How many of our 15 must watch Christmas films have you seen?
Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people. Family, food, drink, shopping, presents. What’s missing?
Films, of course!
What would the Christmas period be without a Christmas movie on in the background, or without a family favourite to settle down to? There are Christmas films coming out of our stockings these days, but what are the must watch flicks? What can you not miss out on over the holiday period?
Home Alone is definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to deciding what your favourite Christmas film is. Macauley Culkin and his adventures keep us entertained and shocked, year in, year out. We recently ran a poll on our Insta story to see whether ‘Home Alone’ or its sequel ‘Lost in New York’ was better and it was ‘Home Alone 2’ that came out on top. This year you can immerse yourself in the story even more so by heading down to the Home Alone themed bar in Cains Brewery. Watch the flick and then head out for a tipple. KEVIN!
Love Actually is a masterpiece from Rom-Com maverick, Richard Curtis. The film is on repeat from December 1st and has developed a following of fans that go to interaction screenings. This year the love story hits the road accompanied by an orchestra and, although the Liverpool date is sold out, you can still stick it on to feel all fuzzy inside. P.S Netflix are finally making it available on its streaming platform from 14th December, and Sky have it available for free too. “Love Actually is all around”.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Released in 1946 Frank Capra’s, It’s A Wonderful Life, is the ultimate Christmas movie. Last year it celebrated it’s 70th birthday, and at 71, it really doesn’t show its age being as relevant, heart breaking and life affirming as it was when first released. This iconic, black & white journey is being screened in The Philharmonic Hall on Christmas Eve, as well as at FACT, giving viewers a chance to immerse themselves in 1940s New York on the Big Screen once again.
The Muppets Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is another iconic Christmas tale that has made its way onto our screens in various different incarnations, however, no more suited to the modern festive season than The Muppets version. Based around Ebenezer Scrooge, the story is as seasonal as it is scary and therefore the light-hearted nature of The Muppets makes it perfect for family viewing. You’ll be singing and sobbing, jeering and cheering, shuddering and laughing. Head down to the BME for a chance to catch a special screening The Muppets Christmas Carol.
Die Hard is a film based around Christmas that has been adopted as a full onChristmas film. Bruce Willis is John McClane who must stop a terrorist organisation amidst visiting his estranged wife and two daughters on Christmas Eve. This film can be viewed all year round, of course, but there is no better time than the festive period. And, if you want a chance to catch this on the big screen, head down to the Dovedale Towers who are screening the action on 19th December.
Every year since its release in 2003, Elf has made it in to the top rankings of the world’s favourite Christmas films. This is no easy feat for modern flicks as many fail at capturing our hearts when they go up against classics such as Die Hard and It’s A Wonderful Life. However, Will Ferrell’s Buddy has made light work of becoming a staple seasonal show. Light-hearted, funny and suitable for all the family – perfect Christmas viewing. For your chance to catch Elf in the wild, head down to The Jacaranda 11th December for their Monday Movie Club.
Jim Carey’s 2000 performance of the Grinch holds a funny place in film goers hearts. Many people knock the film as ‘just another Christmas film’, however, Carey’s performance transforms it to being a must watch at this time of year. And, with a 2018 animation in the works, we reckon that this kooky Christmas cracker is definitely worth a re-watch. With that, why not head down to the stunning setting of St. Georges Hall on 22nd December to catch this screened properly? We can’t think of reason, so don’t be a Grinch.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Battling with It’s A Wonderful Life for a place at the top of the best Christmas films of all time is the story of Miracle on 34th Street. The first screen adaptation was from 1947, however our favourite is the 1994 remake starring the late Richard Attenborough as Christopher Cringle. Is he really Santa, or is he as crazy as the big bad bosses think he is? Find out by either viewing the film on Netflix or at St. Georges Hall this December.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Like your Christmas with a dark twist? Well this is the first of a couple of Christmas films that have a dark side. Time Burton’s poem, turned feature film by Henry Selick, has developed a near cult following and has crafted some unmistakable imagery. The stop-motion animation gives Christmas a creepy makeover all the way including infectious songs and story line to warm the heart of what is a cold looking film at a cold time of year. The Jacaranda finishes off their film nights with The Nightmare Before Christmas on 18th December.
No, this is not the 2017 Horror/Thriller that tanked earlier this year, it is the 1982 short film that shot Aled Jones to fame (quick fact, it wasn’t actually him on the film soundtrack, it was Peter Auty). Anyway, the 27 minutes long, hand drawn, fantasy cartoon injects that bit of magic that every Christmas period needs. Yes, the kids might moan at first because its old or whatever, but by the end of this very short session, they will wish that their snowman would walk through the air with them.
A good Christmas Rom-Com is one of the rarest in all the land. That is why this 2006 holiday treat makes it into the list. Starring Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, this all-star cast cross the Atlantic in attempt to find love during a season that is all about couples, kids and families. Available on various streaming platforms, settle down with the other half, or your best mate, get the chocs out, get cosy and pour yourself a prosseco for this one.
The Polar Express
The Polar Express makes it onto the list for two reasons.
1: Tom Hanks’ voice is one of the most comforting and feel good things in this world.
2: It’s a fantastic festive story that works for the whole family.
So there you have it. Plus, it is visually splendid.
Frozen is the highest grossing animation ever and it’s easy to see why when you’ve got girls (and boys) still singing along to Let It Go as if it is still stuck in their head from the first time they saw the film. With the short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure playing before the latest Disney release, CoCo, we couldn’t ignore this mammoth movie.
Jingle All The Way
Jingle All The Way is one of those Christmas films that is so bad, it’s good. Sorry Arnie, but it’s true. The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, plays a workaholic who wants to make things up to his son during the holiday season, however, as you can imagine, not everything goes exactly to plan. This family friendly romp is available on Netflix and various other streaming platforms, or, I’m sure you can catch it on ‘normal TV’. Saddle up and see how many quotes you can bang out in your best Arnie impression.
As with The Nightmare Before Christmas, this one is for fans of darker themes, even over the Christmas period. Gremlins has become a cult creature feature for Horror and Sci-Fi fans, although people often forget that this is in fact a Christmas movie. The flick isn’t a scary as you might first think – it is a PG – and has a lot of comedy thrown in. That said, with it being on the risky side of Christmas, maybe just indulge in this one when your own little gremlins have gone to bed.