By Juan Calvillo
There are so many Christmas and Christmas-adjacent movies to watch during the holiday season, but the following five films are great to watch during this winter break. The holidays may be tough on some, but good entertainment tends to elevate viewers’ moods. These movies all have a good holiday message and are threaded together with a Christmas theme.
The fifth movie on this list is “Home Alone” starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Culkin plays Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old kid who is accidentally left behind by his entire family during Christmas.
The movie manages to meld laugh-out-loud comedy with a sweet message about family and togetherness. Pesci and Stern, who play two Christmas robbers, are hilarious in the movie and take physical comedy to the next level.
Written by the legendary John Huges, “Home Alone” is an insightful movie that reminds people that despite the family drama during the holidays, there is really no one else most would want to spend this time with. “Home Alone” is available to stream now on Disney+ and is rated PG.
Coming in fourth is the Tim Allen Christmas classic “Santa Clause.” Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that Clause is not the traditional way to spell the icon Christmas character’s name.
Allen plays Scott Calvin, a divorced father who wants his young son to continue believing in Santa Claus for as long as he can. An incident causes Calvin to have to take over the mantle of Santa Claus.
From there it becomes a movie that strives to remind the audience how believing in Christmas and all the good that comes with it is a tradition that should continue for as long as possible. “Santa Clause” is available to stream now on Disney+ and is rated PG.
“Klaus” is the 2019 movie that won the 2020 Academy award for Best Animated Film. It’s also an amazing holiday movie that focuses on the myth of the titular Klaus. J.K. Simmons stars as Klaus, Jason Schwartzman as Jesper and Rashida Jones as Alva.
The movie focuses on a town made up of two warring families.
Jesper is sent to the town to revive its local post office and through a series of silly events meets the titular Klaus.
“Klaus” becomes a buddy movie from there, with both Klaus and Jesper coming to terms with who each of them truly are. Writer Sergio Pablos infuses comedy into his message of finding a purpose and a family that makes the film a treat to watch. With action set pieces that are fun and vibrant to see and an amazing message, “Klaus” is available to stream now on Netflix and is rated PG.
2004’s “The Polar Express” is another animated Christmas movie that hits all the right notes.
The movie stars Tom Hanks in multiple roles and uses both fun and inventive musical numbers to keep the story going.
The story is about a young boy who is whisked away on a magical Christmas adventure aboard a train, The Polar Express.
Hanks plays the conductor on the train and sings many of the songs on the soundtrack.
Writer and director Robert Zemeckis crafted an emotional movie with songs like “Hot Chocolate,” “The Polar Express” and even one by Steven Tyler, “Rockin’ on Top of the World.”
Through adventures on and off the train, the young boy learns that Christmas is a time of spectacular moments that make the holidays worth every moment.
“The Polar Express” is available free on AMC’s streaming service if you have a cable provider and on iTunes for purchase. The film is rated G.
The final film on this list is one that many might not have heard of before. Starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, from “Indiana Jones,” Bobcat Goldthwait and Carol Kane, from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schdmit,” “Scrooged” is a retelling of “A Christmas Carol.” 1988’s “Scrooged” is directed by Richard Donner and is a fun, scary and inspiring Christmas film.
Murray plays Frank Cross, an amalgam of every bad habit and perspective from the ‘80s. Cross fires Goldthwait’s character, and bosses around Alfre Woodard’s character Grace Cooley.
It’s the visit of three Christmas ghosts that finally makes Cross realize the horrendous person he has become.
Murray is pure comedic gold talking trash to each of the three Christmas ghosts.
It’s the son of Woodard’s character, Grace, that really steals the spotlight.
Proving to Cross that it’s about the spirit of doing good that overcomes everything.
With the pitch-perfect final line of “God bless us everyone” and the beautiful rendition of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” by Annie Lennox and Al Green, “Scrooged” is a reminder that goodness and love conquers all.
“Scrooged” is available to rent or buy from Amazon Prime and iTunes, and is rated PG-13.