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Christmas Movies By Genre

The Nightmare Before Christmas via iMDB

The festive season is here and there’s nothing better than getting cozy at home with a good Christmas movie. There have been many great Christmas movies that have graced our screens over the years some have become true classics that are watched around the world every year, some have faded from memory and some just slipped past us.

So to get in the festive spirit we at Culture Calling have created a collection of Christmas movies across many genres.

Period Pieces

Carol

Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department store. The two women develop a fast bond that becomes a love with complicated consequences.

Runtime: 1hr 58m

Age Rating: 15

2015

Directed by: Todd Haynes

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sara Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy


Spencer

The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen's Sandringham Estate. There's eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be profoundly different. SPENCER is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.

Runtime: 1hr 57m

Age Rating: 12A

2021

Directed by: Pablo Larrain

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Jack Farthing, Sally Hawkins, Amy Mason, Timothy Spall, Stella Gonet, Sean Harris


Little Women

In the years after the Civil War, Jo March lives in New York and makes her living as a writer, while her sister Amy studies painting in Paris. Amy has a chance encounter with Theodore, a childhood crush who proposed to Jo but was ultimately rejected. Their oldest sibling, Meg, is married to a schoolteacher, while shy sister Beth develops a devastating illness that brings the family back together.

Runtime: 2hr 15m

Age Rating: U

2019

Directed by: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, James Norton, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts


Romantic Comedies

Happiest Season

This romantic comedy is about long time lesbian couple Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), who made plans to go home to the latter's family for the Christmas holidays. Aside from spending the yuletide season with Harper's conservative parents, Abby is also planning to spring a marriage proposal on Harper. Trouble begins, though, when she discovers that Harper hasn't come out as a lesbian yet to her family, leaving them clueless as to who Abby really is in her life.

Runtime: 1hr 42m

Age Rating: 12

2020

Directed by: Clea Duvall

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, Clea DuVall, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Holland, Alison Brie, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber


Love Actually

Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are David (Hugh Grant), the handsome newly elected British prime minister who falls for a young junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon), Sarah (Laura Linney), a graphic designer whose devotion to her mentally ill brother complicates her love life, and Harry (Alan Rickman), a married man tempted by his attractive new secretary.

Runtime: 2hr 9m

Age Rating: 15

2003

Directed by: Richard Curtis

Starring: Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Thomas Brody-Sangster, Emma Thompson, Andrew Lincoln, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Freeman, Rowan Atkinson, Rodrigo Santoro, Lúcia Moniz, Joanna Page, January Jones, Kris Marshall, Billy Bob Thornton, Elisha Cuthbert


When Harry Met Sally

In 1977, college graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) share a contentious car ride from Chicago to New York, during which they argue about whether men and women can ever truly be strictly platonic friends. Ten years later, Harry and Sally meet again at a bookstore, and in the company of their respective best friends, Jess (Bruno Kirby) and Marie (Carrie Fisher), attempt to stay friends without sex becoming an issue between them.

Runtime: 1hr 36m

Age Rating: 15

1989

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Starring: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, Nora Ephron, Bruno Kirby, Lisa Jane Persky


Creepy Holidays

American Psycho

In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as a gruesome serial killer by night. The cast is filled by the detective (Willem Dafoe), the fiance (Reese Witherspoon), the mistress (Samantha Mathis), the coworker (Jared Leto), and the secretary (Chloë Sevigny). This is a biting, wry comedy examining the elements that make a man a monster.

Runtime: 1hr 44m

Age Rating: 18

2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

Starring: Christian Bale, Bret Easton Ellis, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Chloë Sevigny, Willem Dafoe, Josh Lucas, Justin Theroux


Eyes Wide Shut

After Dr. Bill Hartford's (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met, Bill becomes obsessed with having a sexual encounter. He discovers an underground sexual group and attends one of their meetings -- and quickly discovers that he is in over his head.

Runtime: 2hr 39m

Age Rating: 18

1999

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Todd Field, Marie Richardson, Vinessa Shaw, Leelee Sobieski, Alan Cumming, Cate Blanchett, Harvey Keitel, Jennifer Jason Leigh


Black Christmas

It's time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don't express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem?

