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11 Holiday Movies to Watch on Your Home Theater Projector

‘Tis the season to cozy up with your loved ones, some hot cocoa, and a holiday movie. There’s nothing better than the big screen experience with some iconic films during the holidays, and we here at Projector Reviews have got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of some family friendly – and not so family friendly – holiday films for you to watch this season on your home theater projector!

There’s even two Hanukkah films, which is a bit of an accomplishment in itself, as there seem to be only a handful of Jewish holiday related films in existence, and not all of them are good (if you know of one that’s awesome, please tell us in the comments). And, if you don’t yet have a home theater projector, check out our relevant links at the end of this blog post!

Love Actually


This film centers around the theme of love. Set during the holidays, we follow nine intertwined stories that explore this emotion that is common to all humans. David, the new British Prime Minister (portrayed by Hugh Grant), falls in love with a junior staffer (played by Martine McCutcheon). Sarah (portrayed by Laura Linney), is a graphic designer who has a mentally ill brother – her devotion to him seriously impacts her love life. Tempted by his new secretary, Harry (played by Alan Rickman – may he rest in peace), a married man, must cope with his attraction and his commitment to his wife. These are but a few of the stories introduced in this film.

Home Alone


A holiday classic. Home Alone features Macaulay Culkin as 8-year-old Kevin McCallister. The night before the family’s trip to Paris, Kevin misbehaves and is made to sleep in the attic. The next day, the family leaves for the airport without him, leaving him in an empty house with his wish of having no family fulfilled. Not totally realistic – I don’t know a parent alive that would forget to take their child with them when leaving the country – but it does make for a hilarious series of events when two con men plan to rob the home, and Kevin is the only one there to stop them.



Elf has become a favorite holiday film of many. The film follows the hilariously giant Elf, Buddy (portrayed by Will Ferrell) as he seeks to find his real father, unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in. His father is a cynical businessman in New York, and after getting a DNA test, Walter Hobbs and Buddy attempt to form a relationship, and their differences make for some real chaos. This film is great for both children and adults, as, like many movies intended for children, there’s some adult humor sprinkled in that goes right over the kids’ heads.

The Santa Clause


The Santa Clause was a holiday favorite at my house growing up – we watched it every year. Having grown up with Home Improvement and Toy Story, I loved Tim Allen, and thoroughly enjoyed his role in this film as a divorced dad named Scott who has custody of his son on Christmas Eve. Scott accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit, and is transported to the North Pole where he is informed by an elf that Scott is to take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Convinced this was a dream, Scott must come to grips with the fact that he really is the next Santa as he keeps gaining weight a grows a white beard.

The Nightmare Before Christmas


The Nightmare Before Christmas is another classic, and brings a different vibe to Christmas than your typical holiday film. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, yearns for something more exciting than the annual rote routine of terrorizing people in the real world. When Jack stumbles upon Christmastown, he develops a plan to replace Santa Claus (Sandy Claws) by kidnapping the man in red himself. Of course, the plan goes inexplicably awry as Jack must overcome the many obstacles to his plan. I remember when Disneyland first started converting the Haunted Mansion into The Nightmare Before Christmas – I was so happy.

Jingle All The Way


Jingle All The Way is a hilarious holiday film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plays a workaholic dad named Howard Langston. He’s never around, always working (as 90s dads do), even all the way to Christmas Eve. To make it up to his wife and son, he promises to get his son, Jaime, the hottest toy of the season – Turbo-Man. Being the most sought-after toy at the time, Turbo-Man is all but sold out, and Howard must fight to beat the clock (and other parents like Myron, played by Sinbad) to attain his prize. It’s a film that is sure to resonate with any parent who wants to get their little one the number one toy of the season, and is fun for the whole family.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


This Robert Downey Jr. film has just enough Santa hats within to qualify as a Christmas movie. It’s a parody on film-noir movies. Con man Howard Lockhart, played by Robert Downey Jr., is on the run from the law when he blunders into a mystery film audition, and lands the part. Spirited away to Hollywood, he becomes entangled in a murder conspiracy with his childhood sweetheart, Harmony Lane (played by Michelle Monaghan), and a ruthless private eye named Perry van Shrike (portrayed by Val Kilmer). Film noir, comedy, mystery, Robert Downey Jr. and Santa hats – this film makes my short list every holiday season.

Die Hard


Ah, Die Hard. Another holiday classic. What I like about this film is that it is 100%, first and foremost, an action film, with Bruce Willis being a total badass. The story takes place on Christmas Eve, when New York City policeman John McClane visits his estranged wife and two daughters at her holiday work party. The party at the headquarters of this Japanese-owned business goes south when terrorists take over the high-rise, and everyone in it becomes a hostage – including John. Realizing there is no one there to save them, John takes matters into his own hands.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas


Growing up, we watched the cartoon version every holiday season (along with Frosty the Snowman and the Claymation style Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer), so when the live action came out, we were excited to see it. Jim Carrey portrays the mean-spirited, antisocial Grinch in this reimagining of Dr. Seuss’ tale. The Grinch decides to ruin Christmas for Whoville, who are all too happy and cheery for the Grinch’s tastes. Using his dog Max as his “reindeer,” the Grinch dresses up as Santa and sets out to steal all the presents and anything relating to the holiday – that is, until he meets little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen).

Eight Crazy Nights


This is one of the Hanukkah films I was able to find, out of a list of just eight (one of them being “Little Fockers,” which is said to be “the worst film of any trilogy to appear in a movie theater,” according to Vanity Fair – needless to say I didn’t include that one)! This animated film stars Adam Sandler as 33-year old Davey Stone, a party animal that goes too far and gets into trouble with the law. As his punishment, Davey has to perform community service as the assistant referee for the youth basketball league, or else go to jail. He chooses the assistant referee position, thinking it’ll be better than jail – until he meets Whitey Duvall, the referee he’ll be assisting.

The Hebrew Hammer


Mordechai Carver, played by Adam Goldberg (my pal, my buddy), was teased for his Jewish heritage by his Christmas-celebrating classmates and neighbors. Now, as a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, he seeks to defend his people against those who would do them harm – such as the evil offspring of Santa Claus, Hanukkah saboteur Damian Claus.

I decided to include this film after an interaction I had with my fiancé. I was telling him that there’s a disturbing lack of Hanukkah movies, and he mentioned The Hebrew Hammer. I told him I thought it was the Jewish version of Scarface because of the iconic line, “Shabbot, Shalom, Motherf*ckers!” (which was the only thing I knew about the film). He laughed for over a minute at that so I suppose I am wrong! It will definitely be a film I watch this holiday season!

Shopping for a Projector?

Check out our 2018 Holiday Guides to find your next home theater projector! We have two guides – our 2018 Holiday Guide to Six Home Theater Projectors Under $2000, and the 2018 Holiday Guide to Four Home Theater Projectors Over $2000. These guides feature projectors from several manufacturers at several price points, so you’re sure to find one that fits your budget and suits your needs! Also check out our 2018 Best Home Theater Projectors Report for even more projector options for this holiday season!

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