finally deigning to come to theaters. Ugh!
But with no new Christmas classics in theaters, and only ONE Christmas movie scheduled for 2011 (that doesn't even really count because it's BRITISH and ANIMATED and neither one of those words sound like "John Hughes" to me), I'm bringing you a nostalgic Christmas countdown of the best Christmas movies ever made.  I wasn't going to rank mine, but then I found this list on Popeater and thought almost all of their rankings were dead on.  So I'm ranking mine, stolen partially from Popeater, with a few tweaks and additions.


Cindy Loo Who?
18. Jingle All the Way (at Bin Minter's request)

17. Bad Santa (which I've never seen, but it made a bunch of Christmas lists, so I'm including it.) 

16. The Polar Express

15. Scrooged

Wishing You A Michael Caine-y Christmas

14. Elf

13.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 T.V. version)

12. The Santa Clause

11. The Muppet Christmas Carol

I think White Christmas is the one in technicolor.

10. Home Alone 2

9. Love Actually

8. Nightmare Before Christmas

7. Miracle on 34th Street

6. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

5. Holiday Inn/White Christmas (I can never remember which of these Irving Berlin classics is which, so I'm combining them)

Triple Dog Dare
4. Die Hard  

3. Home Alone 

2. It's a Wonderful Life

1. A Christmas Story


Movies whose dismal box office returns and critical slaying may also be responsible for the Christmas movie drought this year.

7. Rent  (I'm a fan, but the movie was terrible, original cast notwithstanding.)

6. Four Christmases

5. Ernest Saves Christmas 

4. Batman Returns

LIES! LIES on your cover!
3. Disney's A Christmas Carol in 3D (2009)

2. Fred Clause

1. Home Alone 3

I think what we've learned here is that Vince Vaughn and Jim Carey have ruined Christmas for the rest of us. Thanks for Scroogifying Hollywood, jerks.

AND BONUS: Courtesy of my friend Amer and Huffington Post Christmas movie poster spoofs, aka, the best Christmas movies that never were.  Is an internet Christmas miracle!
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Write comments
December 17, 2010 at 10:42 AM delete

Notable Omissions:

Die Hard
Trading Places

December 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM delete

no WAY home alone beats christmas vacation.

December 17, 2010 at 11:05 AM delete

You forgot both modern Jack Frosts: the one with Michael Keaton dying and his spirit inhabiting his kid's snowman, and the one with a murderous snowman that bangs Shannon Elizabeth with his carrot nose.

Whether you'd put those under best or worst is up to personal preference.

December 17, 2010 at 12:15 PM delete

Bad Santa, Scrooged and How the Grinch stole Christmas (this one easily a top 5) behind the Santa Clause? And we're talking about Polar Express...the movie (not the book)? Seriously???

This list = fail.

December 22, 2010 at 9:02 PM delete

What was wrong with Fred Claus?
N.B. Claus doesn't have an 'e' in it.. you must have been studying too much law! :p

Alison Lee
December 23, 2010 at 11:18 AM delete

Oh wow, thanks Michael! You're totally right about the misspelling. Maybe that's why Brad was so angry - he thought I was referring to "The Santa Clause 3: Escape Clause."


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