What Are the Best and Worst Rated Christmas Movies of All Time?

A new research study has gotten down to the basics when it comes to Christmas movies. This isn’t a personal list of my favorite holiday flicks. The proof in that is The Great Rupert and Little Shop of Horrors are both missing. Flowercard has a detailed breakdown of all wintery tales, and if their research proves anything, it’s that Die Hard really is a Christmas movie.

Not only that, it’s the top rated Christmas movie of all time. Flowercard has done extensive research, culling the critic scores, audience scores, box office and profitability of Christmas movies throughout several different decades. And the results may surprise you. They not only offer a look at the top five biggest Christmas movies of all time, they also break down the worst Santa has to offer. These movies definitely belong on the naughty list.

The research analysed 75 of the most popular Christmas films of all time, with the data arriving from Flowercard. There has been a long standing debate on whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Every year, people go back and forth on it. The writer said it was, Bruce Willis turned around and said it wasn’t. A break down of scenes proved it had more Christmasy spirit than the classic White Christmas. It’s really up to you to decided if this is the Christmas movie you want to watch this year. But according to this latest list, not only is Die Hard a Christmas movie. It’s the number one Christmas movie across the board.

Related: NBC Turns Will Ferrell’s Elf Into an Animated Christmas Special

Coming in at number 2 is another hotly debated horror comedy with Christmas hanging around every frame. Is Gremlins really a Christmas movie? Like Die Hard, it was released in the summer. And at its heart, it’s a solid creature feature. But there’s enough evidence that points to this being a Christmas Eve favorite. Coming in at number 3, there is no argument here, Elf is a bonafide Christmas movie if there ever was one. Will Ferrell is a misplaced human elf left to wander the streets of New York and look for his real family. Santa is in it, you got the North Pole, some believe this should really be at the top of the list.

Coming in at number four is another all-time classic, the stop-motion animated magical Tim Burton adventure The Nightmare Before Christmas. Rounding out the top five is a true masterclass in holiday screenplay writing Home Alone. Again, there is no debate about what this movie is, with the climax taking place on Christmas Eve, and the entire family reuniting on Christmas morning. Whoops, I hope that’s not a spoiler. Many will be surprised to see that A Christmas Story and Its a Wonderful Life didn’t squeeze into the top five. Or even the top ten. Sorry, Ralphie.

Now, for the worst Christmas movies of all time, we have some real clunkers. The Ben Affleck stinker Surviving Christmas is number one. People just don’t care to revisit this blah mess around the holidays. Coming in at number two is the similar sounding Saving Christmas, which is a Kirk Cameron epic that is not just a bad Christmas movie, but one of the worst movies of all time. That Ben Affleck beat Kirk Cameron is really saying something.

Arriving at number three is the forgotten 90s relic Mixed Nuts, which is interesting only in that it pairs Steve Martin and Adam Sandler on the big screen for the first and only time. It also has Live Shreiber as a transvestite. Bad Santa 2 makes the list at number 4, which is a little sad. It’s really not that bad of a movie, and has the potential to gain a cult audience in the years to come. Rounding out the list is the head scratcher Deck the Halls, which pits a barely there Matthew Broderick against a devilish Danny DeVito in a movie that can only be described as blah, humbug!

You can check out the full top ten list, for both best and worst Christmas movies, in terms of ratings and box office. These aren’t personal preferences. So if your favorite holiday go to is on the worst list, don’t be sad. It’s what you love to watch that counts, and me personally? I’m always rooting for the underdog. Now bring on the egg nog, Audrey II and Rupert the Dancing Squirrel.

The top 5 rated Christmas movies of all time to be:

  • 1. Die Hard
  • 2. Gremlins
  • 3. Elf
  • 4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • 5. Home Alone
  • 6. Die Hard 2
  • 7. The Polar Express
  • 8. Christmas Vacation
  • 9. Love, Actually
  • 10. Plains, Trains and Automobiles

The worst 5 rated Christmas movies to be:

  • 1. Surviving Christmas
  • 2. Saving Christmas
  • 3. Mixed Nuts
  • 4. Bad Santa 2
  • 5. Deck The Halls
  • 6. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • 7. Silent Night, Deadly Night
  • 8. Black Christmas
  • 9. Jack Frost (1996)
  • 10. Love the Coopers