Runtime: 1hr 38m

Age Rating: 18

1974

Directed by: Bob Clark

Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Keir Dullea, Andrea Martin, Marian Waldman


The Classics

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It’s A Wonderful Life

After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to make George's wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there.

Runtime: 2hr 10m

Age Rating: PG

1946

Directed by: Frank Capra

Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Frank Capra, Lionel Barrymore, Jimmy Hawkins, Thomas Mitchell, Carol Coombs


Home Alone

When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine O'Hara) makes him sleep in the attic. After the McCallisters mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he awakens to an empty house and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. But his excitement sours when he realizes that two con men (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) plan to rob the McCallister residence, and that he alone must protect the family home.

Runtime: 1hr 43m

Age Rating: PG

1990

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, Devin Ratray, John Candy, Kieran Culkin, John Heard, Gerry Bamman, Angela Goethals, Larry Hankin


The Apartment

Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs. When his manager Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) begins using Baxter's apartment in exchange for promoting him, Baxter is disappointed to learn that Sheldrake's mistress is Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), the elevator girl at work whom Baxter is interested in himself. Soon Baxter must decide between the girl he loves and the advancement of his career.

Runtime: 2hr 5m

Age Rating: PG

1960

Directed by: Billy Wilder

Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Jack Lemmon, Billy Wilder, Fred MacMurray, Jack Kruschen, Edie Adams, Ray Walston, Hope Holiday


Fantasy

Edward Scissorhands

A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he can finish assembling Edward, though, leaving the young man with a freakish appearance accentuated by the scissor blades he has instead of hands. Loving suburban saleswoman Peg (Dianne Wiest) discovers Edward and takes him home, where he falls for Peg's teen daughter (Winona Ryder). However, despite his kindness and artistic talent, Edward's hands make him an outcast.

Runtime: 1hr 45m

Age Rating: 12A

1990

Directed by: Tim Burton

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Anthony Michael Hall, Dianne West, Kathy Baker, Alan Arkin, Vincent Price, Conchata Ferrell, O-Lan Jones


Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents' mysterious deaths.

Runtime: 2hr 47m

Age Rating: PG

2001

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Richard Griffiths, Richard Harris, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

During the World War II bombings of London, four English siblings are sent to a country house where they will be safe. One day Lucy (Georgie Henley) finds a wardrobe that transports her to a magical world called Narnia. After coming back, she soon returns to Narnia with her brothers, Peter (William Moseley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and her sister, Susan (Anna Popplewell). There they join the magical lion, Aslan (Liam Neeson), in the fight against the evil White Witch, Jadis (Tilda Swinton).

Runtime: 2hr 30m

Age Rating: PG

2005

Directed by: Andrew Adamson

Starring: Georgie Henle, Anna Popplewell, William Moseley, Skandar Keynes, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Liam Neeson, Jim Broadbent, James Cosmo, Ray Winstone, Dawn French


Action/Thriller

In Bruges

After a particularly difficult job, hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) head to Belgium to hide out until things cool down. Ray hates the medieval city they land in, but Ken finds its beauty and peacefulness enchanting. Their experiences become increasingly surreal and possibly life-changing as they encounter tourists, locals, an American dwarf and a potential romance for Ray.

Runtime: 1hr 47m

Age Rating: 18

2008

Directed by: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Jordan Prentice, Thekla Reuten, Elizabeth Berrington


Die Hard

New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, and everyone in it. Very soon McClane realizes that there's no one to save the hostages -- but him.

Runtime: 2hr 12m

Age Rating: 18

1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason


On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Agent 007 (George Lazenby) and the adventurous Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) join forces to battle the evil SPECTRE organization in the treacherous Swiss Alps. But the group's powerful leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas), is launching his most calamitous scheme yet: a germ warfare plot that could kill millions!

Runtime: 2hr 20m

Age Rating: PG

1969

Directed by: Peter Hunt

Starring: George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti, Ilse Steppat, George Baker, Lois Maxwell, Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn, Joanna Lumley


Indie Alternatives

The Green Knight

An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, THE GREEN KNIGHT tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur's reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger. From visionary filmmaker David Lowery comes a fresh and bold spin on a classic tale from the knights of the round table.

