A Definitive Look at the Best and Worst Christmas Films Released Since 2000
By Zach Seemayer
Since the turn of the new millennium, the world has been given the gift of some truly remarkable films. Unfortunately, this hasn't necessarily extend into the realm of holiday movies. Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - they all came out before the year 2000, and only a handful of classics have been released that could rival their status as seasonal staples.
We're looking back at the past 14 years to see which movies are worth a watch and which should be avoided at all costs. To remain objective, these rankings are based on a average of the films' Rotten Tomatoes score, their IMDb rating and their Metacritic scores. So this list of the five best and five worst Christmas movies is truly definitive.
5. Arthur Christmas (2011): This film from Aardman Animations explores Santa's high-tech operations underneath the North Pole, and follows Santa's son Arthur as he goes on a fast-paced Christmas adventure with Santa's father.
REVIEW SCORE: 76.4%
4. Elf (2003): Buddy the Elf has become a holiday icon since this Will Farrell Christmas comedy was released over a decade ago. It follows a man who was raised as an elf, who must return to the normal world to discover the family and life he never knew.
REVIEW SCORE: 74.6%
3.Bad Santa (2003): Billy Bob Thornton plays the eponymous Bad Santa. He's a drunken conman and safe cracker who goes undercover as a mall Santa so that he and his partner can rob the department stores. However, their plans are complicated by an ambitious security chief and a sad little boy.
REVIEW SCORE: 74%
2. Rise of the Guardians (2012): This animated feature follows a group of immortal beings, made up of the "mascots" from each holiday. Santa, Jack Frost, Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and others work together to protect the world from various evils that threaten to destroy happiness.
REVIEW SCORE: 71.8%
1. Love Actually (2003): Apparently, 2003 was a good year for holiday movies. This interwoven ensemble rom-com follows a slew of relationships at different points -- from burgeoning romance to a strained marriage -- and examines the meaning and impact of love across the world.
REVIEW SCORE: 69.8%
5. Deck the Halls (2006): Two neighbors get into a bitter, heated competition over who can decorate their house better for Christmas. It's exactly as boring as it sounds. The tagline for the film is, "There glows the neighborhood."
REVIEW SCORE: 33.2%
4. Black Christmas (2006): Opening on Christmas Day, this boring holiday horror film is a remake of the 1974 slasher of the same name. While sometimes a horror film is just what you want for Christmas, this remake was unnecessary and quickly rejected.
REVIEW SCORE: 33.1%
3. Christmas With the Kranks (2004) – Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis decide to skip Christmas when their daughter leaves for the Peace Corps. Because this is a movie and it needs forced drama, their choice (and generally unlikable demeanor) makes them social outcasts.
REVIEW SCORE: 30.2%
2. Surviving Christmas (2004): In this truly inexplicable film, Ben Affleck plays a lonely, depressed millionaire who pays a random family, living in the house he grew up in, to adopt him for the holidays. But the real insanity can only be understood by watching this trailer. REVIEW SCORE: 30%
1. Saving Christmas (2014): Also known as Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas, this film is outspoken evangelical Kirk Cameron's attempt at "putting the Christ back in Christmas," as the tagline actually reads. The film was heavily despised by critics and audiences, and it currently has one of the lowest IMDb ratings ever.
REVIEW SCORE: 14%