Every Chris Columbus Christmas Movie Ranked From Worst to Best

in Movies & TV

Plaza Hotel characters in Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

Credit: 20th Century Studios

Director Chris Columbus has given us some great movies over the years, although many don’t realize that when it comes to Christmas movies, there’s no other director quite like him. Not only are some of his festive flicks among the classics, he’s also churned out his fair share!

So here are all five Christmas movies from Chris Columbus, ranked from worst to best.

Related: ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ Gets Extended Cut Release on Disney+ For 30th Anniversary

5. The Christmas Chronicles 2

Mrs. Claus, Kate Pierce, Jack Booker and Santa Claus in The Christmas Chronicles 2
Credit: Netflix

The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020) sees Kurt Russell step back into the big boots of Santa Claus/Saint “Nick” Nicholas, while Darby Camp reprises her role as Kate Pierce. Set two years after the first film, wicked elf Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) plans to destroy Christmas.

The Christmas Chronicles (2020) was a surprise hit when it came down our chimneys back in 2020. Kurt Russell instantly warmed hearts as Santa, and the film managed to capture that indescribable charm of ’90s Christmas movies.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in The Christmas Chronicles 2
Credit: Netflix

Plenty of thanks are also owed to Darby Camp, who’s infectiously endearing as Kate Pierce. Unfortunately, The Christmas Chronicles 2 lacks the magic of its predecessor, and like The Santa Claus sequels, it makes the mistake of switching the real world for mostly North Pole-related stuff.

Julian Dennison’s performance as Belsnickel, an elf who has become human after betraying Santa and his wife Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn), is also completely humorless and at times cringe-worthy. Impish or admirable? Definitely impish!

Related: 7 Reasons Why Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ is One of the Greatest Christmas Movies Ever

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets poster
Credit: Warner Bros.

You might completely disagree with this entry, but Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) is widely considered a Christmas movie, much like its predecessor Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001). In fact, there are a number of festive entries in the Harry Potter series!

Chris Columbus returns to direct the second installment in the popular Wizarding World franchise, and though he was originally set to helm Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), unfortunately Chamber of Secrets marks his exit from the film series.

Dobby in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Credit: Warner Bros.

But never mind, because once again Columbus delivers a film that wields a ton of magic and captures the book upon which it’s based brilliantly. While Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets isn’t actually set at Christmas, it’s one of the more family-friendly entries in the series.

That’s not to suggest that there’s anything particularly heart-warming about watching Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) try to survive a giant, man-eating Basilisk, but this is still a film you’ll enjoy over the Holidays.

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3. Home Alone

Kevin McCallister and the Wet Bandits Harry and Marv in Home Alone
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Home Alone (1990) is a bonafide classic, and it’s Chris Columbus’ first outing into Christmas movie territory. It’s also the first time Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) gets left home alone to fend for himself over the Holidays, while also having to face off against two crooks.

Luckily, Kevin is a resourceful kid, and the “Wet Bandits”, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), wind up picking the wrong house to burgle at Christmas, as the 10-year-old boy creates a series of traps that will make the pair think twice about taking during the season of giving!

Harry getting his head set on fire in Home Alone
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Even one film into his Christmas collection and it’s clear that Chris Columbus has a flair for telling stories that take place during the festive period. Unlike many modern Christmas movies, Home Alone doesn’t rely on Santa Claus or the North Pole to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

But Home Alone isn’t just a heart-warming Christmas movie — it’s also a laugh-out-loud comedy, even before we watch Kevin McCallister torture Harry and Marv with everything from tins of paint to micro-machine cars. It has, however, as you can tell, lost to its 1991 sequel…

Related: Is Disney Working on a Sequel to ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’?

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) wearing the Sorting Hat in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the most family-friendly installment in the Harry Potter series, and there’s also quite a bit of emphasis on the festive period during this film, more so than there is in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Sure, there’s no Father Christmas in sight, or anything you might find to live in the North Pole for that matter, but there are Snowy Owls, cold castles, crackling common room fires, woolly jumpers, chocolate frogs, cosy steam train cabins, and all sorts of other festive features.

Harry Potter and Hedwig
Credit: Warner Bros.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone depicts Harry Potter’s discovery of the Wizarding World, which captures that same wide-eyed wonder of a child who wakes up to find presents under the tree on Christmas (which usually doesn’t involve murderous wizards, we’ll give you that).

If you forget the fact that Harry winds up melting one of the Hogwarts teachers with the simple touch of his hand, or the three-headed dog that tries to eat first-year students, or the troll that nearly crushes Hermione to death, you can have a pretty jolly time with this film!

Related: The 5 Best ‘Harry Potter’ Movies to Watch During the Holidays

1. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Now here’s a number-one entry that’s sure to rattle some cages! Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1991) is the first of many follow-ups to Home Alone, but it’s the only one anyone cares about. Why? Because Macaulay Culkin made the very wise decision not to return after this film.

This time, just as the title says, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself lost in New York over the festive period, after his wonderful family once again forgets all about him while en route to another vacation thousands of miles away from the reliably-snowy Chicago.

Mr Hector (Tim Curry) in Home Alone 2 Lost in New York
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Though equally iconic, Chris Columbus’ second and final installment in the Home Alone series is superior to the 1990 film in every way. This time, Kevin is in the Big Apple, where he meets a number of memorable characters, from Mr. Hector (Tim Curry) to the “Pidgeon Lady” (Brenda Fricker).

And though the traps are also a lot more entertaining than the first time around, the stronger parts of Home Alone 2: Lost in the New York are the heart-warming storylines, such as Kevin’s friendship with the Pidgeon Lady, and saving Duncan’s Toy Chest from the Sticky Bandits.

Kevin McCallister at the New York Plaza hotel in Home Alone 2 Lost in New York
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: 7 Reasons Why ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’ Tops the Original

Do you agree with this ranking? Let us know in the comments down below!

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