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It's time to open your presents, because we're about to count down the 10 most popular Christmas films of all time! This is “Movie Night”!
*theme song plays*
Merry Christmas, and welcome to “Movie Night,” on its brand-new time-slot of Fridays. I'm your host, Jonathan Paula. Last week, I asked you to vote for your favorite Christmas movies, and over 2,000 of you voted in the poll.
But it's worth understanding exactly who “you” are. The demographic breakdown for “Movie Night” is as follows: 80% of you are male, and over 50% of you are under the age of 25.
So, with that information in mind, I present to you the top-10 most popular Christmas films of all time, as voted on, and reviewed by, the “Movie Night” audience!
Starting with number 10, “A Christmas Carol.” Originally written as a novel by Charles Dickens in 1843, this classic tale shares the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a cynical and embittered old man who is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas...
past, present, and future, to help him examine the errors of his ways. "A Christmas Carol" has been adapted into hundreds of films, plays, and television specials, but perhaps the most popular version is the 1992 adaptation, "The Muppet Christmas Carol."
Here's jadencampbell3's review: “Surprisingly accurate to the original story, but ‘Muppet’ combines the original story with corny musical numbers, jokes that break the fourth wall..."
"...and Michael Caine in possibly the greatest interpretation of Scrooge ever. This film is greater than the sum of its parts, so bad it’s good, and a Christmas tradition in the hearts and minds of many. 9/10."
And now, let's look at #9, "The Polar Express." This motion capture animated film by director Robert Zemeckis was a big hit when it was released during the holiday season in 2004.
It’s about a young boy's dream journey to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, on board a magical train conducted by Tom Hanks.
bostonsweetie23 writes: "’Polar Express’ is a Christmas feast for the eyes and offers a heartwarming story of a young boy who's searching for the true spirit of Christmas."
"While the movie is beautiful to look at, it fails with a slow plot filled with silly obstacles and secondary characters who add nothing to the story. Still a great family movie that will surely get you into the spirit of Christmas."
In the #8 spot is “The Santa Clause," starring Tim Allen in the title role. This 1994 live-action comedy not only spawned two sequels, it also effectively launched Tim Allen's film career.
In the movie, Allen's character accidentally kills Santa on Christmas night, and suddenly finds himself responsible for resuming his duties. Here's knarfxgamer review: "Probably one of my favorite movies."
“Most of Tim Allen's older work was very good, and this movie was definitely that. The sequels didn't really live up to the original, but they weren't that bad. 9/10.”
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is the 7th film on our list, starring Jim Carrey as The Grinch. The 2000 live-action adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss children's book is about a green goblin who attempts to rob the village of Whoville during Christmas.
InsideUniversal writes: "A fantastic movie that definitely relived the storybook fantasy of Dr. Seuss. There were many chances to shift away from the original book, but Jim Carrey and Ron Howard carried the movie beautifully and with taste."
"Grossly underrated by the critics, in my opinion. 8/10.” The sixth-most popular Christmas film is 1983's "A Christmas Story," a holiday classic usually seen during 24-hour marathons on basic cable.
It's a light-hearted and nostalgic look at a 9-year-old's quest to get a toy air-rifle for Christmas. It also coined the iconic phrase, "You'll shoot your eye out!"
PossumCuber writes: "A classic movie that relates to almost everyone. Especially growing up as the only child to an overprotective mother, I know how it feels to have something (or, in my case, everything) be too dangerous."
"I could watch this movie over and over. 10/10." At number five is National Lampoon's “Christmas Vacation,” the third of five "vacation" movies starring the dysfunctional Griswold family.
Chevy Chase stars in perhaps his most famous role, as a father whose family Christmas celebration quickly turns into a massive nightmare. Here's TheLargeFry's review: "Without a doubt, one of the best."
"The movie shows how crazy the holiday can be, and how the holiday can make you crazy, as well. If it weren't for this movie, we would have never known how to break the sound barrier while sledding. 10/10.”
Fourth on our list is the curiously Christmas-themed 1988 action classic, “Die Hard.” A yearly tradition in my household, Bruce Willis stars as rogue New York police detective John McClane...
