The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

From Home Alone and Elf to Love Actually and The Holiday, we've pulled together a festive edit of Christmas movies on Netflix and in cinemas across Sydney and Melbourne
New Line Cinema

Nothing gets you in the festive mood like a good old Christmas flick. From cult classics to cute romantic comedies laced with holiday cheer; these are the movies to binge on over the festive season. And we’ve even thrown in a few cinema screenings too, so you can watch your favourite film on the big screen – if Kevin McAllister and Buddy the Elf can’t get you in the Yuletide spirit, quite frankly, we don’t know what will. 

It’s a Wonderful Life

One of the best Christmas movies – if not the best – ever made, It’s a Wonderful Life tells the tale of George Bailey — a man struggling to balance failing finances with an unhappy home life. After travelling to a bridge with the intention of ending his own life, he encounters Clarence, his guardian angel who reminds George of all the joy, love and happiness in his life. Wonderfully uplifting and full of seasonal cheer, this 1946 classic is an enduring favourite that will fill you with festive warmth.

Showing at Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 15th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd December 

Orpheum Cinema, Sydney, 21st & 22nd December

Palace Cinemas, various locations, 20th December

Home Alone

Every ‘90s child’s favourite Christmas film. Who could forget the infamous McCallister family heading off on their Christmas travels without their eight-year-old son? As Kevin McCallister discovers how to fend for himself, he comes face-to-face with two bonehead burglars who attempt to rob his family home, but little do they know that this small boy is a force to be reckoned with.

Playing at Moonlight Cinemas Sydney & Melbourne, 18th December

Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 21st December

Orpheum Cinema, Sydney, 15th December

Cinema Nova, Melbourne, Date TBC

Rooftop Cinema, Melbourne, 18th December

Stream on Disney+

Love Actually

Arguably the most heartwarming Christmas rom-come of all time, this comical Brit flick is guaranteed to get you feeling warm and fuzzy this festive season. But among the comical quips – Hugh Grant and Bill Nighy’s hilarious cameos are well worth a watch – there’s also a touch of melancholy that’s sure to pull on the heartstrings. We deny anyone unable to shed a tear as Emma Thomspson unwittingly tears open that  present. We’re welling up at just the thought of it.

Playing at Moonlight Cinemas Sydney & Melbourne, 11th & 20th December

Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 14th & 24th December

Cinema Nova, Melbourne, 24th December

American Express Openair Cinema, Melbourne, 15th & 17th December

Rooftop Cinema, Melbourne, 24th December

Stream on Stan


Brought to you by the king of comedy – Will Ferrell frolicking around, dressed up as a giant elf in the middle of New York makes this one of the most feel-good flicks of all time, let alone Christmas. Adoringly sweet and riotously funny, Buddy the Elf is bound to rouse a few laughs this Christmas.

Playing at Moonlight Cinemas Sydney & Melbourne, 22nd December

Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 21st & 24th December

American Express Openair Cinema, Melbourne, 14th December

Stream on Netflix

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Witty, warm-hearted and full of festive cheer, Jim Henson’s loveable take on Dickens’ age-old classic is a must over the Christmas holidays. Michael Caine as Scrooge is reason to watch alone, but pair that with Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Gonzo as the legendary Charles Dickens, and you’re onto a festive winner. 

Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 22nd December

Stream on Disney+

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Chevy Chase at his finest, this madcap Christmas movie may well trump them all. In a crazed quest to pull off the perfect Christmas (and to outdo his neighbours in the annual Christmas light-display), Clark Griswold goes to great lengths to make sure this year’s family Christmas is a memorable one. But after Clarke and his family suffer a series of unfortunate – and downright ridiculous – setbacks, it’s not quite the Christmas he was hoping for. 

Watch on Youtube (From $4.99)

The Holiday

When Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz swap LA and London homes in a bid to escape the clutches of their disastrous exes, they both find love in the most unexpected places. Saccharinely sweet, yet gloriously uplifting, this is one Christmas flick every girl should get on board with. If not to swoon unashamedly at the gorgeous Jude Law, then to chuckle at Jack Black at his most delightfully goofy. 

Stream on Prime Video

Miracle On 34th Street

A woman who raises her six-year-old daughter to believe that Santa Claus does not exist, has a change of heart when they meet a department store Father Christmas who claims to be the man himself. Remake of the 1947 family drama, with Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Mara Wilson and Dylan McDermott.

Stream on Disney+


A comical, modern twist on Charles Dickens’ classic, Bill Murray is his usual brilliant self in this hysterical '80s remake. Playing a miserly TV producer who hates Christmas, Frank Cross will stop at nothing to boost TV ratings over the festive season – including firing his colleagues and forcing them to work on Christmas Day. With visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, he soon learns the error of his ways.

Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 23rd December

Palace Cinemas, various locations, 20th December

White Christmas

Four performers arrive at Columbia Inn during the Christmas season, but without any snow, they are short of guests in the hotel. In an attempt to entice guests to the rural Vermont town, they stage a musical to get people into the festive spirit. Bing Crosby, Danny Kane, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen star in this classic holiday musical, which features music by the legendary Irving Berlin.

Playing at Orpheum Cinema, Sydney, 14th & 15th December

Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 15th December

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

In this Dr Seuss classic, Jim Carey plays a grumpy Grinch, who plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

Watch on Youtube (From $2.99)

You’ve Got Mail

The makings of a great Christmas rom-com: when two business rivals, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) who despise each other in real life meet in an anonymous chat room, they fall desperately in love with each other. But will their feelings subside when they realise their true identities?

Stream on Netflix

The Santa Clause

This all-American festive favourite stars Tim Allen as a divorced dad, who is forced to step into Santa’s shoes after he accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit (who turns out to be the actual Santa) on Christmas Eve. Following a magical trip to the North Pole, Scott, who slowly starts to morph into the big man himself – think white beard and wobbly round belly – and his son are given the important task of delivering all the presents on Christmas Eve.

Stream on Disney+

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Dark and twisted to its core, Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s gloriously macabre Halloween-Christmas mash-up follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington – Halloween Town’s notorious Pumpkin King – as he accidentally discovers Christmas Town in all its brightly coloured and warm-spirited glory. Bored of his harrowing Halloween routine, he plots to take control over Christmas, but despite meticulous prepping, his plans start to go seriously awry.

Playing at Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, 21st December

Stream on Disney+

A Very Murray Christmas

When Bill Murray is forced to present his live holiday special without the help of special guests – they’ve all been snowed in – the producers are worried it will be a complete disaster. But with the help of a few last-minute drop-ins from the likes of George Clooney, Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus and The Muppets, plus a few festive sing songs, the show is a huge success. Bill Murray serenading Miley Cyrus is slightly surreal but hilarious nevertheless. You can stream this one on Netflix, too. Winning. 

Stream on Netflix


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