George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and his wife (Donna Reed) with children in “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
RKO Radio Pictures. Courtesy of Paramount.
Holiday movies that have survived decades are those that have made a deep emotional impact in our collective consciousness. They convey the importance of love and belonging, self-esteem, redemption, and the pursuit of noble goals. They have strong morals that emphasize right over wrong, good over evil, and tranquility over mayhem. In contrast, too many films today are void of values, substituting special effects and gimmicks for substance.
Especially during these chaotic 2020 holidays, we need substantive films to counteract COVID-19 madness, an unending election cycle, and periodic protests and street riots. It is time to curl up on the sofa in front of our large screen TVs, wall ourselves off from the chaos, and return to an age when movies were crafted with valuable, enduring messages.
Here are top ten blockbuster holiday movies you need and the reasons why. They include comedies and dramas, and each was selected for its strong appeal and equally strong message. They are ranked in accordance with Rotten Tomatoes Audience Scores from the lowest at #10 to the highest at #1. As you read each description, and hopefully re-watch each film, take time to savor the message beneath the storytelling glitter.