Seven Underated Christmas Movies

Seven Days of Christmas – Seven diverse and different festive films

Seven Days of Christmas – seven diverse and different festive films. Featuring: Christmas with the Coopers, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Joyeux Noel, All I Want for Christmas, One Magic Christmas, Tangerine and Silent Night, Deadly Night.



Slated by critics on its release, Christmas with the Coopers (Love the Coopers) suffered from a highly misleading pre-release ad campaign that painted the movie as a lightweight festive comedy. However, in reality, Christmas with the Coopers is a tender, humorous family drama exploring themes of connection, belonging and love. In a year when COVID-19 has stripped us of hugs, intimate conversations, time with family and physical contact, Christmas with the Coopers offers hope for a better tomorrow. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. All Christmas with the Coopers needs to offer is joy, charm and festive cheer, and it does just that from the opening scenes to the last. I don’t know what critics watched back in 2015, but with this film, they got it wrong.



By the late 1960s, Connery’s love of Bond had turned sour, as had his relationship with the production team. As Connery announced his departure, Bond would face its most significant challenge to date in recasting the spy for a new generation. But were audiences ready to move on from Connery? George Lazenby may have been a surprise casting choice, but he made Bond his own in one of the best Bond films of all time. However, Lazenby suffered a backlash in 1969, and his movie was unfairly criticised for years after its release. Thankfully, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service has since earned its rightful place as one of the best 007 movies; from its style to its action sequences and sublime score, this is Bond at his best.


Joyeux Noel (2005)

Joyeux Noel received positive reviews on its release in 2005 but has since ended up forgotten in the festive mists of time. But Joyeux Noel is an outstanding Christmas movie – its real-life story of humanity in the face of destruction both compelling, emotional and brave. On Christmas Eve of 1914, in the trenches of Europe, a group of German, British and French soldiers laid down their weapons for a brief moment of solidarity in the face of hate and conflict. The result was an act of humanity, reconciliation and hope that was sadly only to last for one day. Joyeux Noel never shies away from the brutal reality of war while demonstrating that peace is always possible when we listen, talk and build bridges of understanding across nationalistic divides.



A Christmas kid’s movie about family separation and divorce doesn’t exactly sound like the most festive offering. But the year was 1991, and divorce was increasing at a rapid rate both here in the UK and across the pond, so what was the harm in exploring Christmas stuck between two warring parents? Many critics felt the subject matter of Robert Lieberman’s Christmas movie was depressing for kids, while others argued the yuppie affluence on display was nauseating. On both levels, the critics were right, but All I Want for Christmas also carries a warmth and charm that makes it incredibly festive and sweet despite its major flaws. Plus, if you look through the sickly sweet Americana, All I Want for Christmas harbours a much deeper discussion on parental separation and a teenage realisation that not all wishes can come true. Or can they?



One part, It’s a Wonderful Life, and one part, A Christmas Carol, Disney’s One Magic Christmas often felt more like a horror than a family feel-good flick, and the critics picked up on this in 1985. The critics were right in many ways; the film’s ad campaign and poster simply didn’t match the material, but it’s that disjointed advertising campaign that makes One Magic Christmas such a fascinating Disney miss-step and a movie that everyone should explore at least once. One Magic Christmas may not break new ground, but it is a fascinatingly dark Disney outing that deserves far more attention that holds moments of dark brilliance.



Christmas movies aren’t always full of tinsel, elves and snow, and Tangerine is a stunning example of a Christmas movie wrapped in life’s realities. Shot entirely on the iPhone 5, Tangerine is bathed in the winter sun and heat of Los Angeles, as it offers us a heartfelt, emotional and humorous Christmas on the margins of society. In the proud tradition of spit and sawdust American Indies, dialogue is often improvised, even when it was initially scripted, and it maintains a loose narrative structure that feels real throughout. Tangerine wears its heart on its sleeve as two transgender sex workers, Alexandra and Sin-Dee, walk the backstreets of L.A. on Christmas Eve in this must-see queer indie gem.


Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night, Deadly Night caused quite a stir on its limited cinema release in 1984 as it tore up the slasher horror rulebook with a young axe-wielding Father Christmas. For years, the controversy surrounding Charles Edward Sellier Jr’s movie only further helped cement its festive cult status as it proudly earned the badge of a ‘video nasty.’ However, beneath the blood and gore, Silent Night, Deadly Night was hiding a taut, compelling and downright chilling psychological thriller that was as unsettling as it was gory. Far from just your average slasher Silent Night, Deadly Night is a devilishly clever festive chiller that still manages to get under the skin of those watching as they munch their mince pies and drink their wine.



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