The holiday season is all about memories, whether it be making new ones or recalling old ones. And, what better way to reminisce, than with a great film. The holidays for most of us, myself included, mean enjoying a number of seasonal “greats,”—often repeatedly. Really, who hasn’t seen Home Alone and The Grinch—the ’60s animated version, of course—multiple times during the month of December? Tis the season for tradition, and when it comes to spending the holidays indoors, a comfy couch, a big bowl of popcorn (for eating and stringing) and a movie, can be a time machine, set back to your days in one-piece pyjamas.
To help you plan for the perfect holiday movie marathon, below is a list of must-watch films (some more festive than others, but all classics in their own right), compiled for your viewing pleasure. No matter what your holiday film needs be (romance, laughter or action), we’ve got your perfect movie night companion.
This is a Christmas movie that will help you appreciate your family through all the stress/chaos the holidays seem to habitually usher in. It reminds us that there are more important things than presents and holiday treats. And, should you be soul-searching in any way, this little film may just be able to help you through the emotional roller coaster that is the holiday season.
*SPOILER ALET!* This film can be watched any time of the year, but it’s especially well-timed towards the end of December, thanks to the New Year’s Eve love confession at the end. It will keep us hopeless romantics hopeful as ever, and remind everyone that love can find you when you least expect it…and arrive in the most unexpected forms. Definitely a guilty rom-com pleasure worth indulging in.
Yes, the Muppets are for kids, but as anyone over the PG-13 category will discover, this film is a delight that grownups can appreciate. A true classic, we promise this one will have you laughing over your cup of cocoa, as much as another Ebenezer-themed favourite of ours, Scrooged. Filled with unconventional humor, the characters we all know and love, sing out songs to lift everyone’s spirit. This is a light watch worthy of its weight in shortbread!
There isn’t one person out there who won’t be moved by Emma Thompson’s heartbreaking scene in the film or inspired to laugh giddily whenever Bill Nighy is on screen. A film with something for everyone (including Walking Dead fans, particularly those rooting for Rick)—no matter what mood you’re in, and no matter what is going on in your life. You will no doubt have a heartstring or two twanged by this British comedy.
This film lives out a woman’s ultimate fantasy: an exotic Christmas in the English countryside, marked by romance, romance and more romance. Add in a cute cottage, a blanket of snow and Jude Law and the dream is complete. With its picturesque festive setting and stellar cast (see poster above), this is definitely a good one to pop in if you want a dose of holiday spirit coupled with romance.
For those who tend to glaze over at the thought of holiday spirit, you can still celebrate the snowy season with something a little less sentimental. Everything about this iconic film is thrilling, smart and captivating. Perfect for any cinephile looking for an alternative to holiday redemption stories…the ghost of Christmas past can’t help ol’ Jack with his predicament in this one.
Literature is something that pairs well with the holidays—think fireplace and the last of that pile of novels to get through before 2015—and this adaptation of the story of Peter Pan is something that will not only satisfy your bookworm tendencies, but also get your holiday spirit flowing. A touching tale for literary history buffs, we recommend you press play on this one after the eye of the holiday storm has passed and you’r ready for some R&R on the couch.
A favourite almost dudes, this series offers Christmas themes paired with non-stop action. Girl or guy, you’ll want to make this series part of your holiday movie tradition. Nothing says the holidays like Bruce Willis kicking bad guy butt! If you’re one of the lucky ones with a two-week holiday break, a Die Hard marathon is a gift to give yourself.
If you want to completely escape the holidays, one of the best ways to do so is to take off to Middle Earth. Take inspiration from the battles in this classic trilogy, and learn how to wrangle unruly family members in during holiday chaos of the Griswold variety. Bonus? Should you crave more tales from Middle Earth, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is now in theatres.
Who needs an excuse to watch Ghostbusters really? This is the sort of film you keep on hand for a rainy day no matter what the season. After all the Hallmark holiday specials on TV, you’re going to need a break from true festive films, and this one is sure to instantly snap you out of December. What do portals to unearthly evil dimensions have to do with the holidays? Nothing…and that’s the point!