Top 12 Christmas movies: a merry little list

Gremlins: it made us all want a Mogwai for Christmas. Picture: Warner Bros.
Gremlins: it made us all want a Mogwai for Christmas. Picture: Warner Bros.

CHRISTMAS cheer went out the window at communitynews.com.au this week as we heatedly debated our favourite festive flicks.

And it turns out, sentimental attachment is a tough bind to break.

How dare anyone berate the films we’ve watched religiously in December since the days when teachers would wheel clunky televisions into classrooms as the year wrapped up.

“Can we watch Christmas Vacation this year, miss?”

“Sorry Tommy, Christmas Vacation is rated M. We have The Santa Clause featuring Tim Allen.”

Anyway, here is our list of Christmas movies painstakingly broken down to 12.

If it’s stinking hot outside, why not throw on one of these, turn up the air con and pretend you’re frolicking through the snow with Hugh Grant?

Unhappy with our list?

Let us know what’s missing!

Season’s greetings.

Gremlins (1984, PG)

gremlins

Biting satire of the super schmaltzy Christmas movies we like to watch with our family during the holidays as cute little fur ball Mogwai spawns a horde of nasty critters (who enjoy Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when not wreaking havoc) when the golden rules are not abided by.

Julian Wright

The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996, MA)

The_Long_Kiss_Goodnight

You just can’t go wrong with Samuel L. Jackson at Christmas time. Add to that a bad-arse Geena Davis playing a CIA assassin with amnesia (move over, Jason Bourne) amongst scenes of knife throwing and explosions against the backdrop of Niagara Falls and there’s more than enough gratuitous action to make up for the lack of substance in this holiday classic.

Arylene Westlake-Jennings

Millions (2004, PG)

millions

After the death of his mother, an imaginative young boy finds a bag of cash that does him more harm than good in the lead up to Christmas. In Millions, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle proves he can move us with a beautifully-shot British children’s film just as skilfully as he can terrify us with a skin crawler like 28 Days Later.

Mark Donaldson

Die Hard (1988, M)

<img style="float:left; margin: 0 10px 0 0" src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5821/23233885039_5918779a3d_m.jpg" wlan Rickman? Check. Heartwarming message of love, friendship and redemption? Check. All that, and Bruce Willis’ hero gives us a great holiday tip about recycling gift-wrapping tape as a gun holster.

Rosanna Candler

Bad Santa (2003, MA)

bad santa

Bad Santa is the ultimate anti-Christmas movie. Billy Bob Thornton’s Santa is a bitter, repulsive, alcoholic. It’s the dirtiest and funniest Christmas movie out there. It’s also highly quotable – not that we can repeat any of those quotes in print.

Rachel Fenner

Home Alone (1990, PG)

home alone

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) harnesses the power of toys and household items to fight off baddies in the name of having a decent Christmas. What is cooler than that? “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal”.

Joel Kelly

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, G)

nightmare

Is it a Halloween movie, is it a Christmas movie? No one really knows. Eitherway it is a fun, family-friendly romp of craziness which is perfect for the festive season.

Rebecca Coutts-Smith

Crackers (1998, M)

crackers

Not a snow flake in sight. The hilarious Crackers does Christmas comedy in the Australian suburbs. A family mourns the death of a pet in an exploding barbecue mishap. A teenager buries himself in the backyard using a scuba snorkel for air. Dysfunctional family Christmas chaos reigns while comedian Peter Rowsthorn lopes around at his awkward best.

Mark Donaldson

Love Actually (2003, M)

love actually

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, G)

muppet

Who can resist those crazy Muppets bringing the classic Charles Dickens tale to life. Throw in Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge and it is happy holidays all round in this clever Christmas movie.

Tanya MacNaughton

White Christmas (1954, G)

white christmas

The dresses and sparkle! The singing and dancing! The Technicolor marvel! You may not know the 1954 movie, but you know the song. Irving Berlin’s magnificent soundtrack crowned with Bing Crosby singing that all-time classic, and also starring Danny Kaye, is so filled with treacly sweetness and innocence you can’t help but fall in love with it.

Janice Teo

Black Christmas (1974, R)

black christmas

Preceding horror classic Halloween (1978), this chilling horror/thriller sees the festive holiday turn violent for a group of sorority girls who begin receiving obscene phone calls from someone lurking inside their house.

Julian Wright