THE LION IN WINTER – PG (1968) – It’s the best ever dysfunctional-family-at-Christmas-movie. Peter O’Toole AND Katharine Hepburn? Come on!
WE’RE NO ANGELS – NR (1955) – A rare Bogart comedy and a winning one at that. Wonderful cast, dark and funny, hard to find but worth the search.
DIE HARD – R (1988) – What a ride! Like two hours in an amusement park at Christmas time – if you were being shot at by Euro trash-Terrorists the whole time.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING – PG (1995) – It’s my wife’s favorite romantic comedy of all time – and that makes it mine.
ELF – PG (2003) – Will Ferrell was never better before or since. (But STRANGER THAN FICTION came close.)
LETHAL WEAPON – R (1987) – Nothing says 80’s So Cal Christmas like Lethal Weapon.
A CHRISTMAS STORY – PG (1983) – A cable network runs it for 24 hours each Christmas – and we all still watch it.
HOLIDAY INN – NR (1942) – The film that gave us “White Christmas” and a better movie than WHITE CHRISTMAS. Another stellar cast and a quintessential American time capsule.
SCROOGED – PG 13 (1988) – A Bill Murray comedy that’s about something (before he did many of those). A fun take on a tired premise with lots of great little grace notes and a solid supporting cast.
LOVE ACTUALLY – R (2003) – Possibly the most equally loved and reviled movie on the list. Flawed and sappy; well made and deeply felt. The parts are better than the whole and some parts are much better than others. Bill Nighy is amazing.