Runtime: 2hr 5m

Age Rating: 15

2021

Directed by: David Lowery

Starring: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Barry Keoghan, Erin Kellyman, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton, Ralph Ineson, Sarita Choudhury, Kate Dickie


Tangerine

After hearing that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail, a sex worker and her best friend set out to find him and teach him, and his new lover, a lesson. Tangerine was shot exclusively on three iPhone 5s, along with a Moondog Lab’s anamorphic clip lens and an $8 app FiLMiC Pro and Steadicam Smoothee Mounts.

Runtime: 1hr 28m

Age Rating: 15

2015

Directed by: Sean Baker

Starring: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, James Ransone, Chris Bergoch, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan


Krisha

Krisha returns for Thanksgiving dinner after ten years away from her family, but past demons threaten to ruin the festivities. Krisha is an American drama film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults in his feature-length directorial debut, starring his real-life aunt Krisha Fairchild, and is the feature-length adaption of the 2014 short film Krisha also directed by Shults.

Runtime: 1hr 23m

Age Rating: 15

2015

Directed by: Trey Edward Shults

Starring: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Billie Fairchild, Bill Wise, Bryan Casserly, Olivia Grace Applegate


Animation

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual routine of frightening people in the "real world." When Jack accidentally stumbles on Christmastown, all bright colors and warm spirits, he gets a new lease on life -- he plots to bring Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role. But Jack soon discovers even the best-laid plans of mice and skeleton men can go seriously awry.

Runtime: 1hr 16m

Age Rating: PG

1993

Directed by: Henry Selick

Starring: Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Ken Page, Catherine O’Hara, Paul Reubens, Chris Sarandon, Chris Sarandon, Glenn Shadix


Klaus

A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg's new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions.

Runtime: 1hr 37m

Age Rating: PG

2019

Directed by: Sergio Pablos

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Norm Macdonald, Joan Cusack, J.K. Simmons, Sergio Pablos, Rashida Jones, Finn Carr, Will Sasson, Sydney Brower


Tokyo Godfathers

Middle-aged alcoholic Gin (Toru Emori), teenage runaway Miyuki (Aya Okamoto) and former drag queen Hana (Yoshiaki Umegaki) are a trio of homeless people surviving as a makeshift family on the streets of Tokyo. While rummaging in the trash for food on Christmas Eve, they stumble upon an abandoned newborn baby in a trash bin. With only a handful of clues to the baby's identity, the three misfits search the streets of Tokyo for help in returning the baby to its parents.

Runtime: 1hr 28m

Age Rating: 12

2003

Directed by: Satoshi Kon, Shogo Furuya

Starring: Aya Okamoto, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Tōru Emori, Shakina Nayfack, Jon Avner, Victoria Grace, Kate Bornstein, Jamieson Price, Satomi Kōrogi


Comedy

Bad Santa

In this dark comedy, the crotchety Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner (Tony Cox) reunite once a year for a holiday con. Posing as a mall Santa and his elf, they rip off shopping outlets on Christmas Eve. This year, however, Willie is falling apart. He's depressed and alcoholic, and his erratic behaviour draws the suspicion of mall security (Bernie Mac). But when befriending a small boy brings out his kinder side, Willie begins to wonder if there is still some hope for him.

Runtime: 1hr 33m

Age Rating: 15

2003

Directed by: Terry Zwigoff

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, Octavia Spencer, Ajay Naidu, Ethan Phillips, Alex Borstein


Elf

Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn't fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results.

Runtime: 1hr 37m

Age Rating: PG

2003

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Starring: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, Mary Steenburgen, Peter Dinklage, Jon Favreau


Scrooged

In this modern take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive whose cold ambition and curmudgeonly nature has driven away the love of his life, Claire Phillips (Karen Allen). But after firing a staff member, Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait), on Christmas Eve, Frank is visited by a series of ghosts who give him a chance to re-evaluate his actions and right the wrongs of his past.

Runtime: 1hr 41m

Age Rating: 12

1988

Directed by: Richard Donner

Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Carol Kane, David Johansen, Bobcat Goldthwait, Robert Mitchum, Alfre Woodard, John Forsythe


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