...who finds himself stuck inside a Los Angeles skyscraper right after German terrorists take it hostage and try to rob it. Perhaps anticipating your concerns that this isn't actually a holiday film...
...lawbn writes: "This has to be the greatest Christmas movie ever. Don't even argue! It takes place on Christmas and has great messages, like ‘love your family’ and ‘be thankful for what you have.’ The naughty get punished, and the good get rewarded."
"Best Christmas movie ever! I'm watching ‘Die Hards’ 1 and 2 on Christmas. 10/10." In the third spot is the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy, “Elf,” directed by Jon Favreau. Ferrell plays Buddy, a regular boy who is accidentally raised at the North Pole as an elf.
When he realizes he's not like the other elves around him, Buddy visits New York City to try to find his biological father. Pumpkinwife has this review: "Will Ferrell has made a career of playing an obnoxious brat in a grown man's body..."
"...so it is an amazingly delightful surprise to find the child inhabiting this six-foot-tall elf to be a charming, wide-eyed innocent kid who is welcomed back into the family by his dad's wife and son."
"But it is the relationship between father and elf that allows us again to see the true spirit of Christmas. 10/10." The runner-up on our list is the John Hughes’ classic from 1990, "Home Alone."
Not only did this slapstick family comedy single-handedly launch the career of its childhood star Macaulay Culkin, it also holds the distinction of being the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time...
...with over $475 million in box office revenue worldwide. Culkin plays Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy frustrated with his family, who wishes he didn't have one.
When he wakes up on Christmas morning the next day, he discovers he's been accidentally left home alone, after his entire family flies to Paris on vacation and forgets about him.
Matters are then complicated when two bumbling burglars attempt to rob the large house that Kevin is home alone in. nostalgiatrip1 writes: "One of the best Christmas movies, and one of John Hughes’ best movies."
The reason is because it's a modernization of ‘It's a Wonderful Life,’ but it applies to both the main character and the supporting cast, where both sides wish that the main character never existed."
"But when they are apart, they realize they really do love each other and they want to be together for Christmas. Plus, watching two adult idiots get outsmarted by a kid is always fun."
And now, the number-one most popular Christmas film of all time, as voted on by the “Movie Night” audience, "The Nightmare Before Christmas"! This 1993 stop-motion fantasy film by director Tim Burton is about Jack Skellington...
...the "Pumpkin King" of the dream world of Halloween Town. But Jack grows tired of scaring humans every October 31st, and, when he discovers a secret portal to "Christmas Town," that's when things start to get interesting.
CBK911 writes: "An amazing movie with its creative animation, entertaining songs, and very relatable characters. This movie takes a very different idea towards Christmas, resulting in a very memorable film. 10/10."
mackieflann adds: "An amazing film intertwining the frightful scenes of Halloween with the joyful love of Christmas. You could watch it three times in a row and still be entertained. Perfect for the holidays and for the family. 10/10."
Well, there you have it, the top-ten most popular Christmas films of all time. Notably absent from this list, I noticed, and just 9 votes shy of the #10 spot, was "It's A Wonderful Life."
While the movie was released over 70 years ago, I strongly encourage you to check out this Jimmy Stewart classic. Of course, also check out the other top 10. All are fantastic movies!
But that does it for tonight's special Christmas episode of "Movie Night." Now, let's take a look at some of Hollywood's latest releases, with some Tweet Critiques.
Remember, if you're going to see a new movie this weekend in theaters, submit your Twitter review using the #JPMN hashtag, to have it featured on an upcoming episode.
Next week, we'll be reviewing two new DVD releases, "Easy A," the Emma Stone teen comedy loosely based on "The Scarlet Letter," and "The American", a suspense thriller starring George Clooney as a deadly assassin.
If you've have already seen these movies, please let me know what you think about them by voting in the poll below or by leaving a comment review below. I'll be picking my six favorites to feature in next week's episode.
Until then, my name is Jonathan Paula. Thank you for watching “Movie Night," and have a very merry Christmas. I hope to see you right back here next Friday!
*end credits play*
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Most Popular Christmas Films Of All Time!

5120 Folder Collection
VoiceTube published on December 13, 2012
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