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The best and worst of Christmas Movies

Christmas is coming, and that can mean only one thing: cheesy, family-based films! While we sidestep the debate as to whether Die Hard is a Chrimbo movie, we take head-on the debate over the superiority of Home Alone over Love Actually. The Brits and those Down Under love a bit of love at Christmas, while the chaos of Home Alone wins out across continents. Controversially, Eld makes it to favourite in the US – but who doesn’t love a bit of Will Ferrell.

What comes as a shocker is that neither film was rated number one by the critics! The world’s film experts cheered on It’s a wonderful life! Like Die Hard with its gun-toating violence, it is hard to live with the idea that such a depressing and tear-jerking ending belongs in the season of joy – though it is a classic.

Box office takings put Home Alone in second place, though it’s The Grinch with the amazing Jim Carrey that tops that list. Love Actually doesn’t even come in the top twenty of the top-grossing films! To be fair, it doesn’t come in the top 20 top critically acclaimed films either, so there may be no real competition. The critics see Home Alone as a solid fifth in the all-time list.

What is heartwarming to see is the number of family tales with innocent and positive messages that make it into the top-grossing films. While the top three might take a slightly sarcastic view of the season, the next few: A Christmas Carol, The Polar Express, and the hilarious Elf, all have that glow of Christmas sweetness to add to the indulgence of the season.

What these lists tell us about the most loved films in the world is that they don’t have to be the highest quality.

And yet, when you look at the critics’ list of the worst Christmas films ever, there is a fine line between cheesy and just plain awful.

Top of the worst list ever, if you are a movie studio, goes to The Nutcracker in 3D. Receiving a 0% rating has to be an achievement of sorts, with no reviewer offering it any stars whatsoever. It is especially disturbing for filmmakers of a classic story to top the charts when Christmas with Kranks comes second with 5% and a film called Mixed Nuts achieve 10% and hit number 5 on the list.

When one reviewer writes about The Nutcracker 3D that it was “misguided, misconceived and misbegotten, you only one option… which is to watch the film to see if it lives up to the horrendous critique – at least for 10 minutes. Be aware, though, The Rotten Tomatoes review declared the film “wrong” and “should never have been made”.

What is clear is that we all love a Christmas movie, and we all have one that we put on to signal the start of the season. For some, it is The Night Before Christmas, and for others, it is a bit of comedy horror with the Gremlins. Whatever we choose, we love it most when shared with loved ones.



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