By Linda Marric @linda_marric

Top 5 lists are never easy to compile and it’s almost impossible to please everyone, so as the yearly debate rumbles on about what constitutes a Christmas movie and whether Die Hard is one of them, here’s a list of my recent and all time favourite holiday movies.

5- Bad Santa (2003)

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 The recent sequel to this 2003 box-office hit might have been a huge disappointing mess, but the original remains one of the best and most cynical holiday movies of all time. Billy Bob Thornton brings a much needed antidote to the forced Christmas cheer with a brilliantly sedate profanity-laden performance. A true holiday classic and the only non-PG in this top 5.

4- The Family Stone (2005)

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A rarely talked about gem of a Christmas movie about love, destiny and terminal illness (I know, very festive). Written and directed by Thomas Bezucha, this tearjerker starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton will have you sobbing into your eggnog just when you expect it the least. With more heart and less cringe-inducing schmaltz than Love Actually, The Family Stone is “THE” holiday rom-com to watch over and over again.

3- Elf (2003)

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What’s not to like? Will Farrell’s child-like charm and wonderment is sure to win over even the most cynical of souls. This box-office flop that became an all time favourite will go on to be loved by young and old in equal measures.

 

2- Scrooged (1988)

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A modern twist on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, with the inimitably grumpy Bill Murray as a heartless TV executive with little time for human interaction and even less time for Christmas cheer and merriment.

 

1- It’s A Wonderful Life (1943)

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The daddy of all Christmas movies, Frank Capra’s life-defining story about a man who must learn to trust his destiny is one of the most cherished films of all time. Way before Tom Hanks, the role of America’s dad came to fall upon James Stewart, the most likeable of all classic era Hollywood stars. No Christmas top 10 or 5 can be complete without It’s A Wonderful Life right at the top of it. An evergreen classic.

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