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7 Festive Films to Watch This Christmas

19 December 16 words: Gav Squires and Ant Simmonds

It's Christmas time but what if you don't want to spend the day with your family? Why not try one of these Christmassy films instead of all of that human interaction...

It's a Wonderful Life

This is a great film – such a simple idea, so easily done and paid homage to so many times subsequently. It's beautifully shot and Jimmy Stewart is perfectly cast. But it seems that every time we've seen it, the room has been incredibly dusty. "No, it's fine. We've just got something in our eyes."

Die Hard

One of those films, like Lethal Weapon, that you forget is a Christmas film. However, not only is this a perfect action film (seriously, there is absolutely no fat to trim) it's also perfect for this time of year. At heart, it's all about a family getting back together for the holidays. Also John McClane teaches Sergeant Al Powell how to kill again. A truly festive gift.


There have been a lot of different versions of A Christmas Carol, with the Patrick Stewart one is good as is the Albert Finney one. Some people will tell you that The Muppet's Christmas Carol is the definitive version of the Dickens' classic. Don't get me wrong, that's a great film. But this has Bill Murray in it, so it wins. Also, there is no singing Michael Caine, always a bonus.


A real slasher of a film. A comedy/drama/horror, Gremlins is probably a little too scary for the little 'uns to be classed as "family" though. Again, it's often forgotten that Gizmo was a Christmas present. Plus, the bit when Kate tells Billy what happened to her father at Christmas is probably more disturbing than the gremlins themselves.


It's funny, silly, and probably the only film on this list you could watch with kids. The only problem we have with it is a philosophical one – at the end of the film Will Ferrell marries Zooey Deschanel. Would an elf really be allowed to marry a manic pixie dream girl? We think not.

The Great Escape

It's a cliché that some clichés are true but the cliché that The Great Escape used to be on every Christmas was true (see also James Bond films) For some reason, now that there are more channels, it seems to be on less frequently.

Home Alone

Pure slapstick comedy, everyone loves this bogger. Enough about Donald Trump's appearance in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – whack the original on and forget about owd Wotsit face for 1 hour and 43 minutes. You deserve it. Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.

Catch Gav and Ant on NG Digital, where their Joy of Six musical review of the year will be aired on Wednesday 28 December

NG Digital website

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