Top 10 Christmas Movies You Have (Probably) Never Seen

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

Every year, people around the globe gather together to watch their favorite Christmas movies. Some are classics and others are new releases, but all of these films serve to bring families and friends together to celebrate the season. If you feel tired of the same old movies year in and year out, here is a curated selection of Christmas movies you may have never seen. Some are box office bombs and others are tangentally connected to the holiday, but all are good alternatives to the common Christmas flicks you usually watch. If you think we missed one or have a recommendation of your own, let us know in the comments below. And to everyone, Merry Christmas!


I have not seen this movie in years, but when it came out, it reminded me of GROUNDHOG DAY for some reason. Maybe it is the fact that unlikeable characters are stuck in a small town and have to find redemption, but this movie is so much better than the critics made it seem. It seems quaint twenty-five years after it debuted, but TRAPPED IN PARADISE may be the best example of Nicolas Cage's comedic timing and has the least annoying performances from both John Lovitz and Dana Carvey.


Based on a French film, MIXED NUTS was Nora Ephron's first directorial effort after the success of SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Steve Martin, the movie also stars Rita Wilson, Adam Sandler, Madelein Kahn, Anthony LaPaglia, Garry Shandling, Juliette Lewis, and the film debut of Liev Schrieber. Critically panned and a bomb at the box office, MIXED NUTS is a comedy of errors that has plenty of great small moments that are far more successful than the movie as a whole. That being said, it is a lot of fun for those looking for more mature fare during Christmas.


Directed by Jim Henson, Emmet Otter started out life as a TV special but has since turned into a cult classic. This year it even received a big screen reissue. Many may not be familiar with this one hour special that is full of new songs from iconic musician Paul Williams. With an intro by Kermit the Frog, this is a classic that deserves a much wider audience and is perfect for those looking for alternative entertainment this season. I guarantee "When the River Meets the Sea" will join your Christmas playlist after you watch this.


I really dislike THE SANTA CLAUSE and it's sequels but I find FRED CLAUS to be hysterical. Vince Vaughn plays the black sheep of the Claus family who is drawn back in for a part-time job during the holidays. Thanks to the machinations of a villainous executive played by Kevin Spacey, Fred ends up screwing the holiday and has to redeem himself. It is very stupid, but in the same endearing way that ELF is. Vince Vaughn's snarky delivery is pitch perfect for this role and the supporting cast featuring Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Miranda Richardson, and Elizabeth Banks are all great. Plus, Paul Giamatti is the best Santa in the last thirty years.


The penultimate directorial effort from Harold Ramis is a noir-comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen, John Cusack, and Dan Aykroyd. Not a feel good movie by any means, this is a hilariously dark comedy with a lot of violence and a lot of profanity. Definitely not your grandmother's Christmas movie, this is a fun excursion that differs from your expected holiday movie fare. I encourage your inner grinch to check this out and enjoy the heck out of death and doublecrosses against the backdrop of the yuletide season.


Cliche, joyless, and generic are some of the words critics threw around to describe this Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy. Yes, it is cliche, but it is far from joyless. A messy comedy that is a bit all over the place in terms of narrative, it does have some very solid performances from Robert Duvall, Jon Voight, Mary Steenburgen, Jon Favreau and many others. A forgettable comedy, it is one that is fun to watch in the moment and will certainly keep you and your family entertained during the holidays.


Odds are that you are turning up your nose at a Brett Ratner-directed remake of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, but you are missing out on a pitch perfect and sentimental Christmas movie that harkens back to the old-fashioned melodramas of the golden age of Hollywood. Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, and Nicolas Cage are perfect in a film that takes the cynical worldview of early 21st century society and delivers on a feel good "what could have been" story perfectly tied to Christmas.


Set during Christmas, JUST FRIENDS is one of the most underrated comedies of the last two decades. Featuring great performances from Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris, this comedy is set during Christmas but is not specifically about Christmas. Still, the idea of reuniting with a lost love during the holiday season makes this the best type of movie to watch during the end of December. Much funnier than you would expect, this is a gem to check out now or any time you need a good laugh.


Starring Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito, this 2006 comedy has often been called mean-spirited and received awul reviews when it hit theaters. If I had paid to see it on the big screen, I would have likely been disappointed as well. But, in the comfort of your own home, this is a harmless comedy with some actually funny moments punctuated by some nice Christmas themed moments. Nowhere near as offensive as some critics would lead you to believe, this is still a pretty fun time with some decent performances.


When it hit theaters, JACK FROST was a massive box office bomb. Maybe it was because people expected it to be related to the horror film of the same name or maybe the concept of an anthropomorphic snowman was too stupid. But, once you get past the dark opening act featuring the death of Michael Keaton's character, the film is actually kind of nice and has a sentimental message perfect for the Christmas season/


About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.