The Five Best Santa Movies: Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho and Ho

Billy Bob Thornton gives us an alternative look at Father Christmas in Bad Santa.
Billy Bob Thornton gives us an alternative look at Father Christmas in Bad Santa.

It's judgment day. Have you been naughty or have you been nice? It all comes down that. But while you won't find out if you get the new iPad or a lump of coal for a few days, it won't hurt to pay homage to the ultimate holiday hero. Bake some cookies and pour the milk; here are the five best Santa movies to watch while you wait for the big man to shimmy down your chimney.

See also: The Five Best Foreign Christmas Films

5) Bad Santa (2003)

When the kids are in bed, feel free to pop in

Bad Santa

for a darker Christmas treat. In one of those movies where the adult tries to teach a lesson but actually learns it himself, Billy Bob Thornton plays a degenerate Santa who begrudgingly befriends a dysfunctional child. As the Grinch taught us, every grumpy person can grow compassion during Christmas, whether he likes it or not. Sit back and enjoy the inappropriate, non-PC jokes with some spiked eggnog and a Christmas cigar.

4) Arthur Christmas (2011)Arthur Christmas

gives us a clue to what Santa's workshop would look like today: modern, computerized, precise, sleek and with military organization. It's all about the high-tech gadgetry -- but as always, glitches are unavoidable. In

Arthur Christmas,

the system overlooks one little girl, so now it's all up to Santa's youngest son, Arthur, who goes back to basics to save the day. This is a delightfully fun film that's good for any clumsy younger siblings who don't think they'll ever live up to expectations.

Keep reading for three more Santa movies.  

3) Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

In

Miracle on 34th Street

, Santa leaves his sweet gig at the North Pole and decides to walk among the common man and work as a department-store Santa. The film is a heartwarming nod to childhood beliefs and makes even the harshest skeptics want to believe in Father Christmas. This remake features wonderful performances by the late Richard Attenborough and the ever-adorable Mara Wilson; watch it and believe that sometimes miracles really do happen.

2) I Am Santa Claus (2014)

Every year families take their kids to sit on a stranger's lap for a picture they'll treasure forever. But who the men behind the laps? What do they do the other eleven months of the year?

I Am Santa Claus

sets out to answer these questions. Produced by Morgan Spurlock, McDonald's least favorite documentarian, the film peeks into the lives of the everyday men who play Santa -- and they include real estate agents, boozers and sex-club workers, among other things.

1) The Santa Clause (1994)The Santa Clause

teaches us why we should always read the fine print. After "killing" Santa, Tim Allen is forced to strap on the big black boots, grab the sleigh reins and take over as the new Saint Nick. The film offers a clever take on Santa's operation and shows that if you're looking for some stable work, try pushing Santa off a roof this Christmas Eve. The movie is great for kids, but parents will enjoy a few laughs as well.

Follow Amanda Moutinho on Twitter at @amandamoutinho.



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