Staff Recommendations: the Top 8 Christmas Movies

This holiday season, the staff of High School 1327 News put together a list of our top eight recommended Christmas movies for you to enjoy. Let us know your favorite in the poll below.

#8- It’s A Wonderful Life

Promotional Material Courtesy of Liberty Films
By Aler Giffin

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” released Jan. 9. 1947, will forever be a classic. The plot depicts the life of George Bailey (James Stewart) as he goes through the ups and down of finding love and keeping his family’s bank afloat in the early 1900s. This produces an overwhelming feeling that there is still hope no matter how dismal life is. The film was shot in black and white, as well as incorporated primarily classical instrumentals to portray the mood exhibited throughout scenes.  The acting is emotional and hectic, as the viewer sees characters carrying out preposterous upbeat movements in almost every scene.  Overall, I would recommend viewing the film around the holidays, even though it might not match today’s standards, it is still a classic that will bring the viewer a smile. 

 

#7- Polar Express

Promotional Material Courtesy of Universal Pictures
By Sophia Minutoli

“Polar Express,” released Oct. 30, 2004, is a movie I watched as a seventeen-year-old with extremely low expectations. What would I possibly gain by watching a G-rated cartoon movie about a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa? Shockingly, a lot. The plot features Hero Boy (Daryl Sabra) as he is reminded of the true meaning of Christmas through a train ride. The plot is incredibly random but exceptionally entertaining, with odd CGI and fun characters. The overall story is well written, captivates even older kids and adults, and brings to light what the Christmas spirit should be about. 

 

#6- Love Actually

By Aler Giffin

“Love Actually,” released Nov. 3, 2003, is a warmhearted film that repeats the same predictable plot structure found throughout a plethora of holiday movies. Following the tales of people from all walks of life, the movie touches on the aspects of trying to find love in the convoluted city life of London. The filming would be applicable to today’s standards, incorporating a quiver of differentiating angles with editing seamlessly fitting in with the scenes. The actors seemed to fit well in every role, yet the writing seemed off. I believe that the writers tried to make a twist from the formulaic plot with the outlandish occupations of the characters. Yet with only the first few scenes the viewer can predict the main results through the characters’ interactions. The film was mediocre with a few admirable scenes, so if the viewer is into romcoms I would say that it is worth watching. 

#5- Home Alone 2

Promotional Material Courtesy of Hughes Entertainment
By Brynn Galaich

“Home Alone 2,” released Nov. 20, 1992, is a comedic sequel to “Home Alone.”  The plot, while hilarious and sweet, is extremely similar to that of the first movie. Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), now ten years old, accidentally boards the wrong plane on his family’s holiday trip to Florida. Like the original, Kevin is at first ecstatic about being alone, but soon finds that the Wet Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) have escaped from prison and are eager for revenge. The stakes are higher in this sequel, as Kevin must defend himself in a foreign city. This movie is a timeless classic with great characters and a fantastic plot. I would strongly recommend “Home Alone 2” to anyone who wants to watch a good Christmas movie.

#4- Christmas Story

Promotional Material Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
By Brynn Galaich and Alice Simenstad

“A Christmas Story,” released Nov. 18, 1983, is an uplifting and nostalgic movie for the whole family. Centered around nine-year-old Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) in the 1940s, “A Christmas Story” navigates one young boy’s relatable childhood mischief during the holiday season. Viewers will get swept up in Ralphie’s conflicts with schoolyard bullies, trouble with his overbearing mother (Melinda Dillon) and grouchy father (Darren McGavin), and his seemingly out-of-reach desperate wish for a Red Ryder air rifle. The film is narrated by an older Ralphie reminiscing about his ninth Christmas, reminding adult viewers of their own nostalgic holidays while younger viewers will relate more to young Ralphie. “A Christmas Story” is a truly sweet tale of a lovable American family which all ages will enjoy.

#3- Die Hard

Promotional Material Courtesy of Gordon Company Silver Pictures
By Alice Simenstad

Released in 1988, “Die Hard” is the ultimate action Christmas movie. New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) finds himself in the midst of a terrorist attack when he visits his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) at her office Christmas party in Los Angeles. Although overall a well-produced movie, several outdated stereotypes showcased in “Die Hard” can be hard to swallow. Holly McClane as the cliched “damsel in distress” for John to save, the portrayal of Japanese urbanization overtaking the world economy, and the overall lack of diversity in the cast, all raise eyebrows. If viewers can overlook certain old-fashioned aspects of the film, a thrillingly complex plot and excellent action shots proves “Die Hard” to be a Christmas movie worth watching.

#2- Home Alone

Promotional Material Courtesy of Hughes Entertainment
By Alice Simenstad

The 1990 Christmas classic “Home Alone” is an adorably heartwarming movie to watch this holiday season. Bratty eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is finally able to have the parent-free Christmas he always dreamed of when he’s unknowingly left behind on his family’s holiday trip to Paris. While Kevin’s vacation starts off with buckets of ice cream and violent movies, he soon finds that his home is being targeted by the Wet Bandits, idiotic burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Although the plot is blatantly unrealistic, “Home Alone” delivers everything one could want in a Christmas movie: hilarious holiday trickery, a merry Christmas soundtrack, and the uplifting reminder that Christmas is truly about spending time with those dearest to you.

#1- Elf

Promotional Material Courtesy of New Line Cinema
By Sophia Minutoli

“Elf,” released Oct. 9, 2003, is a timeless Christmas classic that follows the rather odd journey of Buddy the Elf, who has spent his entire life in the childlike innocence of the North Pole. Buddy, who grew up believing he was an elf, is shocked to discover he’s a human that snuck into Santa’s toy sack as an infant. Guided by a snow globe of New York, and wise words from Santa himself, Buddy journeys to New York City in hopes of building a relationship with his biological father. The characters are lovable, the acting is hilarious, and character development is present for both lovable Buddy and his short-tempered, distant father. Elf is an easy solution to any argument over which Christmas movie to watch and is sure to entertain all audiences. 

Which holiday movie is your favorite?

  • Elf (24%, 4 Votes)
  • Love Actually (24%, 4 Votes)
  • Polar Express (18%, 3 Votes)
  • Home Alone (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Die Hard (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Christmas Story (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Home Alone 2 (6%, 1 Votes)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

Loading ... Loading ...
Print Friendly, PDF & Email