40 Best Christmas Movies (Part 1 – #40-#31)

Well, the weather outside might soon be frightful, but this list of movies sure is delightful. Enhance your 2021 Holiday experience with the right Christmas movies and I won’t make up any more stupid ass puns you have to read.

NOTE: Most of the movies on this list are widely regarded as Christmas movies, but about a fourth are not regarded as Christmas Movies in the slightest. I took some liberties to spice up the list by giving you some film suggestions that deal with the same or similar themes as Christmas movies or just feel like a Christmas movie. Feel free to argue with me about it in the comments.

Let’s get things started with #40-#31…

40. The Santa Clause

“Does this hot chocolate come with your phone number? Whaaaat? She’s legal, she just looks seven! She’s a one-hundred-year-old elf! If anything, she’s taking advantage of me!” – Tim Allen, The Santa Clause

The Santa Claus is not a good movie at all, but I think there’s a certain element of hate-watch to be had mixed in with the ’90s childhood nostalgia. Tim Allen‘s character in this is quite simply, an absolute prick. He’s a dismissive jackass with an arsenal of stupid, punching-down dad jokes, and thank God nobody in the movie asks him for his take on reparations or border control. He begins having these self-aggrandizing delusions that he’s Santa Claus, so much so it affects the mental stability of his young son. He begins imagining a grumpy Jewish elf teenager and eats like a total pig in boardroom meetings. Peter Boyle is his prick boss, and you could argue this dick is more of a cock than Tim Allen, but he at least discourages this behavior. The hero of the movie is Beverly Hills Cop‘s Judge Reinhold as the only sane man in the room. He’s a psychiatrist which also means he’s the smartest man in the room. He rightfully sees Tim Allen as danger to his child and society, but he ultimately gives into the Santa delusions because Tim Allen buys him a weenie whistle. (Disney+)

39. Reindeer Games

If The Santa Clause isn’t a very good movie at all, this is a flat-out terrible one. A jarringly clumsy heist movie where no character uses any form of logic whatsoever in their decision-making. Ben Affleck plays a fuck boi in prison for something that’s not as bad as murder. He and his best bro/cellmate, Nick, are about to get released, with Nick embarking on a prison pen pal to IRL relationship with Charlize Theron. However, Nick gets murdered in a prison riot instigated by Issac Hayes over jello, so Affleck steals Nick’s identity so he can decorate Theron‘s Christmas tree with his uncut yule log. They have lotsa obnoxious sex on filthy motel carpet and just when Affleck is thinking he hit the jackpot, Gary Sinise comes in as her dumb-as-shit criminal brother. Thinking Affleck is Nick, who used to work at a casino, he makes Affleck rob aid in the robbing of that casino. The plot is so convoluted and nothing gets resolved in a satisfying way, so the best thing you can do is it back and marvel at this Macy’s Day parade of stupidity that is unraveling in front of you. (HBOMax)

38. Rocky IV

This is the movie where Rocky (actor man Sylvester Stallone) wins the Cold War with a Pay-Per-View boxing match. He gets a room full of Russian citizens to chant “USA! USA! USA!” without any kind of fear that they and their families will be “disappeared.” Ridiculous. But while it’s low on intelligence, it’s high on dumb entertainment. It’s certainly insensitive and problematic in a shit load of ways, but it’s very good entertainment considering. It’s one of the shortest Rocky movies, clocking in at just over 90 minutes, so it manages to not get caught up in a bunch of lukewarm Rocky family drama. There’s also a robot during a Christmas scene! ($3.99 rental on Amazon)

37. Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish

One of the stupidest movies I’ve ever seen. Even for a Disney Channel Original Movie, Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish fucking sucks. It tells the age-old tale of how poor people’s only hope is nice rich people. The Riches are a nice rich family that pretends to be all offended by flagrant displays of wealth yet still own gold toilets and shit. They’re friends with a mean rich family whose awful, sociopathic son wants to enslave the world. Eugene Levy (in a rare terrible performance, sporting a bizarre British accent) plays the Rich family’s personal mad scientist who invents a time-traveling/altering machine. Of course, it backfires and creates a world where the mean rich kid is now in charge and has transformed the world into an uber fascist police state. Can Richie Rich save the day from this 12-year-old Hitler? Oddly enough, you actually care. (Disney+)

