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 ’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 or this would have quickly transitioned into American History X. 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 an imaginary elf and eating 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 II‘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 dangerous but he ends up giving in to his 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 in their decision-making. Ben Affleck plays a real gross scumbag who is in prison for something that’s not as bad as murder. He and his best bro and cellmate, Nick, are about to get released and Nick is about to embark on a prison pen pal to IRL relationship with the shockingly attractive Charlize Theron. However, Nick gets murdered in a prison riot instigated by Issac Hayes so Affleck takes his identity so he can decorate Theron‘s Christmas tree, so to speak. They have a lot of obnoxious sex on the floor and just when Affleck is thinking he hit the jackpot, Gary Sinise comes in as her dumb-as-dog-shit criminal brother who thinks Affleck is Nick so he makes him rob a casino or something. The plot is so convoluted and nothing gets resolved in a remotely satisfying way, so the best thing to do is just sit back and marvel at the Macy’s Day parade of stupidity that is unraveling in front of you. (Pluto TV)

38. Rocky IV

This is the movie where Rocky (celebrated boxer IRL 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. 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! (HBOMax)

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 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 has 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 resident 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 turned the world into a super fascist police state. Can Richie Rich save the day from this twelve-year-old Hitler? Oddly enough, you really 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) 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 bad movie, but one I really enjoy. 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 seems like rough 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 being all about consumerism. Mostly it’s 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 here as he was in Phantom Menace, but it’s amusing to think that George Lucas watched this and was like, “That’s my Anakin!”. (Disney+)

34. Coming to America

Look, it’s not really a Christmas movie but it possesses many great qualities that a Christmas movie makes. 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 (liberal and/or super chill) can enjoy. There’s also a great musical/dance sequence early on with Alan Bates really bringing home the soul. Eddie Murphy is hilarious in several roles inlcuding an old Jewish man and a creepy musician, and besides that, it’s chock full of great comedic performances from a healthy staple of American character actors from Frankie Faison to Louie Anderson to Madge Sinclair to the incomparable Samuel L. Jackson. I watched this movie all the time with my family growing up and now I demand you to watch it with yours. ($3.99 rental on Amazon Prime)

33. Go

One of the better blatant Pulp Fiction rip-offs, Go didn’t make a splash in the box office but critics went totally cuckoo for it. Basically, it follows 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) who are busted by an asshole cop (William Fichtner) and forced to wear a wire during a drug deal. The gay soap opera actor plotline probably hasn’t aged particularly well, but I remember really enjoying this. ($3.99 rental on Amazon Prime)

32. The Royal Tenenbaums

Another “not really a Christmas movie” movie, but again, it does tick a lot of holiday movie boxes. First of all, it actually has a scene taking place around the holidays, it’s about a family trying to overcome how shitty their dad (a remarkable Gene Hackman) is and the color palette really screams Christmas. Not necessarily red and greens but a lot of whites and pinks accompanied by cold weather. You might see that as a chilly Easter but I see it as a fancy Christmas. It’s also an incredibly funny film and still to date Wes Anderson‘s best and most emotionally affecting movie. I wish Anderson still made movies about human beings instead of some dumb New Yorker fan-fiction shit he thought up sipping a comically small latte in a Paris cafe. ($3.99 rental on Amazon Prime)

31. Shoplifters

Let’s keep the “not really a Christmas movie” Christmas movie funk train going with a wonderfully life-affirming, but never in a cheap way, struggling family drama all the way from Japan. 2018’s Shoplifters centers around a makeshift, DIY family of homeless people. All coming from unique but equally devastating circumstances, they survive on the fringes of Tokyo until an unfortunate theft incident threatens to force them all apart. It’s rare you see a movie that drains you of tears without ever feeling forced or manipulative, but writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda achieves just that. Featuring an incredible ensemble, impeccable writing, 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 fat stupid losers, I’d avoid it. ($3.99 rental on 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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