20. Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
Bridget (Renée Zellweger) thinks she might have met the man of her life (Colin Firth) – but spots him sporting a hideous Christmas jumper. This seasonal wardrobe error plays a pivotal part in the sharp romantic comedy-drama, which also features fellow festive favourite Hugh Grant.
19. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Leave it to Tim Burton to give Christmas a dark edge, although this stop-motion animation still has plenty of heart, too. Jack Skellington is the anti-hero who decides he’s had enough of Halloween and wants to stand in for Santa. Terrific fun.
18. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Michael Caine as Scrooge, Gonzo the Great as Charles Dickens, Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit – just three of many reasons to love this witty, warm-hearted take on the classic story. Despite the presence of Muppets, it is – believe it or not – one of the more faithful versions of the book.
17. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Jim Carrey puts in an exuberant turn as the grumpy green Grinch of the Dr Seuss books. A hermit who lives on a rubbish dump near Whoville, the Grinch takes a dim view of the consumerist little town – except for child Cindy-Lou, who might just be the one to melt his heart. A great family Christmas movie.
16. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
Another terrific alternative to your traditional Christmas movie, this action thriller sees soccer mom Geena Davis suddenly recalling her past as a trained assassin and racing away from (or should that be towards?) danger with private investigator Samuel L Jackson – all against a snowy festive backdrop.
15. In Bruges (2008)
Bruges isn’t exactly where hitman Ray (Colin Farrell) was planning to spend the holiday season, but the Belgian town is where he must stay, in the company of his older, wiser counterpart (Brendan Gleeson). The picturesque festive backdrop contrasts neatly with Ray’s bored cynicism.
14. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The ultimate in cuddly Christmas afternoon movies, this original stars Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, who must prove he is in fact Santa Claus – not least to a young girl (Natalie Wood) who has lost the true meaning of Christmas.
13. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
A cosy, child-friendly Christmas treat, this faithful adaptation of CS Lewis’s novel sees its young kids entering an eternally snowy Narnia through the wardrobe, and encountering Father Christmas – while the villainous White Queen (Tilda Swinton) is lurking with evil intent.
12. 8 Women (2002)
Eight women gather to celebrate Christmas in a snowy cottage, but all fall under suspicion when a man is found murdered. French filmmaker François Ozon’s dark comedy musical is a delight, with an impressive roll call of actresses including Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart and Fanny Ardant.
11. Scrooged (1988)
It’s unlikely that Bill Murray could ever have got through his career without playing a version of Scrooge. His deadpan delivery was made for this comic take on Dickens’ festive moral tale, in which his TV exec oversees a broadcast of A Christmas Carol.