Personal Lists featuring...

Joyeux Noël 2005


The 50 best Christmas movies


UPDATE: 12/29/18


Notable Foreign Films


We’ve made a list and checked it not once, not thrice, but twice, and now we’re leaving the office in the North Pole to deliver the 50 Best Christmas Movies to all our nice readers around the world!

Christmas has come to represent different things to people over the years, and the movies here reflect that in kind. If you’re traditional and feeling nostalgic, you’ll be pleased to see where It’s A Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn made it. If this time of the year reminds you of sitting around the TV, eagerly awaiting those annual specials, look out for A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There’s horror (Black Christmas), comedies (Trading Places), horror and comedy (Gremlins), and even a superhero covered in tinsel somewhere (Batman Returns). And if Christmas means traveling somewhere you don’t want to be, stuck in a building with people you don’t like, have we got the ultimate movie for you: Die Hard! Ho ho ho, now we have a complete list!

If you were wondering how we put this together, every movie on the list is Fresh, and plays around with the spirit of Christmas and the holidays as a central theme. Then we sorted them all by Adjusted Tomatometer. And now you’re ready to enter a wonderland of cinematic history, with the 50 Best Christmas Movies ever!


Everything to do with history, from documentaries to historical fiction with a strong historical presence and travel series. See my Period Films and Shows list for similar but less historically based fictional content. See my History Documentaries list for serious documentaries/educational content only.


List of Nominees and Winners.

  • Actor in a Leading Role

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Capote" - WINNER
Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow"
Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain"
Joaquin Phoenix in "Walk the Line"
David Strathairn in "Good Night, and Good Luck."

  • Actor in a Supporting Role

George Clooney in "Syriana" - WINNER
Matt Dillon in "Crash"
Paul Giamatti in "Cinderella Man"
Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brokeback Mountain"
William Hurt in "A History of Violence"

  • Actress in a Leading Role

Judi Dench in "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
Felicity Huffman in "Transamerica"
Keira Knightley in "Pride & Prejudice"
Charlize Theron in "North Country"
Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line" - WINNER

  • Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams in "Junebug"
Catherine Keener in "Capote"
Frances McDormand in "North Country"
Rachel Weisz in "The Constant Gardener" - WINNER
Michelle Williams in "Brokeback Mountain"

  • Animated Feature Film

"Howl’s Moving Castle" Hayao Miyazaki
"Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride" Mike Johnson and Tim Burton
"Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" Nick Park and Steve Box - WINNER

  • Art Direction

"Good Night, and Good Luck." Art Direction: Jim Bissell; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" Art Direction: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
"King Kong" Art Direction: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Dan Hennah and Simon Bright
"Memoirs of a Geisha" Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gretchen Rau - WINNER
"Pride & Prejudice" Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

  • Cinematography

"Batman Begins" Wally Pfister
"Brokeback Mountain" Rodrigo Prieto
"Good Night, and Good Luck." Robert Elswit
"Memoirs of a Geisha" Dion Beebe - WINNER
"The New World" Emmanuel Lubezki

  • Costume Design

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" Gabriella Pescucci
"Memoirs of a Geisha" Colleen Atwood - WINNERS
"Mrs. Henderson Presents" Sandy Powell
"Pride & Prejudice" Jacqueline Durran
"Walk the Line" Arianne Phillips

  • Directing

"Brokeback Mountain" Ang Lee - WINNER
"Capote" Bennett Miller
"Crash" Paul Haggis
"Good Night, and Good Luck." George Clooney
"Munich" Steven Spielberg

  • Documentary (Feature)

"Darwin’s Nightmare" Hubert Sauper
"Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" Alex Gibney and Jason Kliot
"March of the Penguins" Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau - WINNER
"Murderball" Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro
"Street Fight" Marshall Curry

  • Documentary (Short Subject)

"The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club" Dan Krauss
"God Sleeps in Rwanda" Kimberlee Acquaro and Stacy Sherman
"The Mushroom Club" Steven Okazaki
"A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin" Corinne Marrinan and Eric Simonson - WINNER

