The Christmas holiday has often been a lucrative period for movies. Movies like “Sherlock Holmes” (2009) have done particularly well, as people with a few days off flock to theaters. But, there are two kinds of Christmas movies, and those released on Christmas are one of these. The other is films made about Christmas that usually aren’t released on Christmas at all.
Among those we considered, there is a type of holiday film for everyone. Numerous genres are represented, ranging from action to comedy, romance, and horror. There are at least some surprises.
For example, “Die Hard” is not make our list of finalists and “Iron Man 3” is. (Bruce Willis has insisted “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie, so we omitted it, and Marvel has officially declared the third installment of the Iron Man franchise is, so we included it.)
Among the movies we considered there is an almost perfect split between older and newer films — 23 of the 45 movies on the list were released after 2000. The older holiday flicks were released between 1938 and the late 1990s, and most of them are ranked in the top 20 of the best Christmas movies ever.
The best Christman movie ever made is It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). Here are the details:
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10 (422,428 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 95% (219,179 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (87 reviews)
> Directed by: Frank Capra
Methodology: To determine the best Christmas movie ever made, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of November 2021. All ratings were weighted equally. Only movies with at least 25,000 audience votes on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes were considered. Only films in which the Christmas season plays an important role in the plot, or were otherwise identified as Christmas movies by Box Office Mojo, the Countdown Until Christmas Christmas movie database, and Vulture magazine were considered. Information on directorial credits comes from IMDb.