Nov 27, 2019

The 5 Most Underrated Christmas Movies of All Time

Most families who celebrate Christmas have their own traditions when it comes to holiday entertainment. Some of the most popular are films like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, or Elf. Whatever your choice, chances are it’s a tried-and-true classic that’s been enjoyed for generations. However, there are tons of Christmas movies out there. So many that it’s almost impossible to have seen every single one. New movies come out every year; further burying the movies that really deserve more credit. These underrated films often find themselves hidden between the old favorites and the new releases. That’s until today. Today, we’re counting down some of the most underrated Christmas movies of all time.

  • Everyone knows Charles Dickens’ story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his visions of Christmas spirits that lead him to live a better life. It’s been a popular story since Dickens wrote it in 1843. The first film adaptation came in 1901, but it wasn’t till the 10th iteration of the classic that producers struck gold.

    The 1951 film named alternately A Christmas Carol and Scrooge — depending on whether you’re watching in the States or the UK —is one of the most charming and underrated Christmas movies of all time. The classic story is told with style. Although many of the film’s first viewers found it dreary and depressing, the truth is that it manages to capture the realities of life in Victorian England. These realities are made even more poignant considering Scrooge’s eventual change of heart.

  • Released in 1994, Mixed Nuts is a film that takes a look at what life would be like if you were working at a suicide hotline during the Christmas season. This is definitely one of writer and director Nora Ephron’s most underrated films. In fact, it is often overshadowed by her more popular offerings like When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail.

    Headlined by Steve Martin, the film features a powerhouse cast with Madeline Kahn, Rob Reiner, Adam Sandler, and Rita Wilson. The crisis center manager, played by Martin, is forced to handle all of his staff’s personal issues, as well as those of the people who call into the hotline. The farcical film gets the bulk of its appeal from the supremely talented cast and the brilliantly penned script that allows their individual talents to shine.

    Despite tanking when it first came to theaters, Mixed Nuts has amassed a sizeable fan base in the years since.

  • You’d never think that a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad would be at all successful. However, Jingle All the Way proved all the critics wrong.

    The movie starred Schwarzenegger as harried dad Howard Langston. Langston promises his young son a Turbo Man action figure to make up for all the family times that he’s missed out due to work. Langston’s frenzied attempts to find a Turbo Man action figure on Christmas Eve are deeply relatable to any parent who has ever struggled to purchase the latest trendy toy for their kids. Along the way, he finds himself in competition with the local mailman (Sinbad). Their race through the neighborhood will have you giggling from start to finish.

    It’s easy to think of Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. But he actually starred in a number of popular comedies in the 90s, including this film, Kindergarten Cop, and Junior.

  • The National Lampoon brand first began as a comedy magazine in 1970. For 20 years, it was considered the gold standard of comedic writing. In 1978, several magazine staff worked on a movie together. Their influence was so important that the movie was titled National Lampoon’s Animal House. Since then, there have been at least six movies considered to be part of the National Lampoon canon, based on stories that originally appeared in the magazine.

    For fans of National Lampoon, there’s no other option for Christmas films but National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Originally released in 1989, the movie stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, whose attempts to provide a merry Christmas for his family just keep going off the rails.

    If you love goofy comedies, this should be at the top of your list.

  • The Family Stone is an ensemble film that was released in 2005. The movie follows the Stone family’s Christmas celebrations. Drama ensues when oldest son Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) brings his uptight girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) home for the first time. Meredith rubs everyone the wrong way and doesn’t fit into the family’s laid-back dynamic, so she begs her sister to come stay with her to help ease the tension. The misunderstandings overwhelm the family, girlfriends are swapped, but eventually, the family comes together.

    This film often gets forgotten as people gravitate towards either more dramatic or comedic films. It’s a true gem because it manages to do both at the same time without sacrificing the story.

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