The 10 Best Christmas Movies Ever, According to Rotten Tomatoes

There are plenty of holiday-related movies but some stand out above the rest. Ahead, find out what films are considered by Rotten Tomatoes to be the 10 best Christmas movies ever made. 

But first, here’s how the site put the list together. They started by narrowing down Fresh movies — the term “Fresh” means more than 60% of its reviews are positive — that focus on the holidays and the spirit of Christmas.

From there they considered release year and the number of reviews with what the site refers to as the Adjusted Tomatometer. Now, all that’s left to do is cozy up on the couch with some festive treats and tuck into the below list of movies. 

7. ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

The most recent film on the list, The Nightmare Before Christmas, premiered in 1993 and followed the character of Jack Skellington as he grew bored of Halloween only to discover a new holiday in the land of Christmas Town.

The film’s available to rent on Amazon Prime Video for $2.99. 

6. ‘Babes in Toyland’

Babes in Toyland hit theaters in Dec. 1934 and gave audiences a story about two apprentices to a master toymaker as they help to raise money for Little Bo-Peep and Tom-Tom. 

5. ‘Holiday Inn’

Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, and Virginia Dale star in Irving Berlin’s 1942 musical, Holiday Inn (1942), that marked the introduction of the classic holiday song, “White Christmas.” Watch this movie for free with a subscription to Amazon Prime.

4. ‘The Shop Around The Corner’

Fans of You’ve Got Mail (1998) starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks will want to check out The Shop Around The Corner.

'The Shop Around The Corner' lobbycard with Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart
‘The Shop Around The Corner’ lobbycard with Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart | LMPC via Getty Images

The 1940 film starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart because both films are based on the same Hungarian play about a man and woman who develop an anonymous relationship as pen pals but despise each other in person. The 1940 adaptation is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and You’ve Got Mail is included for free with a subscription. 

3. ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

While there have been remakes of this classic Christmas movie, nothing beats the original.

Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, and Susan Walker in 'Miracle on 34th Street' in 1947
Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, and Susan Walker in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ in 1947 | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street stars a young Natalie Wood as a girl who sets out to help a man going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) as he faces legal troubles for claiming to be Santa Clause. The original and 1994 versions are available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

2. ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’

1946’s Meet Me In St. Louis, a musical starring Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien took the No. 2 spot for being a “holiday treat for all ages.” Watch it on Hulu with Live TV or rent in on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99. 

1. ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’

We’re not surprised Frank Capra’s 1946 film, It’s A Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed took the top spot as the best Christmas movie ever. Not the average holiday film, It’s A Wonderful Life follows George (Stewart) as he learns to appreciate the life he’s had with the help of mysterious voices.

James Stewart, Donna Reed, Carol Coombs, Jimmy Hawkins, Larry Simms and Karolyn Grimes in 'It's A Wonderful Life'
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Carol Coombs, Jimmy Hawkins, Larry Simms and Karolyn Grimes in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ | Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images

The movie’s been a quintessential Christmas movie for generations although it didn’t gain popularity until 1973 when it began airing during the holiday season. 


Check out our list of the 12 worst Christmas movies ever.