Our favourite festive films to get you in the Christmas spirit

Written by

Tara Covell

Monday 22nd November 2021

From Home Alone to Die Hard to Bad Santa, here at Hitachi Personal Finance, we’ve put together a list of all our favourite Christmas films to get you in the festive spirit.

Home Alone (1990)

When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine O'Hara) makes him sleep in the attic.

After the McCallister’s mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he awakens to an empty house and assumes his wish to have no family has come true.

But his excitement sours when he realizes that two con men (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) plan to rob the McCallister residence, and that he alone must protect the family home.

Die Hard (1998)

“Die Hard?… Yes, it is a festive film!”

New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve.

He joins her during a Christmas party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, and everyone in it.

Very soon McClane realizes that there's no one to save the hostages...but him.

Source: BBC

Source: BBC

Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)

The Muppets perform the classic Dickens Christmas tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine).

Other Muppets -- Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Eagle -- weave in and out of the story, while Scrooge receives visits from spirits of three Christmases -- past, present, and future.

They show him the error of his self-serving ways, but is the miserable old man past any hope of redemption and happiness?

Jack Frost (1998)

“It has everything a Christmas film should have. Tragedy. Festive magic. Adorable child who shows his neglectful parents the true meaning of Christmas. A snowman.”

As a touring musician clinging to dreams of stardom, aging rocker Jack Frost (Michael Keaton) never had much time for his wife, Gabby (Kelly Preston), and young son, Charlie (Joseph Cross).

A year after Jack's tragic death in a car accident on Christmas Day, Charlie plays a mournful tune on his father's harmonica.

Much to his surprise, the elder Frost is magically brought to life as a snowman on the family lawn. Given a second chance, Charlie, and Jack struggle to make up for lost time.

Bad Santa (2003)

In this dark comedy, the crotchety Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner (Tony Cox) reunite once a year for a holiday con.

Posing as a mall Santa and his elf, they rip off shopping outlets on Christmas Eve.

This year, however, Willie is falling apart. He's depressed and alcoholic, and his erratic behaviour draws the suspicion of mall security (Bernie Mac).

But when befriending a small boy brings out his kinder side, Willie begins to wonder if there is still some hope for him.

How the Grinch stole Christmas (2000)

“The plot is dreadful, but being grouchy and misanthropic is what the festive season is all about…”

In this live-action adaptation of the beloved children's tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville.

Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Who’s.

However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen).

Elf (2003)

Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves.

Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn't fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father.

As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results.

Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

Finally, alone for the holidays, Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) plan to eschew the Christmas traditions and take a cruise in the Caribbean instead.

This doesn't sit well with their Christmas-obsessed neighbours Vic Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd) and Walt Scheel (M. Emmet Walsh), who are determined to win the annual "best decorated street" competition, and the Kranks soon find themselves social outcasts because of their lack of Christmas spirit.