15 Best Festive British Christmas Movies

Lee

Lee

A connoisseur of 80's action films like 300, Predator, and Terminator, Lee blends his extensive movie knowledge with adeptness at streaming shows worldwide. His love for cinema permeates his lifestyle, from attending Comic Con to sporting Star Wars socks.

“Deck the halls in boughs of Holly fa la la la la la la la la”… it’s almost Christmas, and if you’re like me, you’ve already started binging your way through festive movies.

While most Christmas movies are great, you can’t beat a British Christmas film.

In this article, I’ll reveal the 15 best British Christmas movies around.

The last one is my favourite Christmas movie of all time. Do you agree?

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Everyone knows the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the old miser from the Charles Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol”. And if you don’t… you’re in for a treat.

Except, this is no ordinary telling of the festive tale; it involves the Muppets.

Scrooge hates Christmas, stores all his wealth, and gives nothing to the poor people around him.

But, on Christmas Eve, he is visited by three ghosts who seek to show him the error of his ways. He visits his past, present, and future.

This movie is brilliant; it has singing, dancing, and plenty of comedy, which this tale greatly benefits from.

While it is technically an American musical comedy drama, it is set in London, telling the tale written by an English writer and starring one of England’s most well-known actors, Sir Michael Caine.

He’s joined by Dave Goelz and Frank Oz.

Father Christmas Is Back

The 2021 Christmas movie has been a massive hit for Netflix.

Four estranged sisters reunite in a Yorkshire mansion during the Christmas period.

However, while they’re there, a long-buried secret is revealed, which tore their family apart years before.

Jump on this festive roller coaster and see if everything works out for these siblings.

The film stars Elizabeth Hurley, John Cleese, Kelsey Grammar, Natalie Cox, and Kris Marshall.

The Snowman

The Snowman is a 1982 animated cartoon based on the Raymond Briggs picture book of the same name.

It tells the story of a young boy who builds a snowman in his garden on Christmas eve.

However, the boy is shocked when the Snowman comes to life and takes him on an adventure to meet Santa Clause at the North Pole.

If you’ve got little ones, this movie is excellent. It’s still brilliant for adults and really gets you into the festive spirit.

It stars Peter Auty, David Bowie, Mel Smith and Raymond Briggs.

Last Christmas

Aspiring singer Katarina is struggling in life and finds herself working as an elf in a London-based Christmas shop.

But things change when she meets Tom, who helps her get her life back on track.

This 2019 festive movie is a future Christmas classic in my eyes. However, many critics seem to have missed the point of it.

Yet Empire Online said, ” Last Christmas delivers enough moments of heart and humour to keep the festive spirit alive.”

Starring in this movie is Emilia Clarke, who’s known for appearing in Game Of Thrones, Me Before You, Terminator Genisys, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Above Suspicion.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Single Bridget is in her mid-30s and doesn’t have what she wants from life… a man.

She decides to write a diary focusing on the areas of her life she wants to change. But, after two very different romantic Encounters, her perspective on life changes dramatically.

This film is as hilarious as it is festive. You’ll love every minute of it.

There are two sequels to follow this movie, but sadly they aren’t set around Christmas time, so I couldn’t include them in this article.

This movie stars Renèe Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and James Callis.

About A Boy

Womaniser, Will, spends his life living off his father’s Christmas song royalties. He decides to attend a single mother’s meeting to pick up women.

However, while there, he encounters a troubled 12-year-old boy named Marcus, who’s struggling with life as he lives with his depressed mother.

Will decides to take Marcus under his wing and attempts to help him improve his life.

From this newfound friendship, Will learns to become responsible for the first time and grows as a person.

While it tackles some serious issues, it’s an excellent feel-good movie with some hilarious moments sprinkled throughout.

This festive classic stars Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Rachel Weisz, and Toni Collette.

A Boy Called Christmas

This movie tells the origin story of Father Christmas.

A young boy named Nikolas sets out on a mystical journey to find the mythical land of Elfhelm.

He’s joined by his faithful pet mouse and reindeer, Blitzen. It doesn’t take long for Nikolas to discover his destiny.

This magical festive movie is fun and enchanting. It’s the perfect film to watch with your entire family.

This movie stars Henry Lawful, Maggie Smith, Isabella O’Sullivan, Joel Fry, and Eden Lawrence.

