These are the best films to watch on TV this Christmas - including Elf and Home Alone 2

Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus may be the platform of choice to watch your favourite films, TV still remains king at Christmas time.

As ever the Freeview channels are stacked with quality film choices from recent Oscar winner Dunkirk to animated favourites Coco and Horton Hears a Who.

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Here’s ten films you shouldn’t miss over the Christmas period.


With the kids tucked in bed, grown-ups can safely escape the monotony of children’s TV and turn on Christopher Nolan’s epic on Britain’s evacuation of Dunkirk.

Described by Quentin Tarantino as "a masterpiece”, Dunkirk is a nerve-shredding masterpiece, best enjoyed from underneath a blanket on a cosy sofa, complimented by an umpteenth turkey sandwich.

Keep an eye out for Harry Styles who makes his cinematic debut in the film, alongside the veteran talents of Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy.

Boxing Day, BBC One, 9:05pm

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The Greatest Showman

The Sound of Music and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tend to be the go-to musical for families around Christmas time, but The Greatest Showman will also prove a hit with families.

Hugh Jackman’s all singing, all dancing musical explores the creation of Barnum's American Museum, the modern day circus, by P.T. Barnum.

Punctuated with catchy numbers and a delightful performance by the Australian actor, this is the perfect feel-good film to kick off the New Year.

New Year’s Day, Channel 4, 5:30pm

Paddington 2

We really don’t need to sell this one to you.

Few thought that the creators of Paddington could improve on the fuzzy-feeling-inducing joy of the first film, but the sequel is even better than the bear’s first outing.

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This is in no small part to an outstanding performance from Hugh Grant as villainous actor Phoenix Buchanan.

Christmas Eve, BBC One, 4:15pm


One of Pixar’s latest outings is every bit as emotional as the animated film producers’ greatest hits.

The film charts a young boy’s journey through the land of the dead in a surprisingly uplifting drama, which unsurprisingly tugs at the heartstrings.

Christmas Day, BBC One, 3:10pm

Jurassic World 

Though the the rebirth of the Jurassic Park films didn’t quite live up to the originals, this is still a great, rollicking adventure to sit back and enjoy following the excesses of Christmas and Boxing Day.

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The reboot of the legendary franchise is set in a luxury resort inhabited by genetically modified dinosaurs – what could possibly go wrong?

Sunday 27th December, ITV, 4:40pm

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Christmas is incomplete without a viewing of Home Alone 2, and few films reward a repeated viewing as much as the New York set Xmas flick.

Watch as Kevin McAllister is forced to deal yet again with a pair of bungling burglars, after he was separated by his absurdly negligent parents.

Christmas Day, Channel 4, 5:30pm

Horton Hears a Who!

The Grinch should be your go-to Christmas film prior to December 25 but we recommend watching Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who after Christmas Day.

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Featuring the voices of comic royalty Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell, this gem of a children’s film follows elephant Horton as he protects the miniature city of Whoville.

Boxing Day, Channel 4, 12pm


The 1996 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s tale of a girl genius is as feel-good as they come.

Follow Matilda as she harnesses her telekinetic powers with the help of kind teacher Miss Honey, using them against her neglectful family and cruel headteacher.

December 22, Channel 5, 1:35pm


The greatest 007 flick of all time? That’s up for debate. Daniel Craig’s finest outing as Ian Fleming’s ultra-charming provocateur? Absolutely.

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Watch as a washed-up Bond takes on ex-MI6 operative-turned-cyberterrorist Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) in one of the agent’s all-time-great outings.

New Year’s Eve, ITV, 9pm


Will Ferrell’s turn as overgrown elf Buddy is a must-watch for many.

Sadly the film won’t be on any of the Freeview channels this year, but can be streamed via Sky Movies’ streaming platform NowTV.

Available to stream from December 8