DVD Review: The Greatest Christmas Movies Ever

We polled the newsroom at The Ellsworth American for favorite Christmas movies and came up with a mixed bag (their recommendations … not the reporters). Sift through this list and you’re sure to find something to fill in the down time between opening gifts and sitting down to dinner. Merry Christmas!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV movie, 1964)

Greatest Christmas movie EVER.

This unshakeable opinion was formed in early childhood and is reinforced with each annual viewing.

“Rudolph” has it all — an adorable cast of animated characters, festive music and a heaping helping of nostalgia. It’s pure Christmas magic. Our sister will back us up on this.

Burl Ives is the voice of Sam the Snowman, who narrates the tale of a misfit reindeer trying to find his way in the world.

Along the way, Rudolph teams up with an elf who aspires to be a dentist and faces off against the baddest of bad guys, the Abominable Snowman.

In the end, Rudolph’s unique attribute (that would be the neon red schnoz) saves Christmas. Consider our heart warmed.

Cyndi Wood

The Family Stone

Sure, “The Family Stone” is a Christmas movie, but we wouldn’t recommend popping it in on Christmas morning. On the outside, it’s about a man bringing his uptight girlfriend to meet his laid-back family, but it is really about the complexities of family in moments both happy and sad. It will make you laugh and break your heart, plus Diane Keaton is in it.

Taylor Bigler

It’s a Wonderful Life

Unrealized dreams, bankruptcy and suicide aren’t typically the ingredients for a heartwarming holiday movie. And yet your heart can’t help but feel warmed — and your eyes a bit misty — by the end of this classic, when George Bailey discovers just how much his life has meant to those around him.

Everyman Jimmy Stewart as George struggles and sacrifices to keep his family’s financial institution afloat, only to learn on Christmas Eve that he stands on the precipice of financial ruin. With the help of his guardian angel, George gets a chance to see things differently and finds out he is, in the words of his younger brother, “the richest man in town.”

It’s a wonderful film.

— Steve Fuller

Home Alone

It’s the holidays, and a boy gets accidentally left behind during his family’s Christmas vacation to France. At first, Kevin McCallister enjoys his newfound freedom, eating what he wants, rifling through his older brother’s room, watching violent gangster films. But this comedy tugs on the heartstrings as Kevin starts to miss his parents, while also defending their home from bandits.

Charles Eichacker

Love Actually

Not for little ones, but for teens and older “Love Actually” is a Christmas charmer. An ensemble cast, interwoven tales, cool music and deft directing (Richard Curtis) make for an immensely satisfying movie. From opening voiceover by Hugh Grant to the closing anthem by the Beach Boys, “Love Actually” is endearing.

— Stephen Fay

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