T’is the season. You’re probably getting ready to see “Home Alone” for the 100th time, but there are several Christmas films that are also worth seeing. Some of them bring back so many memories, while others are simply enjoyable films that everyone can enjoy during the holiday season. What are some of your favorites?
The Polar Express 
I wanted to include an animated film and what better film than “The Polar Express”? The simple story about a young boy who embarks on a journey to the North pole will enchant kids and adults alike. I remember getting the special edition DVD over a decade ago which included a snow globe. That, along a magical ride, made “The Polar Express” a regular on my list.
Better Watch Out 
It only came out last year, but if you’re looking for a thriller to watch on Christmas, look no further. On the surface, it sounds like a “Home Alone” rip-off. It isn’t. This twisted holiday thriller from director Chris Peckover will keep you on the edge of your seat. With screenwriter Zack Kahn, “Better Watch Out” provides young Levi Miller the chance to dig into the role of a twelve-year-old boy who has a crush on his babysitter. On a quiet December night, they both find themselves alone in Miller’s house, with intruders ready to break in at any minute. But is it a normal home invasion? I’ll never say. But I can tell you that the movie will take you places you don’t see coming, with constant twists and turns that will make your head spin. It’s a must-see.
It’s a Wonderful Life 
I know it’s on every “essential” Christmas list, but “It’s a Wonderful Life” is truly a classic that has stood the test of time. It’s a Holiday classic through and through about a desperate man who receives a visit from an angel who shows him what life would have been like if he had never existed. James Stewart is phenomenal as the everyday man who feels life has let him down. It’s a beautiful film that needs to be cherished by every generation.
“Elf” is probably one of my favorite Will Ferrell movies. Its funny premise finds him looking for his biological family, after he was raised as an elf by Santa Clause himself. It’s a charming film, filled with hilarious gags and an unforgettable performance by Ferrell. It acquired its “cult” status many years after its release and deservedly so. It’s certainly a must-see comedy for the holiday season.
The Family Stone 
Christmas is all about getting together with your family, even if everyone is dysfunctional, and “The Family Stone” doesn’t shy away from the truth. It’s a film that I enjoyed at the time of its release, and I still find myself revisiting it every year. Think of it as “Meet the Parents” but the holiday edition. Dermot Mulroney plays a man who brings his uptight girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker) to meet his family for Christmas. You guessed it: they’re all going to make it a living hell for her. This isn’t a perfect movie by any means, but a charming cast and a cozy atmosphere made it a Holiday favorite of mine.