It’s that time of the year! Time to light the fireplace, put on an ugly Christmas sweater, dust off your DVD player and remove the shrink wrap from those totally legally purchased Christmas classics!
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) – This remains the quintessential Christmas classic because it symbolizes what Christmas is really about – wanting to be something, but having to work for a living. Just kidding. This is a celebration of misfits and outsiders everywhere who can all equally revel in the spirit of Christmas because everyone has a place in the world, no matter how odd they may seem. Besides, were the misfit toys really misfits? A water gun that shoots jelly is actually amazing and if you smooth the edges of those square wheels on that train, they become regular train wheels. And my major isn’t even engineering, sheesh.
- Elf (2003) – A Christmas movie the late Roger Ebert said “charms the socks right off the mantelpiece.” What can I say? He wasn’t lying. Even my heart, which occasionally feels a size or two too small these days, can’t stay shruken during this delightful Christmas classic. Will Ferrell’s performance as a man raised by elves is obviously iconic, but the late James Caan’s performance as a book publisher is also fantastic.
- Batman Returns (1992) – Hear me out, a movie that takes place during Christmas is just as much a Christmas movie as one that is about Christmas. Or maybe I’m just trying to look for an excuse to talk about Batman Returns, Tim Burton’s zany, over the top sequel to his original Batman movie. This one takes place during the holidays and has Gotham City, once again, under attack by various goons. If Danny Devito’s performance as the Penguin doesn’t fill you with Christmas cheer, I don’t know what will.
- Jingle All the Way (1996) – It’s Turbo Time! How can you not revisit this Christmas classic where Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a humble all-American suburban dad who just happens to look like Mister Olympia and carry a heavy Austrian accent? In this flick, Schwarzenegger goes on an antics-filled crusade to get ahold of a Turbo Man doll, the hot new toy that all the kids want for the Holiday season. But, the stores are conveniently in short supply, which is not like any scenario my parents had to deal with when I was a kid. At all. Just kidding, it totally was — every single year.
- Better Watch Out (2016) This is easily the best Christmas-themed dark comedy, home invasion thriller that’s ever been made (looking at you, Home Alone). Here’s one for the slasher/horror fans. A babysitter tends to a young boy one evening before Christmas, when a home invader strikes. Simple enough. But then a twist so diabolical follows, it sends the movie sleigh-riding in another direction entirely.