5 must-watch Christmas movies with low Rotten Tomatoes ratings – no.3 surprises

Sometimes the worst is the best, so here are 5 terrible yet brilliant Christmas movies worth streaming right now

Home Alone 2 Lost in New York / Jack Frost
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios / Warner Bros. Pictures)

If you have a little time out over Christmas then it's the ideal time to watch some of the best Christmas movies. And there are plenty of those, as highlighted in our 5 blockbusters to watch. But sometimes something doesn't have to be, y'know, actually good to be good. 

That's why I've been scouring Rotten Tomatoes' Christmas movies list to find the five supposedly worst Christmas films streaming right now. Each of the five selected has netted 49% or under according to the ratings site, with the no.5 position landing a mere 6% score. Ouch. I think the second and third entries on the list are particularly surprising.

Some of these Christmas movies' rankings you'll agree with, whereas with others you'll wonder how the heck they even made it onto this list. There were plenty of others in contention, too, they just rated a little too highly (but not exactly high): from Miracle on 34th Street (1994) at 60%, to Home Alone (1990) at 66%, or Love Actually (2003) at 64%

1. The Grinch (2000) - 49%

It may not be Dr Seuss's 1967 animated classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and it certainly couldn't be called a true classic in this turn-of-the-millennium format, but there's a lot to love about Jim Carrey's take on the Grinch in Ron Howard's movie adaptation.

Quirky is probably the kindest way to put it, but the kids'll love the Grinch's peculiar green face and odd antics, while adults will smirk at the sheer madness of the whole series of events. It's a fun movie, so accept it for that. 

Despite one or two darker undertones, there's still a warm heart at the centre of this – that's what makes a Christmas movie Christmasy – that ensures this is a family-friendly favourite. But 49%? C'mon, it's a little harsh!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is now streaming on Netflix

2. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) - 35%

I shed a little tear to learn that the Home Alone sequel, released in 1992 with its Lost in New York suffix, scored a mere 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. The original and this sequel are, in my opinion, utter Christmas classics (ignoring any version thereafter). Feel-good movies that reflect the cheer of the festive period – especially in this movie's snowy New York setting. 

Sure, a sequel to such a Macaulay Culkin classic was always going to be hard to follow. And when you watch it back, the degree of violence inflicted upon bad guys Harry and Marv wouldn't pass the sensors with a PG rating these days, but that marks it out all the more of a movie of its time. The 90s, eh? What a time.

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York is streaming now on Disney+

3. Jingle All The Way (1996) - 20%

I'm not purporting that Arnie's performance in Jingle All The Way is in any way admirable, but it's often hilarious and every time this movie comes on TV I feel inclined to Watch It All The Way through. That's despite it landing a pretty terrible 20% score on Rotten Tomatoes

Maybe the closest thing we'll get to a Christmas superhero movie (sorta), this flick will entertain the kids who can't see through its out-and-out awfulness, but your eyes will remain glued to the screen for the easy-to-relate-to scenes and often hilarity of it all. It's worth it just to hear Arnie say 'Turbo Man', 'doll', and 'NOW!' umpteen times, really...

Jingle All The Way is streaming now on Disney+

4. Jack Frost (1998) - 19%

This is one of Michael Keaton's worst-rated movies ever according to Rotten Tomatoes, where it lands just 19%, and you don't want to confuse this Jack Frost with the unrelated Christmas horror movie that came before it in 1997. Plus there's no doubt this is not exactly a cheery light-spirited film.

But despite those (admittedly major) points, I feel Jack Frost is a seasonal route into addressing issues about family, about loss, about the idealism of success, and ultimately about growing up in the modern world. If you're having one of 'those days' then don't rule it out, its 40% audience score shows there's still a little bit of festive love for it...

Jack Frost is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video

5. Deck the Halls (2006) - 6%

Well, we have a winner! I watched Deck the Halls over Christmas last year and, yes, it is indeed a terrible movie. But as a feel-good and entirely silly Christmas flick it's a great easy watch. That Danny DeVito also stars gives it added appeal for me, as he's just a classic actor. 

The premise is about neighbours who ultimately get into 'Christmas lights wars', trying to take their homes to the next level (like view-it-from-space levels). If you live in an area like mine then I'm sure you'll be able to entirely relate to that (under the guise of 'it's for the kids', sure!). 

As bad as Deck the Halls gets there's always some compelling reason to remain watching – even if just to see whether you agree with its unbeatably low 6% Rotten Tomatoes score

Deck The Halls is streaming now on Disney+

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.