36. The Ref

Kevin Spacey is probably going to be a tough sell this Holiday season seeing as though he’s a total sexual predator molester piece of shit, but you barely notice that he’s here. I mean, he gives arguably the best performance of the film and is arguably the lead, but like, you can pretend he’s not there. See, I uploaded a photo that only shows the back of his head because every other screenshot I could find showed the front of his head. If you like incredibly sarcastic 90s dark comedies and can put up with the site of Spacey, this is a fairly entertaining and amusingly outdated romp. Spacey and the great Judy Davis play a dysfunctional couple hosting a Christmas Eve dinner for Spacey‘s awful family, when a foul-mouthed cat burglar (Denis Leary) kidnaps them. But uh-oh, Spacey’s awful family is at the door and Leary has to pretend to be their marriage counselor. A really entertaining Glynis Johns (the mom from Mary Poppins that sang about voting) plays the asshole family matriarch. But you probably don’t want to watch a Kevin Spacey movie for Christmas, there’s plenty of other fun movies on this list. ($3.99 rental on Amazon Prime)

35. Jingle All the Way

This is an objectively terrible movie, but too bad cause I LOVE IT! What’s not to like about Arnold Schwarzenegger fighting a bunch of criminal Santas led by Jim Belushi? Or Sinbad going on angry tangents about holiday shopping that seem like choppy B-side material he’s workshopping. It’s super predictable, not nearly as funny as it thinks it is and tries to have this anti-consumerist message while literally merchandising every step of the way. Mostly its notable for two things – a genuinely hilarious supporting performance by Phil Hartman as a horny single dad and the discovery of young Anakin Skywalker himself, Jake Lloyd. Lloyd is as bad or worse as he was in Phantom Menace, but it’s amusing to think that George Lucas watched this and was like, “Hold on…that’s him. That’s my Anakin!”. (STARZ)

34. Coming to America

Look, it’s not really a Christmas movie but it possesses many of the attributes of one. It’s set primarily in the snow, features grand, colorful costumes and gorgeous fur coats, it’s about love, and above all, it’s a feel-good movie the whole family (not loser families tho :() can enjoy. Eddie Murphy is hilarious in multiple roles including an old Jewish man and a creepy musician. Besides Murphy, the film is loaded with great supporting comedic performances from a healthy staple of American character actors including Frankie Faison, Louie Anderson, Madge Sinclair, and even the incomparable Samuel L. Jackson. I used to watch this movie all the time with my parents growing up and now I demand you to watch it with yours! (HBOMax)

33. Go

One of the better Pulp Fiction rip-offs, Go didn’t make a splash in the box office but critics got wet for it. Basically, it’s an ensemble piece following a bunch of different gritty characters on Christmas Eve from Santa-hat-clad ecstasy dealers (Timothy Olyphant) to disgruntled retail employees (Sarah Polley, Katie Holmes) to a couple of closeted soap opera actors (Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf). The gay actors plot line probably hasn’t aged the best, but I remember really enjoying this movie as a whole. (Showtime)

32. The Royal Tenenbaums

Another “not really a Christmas movie” selection, but hey, it does in fact tick a lot of holiday movie boxes. First, it actually has a scene set during the holidays. Second, it’s about a family coming together even if it’s to confront their shitty dad (a remarkable Gene Hackman). Finally, the color palette screams Christmas! Not necessarily red and greens but a lot of whites and pinks accompanied by cold weather. You may see that as a chilly Easter but I see it as a fancy Christmas. And I wrote this article, so fuck off. The Royal Tenenbaums is an incredibly funny film and still Wes Anderson‘s best and most emotionally affecting movie to date. I wish he still made movies about people instead of some dumb New Yorker masturbatory fan-fiction crap he thought up sipping a comically small latte in a Paris cafe. (Hulu)

31. Shoplifters

Let’s keep the “not really a Christmas movie” train going with a wonderfully life-affirming, but never sentimental family drama all the way from Japan. 2018’s Shoplifters centers around a makeshift, DIY family of homeless people. All reeling from uniquely devastating circumstances, surviving on the fringes of Tokyo until an unfortunate theft incident threatens to force them all apart. It’s rare for tear-jerkers to not feel forced or manipulative, but writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda achieves just that. Featuring an incredible ensemble, warm and realistic dialogue, and characters you don’t ever want to part with, this is a great holiday movie for some really cool and hip families. If your family is a bunch of stupid losers, I’d avoid it. (Amazon Prime)

See you next Wednesday with #30-#21 and a little Hannukah Hub for Great Jewish Movies not involving the Holocaust

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