  • Film Editing

"Cinderella Man" Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
"The Constant Gardener" Claire Simpson
"Crash" Hughes Winborne - WINNER
"Munich" Michael Kahn
"Walk the Line" Michael McCusker

  • Foreign Language Film

"Don’t Tell" Italy
"Joyeux Noël" France
"Paradise Now" The Palestinian Territories
"Sophie Scholl – The Final Days" Germany
"Tsotsi" South Africa - WINNER

  • Makeup

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" Howard Berger and Tami Lane - WINNER
"Cinderella Man" David Leroy Anderson and Lance Anderson
"Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith" Dave Elsey and Nikki Gooley

  • Music (Original score)

"Brokeback Mountain" Gustavo Santaolalla - WINNER
"The Constant Gardener" Alberto Iglesias
"Memoirs of a Geisha" John Williams
"Munich" John Williams
"Pride & Prejudice" Dario Marianelli

  • Music (Original song)

"In the Deep" from "Crash" Music by Kathleen "Bird" York and Michael Becker; Lyric by Kathleen "Bird" York
"It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow" Music and Lyric by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard - WINNER
"Travelin’ Thru" from "Transamerica" Music and Lyric by Dolly Parton

  • Best Picture

"Brokeback Mountain" Diana Ossana and James Schamus, Producers
"Capote" Caroline Baron, William Vince and Michael Ohoven, Producers
"Crash" Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman, Producers - WINNER
"Good Night, and Good Luck." Grant Heslov, Producer
"Munich" Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg and Barry Mendel, Producers

  • Short Film (Animated)

"Badgered" Sharon Colman
"The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation" John Canemaker and Peggy Stern - WINNER
"The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello" Anthony Lucas
"9" Shane Acker
"One Man Band" Andrew Jimenez and Mark Andrews

  • Short Film (Live Action)

"Ausreisser (The Runaway)" Ulrike Grote
"Cashback" Sean Ellis and Lene Bausager
"The Last Farm" Rúnar Rúnarsson and Thor S. Sigurjónsson
"Our Time Is Up" Rob Pearlstein and Pia Clemente
"Six Shooter" Martin McDonagh - WINNER

  • Sound Editing

"King Kong" Mike Hopkins and Ethan Van der Ryn - WINNER
"Memoirs of a Geisha" Wylie Stateman
"War of the Worlds" Richard King

  • Sound Mixing

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" Terry Porter, Dean A. Zupancic and Tony Johnson
"King Kong" Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek - WINNER
"Memoirs of a Geisha" Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Rick Kline and John Pritchett
"Walk the Line" Paul Massey, D.M. Hemphill and Peter F. Kurland
"War of the Worlds" Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ronald Judkins

  • Visual Effects

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" Dean Wright, Bill Westenhofer, Jim Berney and Scott Farrar
"King Kong" Joe Letteri, Brian Van’t Hul, Christian Rivers and Richard Taylor - WINNER
"War of the Worlds" Dennis Muren, Pablo Helman, Randal M. Dutra and Daniel Sudick

  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

"Brokeback Mountain" Screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana - WINNER
"Capote" Screenplay by Dan Futterman
"The Constant Gardener" Screenplay by Jeffrey Caine
"A History of Violence" Screenplay by Josh Olson
"Munich" Screenplay by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth

  • Writing (Original Screenplay)

"Crash" Screenplay by Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco; Story by Paul Haggis - WINNER
"Good Night, and Good Luck." Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov
"Match Point" Written by Woody Allen
"The Squid and the Whale" Written by Noah Baumbach
"Syriana" Written by Stephen Gaghan


Shows and movies taking place in historical periods, some with original stories and some with a strong historical basis.


The horror and the heroism of war has long been a staple of cinema and the background for many different story genres, from anti-war comedies such as M*A*S*H to the heroic feats of combat troops and fighter pilots played by the likes of John Wayne and other screen favorites. Here are the 101 most memorable war films ever produced.


Slowly adding nominations from older editions. In the meantime,