The Lion In Winter

This remake of the 1966 stage play tells the story of British King Henry II as he chooses his successor.

King Henry II invites his three sons, estranged wife, and the King of France to Chinon Castle, where they will discuss his options.

He favours his youngest son, John, while his wife (who’s been imprisoned for the past ten years for staging a revolt) favours his eldest son Richard.

While the movie is not your traditional Christmas movie, it is set during the festive period.

This movie stars Patrick Stuart, Glenn Close, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Andrew Howard, and John Light.

A Christmas Carol

This version of the classic Christmas tale doesn’t involve the Muppets like the version mentioned earlier in this article.

A Christmas Carol follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he bah humbugs his way around London, being the tight-fisted miser he’s known to be.

However, he soon changes his tune when he’s visited by three ghosts of his past, present, and future.

This animated tale is brilliant for the family to watch during December; it’ll get you in the festive mood… unless you’re a bah humbug.

Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Sage Ryan are starring in this version of the tale.

A Castle For Christmas

A best-selling American author named Sophie travels to Scotland to escape a scandal caused by her latest book.

She decides to visit her father’s village, where he grew up, so she can learn more about her ancestral history.

However, while she’s there, she falls in love with Castle Dun Dunbar and finds herself in a conflict with the ill-tempered duke who owns the building.

While this is a Netflix production, this one is set in Britain, so it counts as a British Christmas movie, right?

This film stars Brooke Shields, Cary Elwes, Lee Ross, Andi Osho, and Tina Gray.

Get Santa

After Santa crashes his sleigh and draws the attention of the local police department. He’s arrested and jailed, leaving him to seek help from a recently paroled father and his young son.

Together, they round up Santa’s reindeer so he can fly home and complete his Christmas list before the day is ruined for everyone.

This imaginative Christmas movie is a fresh take on festive movies, and I love it. I’m sure you will too.

Jim Broadbent stars in the movie as Santa and is joined by Rafe Spall, Kit Connor, Ewen Bremner, Stephen Graham, and Warrick Davis.

Arthur Christmas

Did you know Santa has a child? I didn’t either, but according to this movie, he does.

The story follows Father Christmas’s clumsy son Arthur who discovers there has been a technical glitch in the system and a little girl’s Christmas gift has been misplaced.

Arthur sets out on his own journey to deliver the little girl’s gift. Sounds simple, right? Well, for Santa, it would be, but this is Arthur, and he’s not quite there yet.

Plus, he only has 2 hours before it’s too late.

This animated tale stars Sarah Smith, James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, and Imelda Staunton.

The Snowman & The Snowdog

This short animated movie is only 24 minutes long, but it’s a fantastic sequel to “The Snowman”, which has been popular with adults and children since the 1980s.

A young boy named Billy writes to Father Christmas, asking for another dog to replace his recently deceased pet.

However, that night, he discovers a photograph under his floorboards of James (from the original movie) and the Snowman, including the original scarf, hat, and coal. This inspires Billy to build his own snowman and a snowdog to accompany him.

That night, both the snowman and snowdog magically come to life and fly Billy to a party at the Northpole.

It’s a magical sequel to get you in the festive mood.

Nativity!

Set in Coventry, United Kingdom, a primary school teacher named Paul is asked to produce the next kid’s Christmas show.

However, things quickly spin out of control when he lies to a competitor that a Hollywood producer is going to make a movie of his play.

As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

However, The Guardian Newspaper reviewer Andrew Pulver appears to be a bit of a Scrooge as he gave this movie 2 out of 5 stars. But he did say, “it’s hard to dislike this warm fuzzy hot-water bottle of a movie.”

Martin Freeman heads the movie and is joined by Marc Wootton and Alan Carr.

The Holiday

Ah, one of my favourite Christmas movies of all time.

The Holiday tells two intertwining tales about two women from very different walks of life.

Amanda Woods is a high-flying Hollywood trailer producer who’s recently broken up with her actor boyfriend. At the same time, Iris is a single newspaper writer who’s had nothing but bad luck with men.

The pair’s paths cross when they list their houses on a temporary house-swapping website.

Once the pair switch houses, they develop new friendships and fresh romances.

It’s one of the best feel-good movies around. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched this film; I might even watch it tonight while I put up the Christmas decorations.

Starring in The Holiday is Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Eli Wallach.

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